South Asia Initiative Events

Winter Quarter 2019


Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 5 pm, SSB 107: SAI Winter Mixer.

Thu, Jan 10, 2019: Ruvani Fonseka (Public Health, UC San Diego/SDSU), Addressing Reproductive Coercion in Bangladesh: Lessons learned from adapting the ARCHES intervention.

4-5 pm, SSB 107.

Abstract: Reproductive coercion refers to a set of specific behaviors, most often perpetrated by male partners, to control women’s fertility and interfere with contraceptive use. Reproductive coercion is associated with intimate partner violence and contributes to negative reproductive health outcomes such as unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion. However, few evidence-based interventions exist that address reproductive coercion and intimate partner violence in low and middle-income country contexts. Addressing Reproductive Coercion in Health Settings (ARCHES) is a brief clinical intervention designed to provide education, targeted-support, and empowerment to women facing reproductive coercion or intimate partner violence.  In two U.S. National Institutes of Health-funded randomized controlled trials, a single exposure to ARCHES significantly reduced pregnancy coercion and increased women’s self-efficacy to use contraceptives despite partner opposition. The UCSD Center on Gender Equity and Health, in collaboration with Ipas International and local health organizations, has adapted the ARCHES intervention for use by family planning providers in Bangladesh. The multi-step adaptation process funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation included conducting interviews and focus group discussions with family planning clients and providers at community-based clinics in Bangladesh, and creating a provider toolkit for implementing ARCHES in low- and middle-income settings. This session will share insights from the formative research used to adapt ARCHES to the Bangladesh country context. This adaptations will inform ongoing efforts to adapt ARCHES for use in other high-need environments, building local capacity to address reproductive coercion and intimate partner violence in global health settings.


Thu, Jan 17, 2019: Lesley Jo Weaver (International Studies, Oregon), Sugar and Tension: The Intersection of Diabetes and Mental Health among Women in India.
4-5:30 pm, SSB 107
Co-sponsored by Anthropology.





Thu, Feb 14, 2019: Rheetika Khera (Economics, IIT Delhi & Economics and Public Systems, IIM Ahmedabad), The Promise and Pitfalls of Big Data for Service Delivery in India: A Discussion with Reetika Khera and Karthik Muralidharan.
3:30-4:50 pm, Center 105
Co-sponsored by Economics.



Wed, Feb 20, 2019: Sumandro Chattapadhyay (The Centre for Internet and Society), Deregulation by Code.
4-5:40 pm, CSE 1202
Co-sponsored by Institute for Practical Ethics, Halicioglu Data Science Institute, Science Studies, Department of Communication, Design@Large.

Tue, Feb 26, 2019: Rohini Pande (Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government).
Co-sponsored by Economics. TBA.

Thu, Mar 7, 2019: Gareth Nellis (Political Science, UC San Diego), Dominant Parties and the Origins of India’s Weakly Institutionalized Party System.
12-2 pm, SSB 107.

AbstractWhy are party systems well-institutionalized in some settings, and chronically weak in others? I argue that unstable party systems are more likely to arise in regions where nationally dominant parties monopolize political competition at the onset of mass-franchise democracy. Dominant parties crowd out political opposition. Hence the eventual breakdown of a dominant party entails the severing of party-voter linkages locally. In the resulting vacuum, politicians face uncertainty about the electoral prospects of newly emergent parties. This leads to a collective action dilemma whereby candidates defect from expanding parties and sort instead into smaller, fragmentary ones. Consequently, stable party systems fail to take hold. Subnational evidence from India buttresses the theoretical argument. The success of the once-dominant Congress Party during the country’s inaugural elections (1951–2) robustly predicts greater electoral volatility in the decades following the decline of one-party dominance in the 1970s. Differential patterns of nationalist mobilization during the colonial period provide additional support for the paper’s claims. Overall, the findings imply a striking paradox: dominant parties that help “bind the nation together” during democracy’s initial stages sow the seeds of long-run political instability.  



Fri, Mar 15, 2019: Lucinda Ramberg (Anthropology & Program in Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Cornell), Dalit Futures and Sexual Modernity.
12-2 pm, SSB 107.
Co-sponsored by Program for Religion, Anthropology & Critical Gender Studies.

AbstractFollowing the call of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, many Dalits have converted to Buddhism as  means of escape from the stigmatization attached to “untouchability.”  Drawing on 18 months of ethnographic research, I consider the sexual politics of this movement in relation to the temporality of stigma.  In particular, I investigate the widely held notion that women in particular find it difficult to break from ancestral religion through interviews with Buddhist women who continue to keep ancestral gods and ethnographic descriptions of weddings in which Buddhist and Hindu rituals are mixed. Drawing on conversations within feminist and queer theory about the distribution of social life and death through reproductive futurism as well as critiques of representations of native others as stuck in the past within postcolonial theory, I elaborate how Dalits work to elude the time set for them by others. 


Thu, Mar 21, 2019: Radhika Govindarajan (Anthropology, Washington), More-Than-Human-Democracy: On the Political Lives of Cows, Rivers, and Mountains in Contemporary India.

4-6 pm, SSB 107.
Co-sponsored by Anthropology and Science Studies.

AbstractThis talk draws on ethnographic fieldwork among gau-rakshaks (cow-protectionists) and ordinary villagers in India’s Central Himalayan state of Uttarakhand to explore the possibilities and limits of more-than-human politics. It seeks to understand how the specific terms on which nonhumans are recognized as political actors shapes the politics of more-than-human politics. More specifically, this talk asks what is at stake for right-wing cow-protectionists in having the cow constitutionally reclassified as “mother” instead of “animal”. What does this particular gesture of kinship allow us to understand about the dark side of seemingly expansive political movements grounded in human kin relations with what might be called “nature”? In this talk, I argue that the grounding of this more-than-human politics in majoritarian ideology not only authorizes violence against those who are deemed enemies of a nation united around the figure of the mother-cow, but also fetishizes and naturalizes feminized bovine bodies and labor in ways that end up entrenching human domination over nature.  



Other UCSD Events


Mon, Jan 14, 2019: Anirban Baishya (Division of Cinema and Media Studies, University of Southern California), “Best Face Forward”: Selfies and Digital Popular Culture in Contemporary India.
12:30 – 2 pm, MCC 127.
Dept of Communications Colloquium.