Conversion, Residues and Ongoing Translation

By: Amna Majeed  

In this paper, I hope to reformulate the notion of religious conversion and broaden the meanings that conversion has attained in the socio-cultural imagination of contemporary India. Focusing upon the narratives of conversion among inter-religious couples and families, I intend to provide descriptions of the diverse ways in which religious conversion is experienced within inter-religious domestic spaces. A study of conversion among inter-religious families is very crucial to understand the transformation of religious subjectivities in the everyday of multi-religious spaces. My research focuses mainly on the daily observance of piety, the engagement with religious beliefs, practices and also addresses questions of religious identity, All these are crucially tied to the gendered subjectivities and conjugal life of my interlocutors as the site of my research is the family and the inter-religious domestic space. Therefore, I engage with narratives of conversion placed at the interstices of gendered and religious difference. This paper shall be based upon fieldwork conducted among inter-religious couples and families in the cities of Delhi, Muzaffarnagar and also among the South Asian diaspora in Canada and the United States. The fieldwork was conducted in early 2016 and late 2017 as a part of my Masters and M.Phil research work. In detailing the narratives of my interlocutors I hope to investigate and problematize the ontological character of conversion in inter-religious domestic spaces and contribute to the discourse around inter-religious marriages, conversion and the everyday of religious life.

Conversion, Residues, Gender
Religious Commonalities and Differences
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Amna Majeed

I am an M.Phil Research Scholar at CSSS, Calcutta and have recently submitted my M.Phil thesis titled, ''Inter-faith marriages and the Formations of the Inter-religious in Contemporary India: Conversion, Transgression and Marital Life''. I have a Bachelor's degree in Geography from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University and a Masters in Sociology from Ambedkar University Delhi. I have obtained the highest CGPA in my Bachelors, Masters as well as M.Phil class. I also have a Bachelor's degree in the classical dance art form of Kathak from the Pt. Shambhu Maharaj Kathak Academy at Delhi and have performed Kathak at several programmes, including for the Dalai Lama at Bodh Gaya. I also have a 2 year diploma in Hindustani vocal music from the Pracheen Kala Kendra. My interest in academics and in the arts is co-constitutive. I intend to combine my knowledge and experience of the two and work toward designing educational programmes and learning opportunities in India, particularly among the underprivileged. Acknowledging the privilege I myself come from, I intend to find newer ways of distributing the knowledge and opportunities available to a select section of the Indian population and hope to design and work upon educational projects alongside my Phd. I have worked in schools in semi-rural U.P and also as a teaching artist with the NGO Music Basti at Delhi.