South Asia

Organized Panel Session

90 - The Mainstream and the Margins: How Traditions and Ideas Migrate Between Periphery and Center

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

Far from static, cultural traditions — religious, artistic, textual, etc. — are always in flux. Existing in conversation with what they are not, they can experience paradigmatic inversion: ballet, once associated with brothels, became a darling art form of the elite. Kathak dance has a similar historical arc. The Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa, perceived by many Hindus as authoritative and normative, have been effectively reinterpreted and retold by minority and marginalized populations. Bhairava, a terrifying deity associated with impurity and ostracization, is now an object of mainstream Hindu and Buddhist devotion: blood, fangs and all.

This panel will focus on reinterpretation marked by a transposition from a margin to the mainstream, or vice-versa. Though the above examples represent primarily Indian contexts, these shifts occur in religious and cultural milieux across Asia. They reflect change both internal change and contextual complexity and diversity, illuminating otherwise overlooked aspects of formulation and authorization. Reflecting the AAS’ commitment to diversity of perspective, this panel will draw from a wide range of traditions, and even question the viability or validity of reappropriation and reinterpretation. Participants will address modulation within or across traditions and regions, exploring the scope and limitations of the theme. Each presentation will be contextualized by another panelist serving as mini-discussant addressing the implications and limitations of the presentation's broader relevance. Throughout, special attention will be paid to voices that are amplified, and those that are silenced, in these initially paradoxical yet fascinating and fruitful instances.

Presentations:

Send Email for Iva Patel

Send Email for Iva Patel

Send Email for Iva Patel

Send Email for Naomi Worth

Hemchandra Nameirakpam

Ambedkar University Delhi, India

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Hemchandra Nameirakpam


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