British Association for South Asian Studies

News & Events

13 November 2020

Call for Papers: "Space, Place and Temporalities"

White Rose South Asia Network, Fourth Annual Conference, April 2021

Submission Deadline: 18th December 2020

India’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act of December 2019, which offers amnesty to non-Muslim religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, was announced by the federal government in order to protect religious minorities fleeing persecution from these three Muslim-majority countries.

This law, following on from what was popularly labelled as Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban in 2017, highlights a political climate where forms of nationalism are terrifyingly resurging and state borders are being redefined and contested the world over, from Brexit to the Scottish wish for independence. As such, it has become even more pressing to investigate space, place and temporalities, especially with regards to South Asia.
To this end, the White Rose South Asia Network presents their Fourth Annual Conference on the theme of ‘Space, Place and Temporalities’. This one-day event will bring together postgraduate students from across the arts, humanities and social sciences to consider various aspects of South Asian society.
Space is constitutive of social relations, political action and cultural identity (Massey 1994). How do South Asianists from different disciplines illustrate the complex negotiation and fluidity between different kinds of spaces in South Asia: whether public-private, rural-urban, sacred-secular, provincial-cosmopolitan, or local-global? Spatiality and practices of placeness have been central to a diversity of humanities and social science research on South Asia: whether histories of labour and labouring contexts, studies of the ecology and environment, women’s practices of place-making (Grodzins Gold, 2014), or in ethnomusicology and performance studies. From the perspective of language, culture, and religion, space and place are also intimately connected to issues of identity and mobility, as well as with practices of memorialisation and commemoration. 
We encourage submissions from research students – MA and PhD – and Early Career Researchers from across all disciplines. Submissions can be in the standard format of 20-minute academic paper presentations or non-traditional interactive presentations involving visual art, poetry, cinema, posters, audience participation, etc. 

Themes may include, but are not restricted to:

  • pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial histories;
  • migration, mobilities, and diaspora; 
  • literature, arts and films;
  • contemporary politics, development and governance; 
  • gender studies;
  • religious and cultural studies; 
  • medical humanities;
  • environment and ecology; 
  • cartography and geography;
  • comparative studies of South Asian regions and economies. 

We especially encourage submissions that critically evaluate the tensions between the space of everyday life and the larger macro-scale of space of the region and the nation-state.
We may also host a poster competition. Participants can either send in their posters to be displayed online ahead of the conference or can include their posters as part of their presentations. We hope this will allow those not speaking an opportunity to present their research. 

We hope to encourage submissions from diverse, interdisciplinary backgrounds. To this end, we will be running a workshop about navigating academia as a BAME researcher in the UK. This workshop will be open for anyone to attend. The conference is likely to take place online or as a ‘blended’ event where some papers are presented in-person and some over the internet. It will take place on 30 April 2021 with a keynote presentation from Dr Sujit Sivasundaram. Details on timings and panels will be announced early next year. Please see the next page for proposal submission details.

Please download and fill out this proposal template - which includes an abstract of 250-300 words and a short 100-word biography – and send it to, along with any other questions or queries.
Deadline for proposal submission: 18 December 2020.