Conferences and Lectures


2019 Complicating ‘victimhood’ in Diaspora Studies: The saga of  Tamils in exile. Professor M.N.Srinivas Memorial Lecture, 45th All India Sociological Conference, Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 27,  2019


2016 Dec 28 ‘The rebellious woman and the violence of consensus: Contestations of the  Domestic space’, Plenary on ‘Contemporary Perspectives on Family, Marriage and Kinship’ at the  42nd All India Sociological Congress  on Rethinking Sociological Traditions in India. Tezpur University, 27th- 30th of December 2016


2014 ‘Sociology: A Calling, an Approach or One of many Hats?’, Sociologists and Sociology: Autobiographies and Biographies’, National Conference, organised by Centre for Advanced Studies, Department of Sociology, University of Pune, September 15th and 16th 2014.


2014  ‘Ethnography as a special genre of qualitative research’, National Workshop on ‘Introduction to research methodology for Academic Research’ organized by Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, February 3-7, 2014. 


2014 ‘First generation of women sociologists in India: ‘Honorary males’ or ‘Incipient feminists’ or what?’,  National Seminar on ‘Gender, Feminisms and Sociologies: towards a state of Alterd-ness’ organized by the Department of Sociology University of Mumbai, January 29, 2014.


2013 ‘Qualitative research and its presentation’, Presented at ICSSR-EPW Workshop on writing up research, Shillong, September 9-13, 2013.


2011 ‘Relevance vs. Significance of sociological schools: a view from Mumbai’, Paper presented at ISS Diamond Jubilee pre-conference National Seminar on Sociological Tradition in India and the Lucknow School: Retrospect & Prospects,  organized by Indian Sociological Society and Dept. of Sociology, University of Lucknow,   November 5-6, 2011.


2011 ‘New Wine in Old Bottles: Family and Kinship Studies Then and Now’ Paper presented at the ISS Diamond Jubilee Pre-Conference National Seminar Organized by the Indian Sociological Society and the Dept. of Sociology , University of Mumbai on ‘Sociology in India and the Bombay School: Retrospect and Prospects’, Mumbai, September 23 and 24, 2011 


2011 ‘What is feminist archiving? Three illustrations  and some reflections’ , in  a workshop on ‘Issues And Challenges In Feminist Archiving’  organized by AWA, Research Centre for Women’s Studies, SNDT Women’s University,  April 1, 2011.


2011 ‘Language and Diasporic Identity: Contrasting Tamils in Europe and South Africa’, Paper presented at the National Seminar on ‘Language and culture in the makings of a nation’ organized by Dept. Of Linguistics, University of Mumbai, Jan 27 – 29, 2011.


2010 ‘Blurred Edges:  On Being Tamil in Contemporary South Africa,'   Paper  presented at the RC04 Migration and Diaspora Studies 36th   All India   Sociological Conference, Cuttack, Dec 2010.


2009 ‘Religiosity in Exile : Srilankan Tamils and Diasporic Hinduism’ Paper for the session of Research Committee 04 International Migration and Diaspora Studies, XXXV All India Sociological Conference, Kashmir University Srinagar, Oct 10 – 12, 2009.


2009 ‘The materiality of the symbolic : Gender in the new discourses of tradition and modernity’ Invited paper at the symposium on  ‘Gender, Culture and Development’, XXXV All India Sociological Conference, Kashmir University Srinagar, Oct 10 – 12, 2009.


2008 ‘Selective Amnesia: Indian diasporas and their impact ‘back home’ Paper presented at the International Seminar on ‘Diversities in the Indian Diaspora: Nature, Implications and Responses’ Organized by Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla and Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore,  May 7-9, 2008.


2007 ‘Bombay Parsis and the Diaspora: (Heated) Exchanges on Identity’ Paper presented at the National Conference organized by the Dept. of Sociology, University of Mumbai on ‘Community’ and Communities in Mumbai: Issues of Cosmopolitanism, Citizenship and Civil Society ‘, Feb 28 – March 2, 2007


2006 ‘Science, Technology and Gender: Emerging Issues’ Theme paper at the joint session of RC 10 (Gender Studies) of Indian Sociological Society and RC 32 Women in Society of International Sociological Association at the 32nd All India Sociological Conference, Loyola College, Chennai December 28, 2006.


2006 ‘Feminism and the demands of fieldwork: Multiple concerns and overlapping methodologies’. Paper presented at the workshop on ‘Feminist Perspectives on Research Methodology’ organized by Tata Institute of Social Sciences,  December 12, 2006.


2004 ‘Gender and Caste’ National Seminar on Current issues of race, class and caste in Canada and India organized by Centre for Canadian Studies, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, March 15, 2004.


1998 ‘Intra-household access to resources: Theorizing Indian specificities’  Paper presented at the 8th National Conference of Women’s Studies, Indian Association of Women’s Studies, Pune, May 30 – June 2, 1998.


1997 ‘Patrilineal kinship and agency of women: Some conceptual issues concerning structure and change’ paper presented in the panel on Structure and change, XXIV All-India Sociological Conference of the Indian Sociological Society, Osmania University, Hyderabad, December 21 – 24, 1997.


1995 ‘Incomplete assimilation and conditional identity: Socialization of women in patrilineal systems’ Paper at National Symposium on Socialization: Theory and issues, organized by M.S. University Baroda, Dept. of Human Development December 1995.


1995 ‘Integrating development into the matrix of culture’ Presentation at  Commonwealth Universities Studies and Consortium (CUSAC) workshop on ‘Women and Development’, Session on Folklore, myths and art, organized by S.N.D.T. Women’s University, Bombay, December 1, 1995.


1989 ‘Constitution and Family Law: The ethos of Caste and Kinship’, Paper presented at a workshop on Constitution and Family Law, organized by Max Mueller Bhavan, Bombay, March 6 – 11, 1989.


1986 ‘Nutrition Policy and Women’s Studies’  Paper presented at XI World Congress of Sociology, New Delhi, August 1986.


2016: Eelam in the diasporic imagination: the reality  of the myth of the Tamil homeland,  International Seminar on ‘Migration, Heimat, Homeland’ organized by University of Hyderabad, Feb 11 and 12, 2016.


2015 Victimhood reconsidered: victimhood  and agency among  Srilankan Tamils in exile,  International Conference on ‘Revisiting the ‘Homeland’ Link in the Indian Diaspora’, organized by Group for Research on Indian Diaspora, University of Mumbai, Jan 27 – 28, 2015.


2015  ‘Building Bridges: Feminism, History and Sociology/Social anthropology’, International Conference, Shifting Contours, Widening Concerns: Women’s History, Historiography and the politics of Historical Representation, organized by AWA, RCWS, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, Feb 11-13, 2015.


2012 ‘The Call Of Home  And Violence Of Belonging:  Diasporic Hinduism And  Tamils In Exile’ Paper presented at ‘India Beyond India: Debating Communalism and Belonging’   International Conference on Organized by Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen, May 24-26, 2012.  


2012 ‘Journeys Back and Forth in the Old Diaspora: Tamils in South Africa and Elsewhere’ Paper presented at ‘Empire Nation And Diaspora: Mapping The Trajectories Of Transformations In Indian Diaspora’. International Conference Organized by the Centre for Study of Indian Diaspora, University of Hyderabad, February 20-23, 2012.


2011 ‘Language, Identity And Transnationalism: Case Studies From The Indian Diaspora’ International Conference on ‘Multilingualism: Concepts And Contexts’ Organized  by the Dept. of German, Mumbai University in collaboration with the University of Goettingen (Dept. of Intercultural German Studies) and University of Pune (Dept. of Foreign Languages), Oct 12-15, 2011


2010 ’SRK, Karan Johar and the creation of ‘Bollywood: Beyond Diasporic Boundaries’ International Conference on ‘Shah Rukh Khan and Global Bollywood’, University of Vienna, Sept 30 – Oct 2, 2010.


2010  ‘Impact of religious and cultural  transnationalism on the Indian middle class’,  Paper presented at Panel 31 ‘The emerging middle class: Shifting locations, values, identities’, European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, University of Bonn,  July 26 – 29, 2010.


2010 ‘ Negotiating Tamilness and Hinduism in the Indian diaspora in South Africa’ International Conference on ‘Turning Historical Adversity into Advantage’, to mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indian indentured labourers to South Africa. Organized by University of Kwa Zulu Natal in Collaboration with Global Organization for People of Indian Origin, March 27 – 31, 2010


2009 ‘Contemporary reconfigurations of Hinduism: Tamil Diaspora in Germany and in the west at large’. International interdisciplinary conference ‘Shifting Images and Discourses: Revisiting Linkages and Exchanges between India and Germany’ organized by the Mumbai University in collaboration with the University of Bonn, March 12-14, 2009.


2008 ‘Survival before equality: the strange relationship between sex ratio, development and patrilineal kinship’ Paper for Oxford Round Table 20th Anniversary Colloquium on ‘Women in the Modern World: The Struggle for Equality’, Oxford University,  March 16 – 21, 2008.


2006 ‘The suffering Brahman? Mobility, marginalization and new social categories’ Paper presented at ‘India as a model of intercultural life’, Symposium organized by Bonn University at Bonn Biennale, May 16-17, 2006.


2003 ‘Diverse forms, plural structures and Multiple perspectives: Family in India’ Plenary paper at CIF (Council for International Fellowship) 25th International Conference on The evolving family in the 21st century: A Social Work Challenge, Goa, Feb 25, 2003.


2001 ‘Altered Terrain, changing discourse: Care and support of the dependent elderly in the Netherlands in the year 2000’ Workshop on Citizenship, Care, Gender: Renegotiations of the public and the private in the Netherlands, International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS), Indo-Dutch Programme on Alternatives in Development (IDPAD) and Leiden University, May 16, 2001.


2001 ‘Doing research on ageing: Issues in fieldwork, presentation of research findings,' at a seminar A changing social welfare system versus changing social relations in   the Netherlands,  Organized by the Municipal Council of Leiden at the Stadhuis, Leiden May 17, 2001


2001 ‘Between state and family: Ageing and the changing discourse of care in the Netherlands' Paper presented at the International conference Gross Domestic Product vs Quality of Life: Balancing work and family, organized by the Institute of Women and Work, Cornell University NY State School for Industrial and Labour Relations, Bellagio, January 29 – February 2, 2001.


1994 ‘Life stories as a source for understanding women’s perceptions: An exercise in feminist methodology’, International workshop on Women’s ways of living their realities, organized by South North Network Cultures and Development, Brussels,  Oct 1994.


1994 ‘Culture and Development: Issues in the Indian context’ Presentation at an International Conference on ‘Cultural Dynamics in Development Processes’, Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO, Woudschoten, June 8 – 11, 1994.


1993 ‘Seclusion and gender issues: Reflections on the Indian context’. International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Mexico, Aug 1993.


1993 ‘Gender and Kinship studies: Indian material and context’ Paper presented at the International Conference on Changing gender and kinship relations in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, University of Nairobi, Feb 1993


1988 ‘The issue of Secular Communication in Art: A case study of Stree: Women In India Exhibition at Moscow’, Paper presented at 12th International Conference of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Zagreb, July 1988.


1981 ‘Brief notes on the Kottai Pillaimar of Srivaikuntam’. Paper read at the V International Conference – Seminar of Tamil Studies, Madurai.


1978 ‘Vellalas: A socio-historical perspective’. Paper presented at the X International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Studies, New Delhi.


2018   ‘Early Women Sociologists in India: Community in the making’. First Irawati Karve Memorial Public  Lecture,  Inauguration of the Dept. of Sociology   Centenary Year Celebrations, Dept. of Sociology, University of Mumbai. Oct 16,   2018.


2017 ‘Cultural  identity and the politics of language: Insights from the Tamil diaspora’. Keynote address at University of Hyderabad, Dept. of English  Seminar on English, Diaspora & Indian literatures


2016  Special Lecture on Indian Diaspora Studies at India International Centre, New Delhi, in Conference on Migration, diaspora and Development organised by Global Research Forum for Diaspora and Transnationalism (GRFDT), New Delhi, February 20, 2016.

2016 Valedictory address at Global migration: Rethinking skills, knowledge and culture International Conference organized by Group for Research on Diaspora and Transnationalism (GRFDT) New Delhi 27.11.16


2015 Victims and agents: reorienting diaspora studies through a case study of Tamils in exile, Public Lecture at Dept. of Sociology, Pune University, January 22, 2015. 


2014 ‘Feminist  questions in sociology: reflections from a  complex research journey’, Public Lecture at the National Seminar on Genders, feminisms and sociology: towards a state of ‘altered-ness’ organized by Dept. of Sociology, University of Mumbai, January 31, 2014.


2013 Gender and ethnicity: considered separately and jointly, Keynote address delivered at Rajasthan Sociological Association on 20th anniversary special conference on ‘Contemporary issues of ethnicity and gender sensitization’ Chittorgarh, Oct 3, 2013.


2013 ‘Indian Diaspora: a mosaic of multiplicities and pluralities’ , Keynote address at International Seminar titled ‘Indian Diaspora in Various Perspectives’ organized by the Centre for Indian Diaspora, Dept. of Sociology, Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar, March 11, 2013


2012 Transnationalism of An Asylum Diaspora: Tamils In Germany Public lecture at Institut fur Ethologie (Institute of Social Anthropology), University of Munster, May 21, 2012.


2012 ‘Empowerment Of Women From Within And Without :Some Reflections‘ Keynote address at the National Seminar on Challenges to Women Empowerment: Role of State, Religion and Good Governance, organized by the  Centre for Study of Society and Secularism & SVKM’s Pravin Gandhi College of Law, Mumbai,  March 16, 2012.


2011 ‘The Cancer Institute at Adyar: Through a Feminist Lens’, Special Lecture at Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS), Chennai. December 20,  2011.


2011 ‘Balancing between Tamilness and Hinduness: Reflections on the Srilankan Asylum Diaspora in Europe’, Faculty Lecture , The Institute for Oriental and Asian Studies, University of Bonn, May 19, 2011


2011 ‘Some thoughts on the conceptual and methodological dimensions of the study of women in ancient India’, Keynote address at the Prof. P.V. Kane Memorial Seminar on The Position of Women as understood from various  Smritis, Inscriptions and other Historical Records (300 B.C. – 1300 A.D.)  The Asiatic Society of Mumbai, April 19, 2011


2011 No Shri Ram in Lanka: Hinduism, Hindutva and Diasporic Tamils in Exile 21st Smt.Nabadurga Banerji Endowment Lecture , The Asiatic Society of Mumbai, March 3, 2011


2009 ‘The Social Context of Formal Justice : Changing Realities of Family and Gender Relations in India’, Special Address, Maharashtra Judicial Academy, Mumbai Induction training programme of judicial Officers, September 30, 2009.


2009 ‘Is the glass half empty or half full? Gender relations in 21st century India ’. Inaugural address at the opening of the Women’s Development Cell, Ramnarain Jhunjhunwala College, Mumbai, Sept 17, 09.


2009 ‘Gender hierarchies in contemporary India: Continuity, Transformation and Contradictions’. Lecture at Zentrum fur Frauen und Geschiechterstudien, Institut fur Medien und Kommunikationswissenschaft, Alpen Adria Universitat, Klagenfurt, June 17, 2009.


2009 ‘Intra community dialogue and Dissent: Zoroastrian Diaspora and the Bombay Parsis.' Lecture at Centrum fur Sozialeforschung and Institute for Soziologie, University of Graz, June 16, 2009 and at the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies, University of Bonn, June 22,2009.  


2008 ‘Feminist scholarship and the emerging concerns in the Sociology of Family and Kinship’, Lecture at Dept. of Sociology, University of Hyderabad, Nov 6, 2008.


2008 ‘Status of Women in Hinduism’ Lecture at Seminar on Status of Women in Different Cultures and Religions, organized by Culture House of the Islamic Republic of Iran, June 28, 2008.


2007 ‘Intra community dialogue and dissent: Zoroastrian Diaspora and the Bombay Parsis’ Seminar at the South Asian Studies Programme, National University of Singapore, April 4, 2007.


2006 ‘New perspectives on culture: A map for performing artistes’ at the Kuchipudi festival organised by Potti Sriramulu Telugu University at Sri Siddhendra Yogi Kala Peetham, Kuchipudi, December 24, 2006.


2006 ‘Researching old age in the Netherlands: Some methodological issues’  Faculty seminar at the Dept. of Sociology, University of Mumbai, December 7, 2006.


2006 ‘Changing Role of Women in Society: Changing Expectations and their own vision of new role in Family, Society and the Work place’ Lecture at Seminar on Empowerment of Women, organized by Bankers’ Training College, Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai, Feb 23, 2006.


2005 ‘Building a social history of the Kottai Pillaimar: Why and How’ Dept. Of Archeology Government of Tamilnadu Public Lecture at Monthly Lecture Series, January 3, 2005, Taramani CIT Campus, Chennai.


2003 ‘Major Themes in Gender Studies in India: Gender, family and kinship’ Lecture for the PG Diploma course in Women’s Studies, Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Women’s Studies Centre, Pune, November 17 & 18, 2003.


2002 ‘Indian Culture’ through the lens of diversity’ Public Lecture in the Practice Lectures on the Arts and Cultures of India, Series IV, Singapore Arts Museum Organizedby Practice Performing Arts School, Singapore, September 7, 2002.


2002 ‘Anthropological issues in ‘reverse research’: Narrative of an Asian researcher’s fieldwork on the Dutch elderly’ Lecture given at University Scholars Programme, National University of Singapore, April 30, 2002.

2002 ‘Gender and kinship interface: Deprivation of females in the family-household setting’. Lecture at Asian College of Journalism, Media Development Foundation, Chennai Jan 3, 2002.


2001 ‘The changing dynamics of ageing policy in the Netherlands’  Lecture jointly organized by ZERP (Das Zentrum fur Europaische Rechtspolitik), ZeS  Das Zentrum fur Sozialpolitik ) and ZFS (Das Zentrum fur feministische Studien), University of Bremen, Germany on May 22, 2001.


1999 ‘Doing fieldwork on the Dutch Welfare State: two views from India’ Lecture at International Institute of Asian Studies /Inter Cultural Gender Studies/Recht, Bestuur &Samenleving/CNWS Lecture (Jointly with Rajni Palriwala) Leiden, October 21, 1999.