The Newsletter 70 Spring 2015

Transcending the Bay of Bengal

Michael Laffan

Report of the workshop ‘Belonging Across the Bay of Bengal: Migrations, Networks, Circulations’, convened at Princeton University, 31 October 2014

The workshop ‘Belonging Across the Bay of Bengal’, held under the rubric of the Asian Spatialities forum of the IIAS/Mellon-sponsored program ‘Rethinking Asian Studies’, followed an earlier meeting at Princeton in 2011 that had used a discussion of traditional texts and modern textbooks to bridge the gap between specialists of South and Southeast Asia. Now, armed with a sense of what the three historical moments were to be for our project – the long 19th century, the economic crisis of the 1930s, and the difficult period of emancipation after WWII – we were better able to come to grips with our subject in what was an incredibly fruitful discussion.