06 May 2012
BASAS Conference 2012
The 26th BASAS annual conference was held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) on 12-14 April. The conference attracted over 150 delegates and the panels covered a wide range of subdisciplinary themes. Some of the more popular panels revolved around issues of Dalit activism, reinterpreting history in South Asia, interrogating Indian capitalism, transformative public works, the politics of land in contemporary India, the gendered effects of social mobility, and India as a great power. The conference also showcased a number of niche panels on art, culture, and literature. Some of the most popular panels will be available as podcasts on our website soon. Other highlights included the screening of the film KOEL (dir. Bonnie Mukherjee). The newly-launched King’s India Institute generously hosted a reception for the BASAS conference delegates.
Many important academic issues were discussed at the conference. From institutional point of view, there was a very frank and informative open forum discussion about the future direction of BASAS. Despite the challenges that learned societies find themselves during these times of fiscal austerity, the general consensus was that BASAS was well poised to meet its future challenges. The conference also benefitted from its widening international audience. This year, in particular, we were pleased to host a number of Japanese scholars who organised a panel on reconsidering Marwari and its representations.
The BASAS conference has always served to encourage postgraduate and early career scholars. The conference offered dedicated panels on research methodology and writing a policy brief aimed at early career scholars. In that spirit, BASAS awarded the BASAS prize for the best paper presented by a postgraduate student to Berenice Guyot-Rechard (University of Cambridge).