Humanities across Borders (HaB) Methodologies Workshop at Cotton University, Guwahati, Assam India
2-4 April 2018
In India’s northeast, women have been perceived as being relatively more emancipated than counterparts in the rest of the country but are also often tied down by customary laws and sanctions that defy change and progress. Women who are regarded as otherwise empowered also encounter ambivalent responses in the everyday play of power and politics. For example, in the Naga hills and the Assam-Nagaland borderlands the prevalance of customary laws has often resulted in the shrinking of women’s spaces and consequently fostered dissent and resistance within women’s groups. What are the concerns of these women? How have inequalities and exclusions led to proliferations in women’s organisations? Have they also triggered agency and self empowering strategies through collectives and representations? How do women respond to state feminisms ? What do women do with consent and how do they then experience dissent ? Do women interface the state and its provisions and how does this inhibit or prompt their own interventions and political participation? Do women experience violence while congregating for their rights and does their mobilisation bring about social justice and prepare the ground for more equitable societies? How do they experience the law? These and many such processes of confronting society and state have become the everyday life of women in the Naga hills where age old practices and a partiarchal society inhibit women’s freedoms.
The two and a half-day workshop, primarily with women activists and organisations from Nagaland, representing the Naga Hoho, NPMHR, the Indigenous Women’s Forum for Ne India, Naga Sisterhood Network, NMA, Watsu Mungdang, among several other groups and individuals, will be attended by a host of civil society respondents, legal and human rights activists and professionals from various disciplines who will join the conversations. The workshop will include women’s studies scholars, faculty and students of Cotton University, Gauhati University, TISS, Guwahati, IIT Guwahati, National Law University, Guwahati, North East Social Research Centre, North East Network, OKD Institute of Social Change and Development, Guwahati among other colleges and institutions.
The workshop will be preceded by a plenary, an open lecture by HaB Advisor, Professor Francoise Verges who will speak on Political Feminism in the Era of Femonationalism and Populism, on the morning of 2 April 2018 at 11 am at the Sudmersen Hall, Cotton University.
Participants will use the workshop as a site of exchange among peers. Instead of being divided into distinct panels, they will join all sessions and enter in conversation with all present. The objective is to create a space of collaborative thinking that could provide the seeds of what a syllabus on feminist interventions and methodologies from the NE of India would look like.
Rakhee Kalita Moral, HaB Project Coordinator (NE India) Associate Professor of English, Cotton University
Francoise Verges, Program Advisor, HaB
Aarti Kawlra, HaB Academic Director, IIAS, Leiden, The Netherlands
Abantee Dutta, Project Associate with HaB (NE India) and co-founder of law network, Studio Nilima
Tiachenla Imchen, Kamongla Aier, Anubhav Atreya , HaB Research Assistants