Spring 2024 Lecture Series

Lectures are held at 4:30pm in the Butterfield Room of the Wasch Center unless otherwise listed.

February 28 - Amrita Sanyal, “The Under-representation of Women in STEM”

Amrita is Visiting Assistant Professor in Wesleyan’s Economics Department.  Her work in graduate school evaluated how the 2009 Race to the Top program and the adoption of Common Core K-12 programs affected students’ high school and post-secondary performance and career choices, as well as gender-gaps in these outcomes.

March 27 - Hari Ramesh, "Directed Association"

This lecture will be based on Prof. Ramesh’s current book project, Directed Association: Social Oppression, State Action, and the Pursuit of Radical Democracy. In his teaching and research, Prof. Ramesh focuses on the relationship between empirical social science and political theory. He has a particular interest in socially oppressed groups. Drawing on the work of theoreticians like John Dewey, B.R. Ambedkar, and W.E.B. DuBois, he will explain his concept of “directed association” and discuss the ways in which members of oppressed groups can mobilize the powers of the state to promote this radical form of democracy.

*Tuesday, April 16 - Vijay Pinch, "The 2024 Elections in India: Politics, Process, Prognosis"

The elections in what is sometimes called the world’s largest democracy begin on April 19 and extend in seven phases into June. They are expected to determine India’s course for the next five years. Prime Minister Nahendra Modi, whose party holds a majority in the parliament, is seeking a third term. His focus has been on modernizing the country and, controversially, establishing it as a Hindu nation. With over 960 million eligible voters, more than half of whom are women, the elections will be hugely expensive and, because of the country’s size, terrain, and topography, challenging to conduct.  

 A member of the History Department and the Global South Asian Studies Program, Prof. Pinch specializes in the history of South Asia, especially India. His first book, Peasants and Monks in British India (1996) examined the intersecting social, cultural, and intellectual histories of caste and asceticism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Warrior Ascetics and Indian Empires (2006) contextualized the life and career of the eighteenth-century Saiva warlord Anupgiri Gosain in the long history and culture of Indic warrior asceticism. His current projects include a microhistory of military life in mid-nineteenth-century north India; translations of eighteenth-century Hindi poetry describing Gosain’s career; and a global history of the modern political yogi.

*Monday May 13 - Paula Paige presents a reading from her short story, "Ghost Story"