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Meanings of Modern: South Asia before and after Colonialism

December 5, 2008 @ 9:00 am - December 6, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

Image of poster for 2008 BV Symposium depicting a metal "Symbol of Life" tree made of metal

2008 Burdick-Vary Symposium:


Susan Friedman
Partha Chatterjee
Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Vinay Dharwadker
Chris Chekuri
V. Narayana Rao
David Shulman
Satya P. Mohanty
Charles Hallisey
Aparna Dharwadker
Rama Sundari Mantena



Friday December 5. Morning

9:00 Keynote address: Susan Friedman, Director: The Institute for Research in the Humanities, UW-Madison: “Planetary Modernism and the Modernities of Empires and New Nations”.

10:00 Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University: “Rammohan Roy and Early Modern Anti-Absolutism in India.”

11:00-11:15 Coffee break

11:15 Sanjay Subrahmanyam, University of California, Los Angeles: “Historian-Scribes and the World of Early Modern South Asia.”


Friday December 5. Afternoon

2:00-3:00 Vinay Dharwadker, University of Wisconsin-Madison: “Modernities, Modernisms, and Postcolonial Literatures: Some Theoretical Issues in the Indian Context”

3:00 Chris Chekuri,  San Francisco State University: “Reliable and ‘Spurious’ Inscriptions: Modernity, History, and the Precolonial Past of Vijayanagara.”

4:00- 4:15 Coffee break

4:15 V. Narayana Rao, University of Wisconsin-Madison: “Something was different in 16th century Andhra. Was it Modernity?”


Saturday: December 6. Morning

9:00 David Shulman, Hebrew University, Jerusalem: “Rethinking the Imagination in Sixteenth-century South India: Notes on Ratnakheta Srinivasa Diksita’s Bhavana-purushottama.”

10:00 Satya P. Mohanty: “Alternative Modernities and Medieval Indian Literature: The Oriya Lakshmi Purana as Radical Pedagogy.”

11:00-11:15 Coffee break

11:15 Charles Hallisey: “The Familiarity of the New:  Literary Cultures and the Modern in Pre-Colonial and Colonial Sri Lanka.”


Saturday,  December 6. Afternoon

2:00 Aparna Dharwadker, University of Wisconsin-Madison: “Pre-Modern, Modern, Anti-Modern: The Contested Teleologies of Indian Theatre.”

3:00 Rama Sundari Mantena, University of Illinois at Chicago: “Conceptualizing Modernity in Nineteenth-century Andhra.”

4:00-4:15 Coffee Break

4:15 Roundtable: General Discussion, Thongchai Winichakul, Teju Olaniyan, Donald Davis, Jr., All participants


December 5, 2008 @ 9:00 am
December 6, 2008 @ 5:00 pm
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Pyle Center, Room 226
702 Langdon Street
Madison, 53703 United States