Social Science Baha

Seminar on Ethnicity and Identity in South Asia

Seminar on Ethnicity and Identity in South Asia: A Comparative Perspective
(in collaboration with the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies, USA)
conducted by Arjun Guneratne, Macalester College, Saint Paul, Minnesota
3-4 December, 2009, Kathmandu

Arjun Guneratne led a discussion-based reading seminar on the issue of ethnicity and identity. The main objective of the seminar was to understand the concept of ethnic identity as a processual and relational phenomenon, within the larger social, historical, and political contexts in South Asia and especially Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka.


3 December
Session 1
Theoretical framework
Benedict Anderson, ‘Census, Map and Museum’
Arjun Guneratne, ‘Introduction’ to Many Tongues, One People
Session 2
Identity and the State in Nepal
Nancy Levine, ‘Caste, State and Ethnic Boundaries in Nepal’
Arjun Guneratne, ‘Modernization, the State, and the Construction of a Tharu Identity in Nepal’

4 December
Session 3
Identity and the Nation in India
Susan Bayly, ‘Caste and ‘Race’ in the Colonial Ethnography of India.’
Susan Rudolph and Lloyd Rudolph, ‘Modern Hate: How ancient animosities get invented.’
Session 4
The Historical Context of the Sri Lankan civil war
Arjun Guneratne, ‘What’s in a name? Aryans and Dravidians in the making of Sri Lankan identities.’
Jack Eller, ‘Sri Lanka: The politics of history.’