Prominent sociologist David Gellner lectures on ethnicity at HPB College, Assam
Hemo Prova Borbora Girls College (HPB) has launched a series of lectures with speakers from renowned universities in India and abroad, in order to raise awareness about some important topics that have emerged in recent times.
In an effort to attract lecturers from around the world, the college organized the first online conference in association with the Department of Political Science.
The theme of the first conference was âEthnicity and Nationalism in South Asiaâ.
Delivered by Professor David Gellner, Faculty of Social Anthropology, School of Museum Anthropology and Ethnography, University of Oxford, UK, the lecture focused on the origins of ethnic identity.
Professor Gellner at the conference called nationalism and ethnicity as a modern phenomenon in society, which varies from person to person.
According to Professor Gellner, two extreme approaches are needed to understand the meaning of ethnicity – the first which involves free play and choice; while the second deals with the idea that ethnicity is given, fixed and unchanging.
He suggested that the North East of India, being an ethnic hub identity, had enormous significance for academic research.
The conference was attended by students, university researchers and faculty members from various universities and colleges.
In addition, the college has planned a series of conferences that will be organized regularly over the next few days.