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Graduate Working Groups (2021-22)


Cold War Asias: Connections and Mobilities through post-WWII Asias

We explore the migration of people, knowledge, and ideologies within Asias and from/to Asias to/from elsewhere during and post-World War II. We are home to historians of modern Asia and Asian America at Rutgers, but also welcome scholars of other regions and disciplines as well to explore points of connection.

Contact: Jeongeun Park (

Meeting Date: October 15, Friday, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM. This is a hybrid meeting taking place both on zoom and in person, at Van Dyck Hall 301 [College Avenue Campus: 16 Seminary Place, New Brunswick].

Readings are on canvas. If you are interested in joining (with zoom or in person), want to access the readings, or have questions, email me ( and Jian Ren (

Rutgers the Sound of “Chor”: Culture, Society, and Contemporary Minority Music Study

This group aims to provide its members with a broader and cross-disciplinary understanding of Mongolian music’s history, cultural heritage, attachment property to the fusion of traditional and modern culture, and different borderland political contexts between, Inner Mongolia, China, and Mongolia.

Contacts: Zhuo Zhao (, Meiqiao Wang (

Tentative Meeting Date: October 4 or 6.


Decolonization in South Asia: Borderlands, Heritage, and Cultural Politics

As tensions over national belonging dominate South Asian politics, it is relevant to explore how postcolonial heritagization of monuments and other culturally important sites are influenced by the dynamics of creating, preserving, and overwriting cultural identities. Taking the insurgent politics of the borderland as a vantage point, we will examine the complexities of national minoritization vis-a-vis racial, caste, linguistic, and religious identities.

Contacts: Pritha Mukherjee (, Swathi Gorle (, Sneha Khaund (

Meeting Date: September 24, 1-2 pm, Zoom.


Failure to Voice

We examine vocal failures of various subjects and propose to hear otherwise. If the subjects cannot speak, we should expand our soundscape. If they cannot speak in their own voice, then we should question who owns this voice and the very significance of owning a voice.

Contact: Yuanqiu Jiang (

Tentative Meeting Date: September 17, 10-11am, Zoom


Global Anti-Caste Thought

This working group seeks to deepen our engagement with the intellectual history of radical anti-caste thought and asks how we can build on these foundations to combat current forms of global casteism and virulent Hindutva. While primarily drawing on the legacies of well-known anti-caste thinkers like Phule, Ambedkar and Periyar, we also seek to center the work of lesser-known anti-caste thinkers from marginalized communities in India.

Contacts: Sahithya Venkatesan (; Thomas Crowley (

Meeting Date: Sep 7.