Department of History
“From ‘Improvement’ to ‘Slum Rehabilitation’: Urban expansion and the fates of cooperative housing in Bombay”
Friday, February 27, 2-4pm
Discussant: Tania Bhattacharyya
Professor Rao is a scholar of urban history and urban economic and political development in South Asia. Rao is the author of House, but No Garden: Apartment Living in Bombay’s Suburbs, 1898–1964 (Minnesota, 2012)
*(poster image is detail from UGO Architecture‘s imagined redesign of Dharavi)
• “How and Why Did Genocide Become a Non-Political Crime” by A. Dirk Moses (Professor of Global and Colonial History (19th-20th centuries), EUI)
Tuesday, September 23rd
4:00PM to 6:00PM, 411 Fayerweather
International law distinguishes between political and the non-political crimes in the following way: racial hatred is defined as non-political because victims are attacked for who they are: for their identity. Genocide cannot occur where a victim group has agency, as in, say, launching an insurgency, because such action implies politics. This conception of genocide as a non-political, mass hate crime is modeled on the Holocaust of European Jewry, meaning that Holocaust memory intersects in important ways with the humanitarian intervention agenda. To galvanize the “will to intervene,” human rights activists must make contemporary civil wars resemble the Holocaust by casting civilians as victims of murderous racial persecution: for who they are rather than for what some of them may have done. The spurious distinction between racial and political intentions—the depolicitization of the genocide concept—lies at the heart of the relatively new field of genocide studies and its older sibling, Holocaust studies. One consequence is the promotion of toleration as genocide’s antidote. Another is that genocides are misrecognized, as in the case of the UN Darfur report in 2005. In this paper, I explain how and why this distinction was constructed by revisiting the contingent origins of the genocide concept. My discussion mainly concerns two moments in the second half of the 1940s when it was crystallized in international law and the postwar imagination: 1) the latter Nuremberg Trials; and 2) the concurrent UN Debates about the Genocide Convention.
Leading scholars Rashid Khalidi, Lydia H. Liu, Samuel Moyn, and Deborah Nelson discuss the advent and the global impact of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Moderated by Eugenia Lean.
“Around 1948: Human Rights and Global Transformation”
Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies, Columbia University
Lydia H. Liu, Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University
Samuel Moyn, Professor of Law and History, Harvard University
Deborah Nelson, Associate Professor of English, University of Chicago
Moderated by Eugenia Lean, Associate Professor of Chinese History, Columbia University
Wednesday, October 8
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Pulitzer Hall, Third Floor Lecture Hall
No registration required.
Co-sponsored by the Center for International History, Critical Inquiry, the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, the Department of History, the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, and the Middle East Institute
The Chile Reader: National History and Global Context in the Age of Transnational History
A book launch for The Chile Reader: Culture, Politics, History (Duke University Press, 2013) coedited by Elizabeth Quay Hutchison, Thomas Klubock, Nara Milanich, and Peter Winn
Panel discussion with Sol Serrano (Pontificia Universidad Católica, Chile) and Heidi Tinsman (UC Irvine)
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 5:30 pm
Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd floor, Barnard Hall
Barnard College campus, entrance at 117th Street and Broadway
Sponsored by: Columbia Global Center/Santiago; Institute of Latin American Studies; Center for International History; Barnard Forum on Migration
April 25, 2014
SUICIDE AS EVENT? INTERVENING IN CHARLOTTE SALOMON’S INTERVENTIONS
Location: Fayerweather 411
Speakers: Darcy Buerkle (Smith College)
April 8, 2014
REFRAMING ‘INDIA’ IN EXILE: THE EXCENTRICITIES OF PERIPHERAL VISION AND A VIEW FROM THE CENTRE
Location: Fayerweather 411
Speakers: Benjamin Zachariah (Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies, Heidelberg University)
Abstract: In the first half of the twentieth century, political emigres and exiles from India found themselves in a position to become the voice of a colonised and oppressed country before an audience comprising often sympathetic, if not always well-informed, citizens of various countries of the world in which they found themselves. The ways in which they found this voice had much to do with their ability to reframe the problem of India in terms intelligible to these audiences. In so doing, they also embarked on a process of self-education and ideational translation that was transformative of the ways of conceptualising India in the world, and the world for India. The various framings of India, sometimes by the same person for different audiences, is revealing of the ways in which existing and emerging languages of legitimation were mobilised, and affected the reframing of ‘India’ both at home and away from India, by those identified with India as a national entity as well as those foreign to it. The ways in which peripheral subjects speaking from and to the centres of world power were crucial elements in conceptualising the periphery for its own subjects at home is an important aspect of the mobilisation and movement of diverse ideas in the first half of the twentieth century. How did the persons move back and forth? How did this movement of ideas work? How were these transmitted? These questions take us past the themes of the limited or constrained agency of the native informant, towards a more dynamic model of moving ideas.
RSVP on Facebook
Date: April 11-12, 2014
This Graduate History Student Conference will focus on the spaces where individuals and groups come into contact with the institutions and symbols of the state. We will ask how such spaces of citizenship have been constructed, delimited, and at times rejected, and how the terms of interaction and negotiation in these spaces have been defined and re-defined. In addition, we will look at the moments when individuals or groups have been excluded from citizenship, and when citizens and non-citizens have created alternative venues to mobilize and define their identity beyond the reach of Latin American nation-states.
More information at: http://2014citizenshipconference.com
Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Title: Coolie Woman with Gaiutra Bahadur
Abstract: In 1903, a young woman sailed from India to Guiana as a “coolie”—the British name for indentured laborers who replaced the newly emancipated slaves on sugar plantations all around the world. Pregnant and traveling alone, this woman, like so many coolies, disappeared into history. Now, in Coolie Woman, her great-granddaughter Gaiutra Bahadur embarks on a journey into the past to find her. Traversing three continents and trawling through countless colonial archives, Bahadur excavates not only her great-grandmother’s story but also the repressed history of some quarter of a million other coolie women, shining a light on their complex lives.
Speakers: Gauitra Bahadur, Author; Moderator: Bruce Shapiro
Location: Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.
Co-sponsored with the Dart Center.