Skip to content

The Voice of Faith in National Identity: Speaking From India: Dipesh Chakrabarty


Event Status

Over four days, our 20 plus speakers – philosophers and theologians, historians and writers, believers and non-believers – will consider what it means to be religious, and what role the voice of faith may legitimately have in the conversations of citizens in a multicultural, democratic state and the community of nations.

On Sunday, two keynote lectures from distinguished international guests each consider challenges posed by – and to – faith in the building of modern communities. Their lectures will be followed by panel discussions with local and international guests.

First, ground-breaking social historian Dipesh Chakrabarty will explore the voice of faith in national identity, speaking from the perspective of India. Chakrabarty’s book Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference investigates how and in what sense European ideas labelled ‘universal’ are in fact drawn from very specific intellectual traditions. He is one of the founders of subaltern studies, a field that draws on the idea that peasants may play a positive role in effecting social change in ex-colonial countries.

In a panel discussion following Chakrabarty’s address, the conversation will open up to include Sundhya Pahuja, a professor from Melbourne Law School (concerned with the relationship between international law and institutions and the question of global inequality), writer and poet Barry Hill. Justice Susan Crennan, a former Commonwealth Commissioner for Human Rights, will be participating chair.

For the full text of this lecture plus transcripts and recordings of the series, visit our Faith and Culture archive.


Sundhya Pahuja

Sundhya Pahuja is a professor in the Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne and the director of the Law and Development Research Programme at the Institute for International Law and the Humanities. Pahuja’s scholarship is concerned with the relationship between international law and institu... Read more

Barry Hill

Barry Hill is a multi-award winning writer of poetry, history, biography, fiction and reportage. Reason and Lovelessness is his latest collection of essays variously published in Australia, India and London. It includes ‘satellites’ of his major works – such as Sitting In (1992), a landmark m... Read more

Dipesh Chakrabarty

Dipesh Chakrabarty is a social historian whose research has transformed understanding of nationalist and postcolonial historiographies, particularly in the context of modern South Asia. His groundbreaking book Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference systematically inve... Read more

Susan Crennan

Justice Susan Crennan was appointed to the High Court of Australia in November 2005. She had then served for almost two years as a judge on the Federal Court. Justice Crennan has degrees in arts and law and a postgraduate diploma in history. She is an influential supporter of the humanities. Before ... Read more


The Edge, Fed Square

The Atrium Flinders Street Federation Square Melbourne Victoria 3000

More details

Stay up to date with our upcoming events and special announcements by subscribing to the Wheeler Centre's mailing list.

Privacy Policy

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.