Image: Courtesy of Dev N. Pathak, Sociology, SAU.
About The Department - Vision and Beyond

Over the last half century or so, a vast body of knowledge(s) on the region has evolved within South Asia that mostly remain within the countries of their origin due to a number of reasons. In this specific context, there is a crucial need to share some of this knowledge in contemporary times when, despite assertions of localisations and mini-narratives, the universal does retain its emphasis through a constant dialectics of the two. The debate between the local and universal or mini-narratives and meta-narratives continue to rage, and is more clearly visible in the context of South Asian context. Even so, we are acutely aware of the non-existence of regular and serious forums for South Asian scholarship in social sciences to showcase our own research and thinking. We are also quite conscious of the fact that the process of establishing sociology in the region has created its own peculiarities which has established close inter-relationships between sociology and social anthropology, history, cultural studies, archeology and other related disciplines. We consider the porousness of South Asian sociology one of its most enduring strengths. On the other hand, we are not unaware of the unfortunate regressions sociology has experienced in different South Asian contexts over the last 30 years or so marked by numerous institutional failures.

It is within the context(s) outlined above that the Department of Sociology at South Asian university, initiated in 2011 witihn the Faculty of Social Sciences contributes to teaching, training and knowledge production. It is not intended to be a mere forum for the production of cutting-edge intellectual knowledge and exchange of that knowledge traversing across national borders in South Asia and beyond. Our expectation is that this knowledge would dislocate the persistence of an imposed framework emanating from the colonisation process and postcolonial politics of knowledge. Despite the passage of over fifty years since the process of official decolonization began in the region, much of the analyses of our problems, situations, histories and dynamics emanate from Euro American academia; this is certainly the case when it comes to conceptual formulations and theoretical approaches that are being employed in exploring the region’s social and cultural complexities often without much self-reflection.

The Department of Sociology strongly believes in the need to reformulate this situation by effectively centering South Asia without naively shunning thought from these established centers of knowledge be they in Europe or North America. We believe in an active and robust engagement with these issues within South Asia. In this context, through the work of its faculty and the research of graduate students, the Department would bring forward the newer forms of knowledge that comprehends and represents the South Asian context with a more authoritative and nuanced voice. We strongly believe in the need to actively intervene in the process of knowledge formation through a constant sharing of knowledge that the region produces as well as through interaction with the world beyond the region.

The courses taught in the Department as well as the research carried out by its faculty members reflect this overall vision and our collective commitment towards innovation, move beyond untenable stereotypes, and explore a new world of knowledge within the discipline of Sociology.

Class of 2011, Department of Sociology, South Asian University; Image: Courtesy of Dev N. Pathak, Sociology, SAU.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

'Society and Culture in South Asia' will get off ground in January 2015

Issue 1, Volume 1 of Society and Culture in South Asia (SCiSA) co-published by the Department of Sociology, South Asian University and Sage India will be out in January 2015. It will be published twice year (two issues per volume).

The disciplinary dimensions to which the journal responds to covers sociology and social anthropology in the main, and sociology of education, sociology of medicine, arts and aesthetics, cultural studies, sociology of mass media, sociology of law, urban studies and so on. However it will be open to contributions from other disciplines in the wider domains of social sciences and humanities in so far as they inform the disciplinary dimensions identified above.

The journal possesses an international character in two senses: regional internalism and trans-regional internationalism. On one level, it focuses on readership and contributions from the scholars of South Asian countries (SAARC countries) and on the other it will appeal to scholars beyond South Asia who exhibit intellectual interest in the discourses on and from South Asia. 

Tentative Contents of Society and Culture in South Asia, Vol. 1; Issue No. 1:

Preface Vol 1; Issue 1


Gananath Obeyesekere
The coming of Brahmin migrants: the śudra fate of an Indian elite in Sri Lanka

Ravi Nandan Singh
Modes of Processing the Dead: Ethnography of Crematoria

Benu Verma
Plenitude Of The Singular: Draupadi In Literature And Life

Review Essay

Sheena Jain
Pierre Bourdieu, The Logic of Practice. Polity Press, Cambridge, 1990, pp. 333, ISBN: 0-7456-0597-4,


Thongkholal Haokip
The Politics of Scheduled Tribe Status in Manipur

Photo Essay

Jagath Dheerasekara
Manuwangku Under the Nuclear Cloud

Book Reviews

Susan Visvanathan
Roland Lardinois. 2013. Scholars and Prophets: Sociology of India from France, 19th-20th Centuries. New Delhi: Social Science Press. Pp. 564, price: Rs. 795. ISBN 978-81-87358-70-1

Renny Thomas
Jeffrey C. Alexander, Trauma: A Social Theory. Cambridge: Polity Press, June 2012, 180 pp. Notes, Bibliography, Index. ISBN 9780745649115 and 9122. US $22.95

Ruchika Wason Singh
Navina. Performing Heritage: Art of Exhibit Walks, Sage, New Delhi. 2012. pp. 216, ISBN 978-81-321-0699-9

Editorial Board

Editor in Chief: Sasanka Perera (South Asian University, Department of Sociology)
Associate Editor: Ravi Kumar (South Asian University, Department of Sociology)
Reviews Editor: Dev Pathak (South Asian University, Department of Sociology)
Ankur Datta (South Asian University, Department of Sociology)
Kumud Bhansali (Editorial Assistant, South Asian University, Department of Sociology)

International Editorial Advisory Board

Gananath Obeysekere (Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University, New Jersey)
Roma Chatterji (Delhi School of Economics, New Delhi)
Radhika Chopra (Delhi School of Economics, New Delhi)
Maitrayee Chaudhuri (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)
N. Jayaram (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai)
Chaitanya Mishra (Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu)
Siddharth Malavarappu (South Asian University, New Delhi)
Sujata Patel (Hyderabad Central University, Hyderabad)
Tariq Jazeel (University College London, London)
Salima Hashmi (Beacon House National University, Lahore)
Jagath Weerasinghe (Post Graduate Institute of Archeology, Colombo)
Yoshiko Ashiwa (Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo)
Bob Simpson (Durham University, Durham)
R.L. Stirrat (University of Sussex, Brighton)

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