All conferences on South Asia worldwide

March 2018 to May 2018

Spring 2018 series of Morgenstierne seminars at University of Oslo

The South Asia section at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS), University of Oslo, arranges a new series of Morgenstierne lectures during the spring 2018. The seminar series owes its name to Georg Morgenstierne, who was a renowned Professor of Indo-Iranian languages from 1937 till 1963 at the University of Oslo. (Before that he was actually Professor of Comparative Indo-European Linguistics at University of Gothenburg 1930–1937). Venue for all seminars: P.A.Munchs hus, Blindern, Oslo.

On Thursday 15 March 2018, 14.15-16.00, Associate Professor Kenneth Bo Nielsen will hold a seminar entitled ”Paper Activism: Environmental Struggles in Western India”.
Abstract: The Indian state, writes Nayanika Mathur, is a paper tiger: An inveterate writer that is obsessed with producing, circulating, storing and decoding paper. Paper, in this rendering, is thus central to the composition, maintenance and assemblage of the Indian state. While recent anthropological work has productively used the study of documents to highlight the constitutive work they perform across multiple domains within and beyond the state, in this talk I want to look at how paper has also become a central medium through which social activists engage the state and contest state action in the context of struggles over nature. Read more...

On Thusday 3 May, 14.15-16.00, Mukulika Banerjee - Associate Professor of Social Anthropology and Director of the India Studies Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) will hold a seminar entitled ”Cultivating Democracy: 15 years of Election Ethnography from Eastern India”. Currently completing a book manuscript based on 15 years of ethnographic data of rural voters and their multivalent engagement with elections and voting activities in West Bengal, India, she examines the reasons why despite varying odds, India’s voter graph continues to rise, making India the largest electoral democracy in the world. Read more...

On Thursday 31 May 2018, 14.15-17.00, Assistant Professors Lisa Björkman, University of Louisville, and Nicholas Martin, Universität Zürich, will hold a Morgenstierne Seminar Double Lecture entitled ”The Anthropology of South Asian Politics Today”. Lisa has written on the encounter in the Indian city of Mumbai between liberalising market reforms and the materially-dense politics of the city’s water infrastructures, exploring the everyday political, social, and material dynamics that produce and inhabit flows of water through the growing and globalising city, whereas Nicholas has done fieldwork mostly been on Punjab, both in Pakistan and in India. His main field has been agrarian change, the evolving nature of patron-client ties, and on debt bondage, and a book entitled Politics, Landlords and Islam in Pakistan that was published by Routledge in 2015. Read more...

April 2018

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.

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

June 2018

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. If you wish to actively contribute to the programme, please email Associate Professor Kenneth Bo Nielsen for further information. 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.

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.

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.

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...

June 2018 to August 2018

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.

July 2018

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.
ECSAS requires all accepted panels to be open to paper proposals through the website: proposed panels should not be ‘closed’ to further papers ab initio. Young researchers are advised to contact panel convenors to be considered for inclusion in their panel; young researchers are also encouraged to propose panels themselves. No panel may run for more than 4 sessions of 90 minutes.
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.

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. 

August 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.

September 2018

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.

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.

October 2018

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

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