News


Jönköping University co-organised 5th Media Summit in Mumbai

On 16-17 February 2018, the School of Education and Communication (HLK) at Jönköping University co-organised an International conference entitled ”Mediamorphosis. Identity and Participation” in Mumbai, India. The Indian partner institution was the Department of Mass Media at Kishinchand Chellaram College (KC College) and the conference was presented as KC College’s 5th International Media Summit. The keynote speakers were Dr. Ernesto Abalo, senior lecturer from Jönköping University, and Dr Jayalakshmi Garrabost, Associate Professor from Xi’an Jiantong – Liverpool University, China.
The conference became an enriching experience as it provided students and participants a platform to interact and learn with the leaders from the education field and media industry. 27 papers were presented, and a panel discussion on the topic ‘Redefining Media’ was held with prominent personalities like senior Supreme Court lawyer Mr Jamshed Mistry, Bollywood actress Kajal Aggarwal, and Ethel Da Costa, Head of Media & Publicity at the Goa International Film festival.
Jönköping University School of Education and Communication was also represented by Professor Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Professor Mia Verhoeff-Friman, Associate Professor Ylva LIndberg, Senior lecturer Anette Svensson, PhD candidate Lars Almén, and teaching staff Johan Bäcklund, besides the masters student Loraine Gauteul and the International Relations Manager Marie Fullsta.
KC College was established in 1954. It won the ‘Best College, (Urban Area) Award’ by the University of Mumbai in January 2015. The college strongly believes in using innovative methods of learning for the benefit of its students. This is evident from the fact that the Department of Mass Media has been ranked among the top 10 colleges for media courses in India by the India Today Magazine, and is fortunate to have some of the best people from the industry to be a part of their programmes – Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM), BA in Films, Television and New Media Production (BA-FTNMP), Masters in Communication and Journalism (MACJ) and Masters in Entertainment, Media & Advertising (MA-EMA). More information about the 5th International Media Summit.


Kharagpur seminar on Memories and Histories of 1947

On 3-4 January 2018, the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur organized an International Interdisciplinary seminar entitled ”India @70: Revisiting Memories and Histories of 1947”. It was sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research and the Indian Council of Historical Research and marked the 70th year of India’s independence. The seminar was jointly convened by Professor Anjali Gera Roy, IIT Kharagpur and Professor Nandi Bhatia, University of Western Ontario, Canada.
Thirty renowned and emerging scholars from universities in India, Canada, USA and Singapore revisited the events of 1947 in the two day seminar juxtaposing histories and memories of Independence. It began with a round table discussion on “History and Memories” featuring noted partition scholars Professor Gyanesh Kudaisya, National University of Singapore; Professor Sucheta Mahajan, Jawaharlal Nehru University; and Professor Bodh Prakash of Ambedkar University Delhi. The discussion was moderated by Professor Gopa Sabharwal, founding Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University.
Other well-known scholars included Professor Himadri Banerjee, former Guru Nanak Chair Professor in Indian History, Jadavpur University; Professor Bhaskar Chakraborty, Calcutta University; and Professor Sukeshi Kamra, Carleton University, Canada. Professor Padmini Mongia of Franklin and Marshall College, USA presented a personal visual narrative of memories of Multan. Along with deliberating on political histories of Independence and partition, historians, sociologists and scholars in literary and cultural studies explored literary, cinematic and testimonial documents to trace the repercussions of the violence of partition across Punjab, Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir, Tripura, Mizoram and Assam. The seminar also covered the effects of partition beyond the subcontinent in the diaspora to situate it in a global context. The evening saw the screening of two documentary films Dere tun Dilli by Shilpi Gulati and A Thin Wall directed by Mara Ahmed and co-produced by Surbhi Dewan that was attended by the larger community in Kharagpur. The seminar concluded with a workshop of Graduate students from various disciplines.


Kalyan Mandal writes about Benevolent Business for Development

Professor Kalyan Mandal from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Kolkata has published a new book entitled ”Social Development through Benevolent Business” (Business Expert Press, New York, 2018). He is currently affiliated as a ICSSR Senior Fellow at the Center of Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta (CSSSC) for a period of two years. During the academic yaer 2013/14, Prof. Mandal was a guest professor at Lund University, being the fourth and final in a scheme of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Professors there.
His research is focused on Business Solutions for Poverty. He is shaping up of the idea of „social business‟ - unlike profit maximizing business, social business aims at achieving a social objective in a financial sustainable way. More information about the book.


Linnaeus Palme grants to 13 South Asia exchange programmes

Internationella Programkontoret

In late 2017, the Swedish Council for Higher Education decided upon the seventeenth round of Linnaeus Palme Exchange Programme grants, for the period 2017 –  2018. A total amount of SEK 37,8 Million was distributed to 85 projects at Swedish universities. Nine renewed exchange projects, plus one new project, are with India. Besides one renewed project is with Bangladesh, another one with Nepal, and finally  a new project with Bhutan is being funded.

Two projects each were given to Karolinska Institutet, Linköping University, Linnaeus University, and Mälardalen University; one each to Ersta Sköndal, Gävle, Malmö, Umeå, and Uppsala.
The following Swedish institutions are involved:
- Department of Social Work, Ersta Sköndal högskola
- Department of Business and Economic Studies, Gävle University
- Läkarprogrammet, Karolinska Institutet
- Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Neurobiology, Caring Sciences and Society (NVS), Karolinska Institutet
- Division of Nursing Science, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University
- Department of Education, Linköping University
- School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University, Växjö/Kalmar
- Department of Social Work, Linnaeus University, Växjö/Kalmar
- Faculty of Education, Malmö University
- School of Health, Care and Social Welfare (HVV), Mälardalens Högskola
- School of Business, Society and Engineering (EST), Mälardalens Högskola
- Department of Nursing, Umeå University
- Department of History, Uppsala University
More information.


Polar Prize to Afghanistan's National Institute of Music

Afghanistan's National Institute of Music (ANIM) and Ahmad Sarmast, its visionary founder and director, along with American heavy metal band Metallica have won the prestigious 2018 Polar Music Prize. The award will be presented by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden on June 14, 2018.
The award panel said the Afghan ensemble "revives Afghan music and shows you can transform lives through music."
The 2018 Polar Music Prize was awarded to ANIM and Sarmast “in recognition of how this inspirational organization has used the power of music to transform young people’s lives.” The prize is traditionally given to one person from the pop world and one from the classical or jazz genre. The winners have been invited to receive their awards, including a cash prize of 1 million kronor ($124,000 USD) each, on June 14 from members of the Swedish royal family in Stockholm.
In the 1990’s, Afghanistan’s rich musical heritage, which thrived for centuries, was abruptly halted by the civil war and from 1996 until 2001, music was forbidden and silenced throughout the country.  In 2008, Sarmast, the son of a famous conductor, returned to Kabul to establish ANIM. He founded ANIM in Kabul in 2010 in response to that country’s civil war destruction of centuries of rich musical tradition. In the 1980s the pop music and film industries were thriving in Afghanistan, with hundreds of ensembles and a national radio orchestra playing Western and Afghan musical instruments. Between 1996 and 2001, music was completely banned. Over the last eight years, ANIM has been providing a challenging and safe learning environment for all students regardless of gender, ethnicity, religious sect or socio-economic status. The institute has a special focus on the most disadvantaged children in Afghanistan, including orphans, street vendors and girls.


Swedish Research Links grants for nine South Asia related projects

On 7 December 2017, the Swedish Research Council decided upon the 2017 Swedish Research Links grants. Introduced by Sida and the Swedish Research Council in 2002, Swedish Research Links aim to stimulate cooperation between researchers in Sweden and those in selected developing countries. The long-term aim of the programme is to contribute to mutual scientific and socioeconomic development of the countries involved through funding for support to collaborative research projects of high scientific quality and mutual relevance. The programme is open to researchers in basic and applied research within all academic disciplines. 
Nine of the applications given grants for the three-years period 2018–20 are fully or partly related to South Asia. They include projects dealing with e g ”Migration as a social determination of health”; ”Sustainable Water Supply through the Development of Artificial Glaciers”; and ”Viral Infections in Indian Silkmoths”.
Three projects are with Uppsala University: Projects led by Biplab Sanyal at Department of Physics and Astronomy, Materials Theory; Sunithi GunesekeraDepartment of Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacognosy; and Olle Terenius, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Microbiology.
Two projects at University of Gothenburg: led by Kristina Jakobsson, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine; and Per Knutsson, School of Global Studies.
One each with Karolinska Institutet - led by Salla Atkins, Global health (IHCAR)/Department of Public Health Sciences; Luleå University of Technology - led by  Anshyuman Bhardwai, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering (SRT): Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala - led by Adam Pain, Department or Urban and Rural Development; and Umeå University - led by Isabel Golcolea:, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. More information about the funded projects with abstracts.


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 

• Lars’ and Staffan’s article ”Maldiverna: Hotat paradis söker ny framtid” in SYDASIEN 02/2002 (in Swedish only)

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

• Lars’ and Staffan’s article ”Pakistan sett med nya ögon” in SYDASIEN 01/2004 (in Swedish only)

• Lars’ article ”På återbesök i Kabul efter 28 år” in SYDASIEN 4/2003 (in Swedish only)

• 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


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.


Afghanistan State building workshop at Lund University

On Monday 23 April 2018, the Dept. of Political Science at Lund University organises a public panel discussion on State Building in Afghanistan in a Global Context.  Venue: Edens hörsal, Universitetsplatsen. With its strategic location Afghanistan has been a focus of global politics for many centuries. Despite its fragile nation-state and conflicting ethnic parties, Afghanistan has managed not to formally cede its sovereignty to a colonial power or break up along ethnic lines. How can we explain this historical development? How does the Afghan state function? What role do international organizations and NGOs play in Afghan state-building? What role do the Taliban play? What role does migration play? What role do global Islamist networks play? Can we speak of Afghanistan as a “failed state”? What can the case of Afghanistan teach us about contemporary global politics? Join us for a panel discussion on Afghan state building and the global significance of Afghanistan featuring both scholars and experienced practitioners who have worked in Afghanistan for NGOs and international organizations.
Invited panelists include Professor Robert D. Crews, a historian from Stanford University, USA; and Sari Kouvo - co-Director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network and Associate Professor at the Department of Law, Gothenburg University. Associate Professor Ted Svensson will be the moderator. Full information about the event


Heidelberg University seeks successor to Professor Dharampal-Frick

The South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University, Germany, invites applications for a  Full Professorship (W3) in ,,Modern History of South Asia", to succeed eminent Professor Gita Dharampal-Frick from October 2019. The position has an emphasis on the History of South Asia from the early modern period onward. The candidate is expected to be competent in one or more South Asian languages and to cover a broad spectrum of the discipline in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.
The South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University, with seven academic departments and four additional affiliated professors, has a particular focus on interdisciplinary research, and has been very successful in attracting research grants for joint research projects. The candidate is expected to participate in interdepartmental research projects and to collaborate with other departments at the South Asia Institute as well as with the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies and the Department of History. The application deadline is 15 March 2018. Full information.


Huddinge seminar on Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar

On Wednesday 7 March 2018, 14.00-16.00, the Swedish Labor Movement's archives and libraries (Arbetarrörelsens arkiv och bibliotek, ARAB) in Huddinge, south of Stockholm, organises a public seminar dedicated to Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Indian lawyer, economist, politician and contributed to many social reforms. Ambedkar fought against Dalits’ social discrimination and for women and workers rights. He was India's first justice minister after independence and he was the main architect of the Indian constitution and thus one of the founders of the Indian Republic. Two visiting Indian researchers - Dr. Chitra Sinha and Shivangi Jaiswal - will speak about Ambedkar, with an introduction by Hans Larsson. Chitra Sinha comes from the Center for Gender Studies in Uppsala and Shivangi Jaiswal from Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.
The seminar is held in English, no pre-registration is required. More information.


Jaffrelot edited volume on South Asia/Gulf pan-islamic connections

Pan-Islamic Connections. Transnational Networks Between South Asia and the Gulf, edited by Christophe Jaffrelot and Laurence Louër. An absorbing comparison of ‘the Islams’ of Arabia and South Asia and how they interact through the vectors of trade, politics and migration. South Asia is today the region inhabited by the largest number of Muslims—roughly 500 million. In the course of its Islamisation process, which began in the eighth century, it developed a distinct Indo-Islamic civilisation that culminated in the Mughal Empire. While paying lip service to the power centres of Islam in the Gulf, including Mecca and Medina, this civilisation has cultivated its own variety of Islam, based on Sufism. Over the last fifty years, pan-Islamic ties have intensified between these two regions. Gathering together some of the best specialists on the subject, this volume explores these ideological, educational and spiritual networks, which have gained momentum due to political strategies, migration flows and increased communications. At stake are both the resilience of the civilisation that imbued South Asia with a specific identity, and the relations between Sunnis and Shias in a region where Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting a cultural proxy war, as evident in the foreign ramifications of sectarianism in Pakistan. Includes chapter by Ayesha Siddiqa and Radhika Gupta. Hurst publishers 2018. More information 


BASAS 2018 conference at Exeter University

On 18-20 April 2018, the British Association of South Asian Studies (BASAS) holds its annual conference at Exeter University. Registration will close in March 2018. More information.
Papers will be delivered from scholars and practitioners involved with the cultures, countries, economies, environments, histories, languages, literatures and peoples of South Asia. This year there will be an emphasis on debating and discussing South Asia's global engagement, but as usual the conference will also have much academic analysis on all topics relating to South Asia.
BASAS is one of the world’s leading learned societies for the study of South Asia. It is committed to supporting advanced research in the humanities and social sciences of South Asia through international collaborations, conferences and workshops, lectures, research groups, publications and online discussions.


SASNET seminars at Lund University

The Swedish South Asian Studues Network (SASNET) at Lund University organises seminars frequently. More information on their web site.


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. 


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.


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...

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