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Ms. Shandana Waheed Presents on South Asia's Built Environment at the 51st Annual Conference on South Asia

On October 19th, Ms. Shandana Waheed, Lecturer at the Department of Liberal Arts, (a doctoral scholar at the Stanford University) recently presented at the 51st Annual Conference on South Asia held by the University of Wisconsin-Madison as part of a panel having theme on ‘Understanding Built Environment: Space making, Urbanity and Heritage in twentieth and twenty-first Century South Asia’.

Panel Abstract:

This panel explores the ways in which the built environment is studied in the South Asian context. Its twentieth and twenty-first century form is seen in the development of capital cities, the pervasiveness of capitalist logics in the non-urban, the construction of roads, and regulations around heritage. Despite the crucial role of built environment its political, social, and economic configuration has been understudied and needs further exploration in colonial and post-colonial South Asia. Scholarship, on South Asia tends to treat the built environment as a relic frozen in time and thereby overlooking the historical palimpsest it carries and the temporal challenges it reckons with. An example of the same are the capital cities which get attributed to their key architects like Lutyens New Delhi, and Ganga Ram’s Lahore. However, this problematic approach is not just limited to the cities or urban centres alone. It runs across all scales and mediums including built spaces such as roads and bridges, commercial and residential buildings, historical monuments, and non-monumental architectural heritage in both urban and non-urban spaces. Therefore, through this panel our aim is to move beyond the static sense of space and look at the various facets of the built environment in transition. The panel brings together papers situated in different socio-cultural contexts such as the national and regional space, city and provinciality, transportation, media imagination and heritage. In doing so, the essays in this panel draw upon and extend the idea of built environment, space, and architectural heritage which has been studied by scholars like Sandria Freitag, David Arnold, A. D. King, Lynn Meskell, Hilal Ahmed, and Priya Jaikumar. The presenters hope that the panel shall be able develop an understanding of South Asia’s built environment and heritage by addressing it as a complex, changing, and transitioning entity.

Discussant / Chair: Benjamin Cohen (University of Utah)
Shandana Waheed (Stanford University) From Present to Past, Through Cracks and Crevices:Palimpsest of Heritage in Post-Partition Rawalpindi
Purbasha Das (Jawaharlal Nehru University) Speed in Modern Cities: An Analysis of RoadTransport in Twentieth Century India (c. 1900- c.1960)
Harleen Kaur (National University of Singapore) The Indian Idea of New Delhi: ChangingBuilt Environment from Imperial to National Capital , circa. 1930-1950
Shubhangni Gupta (Stanford University) 'In Service of the Shot’: Heritage Afterlives of the Shekhawati Haveli in Rajasthan

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