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Weekly Reading Seminar Series Fall 2013

Monday Reading Seminar 'Academia in the Global South'
Moderator: Pratyoush Onta

Introduction to the Seminar

This reading seminar is dedicated to understanding academia in the global South. Our emphasis will be on trying to locate academic institutions, practices and practitioners in the global South mostly in their historical and contemporary social landscapes. We will look at some of the structural features of these landscapes and discuss how they have facilitated or challenged the performance of academia in Southern countries. Using examples mainly from South Asia and Africa, we will also look at the changing institutional dynamics of academia and examine political-economic and cultural aspects of such academic practices as teaching, research, publications, and the like in the global South.

The readings for the seminars, of various length and depth, are drawn from a number of different sources: popular media, academic journals and books. They total about 60-100 pages of reading per week. Seminar participants will be expected to have read them before coming to class and should be ready to discuss/critique them in some detail. The seminar will meet on Mondays, 7-8:30am starting from 12th August 2013. There will be a total of seven meetings

I. Descriptions of the Present: Crises and their Representations
1.    Hachhethu, Krishna. 2002. Social Sciences Research in Nepal. Economic and Political Weekly 37(35):     3631-3643.
2.    Bidushi Dhungel. 2012. Ailing Academia. The Kathmandu Post, 4 October, p. 6.
3.    Dambarkrishna Shrestha. 2012. Sunyatira…Himal Khabarpatrika 22(17): 18-20 (in Nepali).
4.    Venni V. Krishna and Usha Krishna. 2010. Social Sciences in South Asia. In World Social Science Report     2010, pp. 77-81. Paris: UNESCO.
5.    Ayodeji Olukoju. 2004. The Crisis of Research and Academic Publishing in Nigerian Universities. In African     Universities in the Twenty-First Century Volume 2: Knowledge    and Society. Paul T. Zeleza and Adebayo     Olukushi, eds., pp. 363-375. Dakar: Council for Development of Social Science Research in Africa     (CODESRIA).
6.    Pitamber Sharma, Bal Gopal Baidya and Dwarika Nath Dhungel. 2012. Situation Analysis, Review and     Assessment. In Strategic Plan for the Proposed Social Science Research Council in Nepal, pp. 6-19. A Report     submitted to the Adhoc Council, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Government of Nepal and     Social Inclusion Research Fund, December.
7.    Partha Chatterjee. 2002. Institutional Context of Social Science Research in South Asia. Economic and Political Weekly 37(35): 3604-12.
8.    Satish Deshpande. 2002. Social Science Research Capacity in South Asia: Some Questions for Discussion. Economic and Political Weekly 37(35): 3628-3630.

II. North and South: Academic Dependency and the Indigenisation Debate
1.    Syed Farid Alatas. 2006[2000]. The Structure of Academic Dependency and the Global Division of Labour in the Social Sciences. In his Alternative Discourses in Asian Social Science: Responses to Eurocentrism, pp.     57-79. New Delhi: Sage Publications.
2.    Yogesh Atal. 2004[1981]. The Call for Indigenisation. In Indigeneity and Universality in Social Science: A South Asian Response. Partha N. Mukherji and Chandan Sengupta, eds., pp. 99-113. New Delhi: Sage.
3.    Béteille, André.  2009[1997]. Science and Tradition. In his Sociology: Essays on Approach & Method, pp.261-272. Second edition. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
4.    Tejaswini Niranjana. 2013. Indian Languages in Indian Higher Education. Economic and Political Weekly 48(12): 14-17, 19.
5.    Vineeta Sinha. 2003. Decentring Social Sciences in Practice through Individual Acts and Choices. Current Sociology 51(1): 7-26.

III. Academia’s Connections: Political, Economic and Cultural
1.    Mkandawire, Thandika.  1997. The Social Sciences in Africa: Breaking Local Barriers and Negotiating     International Presence. African Studies Review 40(2): 15-36.
2.    Paul T. Zeleza. 2004. Neo-liberalism and Academic Freedom. In African Universities in the Twenty-First     Century Volume 1: Liberalisation and Internationalisation Paul T. Zeleza and Adebayo Olukushi, eds., pp.     42-68. Dakar: Council for Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA).
3.    Jean Dreze. 2002. On Research and Action. Economic and Political Weekly, 2 March, pp. 817-819.
4.    Hemanta Ojha. 2012. Civic Engagement through Critical Action Research: Reflections on Ten Years of     Forestaction Nepal Experience. New Angle 2(1): 35-62.
5.    Satish Deshpande. 2011. Revisiting the Basics. Seminar 624: 14-18.
6.    Eldho Mathews, Biju A Chittuparamban, Sharvari Joshi and Payal Dey. 2013. Engaging the Corporate Sector:     Narayana Murthy Committee Recommendation on Higher Education. Economic and Political Weekly 48(29): 41-47.
7.    Shiva Rijal. 2013. Tejobadh Pragyaharu. Nagarik, 23 Feb., p. 5 (in Nepali).
8.    Neeti Aryal Khanal. 2012. A Day in the Life. The Kathmandu Post, 10 February, p. 7.

IV. University - 1: Institutional Contexts
1.    Mana Prasad Wagle. 2012. Visvavidyalayaka pati, atmarati ra siksako durgati. Kantipur, 10 January, p. 7 (in     Nepali).
2.    Bijaya Raj Poudel. 2013. Raising the Bar. The Kathmandu Post, 7 July, p. 6.
3.    N. Jayaram. 2003. The Fall of the Guru: The Decline of the Academic Profession in India. In The Decline of     the Guru: The Academic Profession in Developing and Middle-Income Countries. Philip G. Altbach, ed., pp.     199-230. New York: Palgrave.
4.    Béteille, André. 2007. Universities at the Crossroads. Current Science 92(4): 441-449.
5.    Pratap Bhanu Mehta. 2008. Obstacles to a New Revolution. Seminar 590: 44-48.
6.    Andrés Bernasconi. 2011. Private and Public Pathways to World-Class Research Universities: The Case of     Chile. In The Road to Academic Excellence: The Making of World-Class Research Universities. Philip G.     Altbach and Jamil Salmi, eds., pp. 229-260. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.

V. University – 2: Teaching and Research
1.    Man Bahadur Khattri. 2010. Teaching Anthropology and Sociology in Nepal: Prospects and Challenges. In     Anthropology and Sociology of Nepal: Taking Stock of Teaching, Research and Practice. Ram B. Chhetri, Tulsi     Ram Pandey and Laya Prasad Uprety, eds., pp. 45-59. Kathmandu: Central Department of     Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University.
2.    Neeti Aryal Khanal. 2013. The Sociology of a Dissertation. The Kathmandu Post, 10 May, p. 7.
3.    Gaurav K.C. 2012. Rite of Passage in Writing and Submission: An Ethnographic Exploration of the MA Thesis     Experience at Tribhuvan University. Article draft submitted to Martin Chautari, 15 June.
4.    Veena Das. 1993. Sociological Research in India: The State of Crisis. Economic and Political Weekly 28(23):     1159-1161.
5.    Mahmood Mamdani. 2011. The Importance of Research in a University. Keynote speech delivered at Makerere     University Research and Innovations Dissemination Conference, 11 April. [10pages]

VI. Non-University Organizational Entities and Academia
1.    Devendra Upreti. 2013. Nepalma samajbigyaharuka sangh/sanstha. A paper presented at the 3rd Young     Researchers’ Conference organized by Martin Chautari, 2 January (in Nepali).
2.    Supriya Roychowdhury. 2008. The Scholar and the Manager. Economic and Political Weekly, 16 Feb, pp. 10-12.
3.    Madhu Kishwar. 2012. Interview (with Dhirubhai Sheth, Honorary Senior Fellow, CSDS). Seminar 639: 63-69.
4.    Rajeev Bhargava. 2012. A Centre’s Vision. Seminar 639: 12-15.
5.    Anveshi Research Centre for Women’s Studies. 2003. Nurturing Links between Scholarship and Activism: The     Story of Anveshi. In Narratives from the Women’s Studies Family: Recreating Knowledge. Devaki Jain and Pam     Rajput, eds., pp. 287-299. New Delhi: Sage.
6.    Ravi Sundaram. 2012. Looking Beyond the Four Walls. The Hindu, 17 December, p. 9.
7.    Pratyoush Onta. 2011. Locating Academic NGOs in the Knowledge Production Landscape. Dhaulagiri Journal of     Sociology and Anthropology 5: 49-80.
8.    Cynthia Bazán, Nelson Cuellar, Ileana Gómez, Cati Illsley, Adrian López, Iliana Monterroso, Joaliné Pardo,     Jose Luis Rocha, Pedro Tores and Anthony J. Bebbington. 2008. Producing knowledge, generating alternatives?     Challenges to research-oriented NGOs in Central America and Mexico. In Can NGOs Make a Difference: The     Challenge of Development Alternatives. Anthony J. Bebbington, Samuel Hickey and Diana C. Mitlin, eds., pp.     175-195. London: Zed Books.
9.    Manju Thapa Tuladhar. 2011. In Search of Institutions. The Kathmandu Post, 24 November, p. 7.

VII. Publishing: Various Modes and Politics
1.    Adebowale, Sulaiman A. 2001. The scholarly journal in the production and dissemination of knowledge in     Africa: Exploring some issues for the future. African Sociological Review 5(1): 1-16.
2.    Hitoshi Kamada. 2007. Kiyo Journals and Scholarly Communication in Japan. Libraries and the Academy 7(3):     375-383.
3.    Cassandra Rachel Veney and Paul T. Zeleza. 2001. Women’s Scholarly Publishing in African Studies. In Women     in African Studies Scholarly Publishing. Cassandra Rachel Veney and Paul T. Zeleza, eds., pp. 1-44.     Trenton, NJ and Asmara, Eritrea: Africa World Press.
4.    Devraj Humagain. 2013. The experiences of editing Media Adhyayan 1 – 8. Mss (in Nepali).
5.    Gina Kolata. 2013. Scientific Articles Accepted (Personal Checks, Too). The New York Times, 8 April..


Friday Reading Seminar: 'A Seminar on Global History of Things'
Moderator: Yogesh Raj

Introduction to the seminar
This seminar is a critical engagement with society through the history of things in use. It will provide insights into how one could explain the overabundance of stuffs in modern society. Moving beyond the conventional innovation-centric approaches, the seminar aims to revise the existing narratives on the relationship between technology and society. It will enable the participants to develop mature views on what technology is, how history of things can be written, and how such a history may alter the way economy, politics and culture are currently analysed. The seminar will deliberate on the origins, rise, spread and disuse of some everyday things, but through these stories, will question the validity of established categories of historical analysis.

Seminar 1: Thinking through Things
David Edgerton, Introduction, The Shock of the Old (London: Profile Books, 2006), pp. i-xviii.
David Edgerton, Innovation, Technology, or History: What is the History of Technology about?, Technology and Culture, 51(3) (July 2010), pp. 680-697.
Frank Trentman, Materiality in the Future of History, Journal of British Studies 48 (April 2009), pp. 283-307.

Seminar 2: Significance
David Edgerton, Significance, The Shock of the Old, pp. 1-27.
R. L. DiNardo and A. Bay, Horse-Drawn Transport in the German Army, Journal of Contemporary History (1988), pp.129-41.
Daniel Roche, Equestrian Culture in France from Sixteenth to Nineteenth Century, Past and Present 199 (2008), pp. 113-145.
Sandra Swart, The World the Horses Made: A South African Case Study of Writing Animals in Social History, International Review of Social History 55(2010), pp. 241-263.

Seminar 3: Time
David Edgerton, Time, The Shock of the Old, pp. 28-51.
Svante Lindqvist, Changes in the Technological Landscape: The Temporal Dimension in the Growth and Decline of Large Technological Systems, in Ove Granstrand (ed.), Economics of Technology (Amsterdam: North Holland, 1994), pp. 271-288.
Rapahel Samuel, Workshop of the World: Steam Engines and Hand Technology in Mid-Victorian Britain, History Workshop Journal 3 (1977), pp. 6-72.

Seminar 4: Production and Consumption
David Edgerton, Production, The Shock of the Old, pp. 52-74.
Joachim Radkau, Paths into the Thicket of History, Wood: A History, tr. Patrick Camiller (London: Polity, 2012), pp. 13-55.
Ruhi Grover, Rites of Passage: The Mobility of Timber in Colonial North India, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 23 (2000), pp. 39-64.
Raymond L. Bryant, Consuming Burmese Teak: Anatomy of a Violent Luxury Resource, Environment, Politics and Development Working Paper Series-25, Department of Geography, King’s College London. Available at working. html.

Seminar 5: Maintenance and Repair
David Edgerton, Maintenance, The Shock of the Old, pp. 75-102.
Chung-his Lin, The Silenced Technology – The Beauty and Sorrow of the Reassembled Cars, East Asian Science, Technology and Society, an International Journal 3 (2009), 91-131.
Jojada Verrips and Birgit Meyer, Kwaku’s Car. The Struggles and Stories of a Ghanaian Long Distance Taxi Driver, in Daniel Miller (ed.), Car Cultures (Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2001)

Seminar 6: Recycle
Tirtha Bista and Yogesh Raj, The Kabaadi Network in the Kathmandu Valley, MC Report (2013).
Marria Sarraf et al, Shipbreaking and Recycling Industry in Bangladesh and Pakistan (Washington: World Bank, 2010).

Seminar 7: Rearrange
Volker Hess and J. Andrew Mendelsohn, Case and Series: Medical Knowledge and Paper Technology, 1600-1900, History of Science, XLVIII (2010), pp. 287-314.

Seminar 8: Things as Historical Signatures
Giorgio Agamben, The Signature of All Things: On Method (New York: Zone Books, 2009), Theory of Signatures, pp. 33-80.
Georges Perec, On the Stairs 1-12, Life: A User’s Manual , tr. David Bellos (London: Harvill, 1987), pp. 3-6, 59-62, 125-131, 157-161, 166, 183-184, 213-220, 262-263, 327-328, 371-383, 465-467.