SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Resisting Religious Nationalism from Below: Gender and Caste, Borders and Boundaries

Professor Navtej Purewal (SOAS University of London) & Professor Virinder Kalra (University of Warwick)

Date: 19 November 2019Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 19 November 2019Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT)

Type of Event: Seminar


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Resisting Religious Nationalism from Below: Gender and Caste, Borders and Boundaries


Religion as a political force is in power in India and Pakistan. This seminar will focus on subaltern registers of resistance that span the region of Punjab across India and Pakistan which are either relegated to the margins or dismissed as false consciousness. Drawing on cross-border ethnographic research conducted between 2008-2018, the lecture critiques reductionist perspectives on subaltern resistance and agency in order to demonstrate the ways in which gender and caste are central to the construction of religion and hegemony and therefore form part of the vast terrain of resistance which underlies material relations and movements and belies borders. This seminar is the launch of the book Beyond Religion in India and Pakistan: Gender and Caste, Borders and Boundaries by Navtej Purewal and Virinder Kalra and published by Bloomsbury Press, 2019. 

Navtej Purewal is Professor of Political Sociology in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS. Her recent research has focused on the violences of gender in South Asia in the context of bordering processes, 'development' and governmentality. She recently co-edited and contributed to two special issues published in 2018: 'Gendering (In)Security: Interrogating security logics within states of exception' in Third World Thematics with Sophia Dingli and ‘Gender, Violence and the Neoliberal State in India’ in Feminist Review with Kalpana Wilson, Jennifer Ung Loh, Avtar Brah and Aisha Gill.

Virinder Kalra is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. His earlier work focused on culture, resistance, diaspora, ‘race’ and politics. He is the author of Sacred and Secular Musics: A Postcolonial Approach (Bloomsbury, 2015).

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All welcome, no need to book but please do arrive early to be sure of a seat. 

Organiser: Feyzi Ismail (