Event / Throne Diplomacy

Transcultural Objects and Colonial Realpolitik in the Princely State of Travancore, India: The History of Queen Victoria’s Ivory Throne

hosted by International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden, Netherlands)

7 April 2021 (Wednesday)
14:00 hrs Central European Summer Time (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
webinar (registration link)
in English

About the event: In 1876, Queen Victoria took the title of Empress of India. Her first official photograph shows her dressed in all black, seated regally on an exquisite ivory throne. The photograph is about the Empress, front and centre. But over her head, like a spectre, rises the pinnacle of the throne. This pinnacle is not the heraldic British lion but a conch shell, the symbol for the king of Travancore.

In this talk, Deepthi Murali examines the transcultural nature of the production of art objects in the mid-19th century in the princely state of Travancore, India, through the study of an ivory throne and footstool made for Queen Victoria. Presented to her as a gift on the occasion of The Great Exhibition of 1851 by Uthram Thirunal Martanda Varma, the king of Travancore, the throne quickly became one of the most popular exhibits. Later, it became part of the imperial interiors, and in 1876, it became Victoria’s chair of state.

The throne’s popularity gave birth to an international ivory carving industry in Travancore that employed many lower caste artists for the next century. Moreover, the transcultural nature of the throne made it an object capable of diplomatic communiqué between an endangered princely state and the British imperial centre at a time when the British East India Company continued direct rule on the subcontinent.

The ‘throne diplomacy’, as Deepthi Murali calls it, demonstrates the ability of transcultural objects to mediate between different cultural spheres, especially in spaces where human mediation was perhaps not possible. Simultaneously, Murali enumerates the nature of transcultural artistic production and processes in the sub-imperial princely sphere in the mid-19th century.

About the speaker: Deepthi Murali is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. She received her PhD in Art History from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Deepthi’s current projects include converting her dissertation ‘Transculturality, Sensoriality, and Politics of Decorative Arts of Travancore, India’ into a book and a digital art history project on 18th-century Indian cotton textiles. Deepthi is also deeply interested in the dissemination of scholarship as public history, which she does through her website and podcast. Her research and work have been funded by the American Institute of Indian Studies, Yale Centre for British Art, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

More info: https://www.iias.asia/events/transcultural-objects-and-colonial-realpolitik-princely-state-travancore-india-history-queen

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Event / Ancient Systems of Writing

കേരളത്തിലെ പ്രാചീന ലിപികൾ (Ancient Systems of Writing in Kerala)

hosted by Kerala Council for Historical Research, Thiruvananthapuram (India)

7 April 2021 (Wednesday)
3:00 p.m. IST (India)
via Google Meet (event link)
in Malayalam

About the event: This is a part of KCHR’s web talk series on ‘Evolution of Kerala Society’ for students.

കേരള ചരിത്രത്തിൻ്റെ വികാസവും പരിണാമവുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട വിഷയങ്ങൾ, അക്കാദമിക പ്രാധാന്യത്തോടെ, വിദ്യാർത്ഥികൾക്ക് പ്രയോജനപ്രദമാകുന്ന രീതിയിൽ, ചർച്ച ചെയ്യുന്നതിന് കെ.സി.എച്ച്.ആർ ആരംഭിച്ച ‘കേരള സമൂഹത്തിന്റെ പരിണാമം’ സീരീസിലെ അടുത്ത വെബ്ടോക്കിൽ ‘കേരളത്തിലെ പ്രാചീന ലിപികൾ’ എന്ന വിഷയത്തിൽ പ്രമുഖ ചരിത്രകാരനായ പ്രൊഫസർ എം ആർ രാഘവ വാരിയർ പ്രഭാഷണം നടത്തുന്നു.

About the speaker: M. R. Raghava Varier is Director, Centre for Heritage Studies (Thrippunithura, Kerala). A noted epigraphist, he was Professor of History at Calicut University.

More info: About the web talk series at and all upcoming programmes of KCHR at http://kchr.ac.in/pages/172/Upcoming-Programs-2021.html

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Event / ISHORE Webinar on opening a unique Dutch window to Kerala history

I-SHORE (Institute for Social Science, Humanities and Oceanic Research), Kozhikode is organizing a webinar series titled Intersectional Confluences.

Prof. Jos J.L. Gommans (Colonial and Global History, Leiden University, The Netherlands) will deliver the inaugural lecture.

Topic : Cosmos Malabaricus: Opening a unique Dutch window to Kerala history?

Date and Time : 25 March 2021, 6pm IST.

About I-SHORE: The Institute is an attempt to promote advanced studies and research in the Humanities and Social Sciences in Kerala, and to create an independent academic space for local, national and international scholars and researchers who are interested in the socio-cultural and economic traditions and conditions of the region with a wider focus in the Indian Ocean world.

To participate in the event, register by sending an e-mail with your full name, college/university and mobile number to ishorekerala@gmail.com

More info : https://www.facebook.com/ishorekerala/

Shared to KSM by Ashok R. Chandran, Publications Officer, Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai.

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Events / Migrant Labour; G. Aravindan’s Cinema

Categorical Oppression and Migrant Labour in India

hosted by City University of New York (US)

18 February 2021 (Thursday)
11:00 a.m. EST (New York, US)
via Zoom (registration link)
in English

About the event: What does ‘identity’ really mean for the migrant workforce beyond its function in production relations? How are forms of identity evoked within broader social relations in a migrant context? This talk explores these questions by looking at how the Tamil Dalit tea workers in Kerala experience the stigmatisation of their identity categories in the context of two significant events that occurred in the tea belt—an economic crisis and a conflict between two states over managing a dam.

The way ‘migrant’ workers are categorised in their ‘host’ society is discussed here as fundamental to how they experience life both in and out of their workplaces. Extending Philippe Bourgois’s notion of conjugated oppression, Raj argues that when dominant groups stigmatise, evoke and employ certain aspects of the workers’ identities to their disadvantage, they are engaging in a phenomenon that he calls ‘categorical oppression’.

About the speaker: Jayaseelan Raj is Assistant Professor, Centre for Development Studies (CDS; Thiruvananthapuram) and Research Associate in the Egalitarianism project in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Bergen, where he received his PhD in Anthropology in 2014. Before joining CDS, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science and is a co-author of Ground Down by Growth (Pluto Press 2017 and Oxford University Press 2018).

More info: https://pcp.gc.cuny.edu/2021/01/categorical-oppression-and-migrant-labour/


The Cinema of Govindan Aravindan: An Introduction with Amarnath Praful

hosted by University of Chicago (US)

19 February 2021 (Friday)
10:00 am CST (Chicago, US)

via Zoom (registration link; Meeting ID: 921 5027 5945)
in English

About the event: Introduction by Constantine V. Nakassis, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Chicago and moderated by Eléonore Rimbault, doctoral student in Anthropology, University of Chicago

In this lecture presentation, Amarnath Praful will introduce the cinematic oeuvre of the Malayali filmmaker Govindan Aravindan (1935–1991) who lived and worked in Kerala. G. Aravindan was considered one of the most influential filmmakers in India and was a unique figure in the Parallel cinema movement in Kerala and India. His meditative and eclectic vision became an important marker of Kerala modernity in the 1970s and 1980s. The presentation will trace the film maker’s practice, from his days as a reputed cartoonist and dramaturge, to subsequently becoming a filmmaker who collaborated with a range of cultural practitioners and traditional artists across Kerala.

Using certain instances and threads from his early films, Praful will try to locate the unique position Aravindan’s cinema had within a triad of contexts: folk traditions and mythology of Kerala—its appropriations and adaptations in performative and literary arts; the sociopolitical and cultural history of Kerala (especially in the 1970s and 1980s) and the history of cinema and cinephilia in the region.

About the speaker: Amarnath Praful is a visual artist and faculty member at the National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar.

More info: https://southasia.uchicago.edu/node/344303


Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup


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Event / Seminar on Restoration of Raja Ravi Varma’s Oil Paintings

Seminar on Restoration of Raja Ravi Varma Oil Paintings: Scientific Techniques and Methods
19 January 2021 (Tuesday)
11:00 a.m. IST (India)
Venue: Office of Kerala Council for Historical Research, Pattanam, Ernakulam District live-streamed on Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KCHRTrivandrum/

About the speaker: M. Narayanan Namboodiri is an art restorer involved in art conservation projects and training. He was a technical restorer at Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata.

Organised by Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR)

More info: http://kchr.ac.in/archive/214/Restoration-of-Sri-Raja-Ravi-Varma-Oil-Paintings-Scientific-Techniques-and-Methods.html



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Event / Webinar on Maariyattam

Webinar on Maariyattam: Exorcising Pandemic in a Ritual Way
13 January 2021 (Wednesday)
3:00 p.m. IST (India)

About the speaker: Dinesan Vadakkiniyil is Assistant Professor, Government Arts & Science College, Uduma, Kasargod.

Organised by Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR), Thiruvananthapuram.

More info: http://kchr.ac.in/articles/212


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Event / Webinar on Kerala’s Tribes and COVID-19

Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, is organizing a webinar.

Topic: ‘Covid-19 and Scheduled Tribes in Kerala: Strategies and Responses
Speaker: Abhilash T., Assistant Professor, CDS, Thiruvananthapuram
Moderator: Jayaseelan Raj, Assistant Professor, CDS, Thiruvananthapuram
Date: 18 December 2020, Friday.
Time: 3:30 p.m. IST
Event link (WebEx): https://bit.ly/2JtrZbY
Meeting ID: 126 787 6000
Password: CDS1234
About the webinar: This paper critically examines the policies adopted by the Kerala government in order to address the concerns of scheduled tribes in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Event / Webinar on Women in Public Life in Kerala

Institute of Management in Government (IMG), Thiruvananthapuram, as part of Public Lecture Series, is organizing a webinar.

Topic: ‘Women in Public Life in Kerala: History, Experience & Learnings
Speaker: J. Devika, Professor, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram
Time: 7 p.m. IST
Date: Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Registration link: https://forms.gle/wyQQbtibCT6A2pTt6
Meeting link: https://meet.google.com/hiy-mjvi-uvr

About the webinar: In contemporary Malayali commonsense, women’s presence in public life and public service is merely a fact of life that is taken for granted, something natural and expected in the process of modernisation. Indeed, this was one of the unspoken assumptions of the dominant liberal and leftist accounts of the history of 20th-century Kerala. However, nothing could be further from what the historical record, reconfigured from a feminist perspective, tells us. In this lecture, I reflect on the history of struggle through which Malayali women gained space in public life and the ambiguities to the entry.

For queries
: facultyimgatb@gmail.com


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Event / Webinar on Matriliny

Webinar Title: Matrilineal Ocean : Multiple Histories of Marumakkattayam in the Indian Ocean Littoral

Speaker: Dr. Mahmood Kooria, Leiden University, the Netherlands & Ashoka University, India
Chair: Professor P. K. Michael Tharakan
Date and time: 10 December 2020, Thursday, 3pm IST
Event link (Google Meet): https://meet.google.com/swv-grqu-jjs
About the Webinar: The origin of the matrilineal system has been a matter of long debate in academia, with social anthropologists, philosophers, archaeologists, feminists, and linguists making claims on its origin in prehistoric communities. Going beyond an obsession with search for origins, historians have rarely studied the premodern histories of the existing matrilineal communities.
In this talk, I engage with the matrilineal communities of the Indian Ocean littoral with a focus on the context of southwest India. I argue that the matrilineal system (identified as marumakkattayam in the region) was one of the most convenient ways for Indian Ocean exchanges. On the basis of some fragmentary but significant evidence on matrilineal praxis between 800 and 1800 CE among Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities, I explore the nuances of conversion and incommensurability across religions. I investigate how the praxis benefited the oceanic mercantile system of southwest India as well as the dispersal of Abrahamic religions which are often interpreted as significant domains of patriarchy and patriliny.

About the Speaker: Mahmood Kooria is a Researcher at the Leiden University, the Netherlands, and Assistant Professor of History at Ashoka University, India. Earlier, he was a research fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), the African Studies Centre (ASC), Leiden and the Dutch Institute in Morocco (NIMAR), Rabat, and Social Science Research Council (SSRC), New York. He has a PhD from the Leiden University Institute for History on the circulation of Islamic legal ideas and texts across the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean worlds. With Michael N. Pearson, he has edited Malabar in the Indian Ocean World: Cosmopolitanism in a Maritime Historical Region (Oxford University Press, 2018).

More info: http://kchr.ac.in/pages/151/Webinars-2020.html


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Event / CSI Chennai, ACM Chennai & IEEE CS Chennai – Webinar on Web Design Using WordPress on 29th Sept 2020 at 6 p.m. IST

CSI Chennai, ACM Chennai & IEEE CS Madras jointly host Webinar on “Web Design Using WordPress”.

Speaker: Mr. B Ashvanth, System Engineer, Tata Consultancy Services.

Date & Time: 29th September 2020 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. IST.

Pl register at https://bit.ly/3283xT2

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