Celebrating Ravindra Jain: A conversation in conjunction with the publication of Michael Herzfeld's Subversive Archaism
Thursday, December 9, 2-4pm (via Zoom)
Register: Herzfel and Jain Registration
This roundtable in honour of Ravindra Jain presents a chance to engage with an eminent and path-breaking anthropologist of global reach who pioneered work on diaspora and migration long before these became common topics. He has always delighted in encouraging his students to explore contradictions and complexities that theorists of caste, kinship, and other familiar anthropological topics had not anticipated. For the students he has taught around the world, many of them now successful academics in their own right, he thus represents precisely what a university teacher should be
Ravindra Jain is perhaps best known for his work on the Indian diaspora, starting with the pioneering South Indians on the Plantation Frontier in Malaya (1970), and on the central Indian region of Bundelkhand, published in Between History and Legend: Status and Power in Bundelkhand (2002). His other books include Indian Communities Abroad (1993); The Universe as Audience: Metaphor and Community among the Jains of North India (1999); Indian Transmigrants: Malaysian and Comparative Essays (2009/2011); Nation, Diaspora, Trans-Nation: Reflections from India (2010); Innovative Departures: Anthropology and the Indian Diaspora (2017); and the edited volume Text and Context: The Social Anthropology of Tradition (1977). He taught at Lucknow University before obtaining his PhD at the Australian National University, Canberra, in 1966. He then went on to teach at Oxford University (1966-1974) and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (1975-2002). He has also held visiting positions at the University of the West Indies (Trinidad), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and the University of KwaZulu Natal. In 2013 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Indian Sociological Society. He is widely known as an extraordinary teacher, and this event is intended to celebrate the confluence of his intellectual and his pedagogical influence.
The event will be a conversation between Ravindra Jain and anthropologist Michael Herzfeld (among others). Michael Herzfeld is Ernest E. Monrad Research Professor of the Social Sciences, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University.
His forthcoming (December 2021) book Subversive Archaisms Troubling Traditionalists and the Politics of National Heritage (Duke University Press) is dedicated to Ravindra Jain. Introduction available at HERE.