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King’s India Institute and the Royal Anthropological Institute cordially invite you to

The Second MN Srinivas Annual Lecture

Finding an Address: Reflections on an Urban Neighborhood

Speaker: Professor Veena Das (Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University)

21 March 2013, 6:15pm

Room S-2.08, Strand Campus, King’s College London.

Please note that Room S-2.08 is in Basement 2 of the Strand building.

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception in the River Room, King’s College London, from 1930-2100 hrs.

For inquiries and RSVP, please contact: india-institute@kcl.ac.uk

In the course of trying to find a house in a low-income known in official parlance as an “unauthorized colony” I stumbled upon a local history of housing and numbers that developed into a method for investigating the “aura” that objects acquire as multiple pasts congeal into a singularity. As a student of M.N.Srinivas I had learnt to pay attention to the minutest of movements within a local setting – but I also inherited from him an interest in varying scales at which social phenomena might be investigated.  This lecture weaves together events  occurring at different  scales of social life that make everyday life  a scene of precarious belonging; as well as the forms of action that make it possible for the poor to aspire and shape the democracy we inhabit in India.

Veena Das is the Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of Structure and Cognition: Aspects of Hindu Caste and Ritual (1977), Critical Events: An Anthropological Perspective on Contemporary India (1995), and Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary (2007).  She has written extensively on violence, social suffering and subjectivity and is currently working on health-seeking behaviour among the urban poor.