Skip to main content.
Advanced search >
<< Back to previous page Print

<< Wednesday, October 24, 2018 >>


Remind me

Tell a friend

Add to my Google calendar (bCal)

Download to my calendar

Bookmark and ShareShare


Edward Simpson | State Highway 31: A road trip through the heart of modern India

Lecture | October 24 | 12-2 p.m. | Stephens Hall, 10 (ISAS Conf. Room)


Edward Simpson, Social Anthropologist and Director of the South Asia Institute at SOAS, University of London

Lawrence Cohen, Professor in Anthropology and South and Southeast Asian Studies, UC Berkeley

Institute for South Asia Studies, Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies, International and Area Studies (IAS)


A talk by Professor Edward Simpson, Director, SOAS South Asia Institute.

Talk Abstract
This talk follows the route of State Highway 31 through western Madhya Pradesh, central India. The research was part of a larger project looking at the ideas behind the production of infrastructure in South Asia. This journey takes us through landscapes of sex work and opium, some of the oldest nationalist networks in the country, and along the fault-lines of long-running tensions between local communities. The road was one of a series built as a public private partnership and, as such, speaks of the reconfiguration of state relations with private capital and business. Toll booths become places of company ethos, education and for the creation of new kinds of citizens. The nexus of government and private enterprise takes us on a dizzying journey through the world’s tax havens and onto the decks of luxury yachts. Exploring the broader political economy of the road and the organisation of institutions and travellers that sustain it encourages questions about the nature of governance and power in the country.

Speaker Bio
Edward Simpson is a Social Anthropologist and Director of the South Asia Institute at SOAS University of London. He is currently interested in the relationship between infrastructure, automobility and the global-sustainability agenda. From previous research he wrote: The Political Biography of an Earthquake: Aftermath and Amnesia in Gujarat, India. (Hurst 2013). He is the Principal Investigator on a five-year project funded by the European Research Council looking at infrastructure across South Asia. This work is being undertaken in partnership with the Mumbai-based artists CAMP.

Read more about Prof. Simpson at his faculty webpage HERE

-------------------------
Event made possible with the support of the Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies

Like us on FACEBOOK
Follow us on TWITTER

For DIRECTIONS to the Institute please enter "Institute for South Asia Studies" in your google maps or click this GOOGLE MAPS LINK.

PARKING INFORMATION
Please note that parking is not always easily available in Berkeley. Take public transportation if possible or arrive early to secure your spot.

The event is FREE and OPEN to the public.


isas@berkeley.edu, 510-642-3608