September 2011 Archives

Selected New Titles in Ames Library - September 2011

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Below you can read a list of selected new titles added to the Ames Library of South Asia in August 2011. Or click here to download a copy.

Adventures in ornithology: Transformations in a field science in Sri Lanka

by Arjun Guneratne
Associate Professor, Depts of Anthropology & Asian Languages and Cultures, Macalester College

Date: Friday, September 16. 2011
Time: Coffee & Cookies 3:15 pm, Talk 3:30 pm
Place: 445 Blegen Hall
Series: Geography Coffee Hour

This talk examines the shift in the techniques of ornithology from a field science based on collecting specimens, in which the chief tools were rifles, shotguns and other kinds of collecting equipment to modern birdwatching, which relies on field guides and optical
equipment. While this shift has been generally attributed to the availability of new technology and the development of a conservationist ethic in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that was less tolerant of broad-scale collecting of specimens, there has
been no detailed study of the particular social and political forces that impacted this transformation in particular contexts. In this talk, I examine the transformation of ornithology in its Sri Lankan context and relate it to the rise of a native Sri Lankan elite during the middle of the 20th century, which did not share the values and interests of the British expatriates who had established ornithology in Sri Lanka. This transformation can be attributed to the development of new technologies such as field guides and binoculars, the emergence of a preservationist ethos during the first half of the twentieth
century that frowned on collecting animal specimens generally, but also the transformations in the social foundations of birding, as it shifted from one social group (and its system of values) to another, and the institutional constraints that were put on collecting specimens as political power shifted and new values were given
expression in law.

Known Unknowns: The Problem with GMO Research [in Warangal, India]

by Glenn Davis Stone
Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology and Environmental Studies
Washington University, St. Louis

Date: Thursday, September 29
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 125 Nolte
Series: Institute for Advanced Study Thursdays at Four Series

Glenn Davis Stone is a professor of Sociocultural Anthropology and Environmental Studies at the Washington University in St. Louis. His recent work focuses on ecological, social, and political aspects of the introduction of genetically modified crops in developing countries, particularly India and Nigeria. He is most recently the author of "Field vs. Farm in Warangal: Bt Cotton, Higher Yields, and larger Questions" and he discusses food, farming, and biotechnology on his regularly updated blog, Fieldquestions. Prof. Stone's talk is organized in conjunction with the Institute for Advanced Study's interdisciplinary facultry seminar, "Talking Over Food: Abundance and Scarcity in the 21st Century," and is part of the University Symposium on Abundance and Scarcity.

Are We Entering an Age of Urban Revolution? Rethinking the "Miracles" of Shanghai and Bangalore in Light of the "Uprisings" in Cairo and London

by Michael Goldman
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Global Studies, and the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC)

September 13, 2011
12:00 to 1:30 p.m. (Lunch served at noon)
101 University International Center (map)
331 17th Ave SE, East Bank

All are welcome but RSVPs are appreciated!

Or watch online at

As a member of a university-wide collaboration, the Global Urban Laboratory, Professor Goldman introduces in this talk the idea that we have entered the age of urban revolutions. Three types will be presented. First, since the early 1990s, there has been a sea change in policies toward the urban, with leaders using cities as platforms for national integration into the global economy. By putting up for sale public goods and urban spaces, they are transforming the structure of labor and production, politics and rights, and access to space and goods in our cities.

Consequently and secondly, popular protests globally are sparking what appear to be political revolutions with deep urban roots and ambitions (e.g., Jakarta, Cairo, Tunis, Santiago, Madrid). Third, urban scholars and activists has begun to rethink the staleness of our intellectual frameworks, inspiring a conceptual revolution grounded less in old models emanating from our traditional notions of global cities (London and New York) and more from new ways of seeing complex realities unfolding in cities in the global South. The talk will highlight dimensions to these three "urban revolutions," with a focus on Goldman's own research on Indian cities.

Exhibition, Lecture and Reception

What: Collector's Talk: Donald Clay Johnson's Paritosh Collection
When: Sunday, September 18, 2011 • 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Where: 33 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108
Free and open to the public

Join us for a talk by former curator of the Ames Library of South Asia at the University of Minnesota and noted Indian textile collector Donald Clay Johnson. He will talk about the origins of his Paritosh Collection, a selection of which is on exhibit at the Goldstein Museum of Design, and his experiences as a collector.

This exhibition showcases saris, shawls, and home textiles collected over 50 years by Dr. Johnson. Johnson began collecting during a year's residence in India in 1962 and named the collection "Paritosh," or "contentment," after his host family's compound. The handcraft techniques include ikat weaving, several varieties of embroidery, block printing, bandhani and lahariya varieties of tie-dye, and more.

Please visit collector Donald Clay Johnson's online archive to see images from his collection.

For more information about the exhibition, click here.

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