Grounding Kashmir: Experience and Everyday Life on Both Sides of the Line of Control

A symposium sponsored by The Center for South Asia and The Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, Stanford University.

This is a picture taken by Faheem Qadri

This is a picture taken by Faheem QadriThis is a picture taken by Faheem Qadri

Images by Faheem Qadri

MARCH 5-6, 2011

Stanford Humanities Center
424 Santa Teresa Street,
Stanford, CA 94305-4015 (GET MAP)

Sangeeta Mediratta, smedirat [at] stanford [dot] edu or (650) 725-8150
Nosheen Ali, noshali [at] stanford [dot] edu or (650) 996-7122

Free and open to the public.



Disputed between India and Pakistan since 1947, the border region of Kashmir has tragically become the most contested and militarized zone in the world today.  Research on this enduring South Asian conflict has been over-determined by a myopic security perspective, which centers on the changing contours of “Kashmir policy”, interstate rivalries, and local insurgencies.  But how has ordinary life, relationships between generations, and life prospects been shaped by decades of insecurity, violence, and dispossession?  How can we make sense of the multiple lineages of the dispute, and the different ways in which it has imposed itself on political subjectivities in the affected regions?  And, most basically, why does the dispute continue to persist?

These key concerns will centrally frame the symposium on “Grounding Kashmir.”  The presentations at the symposium will collectively illuminate the diverse trajectories of the Kashmir dispute through a historical, ethnographic, and literary lens, focusing on social imaginaries, everyday realities, and cultural politics.  While South Asian scholarship has richly explored the complexities of partition, grounded investigations of its most pernicious consequence – the Kashmir conflict – have only recently begun to emerge.  Yet, there has been no avenue for conversation across the LOC.  The symposium will provide an opportunity to unsettle this intellectual line of control, by engaging key speakers who work on Indian and Pakistani Kashmir.


The Center for South Asia, Stanford University
The Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, Stanford University 
The Stanford Humanities Center


Ananya Jahanara Kabir
Angana Chatterji
Ayesha Jalal
Basharat Peer
Cabeiri Robinson
Mona Bhan
Mridu Rai
Nosheen Ali
Sanjay Kak
Suvir Kaul 

University of Leeds
California Institute of Integral Studies
Tufts University
Open Society Fellow
University of Washington, Seattle
DePauw University
Trinity College
Stanford University
Independent film maker
University of Pennsylvania