Call for Papers | 2015 Critical Approaches to South Asian Studies Workshop: Questions of Method in South Asian Studies

The Critical Approaches to South Asian Studies (CASAS) Workshop will take place in Toronto on 26-27 February 2015. CASAS offers a forum for exploring research on and critical discussions about the study of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. Building on previous years, the third annual workshop will provide a space for scholars to share works in progress and engage with new ideas.

The theme for the 2015 CASAS Workshop is “Questions of Method in South Asian Studies”. We invite proposals for papers, films, or artwork that reflect on the connections between specific sites of research and issues of method.  What considerations shape our methodologies in researching South Asia and the South Asian diaspora? What specific methodological challenges arise in relation to this field? How do we negotiate the process of researching “other” spaces and bodies in the context of the North American academy?

We are interested in films, artwork and papers that engage with themes and questions that include, but are not limited to, those listed below.  We are especially interested in works that engage these themes through a focus on gender, sexuality, caste, ability, race, and class.

  • Critiques of methodological nationalism; de-centering the nation-state as the primary or dominating unit of analysis
  • ‘Local’ and ‘regional’ as concepts for challenging national frames
  • Connections between methodology in South Asian Studies and colonial epistemologies
  • Relationships between area studies and the disciplines; the role of disciplinary bias in the study of particular nation-states
  • Approaches to the study of diasporas and transnational social formations
  • Connections between South Asian Studies and transnational feminist methodologies
  • Reconceptualizing ‘South Asia’ through the diaspora
  • Methodological approaches to settler colonialism, neo-liberalism, and structures of white supremacy
  • Self-determination and indigeneity across South Asian and North American contexts
  • Settler colonialism and immigration/diaspora
  • Possibilities of speaking across regional, cultural, disciplinary sites in South Asia/South Asian diasporas
  • Interdisciplinary methodologies for considering South Asian culture as site/archive/subject

Workshop Format:
CASAS is an intimate workshop with a small number of participants. Our goal is to foster dialogue among scholars at all levels and to continue to develop a network of South Asia scholars in southern Ontario and beyond who share similar critical concerns.

In this spirit, we are asking that participants be prepared to engage fully and critically with each other and attend the entire workshop. Submitted papers, films, or artwork will be circulated in advance among panelists and discussants to foster deeper engagement with the works presented.

The workshop will include:

  • Panels where each presenter will be allotted 10-15 minutes and discussants will subsequently provide feedback to the panel
  • Roundtable sessions on the broader themes of the workshop
  • Undergraduate panel organized in collaboration with United South Asians at York
  • Opportunities for community building and socializing

In addition to academic engagement, community building and resource/ideas sharing, CASAS is also a platform for producing an interdisciplinary published work.  Participants will be invited to submit full papers of the work they presented at the workshop for an edited volume to be put together by the South Asia Research Group (SARG) at the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) for publication.

To Apply:

Please submit an abstract of 500-750 words and a short bio by 15 October 2014 to  Abstracts should respond to the themes outlined in this CFP.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 3 November 2014.

Completed artwork, films and papers (maximum of 20 pages, double spaced) must be submitted by 15 January 2015 for circulation amongst presenters and discussants. In the spirit of maintaining the workshop format, please note that presenters who do not submit completed papers in advance may be asked to give up their place in the program.

Visit us online at