Inaugural Yale South Asia Graduate Symposium Announced

November 13, 2023

The Yale South Asian Studies Council is happy to announce the inaugural South Asia Graduate Symposium will be held on Friday, February 23, 2024. Envisioned as an afternoon in-person event of talks and panels, the Symposium is intended to provide a forum for Yale-affiliated researchers across disciplines to share their work on the region. We define South Asian research broadly as pertaining not only to the countries that constitute the region (such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka), but also to comparative histories and studies that consider a broader field encompassing the region or any part thereof. Bringing together a heterogeneous scholarly community, from PhD students, post-docs to visiting researchers, this event will provide a space to workshop projects at different stages of development. The conference format has been designed to encourage participation at various levels, and will feature a series of lightning talks and moderated panels (comprising paper presentations).

Accordingly, we are inviting proposals for:

●      Lightning talks - A 5-minutes single-slide presentation focussing on an object or an artefact from ongoing research

●      Paper presentations - A slightly longer traditional conference-length presentation of approximately 10-12 minutes

The purpose of such a bifurcated format is to address the needs of scholars at different stages of progress. Lightning talks, for example, might be useful for scholars at the very beginning of their projects, hoping to sound out tentative ideas for research. They might also be useful for end-stage PhD students, looking for a place to finetune an overview of their research. The panels (which will be constituted at a later stage) are an ideal place to workshop an in-progress chapter or conference paper.

Abstracts should be submitted online via this webform by 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, November 26th. Possible themes include but are not limited to:

1.     Worlds of art, culture and media in South Asia

2.     Political and economic transformations in South Asia

3.     Structure and change in social life in South Asia

4.     Religion and spirituality in South Asia

5.     Gender and sexuality in South Asia

6.     Environmental change in South Asia

7.     The state and communities in South Asia

8.     Social and political movements

9.     The city / village in South Asia

We also invite submissions on other paper topics that do not narrowly conform to the above topics but focus substantially on South Asia. Decisions will be announced by the first week of December.

If you have a question, please reach out to a member of the organizing team:

●      Lav Kanoi (

●      Meenakshi A (

●      Sophia Abbas (

●      Amrita Chakravarty (

●      Tanmoy Sharma (

Faculty supervisors: Jane Lynch (; K. Sivaramakrishnan (

We look forward to reading your proposals!