Lecture: Godless Secularism: Europe, India and Religion
By Faisal Devji, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford
Since the 1980s it has become commonplace to talk about the global return of religion and the consequent crisis of secularism. About this supposed fact both its defenders and critics agree. This lecture will argue the opposite: that our ideas of what it means to be modern have been put into question by the waning and not revival of religion in its metaphysical aspect. The problem we face today is how to think about secularism without God. What does this crisis of religion look like in Europe, and does its Indian history have anything to teach us about our present?
Rising protectionism and economic nationalism have not held Asia back from pursing a more free and open markets. The signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on March 8th this year by trade ministers from 11 Pacific Rim countries, represented a major step in bringing trade tariffs between member countries down and strengthening trade among countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
CPTTP member and non-members states, like Singapore and South Korea, are now adjusting their strategic approaches to trade agreements. Both these non-member state countries are now considering becoming associate members of the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru). What is the impact of CPTPP on the trade strategies of Asian and Latin American countries? How do the open and dynamic Asian markets fit within the Pacific Alliance? What benefits will both sides receive from a closer relationship? What does this mean for the United States going forward?
Keynote Address by Homi K. Bhabha, Harvard University.
Co-Organisers: Zehra Jumabhoy & Tan Boon Hui, Asia Society Museum, New York Vishakha Desai & Gauri Viswanathan, Columbia University, New York
At Midnight on the 15th of August 1947, the Subcontinent declared its freedom from British rule. India was born. Out of this period of socio-political upheaval, arose a new art for the new nation. The Progressive Artists’ Group (P.A.G) was seminal to this moment of aesthetic ferment. Founded in Bombay, in the immediate aftermath of Independence, the P.A.G aspired to give Indian modernity a secular visual form. Scheduled to accompany the Asia Society Museum’s exhibition, The Progressive Revolution: Modern Art for a New India, which focuses on the P.A.G, the conference will have a wider remit. Beginning with a discussion of the artists in the show, it will go on to explore the idea of the “progressive” in visual culture, science and industry in early independent India. What was the progressive, modern nation’s relationship with tradition? Are ‘the modern’ and ‘progressive’ interchangeable terms? Where does secularism stand in the exchange between the two? The symposium will also trace the P.AG’s continuing relevance within the socio-political landscape of India today.
An inter-disciplinary collaboration between the Asia Society and Columbia University, this event will include artists, curators, historians, sociologists and cultural theorists.
Beginning in the 1930’s, Indian dancers used their deep affinity for traditional forms as a springboard to push the boundaries of Indian dance, creating new forms to embrace the ideas of an emerging at the time of Partition. The spirit of innovation—even subversion—within tradition remains alive today, as a vital diaspora Indian dance community actively explores new creative territory. Dancers/choreographers Hari Krishnan, Parul Shah and Kuldeep Singh present excerpts from recent works which build on the traditional dance forms of Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kathak. The performance will be followed by a panel discussion looking at new directions being taken by contemporary Indian dancer working in North America.
Co-curated with Rajika Puri
Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights and New Year, is a time to celebrate good fortune, family and friendships. Celebrate with performances, and arts and crafts inspired by Diwali.
Family programs at Asia Society are supported by The Coca-Cola Company.