February 18, 2011

New CWRU Lecture Series Explores India and its People

A new lecture series at Case Western Reserve University—“India: the Migration of Religion, People and Ideas”—offers an opportunity for the public to understand the growing importance of the social, cultural and political forces of South Asian cultures in shaping the global landscape.

Charlotte Ikels, professor of anthropology and director of the Asian Studies Program, said this year’s focus is on the rise of India. “India's population is on the move, and the United States is one of its prime destinations,” Ikels said, adding India is also one of the world's most rapidly developing economies.

Prema Kurien, associate professor of sociology at Syracuse University, will give the first of three lectures over the next months with her talk, “Who Speaks for South Asian Americans? Religion, Ethnicity and Political Formation.” The free, public event begins at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, in 309 Clark Hall.

How will the flow of people, trade and ideas shape American perceptions of India? What will be the impact of these global flows on India itself? “These are the questions that our distinguished lecturers will help us answer,” Ikels said.

Kurien will draw from her research on how the influences of South Asian religions have emerged directly and indirectly in the public sphere. She looks at the intersection between first and second generations and how the interplay of their homeland nations and ethnic backgrounds shapes this group’s involvement in politics.

She has extensively explored these topics in her books: Kaleidoscopic Ethnicity: International Migration and the Reconstruction of Community Identities in India (2002) and A Place at the Multicultural Table: The Development of an American Hinduism (2007).

For more information, call Taylor Hall at 216.368.0528 or email taylor.hall@case.edu.

Posted by: Emily Mayock, February 18, 2011 07:55 AM | News Topics:

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.