Archives at the National Centre for Biological Sciences
Public Lecture Series
31st edition
Monthly talks framed around explorations in and around archives. Discussions by artists, archivists, historians, teachers, journalists, scientists and others.
Who’s afraid of an Emergency?
Maya Dodd and Rochelle Pinto
Friday, Nov 13 2020. 4:00pm.
The title to an article in the India Today of 1975 (Who’s afraid of the Emergency?) continues to echo for various reasons. The Emergency -- an official subversion of the constitutional rule of law between June 1975 and March 1977 -- was a period of questioning for Indian independence and democratic norms. For this edition of the Archives Public Lecture Series, Maya Dodd and Rochelle Pinto will highlight the question of public access, through the example of archival access to the Emergency papers. The archives of the Emergency are a reminder that official archives mediate the politics of the past and the present. 
Maya Dodd’s research on the Emergency was an inquiry into the archives of Indian democracy. The Archive and Access project enabled a display of Dodd’s search for these forms of writing across various libraries, especially up to the recent digital publication of some vital sources like the Shah Commission Report, government documents  and prison diaries.  Primary sources from this period form part of the continuing telling of the Emergency into the present, allowing further questions about public accountability and open archives. And has the impetus today for digital technology and the growth of online commercial archives changed the relationship of secrecy and control between citizen and state? Together in conversation, Dodd and Pinto will query how accessing archives around the Indian Emergency illustrate contemporary practices around archival materials in India.
Rochelle Pinto was a Research Fellow at L’Institut d’Études Avancées, Nantes, France from 2019-20  and at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, in New Delhi, from 2015 to 2017, examining Land and Narrative – the culture of economy in colonial Goa. She held a research fellowship at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, CSDS, in Delhi in 2014 and prior to that, taught literature at Delhi University from 2010 to 2014. She is the author of Between Empires - print and politics in Goa (2007, Oxford University Press). She co-directed the project Archive and Access when she taught in Bangalore at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society between 2005 and 2009. 
Maya Dodd is Assistant Dean, Teaching, Learning and Engagement and an Associate Professor at FLAME University, Pune, India. She completed her Ph.D. from Stanford University, and subsequent post-doctoral fellowships at CLGS, JNU and with the Committee for South Asian Studies at Princeton University. She currently serves on the steering committee of DHARTI (The Digital Humanities Alliance for Research and Teaching Innovations) which is an initiative towards organising and facilitating digital practices in arts and humanities scholarship in India. Her work is featured in Exploring Digital Humanities in India: Pedagogies, Practices, and Institutional Possibilities (Routledge, 2020) and Media Culture in Transnational Asia: Convergences and Divergences (Rutgers University Press, 2020) and guided student DH projects can be viewed online too.