This regularly scheduled issue features articles covering a variety of themes in contemporary and historical South Asia, from community responses to land-grabbing in Nepal, and theoretical explorations of the political in asceticism among sadhus in India, to governance patterns among the Yimchunger Nagas in the Indo-Burmese borderlands, and patterns of urban violence in crowded Karachi, Pakistan. Broadly speaking, the main themes traversing this issue, presented by junior and senior scholars, encompass minority communities contesting dominant forces, resisting political subjugation, and vying for recognition.
This regularly scheduled issue covers a very broad range of contemporary and historical topics and themes primarily focused on India, with contemporary ethnographic contributions on the Birhor, Pardhan Gond, Naga, and Bhil communities; archival and textual analyses on partition; Gandhi and sexuality; examinations of the 1857 uprising; and contemporary analyses covering rural to urban migration, identity cards, and public policies regarding Dalit, Muslim, and Adivasi communities. Contributions are from established academics, and postgraduate students, all undergoing a rigorous double-blind peer-review process. Cover photo by Edward Moon-Little
How does one celebrate the centenary of ‘a way of life’? For a medium, you remember its greatest meaning makers. For a movement, you highlight the turning points in its journey. For an individual, the heights of success and impact. But what about an art form that started as an ‘alien’ wonder to end up not only as a way of life, but also a prodigious offspring, unimaginably mutated away from its now ‘foreign’ parent DNA, in a span of just 100 years. Today, it would not be an overstatement to celebrate Bollywood or popular Indian cinema in the national language, Hindi, as India’s most recognisable offering on the international culture platform. Its film industry is arguably one of ‘Shining India’s’ truly uncontested achievements in the new millennium.
This issue offers up two broad themes that could very well describe ordinary, day-to-day activity in much of South Asia - motion and consumption. Yet this bird's-eye view belies the intensity of subjective intentionality, and the continuous negotiation that takes place as experience and risk are juggled in an effort to overcome social, economic and political obstacles, and to gain some advantage where possible. Articles, photo essays, and book reviews cover topics in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and India.
This issue is guest edited by Kenta Funahashi (Kyoto University) and Shinya Ishizaka (Kyoto University/National Institutes for the Humanities, Japan) and draws on research presented at the Japan-Edinburgh Workshop “Social Movements and the Subaltern in Postcolonial South Asia” held jointly by the Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh and the scheme of programs, “Young Researcher Overseas Visits Program for Vitalizing Brain Circulation” (JSPS, Japan) and “Contemporary India Area Studies (INDAS)” (NIHU, Japan) on the 17th, October 2012 at the University of Edinburgh.
This inaugural issue Marginalities and Aspirations was previewed during a special event honouring public health practitioner and human rights defender Dr. Binayak Sen on the 14th of June at the University of Edinburgh's School of Social and Political Science. The full issue, with articles, a film review, and two video interviews, are open access, and downloadable free of cost. We are particularly thankful to the Edinburgh University Library and the wonderful team that worked tirelessly to build, support and host this online journal in coordination with the journal's editorial team. We hope this will be the beginning of a fruitful, widely accessible periodical covering critical issues related to the study of South Asia.
In coordination with the South Asian Anthropologist's Group, The South Asianist has created this special conference issue featuring titles and abstracts of the presentations in the order in which they were delivered. The aim of this project is to provide a space that captures some of the unique qualities and cumulative learning that occurs during the unique workshop/conference event. SAAG 2012 was hosted jointly by Social Anthropology and the Centre for South Asian Studies from the 4th to the 6th, September 2012 in the Old Library, Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh, Drummond Street, Edinburgh.