Panel Discussion | Secularism, Religion and Women: Perspectives from the Global South! NLSIU!

Panel Discussion | Secularism, Religion and Women: Perspectives from the Global South! NLSIU!


Bangalore International Centre (BIC), Domlur, Bengaluru



Friday, July 12, 2024, 6:30 pm

Free Entry on a First Come First Served basis on RSVP and availability.

NLSIU and the Bangalore International Centre (BIC) are organizing a panel discussion on July 12, 2024, from 6.30 pm to 8.00 pm at the BIC, Domlur.

This panel discussion is a conversation between two authors who also share a teacher-student relationship. Prof. Nivedita Menon will speak on her latest book, Secularism as Misdirection, while Dr. Debangana Chatterjee, her student from Jawaharlal Nehru University, will present her first book, Lives of Circumcised and Veiled Women. The intellectual pursuits of two individuals, which converged in classroom discussions once, complete a full circle of knowledge creation.

The conversation aims to probe religion and secularism using gender as the focal point. Menon’s title alludes to perspectives from the global South and India. In her argument, secularism performs a “misdirection” as in the performance of a magic trick. It simultaneously hypervisiblises women and religion and obscures caste, capitalism, and the non-individuated, non-rational self. Chatterjee’s work sheds light on the politics of representation and the process of exoticising women’s bodies in knowledge production; presenting the politics which cloaks the ‘misdirection’. It brings out the intricacies of representational discourses around cultural practices of female circumcision and Islamic veiling.

The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Rinku Lamba, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

About the Speakers

Prof. Nivedita Menon

Nivedita Menon is a Professor at the Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Her latest book is ‘Secularism as Misdirection: Critical Thought from the Global South’. Apart from research papers in Indian and international journals, her previous books are ‘Seeing like a Feminist’, 2012, ‘Recovering Subversion: Feminist Politics Beyond the Law’, 2004; and (co-written) ‘Power and Contestation: India after 1989’, 2007. She has translated fiction and non-fiction from Hindi and Malayalam into English, and from Malayalam into Hindi, and received the AK Ramanujan Award for translation instituted by Katha.

Dr. Debangana Chatterjee

Dr. Debangana Chatterjee is an assistant professor and currently, the co-director of the Centre for Women and the Law (CWL) at the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru. In her doctoral thesis, awarded at the Centre for International Politics Organization and Disarmament (CIPOD), Jawaharlal Nehru University — she has tried to locate the existing Indian discourse surrounding the practices of Female Circumcision and Islamic veiling, viewed through the larger frame of international politics. Based on the thesis, her first published book, titled ‘Lives of Circumcised and Veiled Women‘ was published by Routledge in 2023. In May 2023, she successfully concluded a short-duration research project (2022-23) gauging the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on home-based sex workers in Bengaluru and identifying the policy lacunae, under the aegis of ICSSR- Southern Regional Centre (SRC).

Dr. Rinku Lamba

Dr. Rinku Lamba is an associate professor at the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru. She previously held visiting faculty positions at Humboldt University, and University of Wurzburg in Germany, and served as an instructor at the University of Toronto. She was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute, a Harold Coward Fellow at the University of Victoria, and held fellowships at the University of Sydney and the Australian Catholic University, Sydney. She was also the Lansdowne Visiting Scholar in Religious Studies at the University of Victoria in Canada in 2019. In 2022, she received the Dalai Lama Fellowship for Nalanda Studies from the Foundation for Universal Responsibility.

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