Critical Kashmir Studies scholars participated in this year’s Annual South Asia Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Madison‘s Center for South Asia.

Panel abstracts are from the conference schedule. Click through the photos for additional information.

Geographies of Law and Power in Kashmir

This panel was organized by CKS’s Haley Duschinski and chaired by CKS’s Mona Bhan.

“This panel considered the complex political and legal terrain of militarized occupation in Kashmir Valley, with special attention to contestations over memory and history, and how these contestations play out across territory and landscape. How do legal and political frameworks, concepts and institutions shape the production, consolidation, and dissemination of collective knowledge about the past? How do variously-positioned community actors leverage memory as part of broader processes of legal claim-making and struggles for rights and justice? How do transnational networks and processes shape these dynamics of mobilization and memorialization in particular social and political contexts? And how are these movements mapped across territories, attaching and advancing alternative meanings associated with localities, homelands, and territories? This panel attends to the geographies of law and power in Kashmir in order to highlight the relationships among identity, memory, and territory. In the process, we consider alternative social imaginations of solidarity and sovereignty, locality and homeland, history and truth, and hope and aspiration.”

On this panel, CKS’s Haley Duschinski presented “Militarization, Mobilization, and Memorialization: Preserving and Protecting the Courts of Kashmir.”

Ham Kya Chahte Azadi: Exploring the articulations and reformulations of “Azadi” in Kashmir

This roundtable was chaired by CKS’s Ather Zia.

“In the wake of Jawahar Lal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) controversy, the slogan of Azadi (independence/liberation) became a contentious one in India. The Indian government, media and masses questioned and debated the nature of Azadi that was being sought. Being at the genesis of the controversy, Kashmir’s relation with the slogan of Azadi as a symbolic of resistance to India became a matter of renewed debate. Kashmir has been demanding Azadi from India through an armed struggle since 1989. Under the Indian counterinsurgency laws, human rights organizations claim more than 70,000 Kashmiris have been killed. The deepening of militarized governance has laid bare the precariousness of the Indian democratic structure, which has amplified the demand for Azadi. This roundtable posits Kashmir as a spectacular site in the Indian national imaginary and explores how this region has become generative for production of resistance, as well as sovereign control. On the roundtable, scholars from history, anthropology, gender studies, performance studies and literature will discuss the following questions: How (or how not) is the demand of Azadi inbuilt into the social, political, and cultural social fabric of life in Kashmir? How does the demand for Azadi echo the decay in relation between India and Kashmir, and how is it expressed through film, literature, music, and other popular culture? How were established patterns of alienation between India and Kashmir exacerbated, challenged, or reformulated after the first armed struggle in 1965, and in 1989? How have incidents like the Amarnath Yatra Land controversy, 2010 grassroots movement, or the recent JNUSU controversy affected the articulation and reformulation of Azadi in the Kashmir region? What are the varied formulations of Azadi in the Kashmiri imaginary and how do they bear on the future of the region?”

CKS’s Deepti Misri participated as a speaker in this roundtable.