Message from the President

Dear SAHSA Members,
Greetings from San Antonio!   I am very pleased to be serving as President for the Society for Advancing the History of South Asia for 2013-2014.   The current leadership of SAHSA has shifted southwest over the last year, from New York State and Indiana to Texas:  I am delighted to be joined by Neilesh Bose of the University of North Texas who is currently serving as Vice-President and will be SAHSA’s President for 2014-2015.   Neilesh and I are indebted to all the hard work of the past to get SAHSA off the ground, and are particularly thankful for the mentorship of Past-Presidents Lisa Trivedi and Michael Dodson, who have offered guidance and institutional memory as we pick up the reins.   But we not to leave the north and east completely behind:  We are joined by Faisal Chowdhury of the University of Pennsylvania, who has assumed the position of Secretary-Treasurer.  Welcome Faisal!
This past AHA in early January 2013 in New Orleans was a great success for getting South Asia on the AHA Program.  SAHSA’s Annual Business Meeting, Drinks Reception, and SAHSA-CAH (Conference on Asian History) luncheon were all well-attended.   SAHSA sponsored/co-sponsored 9 panels taking place, including our first annual John Richard Book Prize discussion, where we discussed the first John Richards prize-winning book, Farina Mir’s Social Space of Language (California, 2010).   To offer a viewpoint on how South Asia at the AHA has grown, I invite you to read one SAHSA member’s perspective of a past AHA meeting posted below. 
For AHA 2014 in Washington DC, we hope to have a SAHSA panel to discuss Douglas Haynes’ Small Town Capitalism in Western India: Artisans, Merchants and the Making of the Informal Economy, 1870-1960 (Cambridge, 2012) which was awarded the John Richards Prize for 2012.   Congratulations to Farina and Doug in their well-deserved prizes!    In addition, along with the SAHSA business meeting at AHA, Neilesh and I hope to host a reception for SAHSA members and friends.  Last year we had a hotel suite, and we are looking into some off-site locations.  We welcome ideas and suggestions of how to best incorporate the DC environs into the weekend.
In order to help keep the South Asia history momentum rolling forward, we encourage members to think about contributing a panel for the 2014 program.   AHA offers a variety of formats and welcomes new kinds of sessions into the mix.     Below you will see some details about AHA submissions, along with people seeking panelists, along with a call for papers for an exciting publication that Neilesh is editing on Bangladesh.    
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us to share your ideas, suggestions, and concerns of how SAHSA can serve our needs in the profession.   We’re really happy to be part of such a useful and important group.
Warm regards,
Anne Hardgrove, President 2013-14,
Neilesh Bose, Vice-President and President Elect (2014-15)
SAHSA Member Message from Sumit Guha
Dear SAHSA colleagues,
I was happy to see such a strong turn-out of members in New Orleans even if it led to being forced to make choices between panels.
A decade ago I attended the AHA in San Francisco: the panel I organized was the only South Asia one. Two of four participants were held up by blizzards out East and could not come. There were maybe 5 in the audience. Apart from that Tom Metcalf had a British Empire panel with one S.Asia paper ... Tom and Barbara, Frank Conlon, Anand Yang and John Richards showed up to my recollection.
It was in short a most depressing experience. Last week's sessions show the how successful the efforts of many over the past few years have been. Let us sustain this into the future!
With warm good wishes for the new year,
Upcoming Deadlines for AHA and Madison:
The American Historical Association is currently accepting proposals for PANELS at their annual conference meeting in Washington DC Jan 2-5, 2014.   AHA’s deadline is February 15, 2013.   Please submit your panel proposals directly to the AHA.   Please note that the AHA no longer accepts single paper submissions.   To submit your proposal, please go to 
The Annual Conference for South Asia in Madison is scheduled for October 17-20, 2013.   Submissions for the Madison Conference are due on April 1, 2013.  SAHSA will have an information meeting at the Madison conference and would love to see everyone!   For more information on the Madison conference, go to
The following announcements are Calls for Papers for Publication and AHA Panels:
H-ASIA                         Jan 12 2013
Seeking Participants for a panel at AHA' 14 on Nehruvian India
From: Madhumita Saha <>
Dear Colleagues in South Asian History,
Dr. Faisal Chowdhury and I are planning a panel, which would like to focus on different aspects of planning - its history, politics and impact – in Nehruvian India. The panel is tentatively titled,  "Planning (and) the Market: Revisiting Development and State in South Asia 50 Years afterNehru's Passing."
We will like to concentrate broadly on the history of ideas; planning and development; the history of 60's era development state policies vs. the gradual turn toward the clamor for more market-oriented policies of the present; the history of the 'market' and its dependence on the state; the use of techno-science in development etc. We are open to new suggestions too.
The timeline being the middle of February, we would appreciate if you are interested to contact us immediately.
You can email us at:;    Many thanks,    Madhumita & Faisal    --Dr. Madhumita Saha <>


Seeking Co-Panelists for AHA 2014
My current project relates to my two previous books, analyzing post-Mutiny/early nationalist actions, issues, attitudes, muddles. I can shape my paper to fit any of several themes – for instance:
(1) “The Accidental Viceroy.”  A political appointee who admitted he knew nothing about India and managed to alienate nearly everyone during his four years.  (2) “Cutting a Friend to Pieces.” Sir Salar Jung staked his career on the friendship and cooperation of the British, but received only rejections and insults in return. (3) “Disappearing Hyderabad.” Never conquered or annexed, just bound, desiccated, and left to wither and die in the hot sun of nationalism.
Cordially,         Ed Hirschmann                        410-542-2338


From H-Asia
CFP Pakistaniaat, A Journal of Pakistan Studies Special Issue on The  Aesthetics and Limits of Historical Memory: Contemporary Perspectives on  Bangladesh
From: Bose, Neilesh <>
CFP: Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies
Special Issue on The Aesthetics and Limits of Historical Memory:
Contemporary Perspectives on Bangladesh
Guest Editor: Neilesh Bose, University of North Texas
Under the guest editorship of Dr. Neilesh Bose, Pakistaniaat welcomes
submissions for its December 2013 edition with a focus on East Bengal, East
Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Given the recent reflections on history of the
1971 war in historical literature and film, this special issue aims to
interrogate the state of debate regarding historical legacies, the arts and
aesthetic representations, and silences and voices within the contemporary
age. This special edition builds upon the 2010 issue about the 1971
Indo-Pakistan war by focusing on the contemporary debates about
historiography, historical memory, literary criticism, and film. Given the
emergence in 2011 of Rubaiyat Hossein’s film Meher Jaan, Sarmila Bose’s
Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War, and Yasmin Saikia’s
Women, War, and the Making of Bangladesh: Remembering 1971, the field now
includes vigorous debates about memorialization, historic accuracy,
nationalism, violence, women’s roles in the conflicts, relations between
East and West Pakistan in the years leading up to the 1971 war. This new
vista of reflection about East Bengal, East Pakistan, and Bangladesh has
also entered the larger field of the history and culture of contemporary
Pakistan.  The editorial staff welcomes creative writing (poetry and
prose), book review essays, scholarly articles featuring new research, and
translations of original texts about any of these topics.
For submission guidelines and submission, please visit Please
contact the guest editor, Dr. Neilesh Bose,, with
questions and concerns.
Deadline for submissions is June 1, 2013.
Pakistaniaat is a refereed, multidisciplinary, and open access academic
journal offering a forum for scholarly and creative engagement with various
aspects of Pakistani history, culture, literature, and politics. Housed in
the English Department of the University of North Texas, Pakistaniaat is a
sponsored journal of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies. Available
online as well as in print, Pakistaniaat publishes three issues per year.
About the Guest Editor:
Dr. Neilesh Bose is currently Assistant Professor of History at the
University of North Texas and Vice President of the Society for Advancing
the History of South Asia. Research interests include late colonial and
post-colonial India and Pakistan, decolonization, cultural and intellectual
history, modern Bengal, Islam in South Asia, popular culture, and South
Asian diasporas. Recent research concerning these topics has been published
in South Asian Popular Culture, South Asia Research, and is forthcoming in
Modern Asian Studies. He is guest editing a special edition of South Asian
History and Culture regarding South Asian Islam and his forthcoming book
about late colonial and early post-colonial Bengal is entitled Recasting
the Region: Language, Culture, and Islam in Colonial Bengal.

SAHSA at the AHA 2013 - meeting, reception, events, panels

Dear colleagues,
The annual AHA conference is coming up shortly in New Orleans, and this will mark the first year that SAHSA has affiliate status at this conference.  This means that more than ever this year’s AHA meeting will be distinguished by a wide range of South Asia-related panels and activities.
SAHSA has sponsored and co-sponsored a number of panels devoted to South Asia, and I have listed these below for your convenience (they can also be found on pp. 24-25 of the conference program). 
But please note the following important events in particular:
SAHSA’s annual business meeting will take place on Friday, Jan 4, 5:00-6:30, in the Marriott’s Beauregard Room.  An agenda for the meeting is attached, and will include an important discussion about revising the society’s bylaws.  A document outlining suggested revisions is also attached.  Copies of this latter document will also be available at the meeting itself.
SAHSA will host a drinks/snacks reception on the same day, Friday, from 6:30-8:00.  The suite number (in the Marriott) will be announced at the business meeting and by email that morning.  Please drop by to socialize and bring your friends/spouses/colleagues.  Feel free to BYOB or partake of the wine supplied for a discretionary donation.
SAHSA and the Conference on Asian History are co-hosting a luncheon from 12:00 on Friday at Muriel’s Restaurant (on Jackson Square, at the corner of Chartres St and St Ann St.)  The cost is $45, and there are apparently a few tickets still left.  Please come support this initiative if you can.  The scheduled speaker, Sanjay Subrahmanyam, has had to withdraw because of another commitment in India, and so apart from the incredible food on offer we will be treated to a presentation on the state of Asian History in the United States by Barbara Ramusack, Ken Pomeranz, and George Wilson.
In what we hope will become a SAHSA-AHA tradition, SAHSA has sponsored a roundtable discussion of the 2011 Richards Book Prize winner, Farina Mir’s The Social Space of Language, with Rama Mantena, Bhavani Raman, Kavita Datla, Minnie Sinha, and Anand Yang.  This will take place on Saturday at 11:30am in  the Marriott’s Beauregard Room.
Please note that there is an error in the date of the prize book being discussed in the AHA program.  We hope to have a discussion of the 2012 Richards Prize winner – Doug Haynes’ Small Town Capitalism in Western India  - at the next AHA meeting in January 2014 in Washington DC!
The panel on oral history organized by Neilesh Bose (Saturday, 9:00 am, see page 25) now includes papers by Neilesh Bose, University of North Texas (“Comparative Intellectual History: the Frankfurt School, Subaltern Studies, and Modern Thought”); John Pincince, Loyola University of Chicago ("(De-)Colonizing Schmitt: Comparative States of Exception and the Colonial State"); and Dilip Menon, University of Witswatersrand, ("‘Tiny catastrophes’: autobiography in the time of dystopia").  The discussant will be Yoav Di-Capua, University of Texas-Austin.
The panel on gender in South Asia (Thursday, 3:30 pm, see page 24) has been cancelled.
#1 Thursday 1:00-3:00, Marriott La Galerie 3:  “Artisanal Labor in South Asia: Revisiting Historiography and Material Practices.”
#2 Thursday 1:00-3:00, Marriott Audobon Room:  “Reconceptualizing Hierarchies: Three Case Studies from South Asia.”
#3 Thursday 3:30-5:30, Sheraton Oak Alley Room:  “The Time of Literature in History: Reconsidering Literary/Historical Method in South and Southeast Asia.”
#5 Friday 8:30-10:00, Roosevelt Ballroom III:  “Environmental History of Asia: Accomplishments and Trends.”
#6 Friday 10:30-12:00, Sheraton Gallier Room: “Remembering Intermediaries in Colonial South India: Portuguese, British, and French Paradigms.”
#7 Friday 2:30-4:30, Marriott Preservation Hall, Studio 7: “Boundary Crossings: Circulating Ideas and Lives in South Asia, 1800-200.”
#8 Saturday 9:00-11:00, Marriott Beauregard Room: “Oral History and Intellectual History in Conversation: Methodological Innovation in Modern South Asia.”
#9 Saturday 11:30-1:30, Marriott Beauregard Room: “Richards Book Prize 2011 Roundtable.”
#10 Saturday 2:30-4:30, Marriott Balcony K: “Knowledge Production and European Expansion in Modern South and Southeast Asia.”
We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!
Michael S. Dodson
SAHSA President 2012
Anne Hardgrove
SAHSA Vice-President and President-Elect

SAHSA officers for 2013

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce two new additions to SAHSA's governing body for 2013.  Please note that as we received only one nomination for incoming Vice-President there will be no election this year.

Neilesh Bose, who is Assistant Professor at North Texas University, will be SAHSA's Vice-President in 2013 and President in 2014.  Neilesh works on the literary and cultural history of Bengali Muslims around the turn of the 20th century

Faisal Chaudhry, who is ACLS new faculty fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, will be SAHSA's Secretary-Treasurer.  Faisal's research focuses on South Asian legal history, and his background in law will be crucial as SAHSA files for non-profit status next year.

Best wishes,