Conference on Childhood, Youth, and Identity in South Asia | Shiv Nadar University
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Conference on Childhood, Youth, and Identity in South Asia

This two-day conference aims to bring together doctoral scholars and early career researchers invested in interdisciplinary research on themes of childhood and youth in South Asia. It seeks to address issues pertaining to the intersectional politics impinging upon constructions of childhood and youth categories across the region.
In South Asia, multiple and simultaneous definitions of youth and child-agents occupy various positions which challenge dominant Western notions of a ‘universalised’, ‘protected’ childhood and resist generalised characterisations of South Asian youth as ‘helpless, weak, and powerless’. Embedded within racial, caste, and gendered categories, varying in age and status, these constructions are intensely contested terrains and often operate in covert ways. Who and what is a ‘child’ in the countries constituting South Asia? How are young men and women negotiating their everyday identities? Can their actions and contexts be located in a ‘transnational/trans-regional’ framework and pose a challenge to the state-citizenship nexus? Alternatively, do ‘global’ narratives of childhood and youth bring into focus South Asian bodies and images? How does diverse fields such as literature and law engage with these concerns?
As adult conceptions and state discourses predominantly shape notions of childhood and youth, an exploration of these groups’ own experiences of events, their conceptions of time, engagements with age-related authority and peer groups, processes of education, literary representations, and politicisation becomes pertinent. However, their voices do not exist in a vacuum and often, children and youth face immense challenges from status-quo forces in matters of expression.
This conference seeks to explore these possibilities of inter-disciplinary research in probing the politics, ethnographies, and histories of childhood and youth in South Asia. Can they go beyond discourses of humanitarian aid and poverty? How do imperial and local histories impinge upon child and youth agents in various settings? In what ways do children and youth across various communities negotiate, resist, or conform to socio-political pressures and norms?

Event Date: 
Monday, January 6, 2020 - 09:30Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - 16:30
Monday 06, Jan 2020 - Tuesday 07, Jan 2020
09:30 AM - 04:30 PM
D 330