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Professor-Researcher, El Colegio de México
Research Assistant

Date & Time

Sunday Sun, 25 Feb 2024


Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

Archives are considered valuable repositories of historical documents, providing insights into the past and the present. However, it’s crucial to understand that while archives often aim to be accurate and reliable, they provide neither a really complete nor a necessarily objective representation of historical events and contemporary worlds. In this session, Saurabh Dube attempts to reconsider conventional perspectives on the archive, practice, history, and anthropology, emphasising their contradictory and contested nature within modernity.

In this presentation, archives are depicted as protean phenomena, which can challenge preconceived notions in order to offer instead more fluid forms of understanding. Set against a backdrop of diverse subjects, including both human and non-human entities, Saurabh Dube will highlight the crucial intersections of power, meaning, object and subject that shape our worlds.

Together, this session will build upon and further explore the interplay of personal experiences, theoretical concepts, ethnographic examples, and visual representations. It shall critically examine thereby entrenched ideas within institutionalised knowledge formations.

A discussion with Shweta Venkatesh and a Q&A with the audience will follow.


Saurabh Dube

Professor-Researcher, El Colegio de México

Saurabh Dube is Professor-Researcher, Distinguished Category, El Colegio de México; National Researcher, Distinguished Category, SNI (National System of Researchers), Mexico; and Distinguished Research Fellow, Max Weber Stiftung-Forum, Germany-India, 2023-2027. His authored books include Untouchable Pasts; Stitches on Time; After Conversion; Subjects of Modernity; Disciplines of Modernity as well as a quintet in historical anthropology in the Spanish language. A 600 page anthology/omnibus of Dube’s Spanish writings was published in 2019. Among his more than fifteen edited volumes are Postcolonial Passages; Historical Anthropology; Enchantments of Modernity; Crime through Time; Unbecoming Modern; and Routledge Handbook of Subalterns across History (forthcoming).

Dube has authored around 140 essays and book-chapters, and edits the innovative series “Routledge Focus on Modern Subjects.” He has been Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, New York; the Institute of Advanced Study, Warwick; the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla; the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study, South Africa; the Max Weber Kolleg, Germany; and the Institute of Human Sciences, Vienna. Dube has also held visiting professorships, several times, at institutions such Cornell University, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Iowa, and Goa University (where he occupied the DD Kosambi Visiting Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies).

Shweta Venkatesh

Research Assistant

Shweta Venkatesh holds a Master’s degree in English Studies from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India. Based on the theories and philosophy of the Frankfurt School, her Master’s thesis examined the phenomena of mass produced art and mass reproduced art and the consequent effect they have upon our aesthetic sensibilities.

Presently based out of Bangalore, she has worked as an research assistant in art history since graduating. Her current research interests include twentieth century fictional writings in English from India and Pakistan and the development of an aesthetic sensibility through both the visual arts and the use of language to articulate experiences.