STINT Initiation Grant to Stockholm University collaboration with Delhi institute

 In November 2017, Dr. Liz Adams Lyngbäck and Dr. Khaleda Gani Dutt at the Department of Special Education, Stockholm University (photos) were conferred an Initiation Grant from the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education – STINT. The Initiation Grant aspires to develop a long term strategic partnerships between their Stockholm University department and the International Institute of Adult & Lifelong Education in New Delhi, India. The overall aim in relation to research and higher and education is to critically examine the concept, policy and practice of concept, policy and practice of inclusive and quality education in India and Sweden from a comparative perspective using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. This study is invaluable and much needed to understand the need for inclusive education to enhance the capacity for students with disabilities and to counter-effect the impact of a disabling environment. An environment becomes disabling when cultural and social norms affect the well-being of an individual by restricting access to inclusive and quality education and existing gendered norms that often discriminates the girl child.
The project has a close relation to Khaleda Gani Dutt’s successful April 4th, 2017, defense of her doctoral dissertation entitled ”The Role of Adult Literacy in Transforming the Lives of Women in Rural India: Overcoming Gender Inequalities. Comparative case studies in Bhilwara District, Rajasthan & Howrah District, West Bengal, India” (more information). The NSAN editor Lars Eklund attended the dissertation, and was actually the person who put Khaleda in touch with the International Institute of Adult & Lifelong Education in New Delhi. This contact led to a joint proposal for a new research project including the two institutions in Stockholm and Delhi, plus a third parter, namely the School of Education at Kathmandu University in Nepal, and in June 2017 the Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University decided to support the project with a planning grant. Professor S.Y. Shah, Director of the International Institute of Adult & Lifelong Education; and Professor Mahesh Nath Parajuli, Dean at the School of Education in Kathmandu were the key contact persons in initiating the collaborative partnership that aims to underpin the need for quality inclusive education to end exclusion both within rural and marginalized communities in India and quality inclusive education in regions affected by natural disasters such as Nepal. The Planning Grant has facilitated Khaleda Gani Dutt and Liz Adams Lyngbäck towards capacity building and networking within Scandinavia. Sweden will benefit from the networks in a special regard pertaining to the demographic changes in the population of refugees, migrants and members of displaced national communities, trends in globalization which can be expected to continue. In light of the education needs of families in migration especially when disability presents further hardship, the social structures in the Scandinavian countries require new scholarship and awareness to these intersecting issues as they are lived and present challenges to the organization of education.

SASNET Fermented Foods workshop held in Cairo

The Swedish South Asian Network on Fermented Foods (SASNET-Fermented Foods) held an International Seminar and Workshop on “Fermented Foods: Nutrition, Health Status and Social well-being” at the National Research Centre in Cairo, Egypt on 13-15 November 2017. The seminar was organised in collaboration with the  the Society for Women in Science in Developing Countries (OWSD – Egypt) as a part of the First International conference of the Society for Women in Science in Developing Countries (OWSD – Egypt) on the theme “Sciences for Women: Development and Innovation”.
SASNET Fermented Foods is a forum for scientists of the South Asian countries, Sweden and other countries for exchanging information in the field of food fermentation and its practical application.  It was launched in 2003 by Professor Baboo Nair, Division of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, Lund University, and has has helped to strengthen relation among academicians, researchers and food industry professionals. The network is coordinated by Professor J. B. Prajapati, Head of Department of Dairy Microbiology, SMC College of Dairy Science at Anand Agricultural University, India.
Prof. Prajapati participated in the conference as one of the keynote speakers, and has written a lengthy report on the Cairo workshop. Read his report (as a pdf-file).

Uppsala professor keynote speaker at Urdu conference in Khairpur

Professor Heinz Werner Wessler from the Institute for Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University gave a keynote speach on ”Ecocritical readings in Urdu literature” (in Urdu) at a two-day International Conference on Literature & Ecological Challenges (Pakistani & International Perspective) organized by the Shah Abdul Latif University (SALU) in Khairpur, Pakistan on 13-14 November 2017.  The conerence was held in collaboration with the Pakistani Higher Education Commission (HEC). Prof. Wessler also read a paper on "The Garden, the Wilderness and the Self".
SALU, located in Sindh province, was established after the name of world renowned poet and Sufi saint Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. Read more.

Noria South Asia Program Research Workshop in Paris

The Paris based Noria South Asia Program (SAPROG) invites to its third South Asia Research Workshop, organized in collaboration with the National Institute of Eastern Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) to be held on Wednesday 24 January 2018 at INALCO, 2 rue de Lille, Paris, France. The Workshop is intended for PhD and advanced MA students in the social sciences working on South Asia-related projects, preferably in the fields of political science, sociology and international relations. The workshop aims at discussing research projects in the making through engaging with innovative methodological and theoretical approaches. The broad objectives of the workshop are to foster collaboration and to create trans-disciplinary research projects on South Asia, while discussing commonalities between various areas of enquiry grappling with the problem of the applicability of Western analytical frameworks in Non-Western contexts.
The workshop will be hosted by the INALCO. It will include two to three thematic panels, each comprising two to three MA or PhD students. Each participant will have her paper discussed by senior researchers and the floor will be open for contribution from all participants. One hour will be devoted to each paper to allow in-depth discussions. PhD students as well as senior Master students working on South Asia-related topics (i.e. India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan and the Maldives) are invited to submit an abstract. Presentations drawing from disciplines such as political science, political sociology, political anthropology, conflict studies and international relations are welcome. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 December 2017. Full information.
Noria is a network of researchers in international affairs that periodically organizes thematical workshops in Paris for Ph.D. candidates and researchers. The Noria South Asia Programme analyses on-going and emerging socio-political dynamics in South Asia to increase the academic understanding of the region and provide policy-makers expert analysis, cutting-edge research and policy ideas. The first international Graduate Conference on South Asia, “Discussing India and Pakistan: New Dynamics and Perspectives” took place in Paris 17-18 June 2015. It was organized by Noria Research’s South Asia program in partnership with the Doctoral School at Sciences Po Paris, the Centre for International Research (Ceri, Paris) and the Centre for Human Sciences (UMIFRE) in New Delhi.

Kolkata workshop on Flood Disaster and Management


On Friday 29 December 2017, an International Workshop on “Flood Disaster & Management” will be held at Jadavpur University in Kolkata, India. It is organised by the university’s Centre for Disaster Preparedness & Management, established in 2017 with an objective aware and strengthen the mass for Disaster Management. It is approaching towards the collaboration with national and international organization. The workshop is convened by Associate Professor Gupinath Bhandari (photo), who previously has been afiliated to the Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety at Lund University. Internationally renowned speakers will cover the issue of flood disaster and its structural and non structural preparedness in general, including prediction. Due to limited seats, the interested participants are requested to register themselves before December 15, 2017, with filled up form and registration fee. Full information.

Uppsala seminar on 18th century Portugese missionary to India

PhD candidate Pär Eliasson at the Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University, holds a ventilation seminar presenting his forthcoming dissertation on ”Simão Gomes, Sarueshuaracha Gnanopadesh (1709)” on Wednesday 6 December 2017, 14.15 - 15.45. At the seminar, he will focus on the semantic analysis of Christian terminology ina text entitled Sarveśvarācā Gnāna Upadeśa, an early argumentative text in Marathi language. The more than one hundred pages long text was written in the early 18th century by the Portuguese missionary to India, Simão Gomes. He was the first missionary in the Marathi-speaking inland outside of Portugese Goa. Eliason tries to track linguistic and creative influences from both European/Christian and Indian indigenous traditions. Venue: Engelska parken, room 2-0026, Uppsala.

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.

87th Annual Session of the Indian National Academy of Sciences in Pune

The 87th Annual Session of the Indian National Academy of Sciences (NASI) will be held 8-10 December 2017 at, Savitribai Phule Pune University. In connection with the annual sesssion, a  Symposium on “Basic Research - its role in national development” will be organised. The Scientific Sessions will be held in two sections: Section of Physical Sciences and Section of Biological Sciences. The scientific papers are presented by selected researchers/scientists in scientific sessions, for which prior submission of the abstract(s)/paper(s) is necessary. Full details.

5th International Congress of Bengal Studies to be held at Jahangirnagar

500 papers have been accepted for the 5th International Congress of Bengal Studies scheduled to be held 25 – 28 January 2018. It will be hosted by Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Papers on all the areas of Bengal Studies, including, but not limited to, Literature and Criticism, Comparative Literature, Linguistics, Folklore, Cultural Studies, Media Studies, History, Economics, Sociology, Fine Arts, Philosophy, Anthropology, Archaeology, Museulogy will be presented, either in Bengali or in English. Deadline for submitting final papers is 6 November 2017. More information including full list of accepted papers.

18th South Asian Literary Association Conference to be held in New York

The 18th Annual South Asian Literary Association (SALA) Conference will be held in New York City, US, 0n 8-9 January 2018. The theme for the conferece will be ”Precarity, Resistance, and Care Communities in South Asia”. The conference is co-chaired by Dr. Sukanya Gupta and Dr. Afrin Zeenat. The organisers are interested in insecurities and care communities that may exist within states and within bodies. Papers could answer the following questions, among others: What forms do these insecurities and care communities take in literature and culture? How do authors depict states of insecurity or care communities? What literary devices do they use? How do bodies and states clash? What insecurities do diasporas pose to the host nation-state? What precarities do foreign nationals face in South Asia?  Full information about the conference.

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. 

Triple conferences on Comparative Peacebuilding in Asia

Three conferences with the theme ”Comparative Peacebuilding in Asia - Liberal and Illiberal Transitions from Ethnic Conflict and Authoritarianism” will be held in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the United Kingdom in 2017 and 2018, supported by the British Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF). This series of three conferences seeks to promote research and facilitate interdisciplinary discussions on the illiberal, nationally driven peacebuilding processes in conflict-affected South and Southeast Asia. There has been an extraordinary expansion of academic interest in this field, and a new generation of scholars is producing exciting research drawing on theoretical innovations and empirical advances, including interesting comparative work. More information about the project.
The aim is to bridge academic nodes and peacebuilding knowledge and practice in the UK, Europe, Australia, North America and Africa, with Asia, and also to connect scholars and policy-makers within South and Southeast Asia. In particular, the organisers - including Dr Rajesh Venugopal, London School of Economics and Political Science - are looking for contributions that deal with liberal and illiberal peacebuilding conditions in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia, Nepal, India, Timor-Leste, Philippines, and Thailand. The conference dates are:
Colombo, Sri Lanka: 30 June - 2 July 2017
Yogyakarta, Indonesia: December 2017 (precise dates to be confirmed)
London, UK: June 2018 (precise dates to be confirmed)
Full information.

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. The Call for Papers is open until 30 September 2017. 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.

Bishkek Conference by the Asian Borderlands Research Network

The 6th Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network will be held 23-25 August 2018 at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The conference theme will be ”Ruins, Revival(s) and Resources”, focusing on the generative and productive capacity of border spaces, which is urgently in need of being addressed. Remnants of the past, both material as well as immaterial ruins , constitute heritages that continue to affect livelihoods across Asian borderlands. Increasingly, borderlands witness a surge in religious, cultural, linguistic, and ideological revival(s) , where the past is perceived as a resource for securing community futures. Whether through the bottom-up claims of marginalized communities or top-down state processes of recognition, designations of cultural heritage have become arenas of contestation where varied actors seek to reframe histories. For this upcoming 6th Asian Borderlands conference in Bishkek, the organisers invite panels and papers that address the following questions: How are borderlands in Asia creating alternative spaces for heritages, self-definition and the extraction of resources? How can these cases serve to rethink social theories of various kind?
Since one of the main goals of this conference is to spur collaboration and conversations across diverse fields in the hope of building up a more nuanced picture of the intersections and relationships across Asian borderlands, the organisers would like to include scholars, writers, policy studies researchers, artists, filmmakers, activists, the media, and others from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds. This might help to develop new perspectives in the study of Asian Borderlands. Applicants are encouraged to submit a full panel proposal, as only a small number of individual papers will be selected. The deadline to send in panel, roundtable and paper proposals is Monday 2 October 2017. Participants will be notified around January 2018. Full information.

New Zealand Asian Studies Society Conference in Dunedin

The 22nd New Zealand Asian Studies Society (NZASIA) International Conference will be held in Dunedin 27-29 November 2017. It is being hosted by the University of Otago in Dunedin on south island. In line with NZASIA's key objectives, this biennial conference is multidisciplinary and aims at bringing together scholars working in the broader, open, and contested site of Asian studies. Participants are invited to submit panel or paper proposals presenting original research on any Asian-related topic. Particularly the organisers seek contributions from emerging scholars and postgraduate students and a number of events are specifically targeted to support the new generation of researchers.
Keynote speakers include Professor Subrata K Mitra, Director for the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), and Visiting Research Professor, NUS, Singapore. The dynamic interaction of culture and rationality has deeply influenced his research profile, which focuses on governance and administration, citizenship, hybridity and re-use, the evolution of the Indian state from classical to modern times, the transition to democracy and its consolidation, and security and foreign affairs of South Asia. Professor Mitra's presentation is sponsored by New Zealand India Research Institute (NZIRI).  Full information.

Delhi conference on the Making and Unmaking of Asian Borders

The North East India Studies Programme at Jawaharlal Nehru University organises a conference entitled ”Between Empires: The Making and Unmaking of Borders, 19th- 20th centuries" on 1-2 February 2018 in New Delhi, India. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 July 2017.
​This two day international conference invites submissions from researchers working on the borderlands of South, South East and East Asia. What were the tools through which borders were historically demarcated and enforced on the ground? In what ways the nature of violence shaped the making of frontiers and borderlands? What practices were instrumental in reshaping the contours of local societies, economies and their historical geographies? Can land, coastal or riverine frontiers, rather than being perceived as insular and distinct spaces, allow one to rethink these geographies in terms of ideas and processes of connected histories? What are the practices through which borders are transgressed or unmade?
Focusing on the making and unmaking of various Asian borders, this interdisciplinary conference aims to engage with some of these questions. Read more...

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. Deadline for sending abstracts is 15 January 2018. More information.

Contact journeys to South Asia and other travel reports

• Lars Resebrev. Travelogues in Swedish from Lars’ journeys in Europe, Asia and the Middle East during the 1970s, 80s and 90s

• Report from Contact journey to Maldives, Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh in February-March 2002 

• Report from Contact journey to Pakistan and Afghanistan in November-December 2003

• William Radice’s Diary from the 18th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies in Lund in July 2004

• Report from Tour to Eastern and North-Eastern India, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh in November–December 2005

• Report from Contact Journey to Delhi, Western, and Southwestern India in November 2007

• Report from Lars Visit to Maldives 6–8 February 2009 

• Lars Eklund report from 21st ECMSAS conference in Bonn 2010

• Lars Eklund travel reports from October–November 2012 South Asia tour

• Report from Lars Eklund’s visit to London universities, September 2013

• Report from Lars 2014 visit to Vilnius universities

• Report from Lars visits to South Asia institutes in Vienna, Prague and Heidelberg 2014

• Lars report from 2015 Lund University Conference on the Structural Transformation of South Asia

• Lars Eklund report from 24th ECSAS conference Warsaw, July 2016

• Lars Eklund report from October 2016 University of Wisconsin–Madison Conference

• Lars Eklund visited SALC at University of Chicago 2016

• Impressions from INLANSO Hindi programmes in Varanasi and Mussorie, April-May 2017

• Lars Eklund report from Samtse College of Education in Bhutan, May 2017

• June 2017 Norwegian Network for Asian Studies Open Summer Meeting

• Lars impressions from Kolkata and Shantiniketan January-February 2018

NCI organises two summer programmes in 2018

The Nordic Centre in India university consortium will be running two summer programmes in 2018. The first programme is entitled ”Contemporary India: An Interdisciplinary Introduction Course”, and will be held in collaboration with the Study in India Programme at University of Hyderabad, 24 June-21 July 2018. it is an undergraduate level introductory course that serves as a primer to the changing dynamics in India by focusing on a wide range of topics that have immediate relevance, including politics, economy, society, religion, and development. 
The second programme is entitled ”Approaching the Environment in India: Issues and Methods in the Study of the Nature-Economy-Society Interface” and will be held in collaboration with the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bangalore, 1-28 July 2018. This is a post graduate level course that introduces students to the context and challenges related to India’s urban and rural environment. Students will be taught how to conceptualize the interface between society, economy, ecology and environment in the Indian context by being introduced to various themes that highlight the narratives, ground realities, policy dilemmas, civil society movements, gender perspectives, etc.
​The courses are available in the 7.5 ECTS variant and the 10 ECTS variant. More information.

Unique Peter Brook Mahabharata follow-up theatre performance at Sagohuset

30 years after the performance of Mahabharata, who took the theater world by storm, theatre director Peter Brook has returned to the magnificent ancient Indian epics, with a performance entitled Battlefield. It has already been staged at a a number of theatres around the world, including London, New York, Tokyo and a host of other metropolises. Now, it was time for Sweden and Lund!
On Wednesday 31 January and Thursday 1 February, Battlefield was staged at Lund City Theatre but invited to Lund by Theatre Sagohuset. It is a unique and magnificent performance by Peter Brooks Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord (Paris). The critics and the audience around the world have praised the performance. Venue: Lund City Theatre, Kiliansgatan, Lund. More information.
Battlefield is a return to "The Mahabharata" on a nearly bare stage, with four actors and a single musician playing a single instrument, a drum. It lasts just over an hour. It is as pure theater as you may ever encounter. Every syllable is given the resonance of a note of music. Each word is pronounced as though it encompasses measureless meaning. The performance is the endgame, a timeless, poetic and conspicuous idea of ​​human existence in a at the same time violent and loving world. It takes place where Mahabharata stopped: after the great war, which was performed between rival fathers in the same family, the surviving son Yudhishthira is placed in front of a million deaths on the battlefield and an destroyed dynasty. He sees the victory turning into a defeat. How will he find peace when everything is ruined? What happens after a war in the world tattered by conflicts.