Witwatersrand conference on Circus Histories and Theories

On 21-22 June 2018, the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa at University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa organises a multidisciplinary conference on ”Circus Histories and Theories”. It has a striking significance since this is the conference of its kind happening in the Global South and focusing on hitherto unexplored terrains such as India and Africa. The conference, convened by Prof. Dilip M Menon and Dr Nisha Poyyaprath Rayaroth at CISA, aims to explore an array of ideas such as subalternity, body and performance, spectatorship, itinerant entertainments, animal subjectivity, representations, children, various indigenous and contemporary technologies, emotion, legality and ethics of human-animal relations, transnational migration, global economy and the structural power of race, gender and caste.
Both veteran and young research scholars from around the world will be presenting their work on diverse themes ranging from the representations of Africans in the nineteenth century American Wild West shows to the contemporary social circus. The presentations focusing on Asia will discuss Chinese acrobats in Latin America and the watershed moments in Indian circus such as the State ban on the performance of children and animals. This conference will be an important opportunity to discuss current scholarship relating to circus within the humanities and social sciences. 
Dr. Nisha, who is a SSRC Transregional Research Fellow at CISA, holds a keynote lecture. Her doctoral thesis was on the history of circus and circus performances in twentieth century Kerala. Currently she is working on a book on Indian circus to be published by the Oxford University Press, India. Other participants presenting South Asia related papers are Dr. Eleonore Ribault from Chicago University, USA, who will speak about ”Jumbo Stardust: Thoughts on Innocent Beings, Deviance and South Indian Circuses as Arenas for Moral Debates”; and Dr. Aastha Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India, who will speak about ”Negotiating Laws: Animal, Child and Woman Performers of Indian Circus”. Full information about the conference.

Norwegian anthropological study of Bengali Bauls

Norwegian senior researcher in Social Anthropology Kristin Hansen has published a book entitled ”Women, Religion and the Body in South Asia: Living with Bengali Bauls” (Routledge 2018). A novel approach to the study of women, the body and religion, this book will be of interest to undergraduates and graduates in the field of the anthropology. In addition, it will appeal to students of everyday religious lives as experienced by the poor, through case studies in South Asia.
The book provides further evidence that renunciation in South Asia is not a uniform path, despite claims to the contrary. There is also a special interest in Bauls among those familiar with the Bengali speaking region. Noted for their haunting melodies and enigmatic lyrics, Bauls have been portrayed as spiritually enlightened troubadours traveling around the countryside in West Bengal in India and in Bangladesh.
As emblems of Bengali culture, Bauls have long been a subject of scholarly debates which center on their esoteric practices, and middle class imaginaries of the category Baul. Adding to this literature, the intimate ethnography presented in this book recounts the life stories of members from a single family, shining light on their past and present tribulations bound up with being poor and of a lowly caste. It shows that taking up the Baul path is a means of softening the stigma of their lower caste identity in that religious practice, where women play a key role, renders the body pure. The path is also a source of monetary income in that begging is considered part of their vocation. For women, the Baul path has the added implication of lessening constraints of gender. While the book describes a family of singers, it also portrays the wider society in which they live, showing how their lives connect and interlace with other villagers, a theme not previously explored in literature on Bauls. Full information.
Kristin Hansen defended her doctoral thesis on Vaishnava Mendicant Renouncers in Bengal at the at the Dept of Social Anthropology, Oslo University in 2002. More information.

Pak Scholars banned from Asian Studies Conference in India

A political clearance letter from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs EA includes explicit instructions from the Indian government to not include any scholars from Pakistan at the Asian Studies Conference to be held 5-8 July 2018 at Habitat Centre in New Delhi. The conference is hosted by Ashoka University,  India’s premier private liberal arts institute. The Association for Asian Studies is the premier international academic body of Asianists with around 10,000 members. Every year since 2014, it holds an annual AAS-in-ASIA conference for scholars who cannot attend the annual event in North America. The last four conferences were held in Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.  Full information about the Delhi conference.
Foreign scholars had to apply for an Indian visa with a copy of the invitation and no-objection letters from the ministries of external affairs and home affairs. But the political clearance letter from the MEA includes explicit instructions from the Indian government to not include any scholars from Pakistan at the event. Pakistan was deleted from the list of 57 countries that were supposed to receive an invitation to participate. Annie Zaman, an independent researcher, is the only Pakistani participant who had registered for the conference. Having registered in February, she was to speak on the morning of July 6 on the topic of virtual geographical identities through the lens of Balochistan’s secessionist movement, of which most members live outside Pakistan. However, just over a month ago, the conference organisers contacted her to say that it would be futile to apply for a visa. Zaman was scheduled to be part of a panel co-organised by Sinjini Mukherjee of the University of Heidelberg and Mira Mohsini of the University of Akron on “Framing Spaces: Encountering Affective Geographies in South Asia”.
The organisers of the conference have said that they “deeply regret” the decision of Indian government to bar Pakistani academics as it was “not in tune with open exchange of ideas and knowledge”, but added that directive came too late in the day with preparations already underway for years. Read more in a Wire article

24th Himalayan Languages Symposium (HLS) to be held in Lucknow

The 24th Himalayan Languages Symposium (HLS) will be held on 8 -10 June 2018 at Lucknow University, Uttar Pradesh state, India. The 2018 HLS is hosted by the Linguistics Department of the University of Lucknow, headed by Dr. Kavita Rastogi. The Lucknow University campus is located on the north bank of the Gomti river in the heart of the city centre of Lucknow.
The Himalayan Languages Symposium was first held in Holland in 1995 and has convened annually ever since. This open forum welcomes all scholars and students of Himalayan languages. Contributions are welcome on any language of the greater Himalayan region, e.g. Burushaski, Kusunda, Tibeto-Burman, Indo-Iranian, Austroasiatic, Kradai, Andamanese, Nahali, Dravidian or any other language of the area. In addition to linguistic presentations, contribution are also welcome from related disciplines such as history, anthropology, archaeology and prehistory. The forum is secular and scholarly and not open to political or religious contributions. The 2019 HLS will be held in Sydney, Australia. More information.

Lund University doctoral thesis on Workplace Heat Stress in Chennai

On 23 February 2018, Karin Lundgren Kowacki at the Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology division within the Department of Design Sciences (IKDC) at Lund Institute of Technology (LTH), Lund University, defended her doctoral dissertation entitled ”The Heat is on: Evaluation of Workplace Heat Stress under a Changing Climate”. To a large part the thesis deals with workplace heat stress in India, and fieldwork has been carried out in Chennai. The faculty opponent was Dr Steve Rowlinson from the University of Hong Kong, China.
One article - part of the compilation thesis - has been published in the November 2017 issue of International Journal of Biometeorology (”Climate change-induced Heat Risks for Migrant Populations working at Brick Kilns in India: a Transdisciplinary Approach), with a few co-authors including Dr. Pernille Gooch, Lund University, and Professors Vidhya Venugopal  and Latha Anandh from the Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai. It deals with technical solutions including the use of sun-dried mud bricks and other locally “appropriate technologies” that could mitigate the worsening of climate change-induced heat. Socio-cultural solutions discussed for empowering the people who work at the brick kilns include participatory approaches such as open re-localization, and rights-based approaches including the environmental sustainability and the human rights-based approach framework.
Another article, also co-authored by Prof. Venugopal, was directly focusing on Occupational Heat Stress and Associated Productivity Loss Estimation at Workplaces in Chennai, and was published in the Global Health Action journal. its starting point was the summer of 2015, when India was hit by a scorching heat wave that melted pavements in Delhi and caused thousands of deaths, mainly among the most marginalized populations. One such group facing growing heat risks from both occupational and meteorological causes were migrant brick kiln workers. This study evaluated both current heat risks and the potential future impacts of heat caused by climate change, for the people working at brick kilns in India. A case study of heat stress faced by people working at brick kilns near Chennai where the situation is alarming since occupational heat exposure in the hot season from March to July is already at the upper limits of what humans can tolerate before risking serious impairment. 
More information about Karin’s research with links to the dissertation articles.
Read an article in Swedish on the thesis in LTH-Nytt 1/2018, written by Jessica Sellergren.

Copenhagen conference on Mind sciences in Society for Innovation

On 3-5 September 2018, Copenhagen Business School (CBS) organises a cholding on ”Mind, Meditation and Innovation”. This conference is part of the Mind Sciences in Society for Innovation project (MSISFI) based at CBS, a project jointly run by Europan, American and Asiajn universities, including three in India: University of Allahabad, Delhi University, and Swami Rama Himalayan University in Dehradun.  The purpose of the conference is to explore the link between mind as conceived by a diversity of academics and practising professionals; how it can benefit from meditative and contemplative techniques and how these techniques can play a positive role in our understanding of innovation and creativity from an individual point of view. Venue: CBS, Solbjerg Plads 3 - 2000, Frederiksberg, Copenhagen.
The first day is dedicated to our understanding of the mind from all perspectives, all philosophies to the extent possible, this day will be divided into two parts, the morning session which will be dedicated to the academics and the afternoon session to practicing professionals, who work within the field of mind, meditation and innovation. The second day will be dedicated to issues related to meditation, its implication on- or understanding of the mind and how it is proposed to affect the mind. The third day is dedicated to creativity and innovation, where the focus is on understanding the implications of the mind as we conceptualize it, the way we experience meditation and the way it affects us, how does mind influence creativity and innovation. The 3rd day is about linking our understanding of the mind, our practice of meditation and contemplation and its implication on our ability to be creative and take part in innovation creatively.
The convener is Dr. Sudhanshu Rai (photo), Associate Professor of innovation in Emerging economies, in the CBS Department of Management Society and Communication. Full information.

Thanks for KI-AKU long-standing collaboration

Karolinska Institutet Medical University has been involved in collaboration projects wih Pakistan, and especially with Aga Khan University (AKU) in Karachi, since the 1950’s. Professor Emeritus Bo Lindblad at IHCAR has been instrumental in much of these projects. Read his report on half a century of KI–AKU collaboration.
In March 2018, Aga Khan University sent an official letter thanking the President, Members of the Faculty and Members of the Administration of KI for their interest in, support of and contribution to the old and still ongoing collaboration with Karolinska Institutet). In the document, it is mentioned that the collaboration has created research leaders, research groups, besides good will for Sweden and KI and increased the research capacity within low-income areas of South Asia and East Africa. The PhD theses have been defended at KI and the papers in them published. A list of total publications from the teams involved is available at AKU and a summary of the projects with results is being prepared at AKU. Read the inspiring document.

Uppsala workshop on Self-narratives in Southasian Literatures

The Department of Linguistics and Philology, and the Forum for South Asian Studies at Uppsala University organise an International Workshop on ”Self-narratives in Southasian Literatures” on 7-8 June 2018.  Venue: Engelska parken 9-3042, Uppsala. The workship is convened by Professor Heinz Werner Wessler and deals with autobiographies and other forms of self-narratives in Southasian literatures.
Participants include Ram Prasad Bhatt, Hamburg University, Germany, presenting a paper on ”Life and times of Śaileś Maṭiyānī : Writer and Rebel”; Monika Browarczyk, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland,  presenting a paper on Hindi poet Kunwar Narain’s Reminiscences and Retellings of the Past; Alaka Chudal, Vienna University, Austria; presenting a paper on ”Nepalese women in their sociocultural surroundings”; Alessandra Consolaro, Torino University, Italy,  presenting a paper on ”(Impossible?) Adivasi autobiography: the expression of the self in Nirmala Putul and Jacinta Kerketta’s poems and in Rejina Marandi’s novel Becoming me”; Pär Eliasson, Uppsala University, presenting a paper on ”Bahina Bai: God, Guru and the Self”; Barbara Lotz, Würzburg University, Germany,  presenting a paper on ”Reading Indian Trans* Autobiographies: A Narratological Approach”; Nabila Rehman, University of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan,  presenting a paper on ”Female self-narratives in modern Panjabi literature”; Marina Rimscha, Hebrew University, Jerusalem Israel,  presenting a paper on ”Men without women or women without men? A literary analysis of Dalit autobiographies”; Rosine Vuille, Zürich University, Switzerland;  presenting a paper on ”Sobti-Hashmat: the plural identity of the writer”; and Heinz Werner Wessler himself,  presenting a paper on ”Vinod Kumar’s ādivāsī jīvan-jagat, the author’s self, and the epistemology of empathy”. Full information.

Time to register for the 2018 ECSAS conference in Paris

The 25th European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS) is scheduled for 24-27 July 2018 in Paris, France. It will be held at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, (54 and 105, Blvd. Raspail). It is organized by the Centre d’Etudes de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (CNRS-EHESS). It is now time to register. Paper presenters at the 24th ECSAS must be members of EASAS through 2017 & 2018 or 2018 & 2019. Non-members cannot attend the conference. More information at the conference web page.
The ECSAS has met regularly since 1968, and has provided an important opportunity to discuss current research and scholarship on topics relating to South Asia within the humanities and social sciences. The 2004 conference was organised by SASNET in Lund, see the 2004 conference page.
The most recent ECSAS conference was held in Warsaw, Poland, in July 2016. Lars Eklund attended the conference, at that time representing SASNET, Lund University (but also as a member of the EASAS board - re-elected for the position as treasurer). Go for his Warsaw report.
Lars will also be present in Paris.

Nordic South Asia scholars meet in Oslo in June 2018

The second South Asia across the Nordic Region (SANR) annual meeting will be held in Oslo on 5 - 6 June 2018. In late June 2017, the recently established network held its first annual meeting in Copenhagen. SANR was established to present cutting edge research undertaken by Nordic scholars, and to facilitate greater collaboration across Nordic research institutions and universities. The need for such a meeting forum has been acutely felt by scholars, especially young scholars in need of mentorship and support in the early career stage. The annual meetings are therefore seen as an important step towards building up future frameworks of cooperation.
The two-day programme in Oslo will consist of keynote talks, panel sessions, roundtables, a special session for younger scholars, and ample time for mingling and informal discussions. The keynote lecture will be given by Prof. Knut Jacobsen, Univerity of Bergen. He will speak about ”Ancient Yoga in the Modern World”.
The event is funded by the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo, and supported by Asianettverket/The Norwegian Network for Asian Studies. Travel and accommodation costs are borne by participants while the host provides local hospitality. There is no conference fee. Full information.

INLANSO Hindi Summer courses 2018 in Mussoorie, Delhi and Varanasi

INLANSO Hindi teachers Dr Roquiya Khatoon and Dr Vivek Kumar Jaiswal with Prof. Dipak Malik. In Mussoorie.

INLANSO - the Varanasi based Centre for the Study of Indian Languages and Society offers various Hindi programmes for Nordic students during the summer 2018. They can join one programme or combine two or three such. The alternatives are:
- Mussoorie programmme: 18-29 June (two weeks)
- Delhi programme: 2-6 July (one week)
- Varanasi programme: 9-27 July (three weeks)
INLANSO conducts the summer programmes in cooperation with the Nordic Centre in India University consortium (NCI). The teaching is conducted by Dr. Vivek Jaiswal, Dr. Roquiya Khatoon and Ms Rani,  and being supervised by the Academic Director of INLANSO, Dr. Miriya Juntunen Malik.
Anyone who can read and write Devanagari script  as well as has knowledge of basic Hindi grammar is eligible to attend. The programmes contain topic based instruction with useful vocabulary, intermediate level grammar, drills and a lot of speaking and listening opportunities in authentic native environment and situations. The cost is 17.700 INR per week for 20 hrs of activities. For registration contact latest on 10 June 2018.
NSAN editor Lars Eklund visited INLANSO in April-May 2017. Read his report from Varanasi and Mussoorie.
The two weeks in the pictoresque hill station Mussoorie and its suburb Landour will give you excellent opportunies to interact in a relaxed manner with the local community and the traders, shopkeepers etc. The week in Delhi will focus on metropolitan youth and familiriaze you with the vocabulary and language that has emerged in the indian capital city due to the long tradition of migration from outside and inside India. It is a language influenced by expressions and grammar from Urdu, Punjabi, English, Rajasthani, Bhojpuri, and other languages that have and are contributing to the ‘Dilliwali’ Hindi. The three weeks in Varanasi will take you to the realm of a place that has the most of the pros and the cons of a provincial city while being the oldest one in India besides serving as the gateway to moksha. INLANSO with its programme house, experienced staff and good infrastructure will ensure that your Hindi will reach new levels and you will gain the confidence that is needed in the communication with the native speakers. Full information.

Afghanistan art in return - two unique exhibitions in Herat and Kabul

Portrait of King Babur of Kabul Visiting His Cousin Prince Badi’-uz-Zaman in Herat in 1506.

For the first time in several hundred years, part of Afghanistan's invaluable cultural heritage is again on display in its country of origin. Two large, unique exhibitions in Kabul and Herat highlight miniature paintings are from the 1400s to the 1600s that have been created or roamed in the famous 14th-century Herat School, and appear as enlarged photographs. The paintings were created in the cities of Herat and Kabul in Afghanistan and in Delhi, Agra, Lahore, Istanbul, Baghdad and Tabriz.
The Herat exhibition was opened at the end of 2017 in the city's historic citadel, originally believed to have been built by Alexander the Great in 330 before our timetable. The second exhibition opened in March in the Queen's pavilion in Babur's Garden (Bagh-e Babur) in Kabul. The exhibition has come through thanks to Professor Michael Berry, a leading authority in medieval Islamic art. He tracked reproductions of the miniatures at museums and private collections in Europe, Canada, USA, Turkey, Egypt and India, and then produced the high-resolution enlarged reproductions that are now displayed. The exhibitions were developed in collaboration with Boston University's American Institute of Afghanistan Studies (AIAS) supported by the US embassy in Kabul. The exhibition at the Herat Citadel became such a success that the US Embassy asked the authorities to let the exhibition remain as a permanent loan from the US state, which owns the exhibition. The French Embassy contributed financially to the exhibition in Kabul through the Institute de France and Afghanistan.
​Royal courts in fifteenth century Herat and sixteenth century Kabul once sponsored some of the most magnificent pictorial creations in Islamic art. Despite wars and destruction in Afghanistan, many of these miniatures survived, albeit outside the country in public and private collections around the world. After the paintings were taken out of what is now Afghanistan in the second half of the sixteenth century and entered royal collections in Mughal India, Safavid Iran and Ottoman Turkey, many were sold on to European and North American private and public collections in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Their enlarged reproductions were only brought together for the first time and put on public display in Afghanistan in 2017.“King Babur’s Kabul: Cradle of the Mughal Empire” displays a selection of high quality reproductions of some of the masterpieces of the Timurid and Mughal periods from the mid-16th century, one of Central Asia’s richest cultural eras.
Read more in a Swedish language blog by Börje Almqvist.

Växjö conference on critical theory, postcoloniality, migration and populism

On 14-16 June 2018, the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at Linnaeus University in Växjö organises an international conference on critical theory, postcoloniality, migration and populism. The conference is entitled ”Global Challenges: Borders, Populism and the Postcolonial Condition”, and addresses current global challenges with a focus on the present resurrection of geographical and intellectual borders, the rise of populism in the West and beyond, and the realisation that current geopolitical relations are still deeply informed by the long history of colonialism. Confirmed keynote speakers include Gurminder K Bhambra, Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies at University of Sussex, UK. To facilitate a productive and interdisciplinary meeting, the conference will include scholars from a wide interdisciplinary spectrum, including postcolonial studies, migration studies, animal studies, trauma studies, and ecocriticism.
The conference will be comprised of a number of thematic sessions that include issues such as Contemporary cultural discourses on torture, dignity, and victimization; Sovereignty, violence, and citizenship; Migration, mobility, and borders; and  Postcoloniality, nationalism and human rights. Venue for the conference: Teleborg Castle situated on the Växjö campus of Linnaeus University. More information.

India and China in focus for 10th ADI conference in Copenhagen

On 18-20 June 2018, the 10th Annual Asian Dynamics Initiative (ADI) Conference is being held by the Universtity of Copenhagen. The theme for the 2018 conference is ”Transition and Disruption in Asia”, focusing on the spectacular rise of China and India. Therefore the organisers claim that it is only natural that these populous new superpowers dominate scholarly and media attention, while other regions in Asia are foregrounded only in exceptional moments of  environmental, political or economic crisis. Yet the latter, too, confirm the need to conceive of Asia as a site of accelerated change. This principle also applies to the pre-modern period, in spite of the fact that Eurocentric observers preferred to conceptualize this vast space as a permanently stagnant region. Among the organisers appear Prof. Jørgen Delman and Ravider Kaur, both from the Dept. of of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies. Read more...

London 2018 conference on Muslim Cultures in the Indian Ocean

The Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, based in London, organises an international confertence entitled ”Muslim Cultures in the Indian Ocean. Diversity and Pluralism, Past and Present” on 12-14 September 2018. This conference aims to explore the diversity of Muslim cultures prevalent in the Indian Ocean region - including the Maldives - where, historically, Muslims have interacted for centuries with each other and with other peoples and cultures. Islam not only provided the scaffolding that facilitated cultural exchanges but was also the pivot for transforming local societies. The conference seeks to bring together experts from different disciplines and backgrounds including archaeologists, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, and scholars of related disciplines to explore various facets of this diversity. This conference marks a reconnaissance of the Indian Ocean not as a periphery but as a centre for the study of Muslim cultures.
Indeed, over the past couple of decades, significant new research has been undertaken across East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent leading to fresh insights on a number of facets of Indian Ocean cultures. Some of these studies were written about the Indian Ocean on the longue durée and other studies were focused on local and regional histories. Cultural encounters across the Indian Ocean down the centuries have given rise to cities, towns, ports and other constructions and artefacts which, while remaining distinctive in themselves, also exhibit layers of shared features. They manifest the craftsmanship and values of their creators, peoples whose diversity is almost proverbial. Similar endeavours are present in almost all aspects of human creativity through contact, including religious beliefs and practices, literature, architecture, trade, cuisine, textiles and fashion, etc. Cultural contacts, exchanges and networks were facilitated by the sea as a link between these diverse worlds. Full information.

Jönköping conference on Genres and Media Landscapes in Virtual-Physical Learning Spaces

On 12-14 September 2018, the School of Education and Communication (HLK) at Jönköping University organises an International conference of the CCD (Communication, Culture & Diversity) network. The conference is entitled ”Genres and Media Landscapes in Virtual-Physical Learning Spaces. Moving Frontlines?” (GEM 2018). It aims to create a multi-disciplinary platform for dialoguing on the every-day uses of modality rich, parallel, linked, and hybrid, communicative genres that are embedded in media landscapes and circulate in learning spaces inside and outside institutional settings. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 April 2018.
The conference is chaired by Associate Professor Ylva Lindberg, and the committee also includes Professor Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, previously working at the School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (HumEs) at Örebro University, that hosted a similar conference entitled ”Virtual Learning Sites as Languaging Spaces” (ViLS-2) in 2015 (more information). 
The invited speakers include Imtiaz Haznain, Professor of Sociolinguistics at Aligarh Muslim University; Manjula Srinivas, Associate Professor at K.C. College in Mumbai; and Sanjay Ranade, Associate Professor in Communication and Journalism at Mumbai University. Full information about the GEM 2018 conference.

Karlstad University conference on Education, Mobility, and Future Challenges”

 On 29-30 August 2018, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Karlstad University organises an International conference on ”Education, Mobility, and Future Challenges” in collaboration with the Malaviya Centre for Peace Research (MCPR) and the UNESCO Chair for Peace and Intercultural Understanding at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, India. The conference draws synergy from the ongoing collaboration between the two universities and, aims to learn from the convergent and divergent experiences of Sweden and India in evolving pedagogies to promote the imperatives of democracy and development. It will be the the third session in a series of conferences on Sweden and India.
The previous two conferences, held at MCPR, Varanasi in April 2017, and in Karlstad June 2016, addressed the topic of ”Women, Activism and Politics”, and marked the beginning of a mutually rewarding interaction between scholars, activists and politicians from Sweden and India. The June 2016 conference deliberations in Sweden and the April 2017 conference held in India have raised fresh issues and agendas that will be addressed in forthcoming conferences. Abstracts should be submitted by 26 March 2018. Full information.

Delhi conference on Northeast India and Southeast Asia

Ambedkar University in Delhi organises a conference on "Northeast India and Southeast Asia: Exploring Continuities" on 25-26 October 2018 in New Delhi, India. The conference seeks to question this entrenched way of understanding Northeast India by way of situating it contiguously with Southeast and East Asia. In doing so, it will take a multi disciplinary look at lived reality, insider perspectives and experiences of transformation to identify the threads of interconnectedness between these regions. The conference will thus highlight the inter-regionality of Northeast India while culturally positioning it in a larger Southeast/East Asian tradition. Deadline for submitting abstracts was 30 January 2018. Full information

2018 Y-SASM Workshop to be held in Zurich

The 8th annual Young South Asia Scholars Meet (Y-SASM) Workshop will be held 15-17 June 2018 in Zurich, Switzerland. The theme of the workshop is ”Claims-making”. It is organised by the History of the Modern World department at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH), and the Dept. of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies at University of Zurich, in cooperation with the South Asia Forum (SAF). Since 2010, Y-SASM has aimed to provide a platform for interdisciplinary exchange among junior scholars in the field of South Asian Studies, including PhD students, advanced MA/MPhil students, early career Post-Docs and non-tenured faculty staff. While contributions from other places are welcome the main idea is to strengthen the South Asia network within Europe.
While claims-making has implicitly been a major theme in research on South Asia, theoretical understanding of the concept remains rather vague. In general, claims-making is related to certain perceptions and framings of social realities. Claims are linked to assumptions about rights or entitlements, on which demands can legitimately be based. Therefore, analysing processes of claims-making can provide complex insight into social, political and economic structures and the complex ways in which they are negotiated and consolidated. It is, however, not at all clear how the relationship between claims-making and ideological formations or moral paradigms should in fact be conceptualised. When taking a closer look at the process of claims-making, various other questions emerge, such as those about the conditions under which new claims arise or how various claims-making strategies change as a result of new spatial arrangements, technologies and different socio-political structures. Against this backdrop, the Y-SASM conference 2018 seeks to provide an interdisciplinary forum for exploring these issues. Therefore, we invite early career scholars to present their research linked to claims-making in a wide range of contexts. The conference aims at facilitating conversation between researchers from different backgrounds such as anthropology, history, geography, political science or media studies.  Full information about the Zurich Y-SASM 2018.

Seventh Annual Kathmandu Conference on Nepal and the Himalaya

The Social Science Baha in Kathmandu, Nepal organises the Seventh Annual Kathmandu Conference on Nepal and the Himalaya on 25-27 July 2018. It is held in collaboration with the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies; the Britain-Nepal Academic Council; the Centre for Himalayan Studies (CNRS) at Tribhuvan University; and the Japanese Nepal Academic Network. Proposals are invited for stand-alone papers or three-paper panels. The papers can deal with any aspect of life in Nepal and the Himalaya from the social sciences perspective and from this year onwards, the arts and humanities. Papers can also be comparative so long as Nepal or the Himalaya, broadly defined, is also included. Deadline for submitting abstracts and panels is 15 January 2018. Full information.
The Social Science Baha is a meeting place for social scientists in Kathmandu and Nepal, located in the residential area of Patan Dhoka, Lalitpur. It builds on voluntary efforts. The word 'Baha' comes from the Newari term for 'Bihar', the traditional monastic centre of learning of Kathmandu Valley.