South Asia

Organized Panel Session

6 - Genealogies 'By Hand': Crafting the Historical Narrative of Modern India

7/6/2018
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Maple, Lower Ground Floor

New understandings of what constitutes ‘evidence’ and new methods of ‘reading’ that evidence now inform our understandings of the past, and enable us to nuance developments of the present. This panel brings these new approaches to five case studies, presented in an innovative panel format around a set of shared themes. These are designed to broaden a substantive discussion with the audience, taking advantage of access to Indian scholars and practitioners. The case studies track crafts over more than a century and a half; we collectively examine the central roles of crafts in providing an economic backbone as well as conceptualizations of ‘India’. These are brought together through genealogies of India as craft provider to the world, creating a singular ‘branding’ for the second largest sector of India’s economy.

Our format calls for 15 minute presentations of case studies spanning British and independent India, focused by themes listed below (and moving us beyond narrowly focused questions to specific paper-givers). Two chairs facilitate the 45-minute discussion around these themes, contributing their own perspectives as well.

Themes: (1) crafts over time in India’s predominant ‘informal’ economic sector; (2) respective roles played by State, Market and Civil Society in adjusting crafts to changing circumstances; (3) linkage between social uplift and craft preservation, and its impact on traditional occupational (cum caste-based) handicrafts training, especially given the widening gap between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’; (4) Crafts and ‘the public’, including new forms of institutionalization and technologies, and their relation to public support and formations of ‘Indian’ identity.

Presentations:

Sandria B. Freitag

North Carolina State University, United States

Presentation(s):

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Ashoke Chatterjee

Crafts Council of India, India

Presentation(s):

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Anand Yang

University of Washington, United States

Presentation(s):

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Medha Kudaisya

National University of Singapore, Singapore

Presentation(s):

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Gyanesh Kudaisya, MD, FACOEM

National University of Singapore, Singapore

Presentation(s):

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Sandria B. Freitag

North Carolina State University, United States

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Sandria Freitag

Ashoke Chatterjee

Crafts Council of India, India

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Ashoke Chatterjee

Ritu Sethi

Craft Revival Trust

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Ritu Sethi


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