#TCON (The Circuits Of Nomads, March 09, 2019):

Are nomads free? Are nations stable? Do you take the ground for granted? Where are your ancestors from? Why did modern humans leave Africa? Are empires and nations products of circulatory processes? What circulates, & how? Have you heard of nomadic empires? Do nomads make good citizens? Is their relationship with the settled often symbiotic? Are the nomads not settled because the animals (that they live off) are not settled? Does culture reproduce the spaces of circulation via (say) music, houses, culinary practices, & marriages? Is anything static dead? Do different entities (from earth to individuals) and phenomena (from droughts to mutations) have different criss crossing temporalities? What does endogamy result from/in? Do genes flow like rivers or oceans, & when? How are the Andamanese unique? How might certain diseases ‘hide’ within isolated communities? What circuits does capital need to circulate freely? What does it replace? Is history a planetary thing, & not exclusive to a sovereign sub-part? What is the future of marriages? What is the future of vagabonds? Can human life ever be fully de-territorialized? &, would the nomadic ethos ever fully go away? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from history (Prof. Prasenjit Duara, Duke University, Durham), sociology (Dr. Subir Rana, Bangalore), & genetics (Dr. K. Thangaraj, CCMB, Hyderabad).

Listen in…

SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TCON show.

Prof. Prasenjit Duara (history) is the Oscar Tang Chair of East Asian Studies at Duke University, USA. He was previously Professor and Chair of the Department of History and Chair of the Committee on Chinese Studies at the University of Chicago (1991-2008). Subsequently, he became Raffles Professor of Humanities and Director, Asia Research Institute at National University of Singapore (2008-2015). During the spring of 2019, he holds the Kothari Chair for Democracy at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in Delhi. His research interests are Chinese history (rural society in early 20th century China), Asia in the twentieth century, historical thought and historiography, studies of nationalism, imperialism, and origins of modern historical consciousness. His work is interdisciplinary drawing on political economy, cultural and social theory, and history. Prof. Duara completed his B.A. (1970) in history from St. Stephen’s College (University of Delhi), received his M.Phil. (1974) in Chinese Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) & a Ph.D. (1983) in History and East Asian languages from Harvard University. Among his published books are ‘Culture, Power and the State: Rural North China, 1900-1942’ (Stanford University Press, 1988), ‘Rescuing History from the Nation’ (U Chicago, 1995, ), ‘Sovereignty and Authenticity: Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern’ (Rowman, 2003) and, ‘The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future’ (Cambridge, 2014). He has presented about 150 lectures and his work has been widely translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean and the European languages.

Dr. Subir Rana (sociology) is an independent scholar based in Bangalore. He has worked as a Postdoctoral Associate at the School of Social Sciences, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore. His research interests lie at the intersection of sociology and cultural anthropology and include developmental sociology / public policy, subaltern histories, visual / protest art, subversive popular cultures, diaspora and migrants, transient communities / mobile cultures, mobility and nomadism, and sociology of the everyday. Dr. Rana completed his B.A. in Sociology from Magadh University (Bihar), and his M.A. in Sociology from Delhi School of Economics (University of Delhi). He then received his M.Phil. (2006) & Ph.D. (2012) in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). His thesis focuses on a De-notified Nomadic Tribe named ‘Nats’ who are currently into inter-generational sex work in Bihar. The research deals with the Criminal Tribes Regulation Act XXVII of 1871 and explores the socio-political history of the ‘Nat’ tribe along with the political economy and the ‘lived realities’ of the present day Nats in Bihar. As an independent researcher, he is currently working as a Research Consultant with a US based documentary film maker who is documenting the lives of a Denotified Nomadic Tribe named Bancchada in Madhya Pradesh. Dr. Rana has received multiple national and international fellowships and travel grants, including, the Tata Education and Development Trust Fellowship (2017-2018), Sir Charles Wallace Fellowship (2011-2012), School of History and Social Anthropology, Queen’s University, Belfast, UK, Ford Foundation Fellowship (2011-12), CSLA, JNU, Sir Ratan Tata Trust Library Fellowship (2009-10), SWS, Jadavpur University and UGC Fellowship (2007-2011), JNU. He has presented his work at national and international seminars, conferences, and Summer/Winter Schools. His research work has been published as articles in peer-reviewed journals, as chapters in edited books and as encyclopedic entries. Of late, he has also contributed visual essays on sociology of the everyday and politics of aesthetics. His work have been published by Palgrave Macmillan (Singapore), Wiley-Blackwell (New York), Rawat Publications, International Sociological Association eSymposium, Nuova Cultura (Rome), besides others.

Dr. K. Thangaraj (genetics) is the Chief Scientist and Group Leader at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad. His main research interests are origin of modern human, cardiovascular diseases, mitochondrial disorders, and male infertility. Dr. Thangaraj completed his B.Sc. (1984), & M.Sc. (1988) in zoology, and, M.Phil. (1990) & Ph.D. (1996) in genetics from University of Madras, Chennai. His research has been published in international peer-reviewed journals such as, Current Biology, Nature, Science, Nature Genetics, American Journal of Human Genetics, & Scientific Reports. He is an elected Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS), Indian National Science Academy (INSA), National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI) and elected member of Guha Research Conference. He is a recipient of multiple awards, including, Sun Pharma Research Award in Medical Sciences (2019), Raman Research Fellowship (2006-2009), Rashtriya Rathan Award (Andhra Pradesh Akademi of Sciences, November 2018), Excellence in Science Award (SciGenom Research Foundation, October 2017), & UKIERI (UK India Education and Research Initiative Award, presented by Gordon Brown, 2007–2011). He is a Board Editor of Mitochondrion, Associate Editor of BMC Medical Genetics, BMC Genetics, Tropical Medicine and International Health, and member of the Editorial Board of the journals – Scientific Reports, Human Genetics, and Clinical Genetics. He was the President of the Indian Society of Human Genetics (2011 – 2015) & the founder of the Society for Mitochondrial Research and Medicine.

Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.

#TCON mentionsGenghis Khan, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Michel Callon, Zygmunt Bauman, & Kapil Raj, among others.