Penn Law School, Silverman Hall 147
What is property? Considered in the context of the contemporary societies of South Asia-with their bursting populations, pervasive land hunger, and ongoing tug of war between the urban and the agrarian, the developmental and the neoliberal, and the elite and subaltern-the answer may seem to go without saying. The question's extreme simplicity of form, however, should not conceal the great complexity it harbors, which only escalates when considered historically. Bringing together historians, political scientists, and scholars of religion and law, in this two- day conference organized by the Department of South Asia Studies, the South Asia Center and Penn Law School (with additional support from Penn's Department of History, Browne Center for International Politics, and the Center for the Advanced Study of India) we will look at five key 'moments' in the conceptualization of land control and the evolution of ideas and practices related to the disposition of land-based wealth in the South Asian subcontinent from the eras of early modern to the early post-colonial.