Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

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Border Rituals and Transcultural Studies
Symposium: "Border Rituals and Transcultural Studies"

May 27, 2010 - May 29, 2010
Institute of Psychology, Bergheimer Straße 20, 69117 Heidelberg, Room 0014
Prof. Dr. William Sax, Head of Southasian Anthropology, and Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels, co-director of the Cluster, are hosting a symposium on "Border Rituals and Transcultural Studies". It brings together scholars from various disciplines to present their research results and discuss the significance of borders in South Asia.  
This event is organized by the Collaborative Research Center "Ritual Dynamics", Heidelberg and the DFG funded interdisciplinary research project "Changing Strategies of Resource Use: The 'Bhotiyas' in the High Mountain Border Region of Uttarakhand, India" (Prof.  Dr. W. S. Sax & Prof. Dr. Marcus Nüsser).
The increasing tempo of globalization has led some to predict a “borderless world of transcultural flows.” However, a glance at the map and a peek into the archives are sufficient to remind us that in the 20th and 21st centuries political borders have become more salient than ever, not only in terms of international politics, diplomacy, and conflict, but also with respect to cultural politics and self-identification.
Nowhere is this more evident than in South Asia, where the partition of India and Pakistan, the successful struggle for independence in Bangladesh, a large number of secessionist movements, and tense relations with China have demonstrated not only that borders are of continuing importance, but also that they are porous, creating opportunities for legal and illegal trade, for military posturing, and for varying strategies of self-representation vis-a-vis those on „the other side.“ These facts challenge naÔve versions of transculturalism, while making use of its more useful insights.
Thursday, 27th May
10:00 - 10:30 William Sax and Axel Michaels: Welcoming Remarks

10:30 - 11:30 Mona Schrempf (HU, Berlin): Reclaiming Place and Identity at the Sino-Tibetan Border Zone of Amdo: Tibetan Community Ritual, Local History and Chinese State Architecture (Chair: Harder)

11:30 - 12:30 JoŽlle Smadja (CNRS, Paris): New Environmental Boundaries in the Himalayas (Chair: Sax)

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch Break

13:30 - 14:30 Hans Harder (SFB 619): Impacts of the Indo-Bangladeshi Border on Hindu Rituals in Bangladesh (Chair: van Schendel)

14:30 - 15:30 Juergen Schaflechner (SFB 619): Contesting the Border: Sindhi Ritual and Identity in Sindh (Chair: Kreutzman)

17:30 - 18:30 Keynote Lecture by Willem van Schendel (University of Amsterdam): Beyond Marginality: Borderlands and Border Studies in South Asia
20:00 Conference Dinner

Friday, 28th May
09:30 - 10:30 William Sax (SFB 619): De-ritualizing Borders in the Divine Kingdoms of Rawain (Chair: van Schendel)

10:30 - 11:30 Lokesh Ohri (SFB 619): The Effects of new Borders on the Rituals of Mahasu (Chair: van Schendel)

11:30 - 11:45 Coffee Break

11:45 - 12:45 Christoph Bergmann (DFG Project NU 102/10-1): What happens if the Border is closed: On Ritual Mastery and Vertical Control (Chair: van Schendel)

12:45 - 13:45 Lunch Break

13:45 - 14:45 Martin Gerwin (DFG Project NU 102/10-1): Between Local Utilization Strategies and External Influences: The Restructuration of Natural Resource Use in the Borderland of the Kumaon- Himalayas (Chair: Harder)

14:45 - 15:45 Girija Pande (Kumaon University, Nainital): Region, Rituals and Imagined Borders: Reflections on Shared Heritage along the Indo-Nepal Border (Chair: Sax)

15:45 - 16:00 Coffee Break

16:00 - 17:00 Toni Huber (Humboldt University, Berlin): Ignore, Transgress, Exploit: Local Responses to the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Himalayan Highlands" (Chair: Kreutzman)

17:00 Final Discussion
Saturday, 29th May
10:00 - 13:00 Planning of Future Research Projects

13:00 Lunch (catered) 
27 May 2010
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