Veena Das – Movement Away and To Home: Criticism as a Mode of Belonging

Event Date: 9 May 2014
Room B36
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

The Birkbeck Institute of Social Research, Birkbeck, University of London presents:

Professor Veena Das (Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University) – Movement Away and To Home: Criticism as a Mode of Belonging

In this paper I consider the notion of home as the place where one is rooted and from where one is uprooted. In conversation with recent work with anthropology, philosophy, and art, I ask how we might understand allegiance to one’s culture through modes of criticism. Is criticism a mode of turning away from one’s culture or a mode of returning to it? Taking the specificity of some recent conflicts over art and literature between the proponents of free speech and the proponents of the Hindu right in India, I ask what is at stake in terms of the right to speak about the past differently? What does it mean to owe allegiance to one’s culture, only not as it stands at present? How is criticism related to the physiognomy of words?

Welcome by Professor Sasha Roseneil (Birkbeck):


Introduction by Mayur Suresh (Birkbeck):





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