9th Biennial IASA Conference Planetary Futures and the Global South 16-18 January 2018 A Report

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30 Jan, 18 14:13
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9th Biennial IASA Conference  Planetary Futures and the Global South 16-18 January 2018 A Report
The 9th Biennial IASA Conference held at the Department of English, Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur took off on the 16th of Jan. 2018. Academicians from different parts of India as well as from Germany and Australia travelled to the City of Lakes to attend the event. The Conference was inaugurated by Prof. V.K. Malhotra, Member Secretary, Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi, and the keynote was given by Prof. Rakesh Mohan Joshi, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi while Prof. G. Soral from the host University Chaired the session. During the inaugural session besides the release of the Conference Souviner the book Debating the ‘Post’ Condition in India: Critical Vernaculars, Unauthorized Modernities, Post-Colonial Contentions by Prof. Makarand Pranjape was also released by the dignitaries .
There were fourteen technical sessions, two plenary, and one special session. The first plenary session on the second day was a panel discussion on ‘ Identity, Ethics, and Rhetoric’ . Prof. Vijaya Ramaswami dealt with the issue of Tamil identity. Prof. Vyjayanti Raghavan traced the foundation, in logic, of Confucianism in the Korean context, Prof. Pradeep Trikha dealt with the shaping of the Australian short fiction during the 1960s to the 90s. The discussion modulated by Prof. Makarand Paranjape led to vibrant discussion and some very useful deductions. The second plenary session held in the Udaipur Chamber of Commerce and Industry had Prof. Anne Brewster of New South Wales University of Australia, presenting a paper on “ Roanna Gonsalves’ Fiction : The Permanent Resident”. The issue of structural violence in the context of racism in Australia was one of the important paradigms discussed by her. The special session on Indian Ocean: Culture, Geography, Security added the very important geographical dimension to the discourse of Planetary Futures. The Chairperson of the Valedictory Session Prof. B. P. Sharma, Director, Pacific Institute of Education, rightly, focused upon the need to convert the demographic dividends of the Global South into the service of the future of the planet. The chief speaker Prof. Helen Pringle of NSW University of Australia expressed her sentiments with a poem admiring the IASA activities as well as the Udaipur conference.
During the presentation of some 68 papers and the ensuing discussions some of the points made can be summed up in the following manner-
• Identity, individualism, independence and related ethos perched on difference and uniqueness end up being DIVISIVE, whereas, collectivism, that celebrates commonality, sharedness, and belonging leads to harmonious co-existence. Balancing individual emancipation and collectivity in a nuanced manner might indicate towards a Global future where the hegemonic structures/ the Northern dominance can be effectively challenged. How rightly the poet Sarshaar Sailani said-
Chaman me ikhtilat-e-rang-boo se baat banati he
Hum hi hum hen to kya hum hen
Tum hi tum ho to kyat um ho…
• Return to nature as reflected in the folk/tribal/indigenous/aboriginal arts, literature, culture, and epistemological systems could be the alter directions.
• Grassroots movements could provide a much required impetus to the challenges that the Global South needs to throw in order to save the planet.
• There is an urgent need to distinguish rhetoric from genuine discourses of concern in relation to the issues of Identity and Ethics as well as to see through the politics, hegemonies, violence embedded in ideological, cultural structures not the least those of binaries like north/south, patriarchy/feminism, civilization/primitivism, culture/nature etc.
• Demographic dividend needs to be channelized constructively and cultivated into an asset. The planet can’t afford this to go astray to play havoc with the ‘progress’ made so far. The Globe, at the present moment, as much as at the time of writing of the poem ‘The Second Coming’, reverberates with the words of Yeats-
Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The best lack all conviction
The worst are full of passionate intensity

Surely the second coming is at hand.

Besides the business of the conference, the general body meeting of the IASA carried the goal of the forum forward by registering new life members and planning future course of action under the highly able and dynamic leadership of Prof. Makarand Paranjape. While every member of the host department was trying to do what she/he is best at, the General Secretary of IASA and the Coordinator of conference Prof. Pradeep Trikha stole the show by putting up two beautiful and delicious evenings for the entertainment, enjoyment, and enrichment of the participants. The first was a cultural eve that provided a glimpse into the regional culture. The second was a lakeside feast. Even after the valedictory on the third day the conference delegates were taken to the heart of the city, the residence of the present Maharana of Mewar in the premises of the city palace museum. There, a boat ride to Jagniwas Palace and the guided walk through the School of Art run by the Maharana Mewar Public School was probably the most fitting finale of the three day long intellectual festival. We won’t be surprised if the participants felt happily trapped throughout the three long days though we did come to know that many of them managed to squeeze out, time and again, not being able to resist the lure of the city.
यह खबर निम्न श्रेणियों पर भी है: Udaipur News
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