The 21st Century Singularity and the Future of the World: A Big History Perspective

VP Korotayev intThe idea that in the near future we should expect “the Singularity” has become quite popular recently, thanks to the activities of Google technical director, Raymond Kurzweil and his book „The Singularity Is Near“ (2005). The mathematical analysis of the series of events (described by Kurzweil) starts with the emergence of our Galaxy and ends with the decoding of the DNA code. This series of events is described by an extremely simple mathematical function (not known to Kurzweil himself) that predicts a singularity in the region of 2029. A similar time series (beginning with the onset of life on Earth and ending with the information revolution) composed by the Russian physicist Alexander Panov (completely independently of Kurzweil) produced a mathematical function with a singularity in the region of 2027.

Read more: The 21st Century Singularity and the Future of the World: A Big History Perspective

A series of lectures about North East India

VP tartu lekt2019 m. rugsėjo 19 d. 16:30 Japonų auditorija

Magicians, were-tigers and assistant spirits in vernacular Hinduism of Assam

‘Vernacular religion’ as a category and methodological approach was initiated by Leonard N. Primiano in his research on ‘lived’ and ‘individual’ dimensions of religion, and its ambiguous relationship with the hegemonic and the authoritarian. Vernacular beliefs are often expressed in narrative forms and this storyworld is in constant variation, often contradicting the concept of stable truth. How is vernacular knowledge of the supernatural produced if there is no authoritarian control over religious discourse and even the factual data in experience narratives is subject to constant variation? The lecture addresses these problems, focusing on beliefs, magical practices and storytelling tradition in Assam, North Eastern India.

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Discussion „Why do we think that Africa has to be saved?"

Afrikos dienos 2019 intMinistry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania and the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies of Vilnius University in cooperation with the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO and UNICEF are organising a panel-discussion “Who needs to rescue whom? Why do we think that Africa has to be saved?“.

Local and international experts will share their experience and insights on stereotypes while providing humanitarian assistance to African countries, and will discuss why it is so important to properly communicate about such activities for both donor and recipient communities.

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South Asia Research Seminar

VP Azijos seminaras intMay 10, 2019

Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, Vilnius University, 

Hindi Auditorium

9.00 – 11.00 Session 1. Moderator - K. Garalytė

Kristina Dolinina (Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, Vilnius University)
Institution within Institution: Guru-śişya Parampara and Changing Institutional Setting in the Context of Kathak Performing Tradition

Deimantas Valančiūnas (Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, Vilnius University)
Evil Spirits, Black Magic and the Exorcist: Discussions on Indian Gothic

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Documentary film screening and discussion with Nicolas Jaoul

Filmas Sardarji LaukahaShot in the late 1990s, Sangharsh takes us deep into the lifeworld of Dalit Panther activists in Uttar Pradesh. One is taken on a rough trip in the slums and villages where they are spreading the revolutionary anti-caste messages of Ambedkar, encouraging Dalits to assert one's humanity, while caste humiliation, exploitation and violence remain always around the corner.

Nicolas Jaoul is a french anthropologist based at CNRS/EHESS (Paris), who has specialized on the anti-caste movement in India. He was trained in the anthropological film school of Jean Rouch. Sangharsh, his first long feature movie, was shot during his PhD fieldwork in Kanpur, during four years in the late 1990s, and edited in 2017.

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Legacies of a Jewish Past in 20th Century Ghana

VP Levi intThe lecture will discuss briefly the history of Jews in West Africa and how this history has potentially been transmitted throughout a millennium. The talk will more broadly discuss the historical method and how histories can be informed by both documented and imagined pasts.

Janice R. Levi is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focuses on the history of Jewish presence in West Africa.

She began her research on this topic in 2009 and has since conducted archival and fieldwork in Ghana, Mali, Senegal, and Morocco.

The lecture will be held in English.

Lecture will take place at 15:00 on the 24th of April, in Japonų kalbos auditorija, Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies.


Lok Sabha 2019: Insights into the Indian General Elections

KG apskritas stalas 20190408As the citizens of the world’s largest democracy prepare to go to the polling booths in April and May 2019, this round-table discussion aims to understand why the upcoming Indian general elections have been named as one of the most important elections in the recent Indian history.

It will investigate how the controversially evaluated 5 years’ term of the currently ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) affected India’s social, cultural and political milieu as well as its international relations and how this could affect the 2019 Lok Sabha election results.

We are particularly interested in the current cultural, social and religious dynamics of the Indian politics and how this is felt and experienced at the grassroots level. Uniting Indian and Lithuanian scholars from international relations and area studies, this round-table discussion will attempt to provide insights into the current political situation in India and its effects on cultural, social and everyday life of Indian citizens.

Read more: Lok Sabha 2019: Insights into the Indian General Elections

Decolonial narratives: We are not told. We tell

VP Kamal AbamadaFrom Europe to South America, there seems to emerge what we can call ‘an epistemic awakening’ which consists in advocating and implementing new forms of knowledge based on local histories and experiences.

In other words, many minority groups in Europe and in the Global South refuse `to be told’. Western-centric understanding of the world or an epistemicide of the indigenous knowledge is now being countered by theorists, artists and activists from all over the world.

The presentation will examine how some academic projects and art expressions of globally marginalized communities from different places of the world (Europe, Africa, South America) are engaged in decolonizing Western knowledge as a further step for imagining and building democratic and non-imperial post-colonial societies.

We shall see that the notion of decoloniality is gaining much success in European universities as it challenges not only the content and modes of production of Western knowledge but it also seeks to dismantle the neo-colonial apparatus still existing in former colonies as well as within the former-colonizer states, such as the United Kingdom or France.

Kamal Ahamada is an educator, traveler, and activist who grew up in France, studied in Denmark and England, and is now based in Vilnius, where he currently works as a teacher. His areas of academic interests include: Postcolonial-decolonial theories, Pedagogy of liberation, alternative education, arts and cultures of resistance, psychoanalysis and race, transgenerational and colonial trauma, solidarity politics, Africa and Middle East politic and theology of liberation.

Lecture will take place at 17:30 on 10 April, in Japonų kalbos auditorija,
Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, Vilnius University.


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