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16 April 2021

Call for submissions: King's India Institute Graduate Conference 2021

The King's India Institute is inviting submissions for its Graduate Conference 2021, under the theme of 'Understanding Contemporary South Asia: Belonging, Functioning, Renegotiating'

A busy street market in India

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the deadline for the submission of abstracts has been extended to 9 May 2021. Participants will be notified of the outcome on 14 May 2021.

Contemporary South Asia is witnessing a churning, be it in matters of geopolitics, identity, the claiming of human rights, electoral patterns, or climate change. The COVID-19 pandemic, emerging forms of cooperation, dependencies, and strategic reorientation, are creating new opportunities and challenges in the region. The persecution of communities, and the resultant influx of refugees in neighbouring countries such as the Rohingyas of Myanmar; the polarisation of societies through violent rhetoric and attacks on people professing alternate beliefs or sexuality as seen in Bangladesh; and the reshaping of the welfare state through the use of new technologies such as Aadhaar in India, are a few examples of this churn.

The imagination of nations, institutions, and legitimacy; norms of governance and the assertion of citizenship; as well as environmental change, are influential characteristics of contemporary South Asia. Understanding the reshaping of the region necessitates studying tensions related to questions of belonging and functioning, and associated renegotiations. Belonging, i.e. who constitutes and influences the polity; functioning, i.e. the institutional architecture and related processes; and renegotiation, i.e. attempts to reframe and redefine identities, norms, and values.

Given this, we are pleased to invite abstracts for the King's India Institute Graduate Conference 2021 Understanding Contemporary South Asia: Belonging, Functioning, Renegotiating to be held online from 29th to 30th June 2021.

We welcome papers that interrogate contemporary South Asia through a wide range of disciplines and topics, including the redefinition of borders, whether physical, legal, and social; the welfare state; regional and marginalised identities; centre-periphery relations; as well as local level politics. In addition to these themes, the conference encourages interdisciplinary works and abstracts that utilise other understandings of belonging, functioning, and renegotiation.

Interested doctoral students should submit a 300-word abstract along with a brief bio (max 150 words), and five keywords via the following form by 9 May 2021. Only one abstract may be submitted per person. Selected participants will be notified of acceptance by 14 May 2021.

Three best papers will be selected by a committee consisting of King’s College scholars, and awarded £300, £200, and £100 respectively.

If you anticipate network issues might hinder your participation or for any further information, please write to us at

Download the call for papers

Call for submissions: King's India Institute Graduate Conference 2021