Session Abstract: This panel centralizes a reconfiguration of a history of identity making articulated by South Asians in Europe between the periods of 1880 to 1960. These individuals articulated a refashioning of their ‘Oriental’, ‘Asian’ and ‘native’ identity beyond the imaginaries of European stereotyping of the ‘other’. These individuals were not anodyne, passive objects in Europe; they overturned racial, gendered Eurocentric ideas of Colonial South Asians. Either through performance on cultural stages or through active political participation, these individuals constantly ‘talked’ back to the empire. Their self-fashioning, often times utilizing the same orientalist tropes, gave them sense of agency and an identity, which went beyond nationalist, traditional or colonized narratives. From the circus and theatre arenas to political articulation within European university spaces, a sense of an empowered identity was in making. This panel seeks to represent these critical interventions of these individuals that challenge notions of Eurocentric ideas of South Asian performance making and political participation.
Paper Presenter: Urmimala Sarkar – Jawaharlal Nehru University
Paper Presenter: Lisa Skwirblies – Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
Paper Presenter: Anirban Ghosh – Shiv Nadar University