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Contested and Possible Sovereignties: The "State" of Kashmir workshop

March 5 (2 pm - 6 pm)
Venue: RO.12 (Ramphal Building)
University of Warwick

This workshop brought together scholars, media and creative practitioners, NGO spokespersons and policy-makers in a dialogic format in order to understand the complex dimensions of the practices of sovereignty in relation to state violence, religious nationalism, human rights, and a distinctive Kashmiri cultural history and identity.

Research questions driving the workshop were: What forms of knowledge regarding contested sovereignty may be generated through a dialogue between scholars, media and creative practitioners, human rights organizations, and policy makers? How can this knowledge be used to inform UK policy and create public awareness about the Kashmir issue?

Each speaker spoke for 10 minutes and a general discussion followed (program order).

For video and audio clips of the talks, please click on the title of the talk.
For an introduction to the workshop (Goldie Osuri), please click here
  • Victoria Schofield (historian and and international commentator)

    is acknowledged as one of the leading international experts on the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir and has given lectures on the subject in India, Pakistan, the United States, Europe and Australia and written numerous articles. Her books include Kashmir in the Crossfire (1996), Kashmir in Conflict: India, Pakistan and the Unending War (2000, 2002, 2010) and Afghan Frontier: at the Crossroads of Conflict (2003, 2010), Bhutto: Trial and Execution (1979, 1990). She has recently published the first volume of the official history of The Black Watch: The Highland Furies: The Black Watch 1739-1899 (2012). Schofield is a frequent contributor to BBC World TV, BBC World Service and other news outlets including CNN, CBC and Al Jazeera. She has also written primarily on South Asia for The Sunday Telegraph, The Times, Independent, Asian Affairs and The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs as well as other specialist journals.

Title: Why Kashmir is still important

  • Farah Bashir (via Skype)

    a former photojournalist with Reuters, works as an independent qualitative researcher and writes about the Kashmir issue. Her first short story about the psychological trauma faced by the women of Kashmir is a part of an anthology, Body Boundaries, being launched on March 14 in Singapore

Title: Kashmir's psychological war that won't make headlines

  • Dr Nitasha Kaul (Kashmiri novelist, academic, poet and economist)

    has published widely in several groundbreaking collections and addressed diverse audiences around the world on many themes with a central focus on identity, democracy, creativity, political economy, Kashmir and Bhutan. She has authored books including the scholarly monograph, Imagining Economics Otherwise (Routledge, 2007/2008), and a novel Residue (Rainlight, 2014) that was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2009. She has delivered invited lectures and keynotes at universities around the world (Stanford, Harvard, Goethe-Frankfurt, California-Berkeley, Oxford, Cambridge, Leiden, ANU, Goteborg), speaks to creative gatherings and the media (such as at literary events, OpenDemocracy, The Guardian, BBC, Monocle 24,, and has addressed forums including the UN in New York.

For more information and CV, please visit: Please click here for 'some Kashmir relevant work'.

Title: Kashmir - Memory, History, Injustice, Theory

  • Fahad Shah (founder-editor of The Kashmir Walla magazine)

  • is a journalist and writer. His latest book is Of Occupation and Resistance, an anthology that focuses on the resistance and politics of Kashmir. He has written extensively on Kashmir for various national and international publications including The Christian Science Monitor, Hardnews, Firstpost and Socialist Worker. He was selected as a finalist for the Manthan South Asia Award 2011 for his work as journalist. He is a Felix scholar at the SOAS, University of London and is working on his next book.

Title: Reporting the Political Dispute of Kashmir

  • Dr. Shubh Mathur (via Skype)

    is an Indian anthropologist whose work concerns memory and justice, human rights, the meanings of violence, nations and borders, the death penalty, the Muslim American experience, South Asia and neighboring regions. Her first book, The Everyday Life of Hindu Nationalism, was published by the Three Essays Collective Press. She is currently working on a collaborative ethnography with the families of the disappeared in Kashmir. More information regarding the Association of the Parents of the Disappeared is available at this webpage:

Title: Sovereign Rights: two different claims to life and death

  • Ather Zia (via Skype)

    is from Kashmir. She is currently finishing her dissertation on militarization, gender and the enforced disappearances of men by the Indian army in Kashmir at the department of Anthropology at UC Irvine. She has been a journalist with BBC and has also worked as a civil servant with the Kashmir government. Ather is a published author and columnist. Her essays and creative work have appeared in a variety of magazines. She also writes fiction and poetry, having published her first collection of poems, titled "The Frame," Ather recently won the 2013 second prize for her ethnographic poetry on Kashmir from the American Anthropological Association. Ather also edits Kashmir Lit a journal based on writings on Kashmir at

Title: Seeking the Ideals of Law and Democracy: Gendered Human Rights and Enforced Disappearances in Kashmir

Title: Kashmiri Diaspora: Exclusion and its Impact

  • Shams Rehman (author, Azad Kashmir and British Kashmiri Diaspora, VDM, 2011)

    has extensively researched the political transnationalism of the British Kashmiri diaspora. He has played a central role in setting up transnational tv channels in Britain with special focus on Kashmir and Kashmiris across the globe. Currently, he has been building another mediascape for British Kashmiris which can be found at:

Title: The Politics of Independent Kashmir and the British Kashmiri Diaspora

  • Sanaah Sultan

    is a British Kashmiri student activist and spoken word poet. She studies medicine at the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Title: Beyond the Line of Separation

  • Phil Bennion (Member of the European Parliament, West Midlands)

  • is a British Liberal Democrat Politician. He sits as a Member of the European Parliament for West Midlands. He is also a member of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with the Countries of South Asia.

Title: The European Parliament and Kashmir

  • Dr. Dibyesh Anand (Associate Professor, University of Westminster)

    is Head of the Department and a Reader in International Relations in Department of Politics and IR. His research areas include majority-minority relations in China and India, Tibet issue, and China-India relations. He is the author of Geopolitical Exotica: Tibet in Western Imagination, Tibet: A Victim of Geopolitics, Hindu Nationalism in India and the Politics of Fear and several articles and papers on security, identity, and Asian politics. He is currently working on a project on China-India border dispute and on colonial practices of postcolonial states of Asia.

Title: Kashmir: Beyond the India-Pakistan Conundrum

  • Dr. Goldie Osuri (Assistant Professor, University of Warwick)

    has recently published a monograph, Religious Freedom in India: Sovereignty and (Anti)Conversion (2013). Her current research focuses on a study of sovereignty and biopower in relation to colonial and postcolonial governance of religion, race, ethnicity and gender. More broadly, she has studied nationalisms and transnational formations of religion and race through critical, post-structural approaches. She is co-editor of borderlands e-journal, and has been publishing in journals such as Media, Culture & Society, Cultural Critique, Social Semiotics, Cultural Studies Review, Southern Review, Critical Race and Whiteness Studies e-journal, South Asian Popular Culture, Somatechnics, and Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies.