Panel Discussion: Sedition and the Nation, Somerville College

Panel Discussion: Sedition and the Nation

Flora Anderson Hall, Somerville College, Tuesday March 8, at 6 PM – 7:30 PM in UTC

This panel discussion takes the recent events at the Jawaharlal Nehru University as the starting point for a conversation about the concept of the nation, and the ethics of ‘seditious’ speech. It seeks to investigate the limits to challenges that might be mounted against particular conceptions of the nation, and when, if ever, the state can intervene to prevent these. The panel will also discuss the lessons we can learn from various instances of counter-hegemonic movements in Universities in India in the recent past. In particular, what do these movements tell us about the role of the University as a space for dissent, and to what extent can this be circumscribed.In the light of recent debates, we interrogate how the many sub-nationalities of caste may fit into the discourse of a singular nationalism. On the other hand, we shall reflect upon the significance of solidarity and respect for the democratic process as potential grounds for limiting citizens’ speech.

Dr. Rahul Rao, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS: Contesting the conception of a nation

Dr. Ayesha Kidwai, Professor of Linguistics, Centre for Linguistics School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, JNU: The University as a space for dissent. Lessons from India

Dr. Nitasha Kaul, Novelist and Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster: Kashmir, the Nation and Sedition

Dr. Clarinda Still, Postdoctoral Research Officer, School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, University of Oxford: On caste and nationalisms

Mayur Suresh, Senior Status Tutor, School of Law, SOAS: The law on sedition and limits to freedom of speech

Karan Nagpal, D.Phil. candidate, Department of Economics, University of Oxford: Solidarity and democratic debate

Dr. Faisal Devji, University Reader in Modern South Asian History, University of Oxford


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