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Challenges to Citizenship: Decolonizing Citizenship in South Asia


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Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs 

South Asia Center presents

Challenges to Citizenship in South Asia: Decolonizing Citizenship in South Asia

In recent years, authoritarian regimes across South Asia have denied rights and citizenship to religious and ethnic minorities or forcibly annexed populations and territories through the disproportionate use of military power.  While the war against COVID-19 has, in many instances, intensified the suppression of racial and religious minorities, the causes and outcomes of a planetary pandemic cannot be placed outside the context of long-standing patterns of resource use, environmental degradation, militarization, war, and occupation.  This webinar will examine how the political consequences of the pandemic in India, Pakistan, Kashmir, and Bangladesh might be related to histories of dispossession and forced displacement, racialization and religious discrimination, climate change, and the extractive economies related to war and occupation.  How do statelessness, authoritarianism, and militarization pose a veritable challenge to our abilities to imagine worlds of equality, health, and justice?  At the same time, how can questions of environmental, social, and political justice become key to envisioning post-pandemic futures?  This webinar is co-sponsored by the Syracuse University’s South Asia Center and the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs.  The speakers are Maira Hayat (Stanford), Navine Murshid (Colgate), Mehroosh Tak (University of London), and Navyug Gill (William Patterson) with Mona Bhan, Ford Maxwell Professor of South Asian Studies at Syracuse University, as moderator.


This webinar is the beginning of a series of workshops intended to build an international and multidisciplinary research consortium as well as new advocacy networks across regional and national boundaries exploring the challenges to statelessness and the crisis of citizenship in many regions of the world.  

Maira Hayat

Dr. Maira Hayat works at the intersection of bureaucracy, law and environment. She completed her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. She is currently at Stanford University, teaching classes on environmental anthropology and climate change, and working on her book manuscript, Ecologies of Water Governance in Pakistan: The Colony, the Corporation and the Contemporary.

Navine Murshid

Dr. Navine Murshid is an Associate Professor of Political Science and the Director of the International Relations Program at Colgate University. She is the author of Politics of Refugees in South Asia: Identity, Resistance, Manipulation (2013). Her current work is on the marginalization of Bengali Muslims along Bangladesh's borders.

Mehroosh Tak

Dr. Mehroosh Tak is a lecturer in Agribusiness at the Royal Veterinary College. An economist by training, Mehroosh’s research focuses on food and agricultural policies for better nutrition. She is interested in exploring the role of state and local communities to build resilient food systems when faced with protracted crisis. Mehroosh has a background in international development as a monitoring and evaluation consultant, where she evaluated programmes for improved food and nutrition.

Navyug Gill

Dr. Navyug Gill is a scholar of modern South Asia and global history. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at William Paterson University. His research explores broad questions of agrarian change, labor history, caste politics, postcolonial critique and global capitalism. His academic and popular writings have appeared in venues such as the Journal of Asian Studies, Economic and Political Weekly, Outlook, Al Jazeera, Law and Political Economy Project, Borderlines and Trolley Times.

Mona Bhan

Dr. Mona Bhan is a cultural anthropologist whose work explores the role of economic and infrastructural development in counterinsurgency operations and people's resistance movements to protracted war and conflict. Her areas of specialization include border wars and counterinsurgency, militarism and humanitarianism, race, gender, and religion, environmentalism and climate change, occupation and human rights, space and place, water and infrastructure in Indian occupied Kashmir.

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For more information, please contact Emera Bridger Wilson, or to request additional accommodation arrangements, please contact Morgan Bicknell,

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