University of Rochester

EVENT: 2007 Morgan Lectures Examine Muslim-Hindu Relations in Delhi

October 17, 2007

Anthropologist Veena Das, the Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Humanities at Johns Hopkins University, will explore the relationship between Muslims and Hindus in the urban neighborhoods of Delhi, India, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the University of Rochester. As part of the annual Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures, Das will speak on "Everyday Life and the Claims of the Other" followed by an Oct. 25 panel discussion by anthropologists and Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mohandas K. Gandhi and president of the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence at the University of Rochester. Both programs are free and open to the public.

Das' research has long focused on cultural logics in contemporary events as well as moments of rupture and recovery. In recent years, she has trained her work on questions of violence, social suffering, and subjectivity. Currently, she is working on a project that examines the nature of poverty and everyday life in urban India.

The Oct. 24 lecture will be held in the Hawkins-Carlson Room of Rush Rhees Library on the University's River Campus. University Provost Ralph W. Kuncl will give the introduction and a reception will follow in the Welles-Brown Room of Rush Rhees Library. On Thursday, Oct. 25, the panel discussion will take place at 4 p.m. in the Welles-Brown Room of Rush Rhees Library.

Das will be joined by Gandhi, Ann Grodzins Gold, professor of religion and anthropology at Syracuse University; Robert L. Holmes, professor of philosophy at the University of Rochester; and Andrew Willford, associate professor of anthropology and Asian studies at Cornell University. Thomas P. Gibson, professor and chair of anthropology at the University of Rochester, will moderate.

Das has been on the anthropology faculty at Johns Hopkins since 2000. She also taught at the New School University from 1997 to 2000. Before that, she spent 33 years teaching at the Delhi School of Economics at the University of Delhi. She is an Honorary Foreign Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, A fellow of the Academy of Sciences of Developing Countries, and a recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Chicago.

She is the author, editor, or co-editor of eleven books, including Critical Events: An Anthropological Perspective on Contemporary India and Structure and Cognition: Aspects of Hindu Caste and Ritual, and most recently Life and Words.

The Morgan Lecture Series honors the memory of Lewis Henry Morgan, the distinguished 19th-century anthropologist and University of Rochester benefactor, and has been presented annually since 1963. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious lecture series in anthropology in North America. Presentations by the speakers are published by University of Chicago Press.

For more information, contact the Department of Anthropology at (585) 275-8614.