PAST ORGANIZED EVENTS:
THE INDIAN PHANTASM CONFERENCE
OSLO, Norway - 10th-11th December 2012, University of Oslo, Museum of Cultural History
Contemporary India is imagined, both in India and beyond, by Indians as much as by Others. The idea is to identify and analyze the multiple narratives, representations and imaginaries of contemporary India, both within and beyond its borders. The idea is to get a grasp of what the phantasm of contemporary India might consist of and how it could be creatively approached in ethnographic research and what it can tell us about the current Indian postcolonial condition. It focuses on the dreams and desires of contemporary Indians across the social and physical landscape of the country and the ways in which these dreams and desires might relate to popular culture and various narratives and phantasms of India. The conference will feature several ethnographic movies.
Throughout my research, grounded in long-term fieldworks (2008, 2010-11) in urban North India (New Delhi and Lucknow), several research interests have emerged as crucial for my work.
- The economic and social transformation of urban India since the implementation of neo-liberal reforms during the 90s, which I have approached through a study of Indian fashion industry and its relation to crafts.
- The perpetuation of notions of royalty, hierarchy and (neo)-imperialism under the aforementioned changed circumstances, especially in terms of royal aesthetics and consumption of heritage luxury.
- The communal relationships between Hindus and Muslims in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and the ways in which they are negotiated and pacified through craft production that transgresses divisions of religion, class, caste and locality.
During my fieldtrips I have also collected a number of artifacts for the ethnographic collection of the museum, from embroidered pieces to vintage Bollywood posters. I am currently also preparing an exhibition on Indian luxury fashion at the Museum of Cultural History, which will open in autumn 2013. In relation to that, I am also working on an accompanying ethnographic movie, called Dreams of Luxury, Realities of Life.
For more information about my interests, feel free to visit my website.
- 2009 - 2013: PhD Fellow in Social Anthropology, Department of Ethnography, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo
2007 - 2009: MA-degree in Social Anthropology, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo with the thesis: Networks that Make a Difference: The Production of Social Cohesion in Lucknow, North India
Fieldwork and research background:
- 2011 (January – March): Visiting research scholar at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), London
- 2010 – 2011: Fieldwork in Lucknow and New Delhi, North India
- 2008 (January – August): Fieldwork in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, North India
Conferences and presentations
- The Indian Phantasm Conference, Museum of Cultural History, Oslo (10th-11th December), conference organizer, paper to be presented: Indian Luxury fashion and Neo-Imperial Aesthetics.
- Non-Western Fashion Conference, Rabat, Morocco (20th-21st October), paper presented: Indian Haute Couture: The Aesthetic Economy of Neo-Imperial Atmospheres.
- Artification Conference, Helsinki, Aalto University (15th-17th August), paper presented: Artification in Indian High Fashion: Elevating Value, Creating Distance and Redefining Indian Art.
- EASA 2012, Paris, Nanterre (10th - 13th July 2012), paper presented: Laughing at Luxury and Living out Alternative Aesthetics: The Poor Craftswoman's Take on Fashion.
- (31st May - 1st June 2012), paper presented: Hijacking Creativity, Denying Imagination: Unraveling the Mystery of Value Creation in Indian Fashion.
- ASA 2012 Conference, JNU Delhi, India (3rd-6th April 2012), chair and panel organizer, P01 - Exploring the aesthetics and meanings of contemporary Indian fashion: from craft to the catwalk, paper presented: .
- Annual Conference at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo (19th-20th September 2011). Paper: Claiming and Denying Creativity: The Battlefield that is the Creation of Indian Embroidered Garment.
- Museum of Cultural History, seminar (4th February 2010), paper: A Commodity as a Window into Complexity: The Chikan Embroidery of India and the Intertwined Social Life of Things and People
- Finnish Anthropology Conference 2010: Ideas of Value, Helsinki (12th May 2010), chair of session Material Culture and Material Body, paper Managing Clothes, Expressing Values: The Indian Middle Class and the Game of Aligning Values with Clotheslater on published in edited version in Journal of Finnish Anthropological Society.
- CEU Graduate Conference, Budapest (12th June 2010), paper: Constructing the Field Across Time and Space: Dealing with Multiple Contexts and Multiple Temporalities.
HERA-project Creativity and Innovation in a World of Movement with individual project Designing Elites: Fashion and Value in Urban North India