Press Release: Dean Accardi, India, Pakistan, and the War over Kashmir


Media Contact: 
Paul Nugent, Executive Director
Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council

Dean Accardi, Professor of History, Connecticut College, presents “India, Pakistan, and the War over Kashmir”

This Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council meeting takes place on March 26th at the Crozier Center, Connecticut College, New London

$20 for the General Public; Free for SECWAC members and students

Waterford, CT (March 10, 2020) – The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) announced today that Dean Accardi is to speak on India, Pakistan and the war over Kashmir at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2020, in the Crozier Williams Student Center at Connecticut College, 270 Mohegan Ave Pkwy, New London, CT 06320.

All four of the official wars between India and Pakistan have involved armed conflict over Kashmir.  Furthermore, since the founding of the modern Indian and Pakistani nation-states in 1947, Kashmiris have fought for autonomy from both states despite India and Pakistan’s competing claims and occupations of the region, eventually resulting in armed insurgency since 1989.  In August 2019, the Indian government unilaterally dissolved the state government and revoked the statehood of the erstwhile State of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh despite the United Nations’ continued insistence that it is an internationally disputed region. In this presentation, Professor Accardi will trace the history and unpack the core issues at stake in the ongoing conflict over Kashmir, considered by many “the most dangerous place in the world.”

A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the main event beginning at 6:00 p.m. The presentation is a part of the SECWAC 2019-2020 Speaker Series. For non-members, tickets ($20) may be purchased at the door or online; ticket cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership.  Attendance is free for SECWAC members (and their guests). Pro-rated membership February through June 2020 is $42.50 per person; $12.50 for young professionals under 35; free for college and high school students and educators; a corporate rate of $1,000 is also available, with unlimited access for employees.

Immediately following the presentation, SECWAC meeting attendees have the option for $40.00 to attend a dinner with the speaker at Connecticut College. Dinner reservations are required by Friday, March 20, at 860-912-5718, by email to, or via online registration at

Reporters are welcome to attend as guests of the SECWAC Board. Interested reporters should contact Paul Nugent at or 860-388-9241.


Dean Accardi is a historian of gender and religion in South Asia and the Islamic World.  He is interested in the relationship between religious and political practices, institutions and discourses in the early modern and modern world.  His research focuses on the gendered ascetic practices of saints revered by both Hindus and Muslims and their use to establish and articulate religious and political power. His more recent research analyzes appropriations of these ascetic saints by Orientalists, Kashmiri separatists, and other contemporary political leaders.  This research demonstrates how current religious and political identities are projected into the past, and how ideas about these saints from the past persist and interrupt contemporary religious and political agendas.  He is currently working on a book entitled, “An Ascetic Body politic: Sainthood and Sovereignty in Kashmir.” He teaches courses on South Asian and Islamic World History and the different relationships between religion and politics across the world.


SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.

SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policymakers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at


CALENDAR LISTING: Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) presents Dean Accardi on Thursday, March 26, 2020, 6:00 p.m. at Connecticut College, New London. Free for members. $20 walk-in. More information at


Mission Statement

The mission of the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) is to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs by study, debate, and educational programming, primarily through a Speakers Series of 8 to 10 monthly meetings.