(Fwd) CRSI: conference on religion in south india

Lance Nelson lnelson at pwa.acusd.edu
Mon Mar 17 11:47:28 UTC 1997

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"South Indian Religious Traditions in the Diaspora"
University of Toronto
Thursday evening June 12 through Sunday noon June 15, 1997

This year's workshop will focus on South Indian religious traditions 
in the diaspora: both Hindu and non-Hindu traditions, represented in 
both early and later diasporic communities. Thus papers may address 
issues from Hinduism in Bali or South Africa, Indian Judaism in 
Israel, Indian Islam in the Gulf states, to South Indian 
Christianity in the United States. 

Possible questions for papers and discussion include: 

--What factors led to the immigration of South Indian religious
communities? How has their residence in the host culture shaped 
religious beliefs, practices, and identities? 
--What differences do historical contexts of immigration make to the 
ways in which these religious communities have taken root and 
interacted with the cultures in which they are planted (i.e., 
differences between recent post-colonial migration and earlier 
migrations of indentured laborers or merchants during the colonial 
--To what extent can we see the current Tamil diaspora, for example,
as continuous with, rather than different from, earlier migrations 
of South Indians to Mysore, Sri Lanka, Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore, or
--What are the main features of diasporic South Indian rituals,
priesthood, organization, temple building, publications, media 
events, and links with kin and linguistic communities in India?
--To what extent have particular kinds of cultural performance taken 
on greater salience abroad than they had/have in South India? 
--Is the distinction "South Indian" relevant in the diaspora? Do 
various Indian diasporic experiences across geographic and religious 
boundaries have enough in common to speak about the phenomenon as a 
category of experience? 
--How have South Indian groups of Muslims, Christians, and Jews who 
have migrated out of South India established bonds with their wider 
religious communities? 

One afternoon of the workshop will be devoted to pedagogical issues of
teaching these diasporic religious traditions and issues of teaching 
South Indian/Indian religious traditions, when a significant 
proportion of our students are Indian American. Toronto also provides
workshop participants with numerous possibilities of site visits to 
temples and mosques, which we may choose to do together in small 
groups and discuss our experiences in a pedagogical framework.

The Conference on Religion in South India seeks to provide a forum 
for new and exploratory scholarship and (particularly this year) 
discussions of pedagogy in a more small-scale and leisurely context 
than is possible at large scholarly conferences. Participants make 
forty-minute presentations followed by thirty minutes of discussion. 
Ample time is provided during the workshop for unstructured 

One-page proposals for presentations should be sent by May 1 to Paul
Courtright, CRSI, Department of Religion, Emory University, Atlanta, 
GA  30322. Fax: (404) 727-7597; relpbc at emory.edu. Paul is out of 
the country until March 23. Until then, feel free to contact Joyce
Flueckiger: reljbf at emory.edu; (404) 727-4642. Our Toronto point 
person is Paul Younger: youngerp at mcmail.cis.mcmaster.ca  Phone: 
(519) 794-3897. 

The workshop will be held at Victoria University of the University of
Toronto and is cosponsored by the Department for the Study of 
Religion, chaired by Jane McAuliffe, of the University of Toronto. 
Accommodations at the university are estimated to be U.S. $175 
(including breakfast), dependent on the number of participants. 
Further details and registration materials will be sent in April.

Lance Nelson
Religious Studies
University of San Diego
lnelson at pwa.acusd.edu

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