CFP: Sociology of Contemporary South Asia

Boston, March 16-19, 2019
Deadline for Abstract: October 30, 2018
Previously a contrast case against which classical sociologists defined European industrial societies, South Asia has become a distinct region of sociological inquiry in its own right. Nonetheless, the study of specific contemporary and historical contexts within South Asia is often jettisoned underneath the umbrella of “Global and Transnational Sociology,” “Sociology of Development,” or “Asian Studies” in disciplinary spaces. In this mini-conference, we center the multitide of contexts on the subcontinent to draw the sociology of South Asia into core theoretical conversations in our discipline. Recognizing the rapid expansion of cutting edge scholarship in the areas of gender, development, urban studies, political economy, and education that focus on South Asia, this miniconference aims to provide a forum for sociologists of South Asia to engage with colleagues who share an understanding of our disciplinary, geographic, and historic contexts. We invite sociologists working on contemporary South Asia from a diverse range of theoretical perspectives, geographical concentrations, and methodological commitments to participate in a conversation on two critical, interrelated questions: first, what might be distinctive about the sociological study of South Asia? And second, how might the sociology of South Asia push all sociologists to rethink core concepts, categories, and assumptions? We invite papers that bring theoretical and methodological tools from sociology to bear on the study of contemporary India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Afghanistan. Specific topics of study could include social movements; struggles over land, housing or water rights; caste politics; formal and informal labor; agrarian economies; urbanization; education; finance; public health; citizenship practices; changing religious discourses and practices; body and embodiment; sexuality, or gender. We also welcome theoretical papers that engage postcolonial studies, subaltern studies, political economy, or feminist epistemologies with reference to contexts in South Asia. The mini-conference will take place during the ESS Annual Meetings in Boston, MA. With a focus on critical, substantive, and relevant feedback on ongoing work, we also hope the mini-conference will provide a crucial opportunity to build community among a growing group of U.S.-based South Asianist sociologists.
SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS: Those wishing to present papers in this mini-conference should submit an abstract of no longer than 250 words by October 30, 2018 through the ESS submission portal at Proposals not accepted for the mini-conference will be submitted to the ESS general call for submissions. To submit to this mini-conference, select “Mini Conference Presentation” in the “Submission type” drop-down menu. Supply your title and abstract. After hitting “Next”, select the name of the mini-conference from the keyword drop-down menu. Please direct any questions to organizers Smitha Radhakrishnan ( and Gowri Vijayakumar (

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