DIRECTOR'S NOTE

Dr. Carol Babiracki

Associate Professor, Music History and Cultures

Several themes coalesced this past year from the flurry of activities at the South Asia Center. Some continued refrains of past years, such as Mengia Hong Tschalaer’s talk on “Muslim Women’s Quest for Gender Justice” in Lucknow and our symposium on gender, called “Embodied Belongings: Exploring the Politics of ‘Queer’ in South Asia,” with a keynote by Gayatri Reddy and readings by Vivek Shreya and Shyam Selvadurai.Summer 2018 -Carol Babiracki

Others set us on new paths, such as the pressing debates on security issues across the India-Pakistan border. Paul Kapur’s perspective in his fall talk, “Jihad as Grant Strategy,” and counter-perspectives that emerged in a spring roundtable on “Nuclear South Asia at 20” began a dialogue among students and faculty that we intend to carry into the coming year and share with our regional community college and Schools of Education partners.

Issues of memory and diaspora returned throughout the year in talks by Annu Matthew on photography, memory and partition and by our new faculty member in education, Susan Thomas, on students from India studying in the

U.S. A Kashmiri widow in the powerful film Khoon Diy Baarav, presented to us by its director Iffat Fatima, pain- fully remembers her “disappeared” husband, saying, “The act of reminiscing is like lying on a bed of nails.” But our annual Diwali event, this year in SU’s Sculpture Garden, was warm and inviting, triggering nostalgia and new memories (and photos) for students and faculty far from home.

In the coming year, we will launch a new initiative, a multi-year, cross-disciplinary dialogue of researchers, stu- dents, activists, and professionals around issues of sustainability in South Asia and the diaspora. We aim to take an integrative approach, combining study of environmental, cultural, economic, food, and health systems sustain- ability to address the larger issue of community sustainability in South Asia. We hope you all will join us for study sessions, talks, workshops, and symposia on Sustainable South Asia.