Asian Affairs: Conference on Religious Freedom in South Asia Asian Affairs: Journal of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs

Conference on Religious Freedom in South Asia, 8 January 2018
5th floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC

On 8 January 2018, following the American Historical Association’s annual meeting in Washington DC, the Woodrow Wilson Center will host a one-day conference on religious freedom in South Asia. The conference, cosponsored by the Royal Society for Asian Affairs and Routledge, Taylor & Francis, will feature papers presented by eight prominent scholars from across the US and South Asia.

The papers presented at the conference will subsequently be published as the inaugural special issue of Asian Affairs, the official Journal of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, which is freely available to all members of the Society.

The conference is free and open to all. To reserve your place, please register on the Wilson Center website.

Please contact Neeti Nair with any questions:



  • 10 am - Opening remarks.  Bijan Omrani, Editor of Asian Affairs
  • 10:30 am - 12:30 pm: Panel 1 - Constitutional Considerations

Mridu Rai, Presidency University, India
The Indian Constitution and the Making of Kashmiri Hindus and Muslims

Farahnaz Ispahani, Global Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center
Constitutional Issues and the Treatment of Pakistan's Religious Minorities

Dina Siddiqi, Columbia University, USA I BRAC University, Bangladesh
Destabilizing Secularism: Constituent Assembly Debates and the Making of National Others in Bangladesh

Christina Fink, George Washington University, USA
Myanmar: Religious Minorities and Constitutional Questions

Moderator - Neeti Nair, University of Virginia and Woodrow Wilson Center, USA

  • 12:30 pm -  2 pm:  Lunch
  • 2 pm -  4 pm: Panel 2 – Contemporary Challenges

Cassie Adcock, Washington University, St Louis, USA
Cow Protection and Minority Rights in India: Reassessing Religious Freedom

Neil DeVotta, Wake Forest University, USA
Religious Freedom in Post-Civil War Sri Lanka

Raza Rumi, Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, USA
Religious Freedom in Pakistan: Challenges and Prospects

Ali Riaz, Illinois State University, USA
More than Meets the Eye: The Narratives of Secularism and Islam in Bangladesh 

Moderator - Michael Kugelman, Woodrow Wilson Center