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, Associate Professor Kenneth Bo Nielsen held 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) held 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...