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Desispotting: February 2012

2012 February 5
by Ramona


Last updated Feb. 21

Desispotting February 2012Lots to see and do this month, so let’s get to it!

As always, I’ll continue to update this post throughout the month. Send your events to or leave a comment here.





Matthew Hull @ University of Chicago
Thursday, February 2 @ 4:30pm

Hull, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, discusses “Paper, Databases, and the Ontology of Land Holdings in South Asia” for U of C’s South Asia Seminar series.


Sharmili Majmudar @ Goodman Theatre
Monday, February 6 @ 7:00pm

Majmudar, executive director of Rape Victim Advocates, joins other activists and scholars for a conversation exploring sexual violence and its relation to race, gender, sexuality, poverty, immigration, and community. The special event is part of the theater’s Context series and serves as a companion to its current production of David Mamet’s Race.

Sharmili Majmudar


SAADA Community Forum @ Roosevelt University
Tuesday, February 7 @ 5:30pm

The South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) hosts a community forum to discuss how to document, preserve, and provide access to South Asian American history. MasterChef Suzy Singh will also be on hand serving samosas.

SAADA community forum


Matteo Pistono @ Loyola University Museum of Art
Tuesday, February 7 @ 6:00pm

Author and photographer Pistono presents “Tibetan Pilgrimage: In the Shadow of the Buddha,” an illustrated journey across Tibet.

Matteo Pistono book


Intro to SAADA @ University of Chicago
Wednesday, February 8 @ 4:30pm

The South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) documents and preserves the history of the South Asian American community through an online digital archive. Co-founders Samip Mallick (a SAPAC member) and Michelle Caswell will demonstrate use of the archive and showcase items in the archive that help uncover hidden narratives from South Asian American history.


Yasmin Nair @ Columbia College Chicago ADDED 2/8
Wednesday, February 8 @ 7:00pm

Activist, academic, and writer Nair and educator Susan Abbott duke it out (verbally) over the film The Kids Are All Right and its portrayal of marriage and families for Columbia’s Cinema Slapdown series.

Cinema Slapdown - The Kids Are All Right


Joy Brennan @ University of Chicago
Thursday, February 9 @ 4:30pm

Brennan, a PhD candidate in the university’s Divinity School, discusses “Dharmas and Being in Mind-only Buddhist Thought” for the Theory and Practice in South Asia program.


Eboo Patel @ Chicago Cultural Center
Thursday, February 9 @ 6:00pm

Interfaith Youth Core’s Eboo Patel joins author, minister, and scholar Dr. Martin Marty, in a discussion of what faith and literature have to say about the wonder of death while the Richard Harris Collection, Morbid Curiosity, is on display.


Venus @ Greenhouse Theater
Friday, February 10 – Sunday, February 19

The Theatre School at DePaul University presents a production of Venus directed by MFA candidate Reshmi Hazra as part of its New Directors series.

Reshmi Hazra


Jassie Gift and Vijay Jacob @ University of Chicago
Monday, February 13 – Friday, February 17

The university’s South Asian Sound Interventions (SASI) series presents a series of events on South Indian film songs with film music director and playback singer Jassie Gift and keyboardist Vijay Jacob. Monday & Tuesday: Two workshops on cinematic song crafting. Wednesday: South Indian film screening. Thursday: Symposium on song and dance in South Indian cinema. Friday: Performance.

Jassie Gift


Ronak K. Kapadia @ UIC ADDED 2/5
Wednesday, February 15 @ 12:00pm

Kapadia, an advanced PhD candidate in American Studies at NYU and the Riley Scholar-in-Residence in Race and Ethnic Studies at Colorado College, presents “How to Shoot An Iraqi: U.S. Drone Strikes and Wafaa Bilal’s Queer Calculus of
Pain” for UIC’s Lectures in Gender and Popular Culture series.


Junaid Rana @ Northwestern University
Wednesday, February 15 @ 4:00pm

SAPAC alum Rana, associate professor in Asian American Studies at UIUC and author of Terrifying Muslims: Race and Labor in the South Asian Diaspora, gives a lecture titled “Pakistani Brooklyn: Where You At?” for Northwestern’s Asian American Studies program.

Junaid Rana


Rajeev Kinra @ University of Chicago
Thursday, February 16 @ 4:30pm

Kinra, assistant professor at Northwestern University, discusses “Civility and its Discontents: The Use and (More Often) Abuse of Mughal Letters” for U of C’s South Asia Seminar series.

Rajeev Kinra


Jasbir Puar @ University of Chicago ADDED 2/15
Thursday, February 16 @ 4:30pm

The Rutgers University associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies discusses “Homonationalism Gone Viral: Discipline, Control, and the Affective Politics of Sensation” for U of C’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.


“My Asian Mom” Auditions @ Act One Studios
Sunday, February 19 @ 2:00pm

A-Squared Theatre Workshop holds a casting call for its original sketch dramedy show and is especially seeking South Asian actors.


Press Conference on Indian Language Assistance @ Chicago Board of Elections ADDED 2/20
Tuesday, February 21 @ 12:00pm

The Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago will be announcing its initiatives for Asian-Indian language assistance, effective with the upcoming March primary election. The news conference will be conducted in the 8th Floor Conference Room at 69 W. Washington St., Chicago. The link above will direct you to the Hindi-translated BoE website :) (I’ll be posting more info about these efforts very soon.)


Dr. Riaz Akhtar @ American Islamic College ADDED 2/21
Tuesday, February 21 @ 6:00pm

The suburban Chicago cardiologist discusses Organ Donation, Transplantation and Islamic Law and Views from Other Religious and Ethnic Groups” at this free dinner lecture. The event will also be broadcast live on


Last Day to Register for March Primary Election
Tuesday, February 21 @ 11:59pm

Chicago and Cook County voters may register for the first time or update their records if they have moved or changed names since they registered. Today you can register between 9:00am and midnight at 69 W. Washington in downtown Chicago, or during regular business hours at any Secretary of State’s office where driver’s licenses and state IDs are issued. If you miss this deadline, fear not–Grace Period registration and voting will be open February 22 to March 13. (My full election guide is forthcoming.)


K. Rizwan Kadir @ Union League Club ADDED 2/20
Thursday, February 23 @ 12:00pm

Kadir discusses “Kashmir – The Conflict, Human Rights Abuse and Why it Matters to the U.S.” for the International Press Club of Chicago.

K. Rizwan Kadir


Pierre-Julien Harter @ University of Chicago
Thursday, February 23 @ 4:30pm

Harter, a PhD candidate in the university’s Divinity School, discusses “Epistemological and soteriological considerations about the Path of Vision (darśanamārga) in the Buddhist path as elaborated in the literature of the Abhisamayākāra” for the Theory and Practice in South Asia program.


Dr. Seema Kumbhat @ Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Friday, February 24 @ 7:30am

Kumbhat, Medical Director, Medical Devices, Hospira, and Emerging Leader, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, discusses “Medical Innovation in a World of Rapidly Changing Markets” at a breakfast hosted by the Council.

Seema Kumbhat


Disgraced @ American Theater Company ADDED 2/15
Now through Sunday, February 26

American Theater Company presents the world premiere of Ayad Akhtar’s play about “a modern Muslim-American struggling to define his identity.”


Amazing India @ Navy Pier ADDED 2/20
Sunday, February 26 @ 12:00pm

Navy Pier’s 2012 Neighborhoods of the World series, in conjunction with the Consulate General of India and the Indo-American Heritage Museum, begins by honoring the city’s Indian community with an afternoon mela featuring clothing, arts, and crafts by local vendors; cuisine by Klay Oven and Uru Swati; and performances by Bollywood Rhythms, Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts, Punjabi Cultural Society, Volta Gujarati Daandiya-Raas Troupe, and more.

Amazing India poster


Blood Rubies: A Lens into Burma @ Museum of Contemporary Photography ADDED 2/20
Monday, February 27 @ 5:30pm

Photographer Christian Holst, jeweler Brian Leber, and researcher David Mathieson discuss “Blood Rubies: A Lens into Burma” for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.


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