India’s modernity focus of Sept. 29 URI Honors Colloquium

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KINGSTON, R.I. – September 21, 2009 – A University of Chicago professor with expertise in the history of India will speak Tuesday, Sept. 29 at the University of Rhode Island Honors Colloquium, Demystifying India.

Dipesh Chakrabarty will discuss “Indian Modernity: Once Colonial, Now Global” at 7:30 p.m. in Room 271 of the Chafee Social Science Center, 10 Chafee Road, Kingston. All Honors Colloquium programs are open to the public. Chakrabarty’s talk is also the URI Diversity Week Keynote Lecture.

For the first time, the Honors Colloquium is offering the lectures through live streaming video and podcasts to those who can’t get to the Kingston Campus. You can access the podcasts and streaming video by going to As a public health precaution, the University is asking those with influenza-like symptoms on the day of the event not to attend, but rather watch online.

The series opener, Sept. 15 with Edward Luce of the Financial Times, filled the 500-seat Chafee auditorium while another 100 or so watched the simulcast of the lecture on a screen in a smaller, nearby auditorium. Nearly 300 watched the lecture online.

“We were thrilled with the live attendance figures for the opening night, but even more exciting was that anyone from anywhere in the world could watch the lecture live online whether they live in Providence or Bangalore, India,” said URI Professor of Marketing Nikhilesh Dholakia, who is coordinating the series with Marketing Professor Ruby Dholakia and Engineering Professor Arun Shukla. “We heard from several people that the online broadcast was of the highest quality. The next lecture with Professor Chakrabarty will examine India’s transition from colonial subject of Britain to an independent global player.”

As the L.A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History at the University of Chicago, Chakrabarty focuses on the development of South Asia in the first half of the 20th century. He researches the changing forms of mass-politics in the subcontinent.

He is also a Faculty Fellow of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, holds a visiting position at the Research School of Humanities at the Australian National University, and an Honorary Professorial Fellowship with the School of Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Chakrabarty’s books include: Rethinking Working-Class History: Bengal 1890-1940 (Princeton: 1989, 2000); Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton, 2000); Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies (Chicago, 2000); Provincializzare l’Europa (Rome: Meltemi, 2004).

Chakrabarty was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2004 and an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2006.

Major sponsors of the colloquium are: URI Honors Program; Office of the President; Office of the Provost; and the URI colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration and Engineering.

Sponsors: URI College of Human Science and Services, College of the Environment and Life Sciences, Division of University Advancement, Office of the Vice President for Administration, Office of the Vice Provost for Information Technology Services, University College; URI Diversity Week-Multicultural Center, URI Women’s Studies Program, and The Anthony J. Risica Lecture Series on Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Additional sponsors: The Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment, Kabob N Curry and The Village Inn and Professor G.S. Verma and Mrs. R. Verma.

For further details about the colloquium, including an updated schedule and information on parking, go to or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or