Jason Keith Fernandes at the Museu Oriente, Lisbon

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Jason Keith Fernandes will present a paper entitled, “As Glórias Desconhecidas do Imam: O Silêncio, a Ausência e o Islamicate na Índia da Colecção Kwok On” (The Unsung Glories of the Imam: Silence, Absence, and the Islamicate in the Kwok On Collection’s Indian section) at 18:30 on 19 April, 2017 at the Museu Oriente, Lisbon.


The “India Visual” cycle is a collaborative effort between the Museu Oriente and CRIA – the Network Centre of Research in Anthropology. This cycle, that include conferences, round tables, and screenings of films and documentaries with the presence of researchers, academics and other persons linked to India and the many dimensions of this visual culture  seeks to use visual culture in India as the point of departure for reflections on diverse themes: art, religion, politics, consumption, gender, advertising, and media among others.



Drawing on various Indian pieces in the Kwok On collection, this presentation will suggest that what often appears Hindu is in fact profoundly Islamicate in nature. The term ‘Islamicate’ was introduced in 1974 by the famed scholar of Islamic studies Marshal Hodgson in his book The Venture of Islam.  In this work he suggests that ‘Islamicate’ would refer not directly to the religion, Islam, itself, but to the social and cultural complex historically associated with Islam and the Muslims, both among Muslims themselves and even when found among non-Muslims. Drawing on this idea, the presentation will demonstrate the manner in which practices associated with the Shia faith, and the historic figure of Imam Hussein are central to much South Asian (Indian), culture. Recognising this fact complicates and challenges the way in which both individuals and institutions – such as museums – understand the subcontinent.

Jason Keith Fernandes to participate in a discussion on “Representations of Islam and Muslims in the Media”

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Jason Keith Fernandes, a member of the Collective, and FCT post-doctoral scholar at ISCTE-IUL will be part of a round table discussion on “Representations of Islam and Muslims in the Media” which is a part of the “Islam in Debate” series, organised by Faranaz Keshavjee of the Centre for International Studies, ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon. The event will take place on 20 April, 2017 in auditorium B204, ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon.


R. Benedito Ferrão at the SISAAS Colloquium

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The SISAAS Colloquium – Scholars at the Intersection of South Asian and Africana Studies – will include a talk by R. Benedito Ferrão, Ph. D., of the College of William and Mary, VA, USA and the Al-Zulaij Collective, Goa. At this symposium, which is centered on scholarship of the Black presence in Asia and the South Asian diaspora in Africa, Dr.Ferrão’s presentation will address the need to rethink the history of slavery outside of the Black Atlantic in a paper titled “The Other Black Ocean: White Affectivity and Indo-Portuguese Slavery in Margaret Mascarenhas’ Skin.” Further information about the colloquium, which takes place on 8 April, 2017 at Howard University, Washington DC, USA, may be found here: https://sisaas.wordpress.com/sisaas-program/

R. Benedito Ferrão at the Global Asias 2017 Conference

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R. Benedito Ferrão will present “Inquisitive Legacies: Colonial Medical Botany and the Making of Goan Modernity” at the Global Asias 2017 Conference (Penn State). The project delves into Garcia da Orta’s Colóquios dos Simples e Drogas e Cousas Medicinias da Índia (1563) and the Hortus Malabaricus (1678-1693).


On Goan Culture

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I’ve always liked Indian pudding.  This is a sweet cornmeal dessert often served with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It does not hail from the subcontinent, but rather descends from Native American cuisine.  I also like bagels, originally from Eastern Europe, but am not a great fan of pizza, from Italy or of American Chinese food, though it has its moments.  “Soul food” is just another term for African-derived cooking, found throughout the South and often beyond.  American food encompasses a lot more, including tacos and burritos, clam chowder, apple pie, and of course hamburgers and hotdogs.  When people eat any of these items, do they think in some hyphenated way as in “Italian-American”, “Chinese-American” ?  No, I would argue, they don’t categorize their food very often, they just eat it.  If they think about it at all, they would think, “Yes, I’m American so I eat American food.  All those things are what we eat.”



The Hypocrisy of Goa’s Protesting Awardees

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In the context of a number of Sahitya Akademi awardees across India returning their respective awards in protest against the growing intolerance in India, in Goa around fourteen Sahitya Akademi awardees together with Padmashri awardees Maria Aurora Couto and Amitav Ghosh came together and issued a joint statement on 15 October, 2015. One would be struck by the hypocrisy contained in their press note released were it not for the fact that their politics of intolerance is so blatantly displayed all over the same note.



Fala Farsi? Notes on Multi-Lingual Practices for Goa

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The indefinite hunger strike of Savio Lopes and members of Forum for Rights of Children to Education (FORCE) for government grants to English as Medium of Instruction (MoI) have exposed the shallow and undemocratic language politics – under the guise of ‘mother tongue’, ‘Goan identity’, ‘Konkani’, ‘Marathi’, etc – in Goa. While arguing for a robust multi-lingual outlook as well, we would like to open up the conversation to a host of other languages that Goans can profitably engage with.