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Navigating shomoyscapes: Temporality and faculty life in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Thursday, 13 Jan 2022
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Registration link: coming soon
Asian Studies Center
Event Details:

Speakers: Dr. Riyad A. Shahjahan is an Associate Professor of Higher, Adult and Life Long Education (HALE) at Michigan State University. Ms. Tasnim A. Ema is an undergraduate student at the Department of Anthropology at University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Mr. Nisharggo Niloy completed his post-graduation from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Dhaka. 

Drawing on interviews and participant observations with 22 faculty in Dhaka, Bangladesh, we illuminate how academics experience, contest and manipulate their time(s) amid rapid socio-economic transformations of Dhaka (a mega-city). We aim to decenter the Global North knowledge production about temporality in higher education literature by introducing and applying a culturally sustaining concept of 'shomoyscapes'. While the Bengali word 'shomoy' literally means 'time', it goes beyond 'clock time', and also refers to memories, present moments, feelings, a particular duration, and/or signi􀃶er for a temporal engagement. We demonstrate the efficacy of shomoyscapes by illuminating how faculty in Bangladesh experience various temporal forces, such as: a) traffic, b) university politics, and c) the future of others. We conclude with implications about the complex temporal constraints at work within an urban Global South context and a rapidly growing HE system in South Asia.