Newsletter 126 - 2 September 2011


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• SASNET website redesigned and restructured

New web site

On Tuesday 6 September 2011, SASNET will launch a completely redesigned and restructured website. The layout will be cleaner and easier to navigate. The work to restructure the extensive SASNET website (with a content of nearly 1,900 web pages) has been carried out during the past 8 months by Julia Velkova at SASNET and Bernd Wunsch at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen (on photo). SASNET’s website will keep the the same address as before:
It has been more than a decade since the first SASNET website was launched with lots of enthusiasm shortly after the birth of the organization. Over the years it has been solely administered and updated by SASNET’s deputy director Lars Eklund. Now it is time to consolidate the work, and that is done in collaboration with our new partner organisation NIAS. The ambition is to synchronize and exchange web based information from SASNET and NIAS in the future. More information about the new SASNET web page.

• Successful Third Nordic Conference on South Asian Studies for Young Scholars

The third Nordic Conference on South Asian Studies for Young Scholars was held 16–18 August 2011 at Falsterbo kursgård in Höllviken, 20 km south of Malmö. As usual, it was organised by SASNET but from this year in collaboration with the Copenhagen based Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS). 

FalsterboJulia Velkova from SASNET was the main coordinator. The conference became a grand success, gathering graduate students and postdocs, along with other junior scholars affiliated with universities in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, who are focusing on South Asia in their work. This year a few students from other European countries (Scotland and Germany) were also invited. 
More information about the 2011 conference.    
See the conference folder (as a pdf-file)
See a photo gallery from the conference.

• SASNET Report from World Water Week conference in Stockholm

Between 21 and 25 September 2011, Julia Velkova represented SASNET at  the World Water Conference in Stockholm. It was a fruitful week in which she attended a number of South Asian related seminars and events. While in Stockholm, she also visited the Embassy of India in Stockholm and researchers at Stockholm University. 
Read her report.

• Malin Gregersen holds SASNET Brown Bag seminar

BrownbagOn Thursday 15 September 2011, SASNET holds its first Brown bag lunch seminar during the fall semester 2011. The aim of SASNET’s Brown Bag seminars, introduced in January 2011, is to present and disseminate the eminent South Asia related research that is carried out in so many departments at Lund University. The seminars are open to the public, and during the fall 2011 they will be held once a month at Thursdays at Murbeckssalen, Gula Villan (inside the Botanical Gardens), Östra Vallgatan 14, Lund. More information about the seminar series.         Seminar series poster.
Malin Gregersen– The first SASNET Brown Bag 2011 Fall seminar will be held on 15th September 2011, 12.00–13.00. Dr. Malin Gregersen (photo) from theDepartment of History will give a presentation entitled ”Fostering Obligations: Swedish Medical Missionary Narratives from South India”. Even though Sweden was not participating in the run for colonies during the era of the new imperialism in late 19th and early 20th century, Swedes often took a close interest in African and Asian countries through the work of Christian missionaries. Thus, Christian missionaries played an important role in forming early 20th century Swedish world views. But their depictions of everyday life in foreign countries were formulated on the basis of an aspiration not only to convert people to Christianity, but also to educate, shape and change people according to Swedish and Christian ideals. Such missionary narratives, originating from a South Indian hospital, will be the focus of her lecture. Malin defended her doctoral dissertation on this issue as recently as a year ago. Read an abstract.
– The second Brown Bag seminar will be held on Thursday 13 October, with Associate Professor Åsa Ljungh from the Section of Medical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine.
– The third Brown Bag seminar will be held on Thursday 10 November, with Dr. Olle Frödin from the Department of Sociology. More information will follow about these seminars.

• SASNET/ICCR Rabindranath Tagore seminars in Scandinavia

GurudevSASNET again organises a Rabindranath Tagore 150th birth anniversary celebration week 19–23 September 2011. The celebration includes academic seminars in Copenhagen (19th), Lund (21st), Stockholm (22nd) and Uppsala (23rd).

SASNET is strongly involved in planning for these academic seminars and related cultural programmes that are organised in collaboration with the Indian embassie

s in Copenhagen and Stockholm, and with support from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Invited scholars include Professor William Radice, SOAS, University of London; Dr. Reba Som, Director, ICCR Rabindranath Tagore Centre in Kolkata; and Professor Asoke Bhattacharya, Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

The seminar at Lund University will be held on Wednesday 21 September, 09.00–13.00, at Stadshallen in central Lund. The seminar will be attended by the Ambassadors from both Bangladesh and India, Mr. Gousal Azam Sarker and Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar respectively. See the full programme.
On the night before, Tuesday 20 September at 19.00, a cultural evening will also be organised at Teater Sagohuset in Lund. The programme includes William Radice reading out his brand new English translations of poems from the Gitanjali volume. Reba Som and Bubu Munshi Eklund will sing Rabindrasangheet songs. The event will be attended by the Ambassadors from both Bangladesh and India, Mr. Gousal Azam Sarker and Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar respectively. See the poster for the Cultural Evening at Sagohuset.

RadiceReba Asoke
Prof. Radice, Dr. Som and Prof. Bhattacharya.

– The seminar at Stockholm University will be held on Thursday 22 September, 09.00–17.15. This programme is jointly organized by the university’s Dept. of Oriental languages and Dept. of Theatre and Dance Studies. Venue: Main Hall (Aulan) at the Department of Oriental Languages, Kräftriket 4A, Stockholm University.– In Copenhagen the seminar will be held on Monday 19th September, 10.00–16.00. It is jointly organised by the Centre for South Asian Studies, Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen. Venue: Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen, Building 23, Auditorium 23.0.49, Njalsgade 128. See the full programme for the Copenhagen seminar.
See the full programme for the Stockholm seminar.

– In Uppsala, the commemorative event will be organised as a Public Workshop, and be held on Friday 23 September, 10.15–13.00. It is being organized by Uppsala University’s Forum for South Asian Studies in collaboration with the Dept. of History, the Dept. for Comparative Literature and the Dept. for Linguistics and Philology. Venue: Evolutionbiologiskt Centrum (Villavägen, opposite Café Viktoria), Ekmansalen, Uppsala. More information.

• G K Karanth new ICCR Professor at Lund University


During the academic year 2011/12, G K Karanth, Professor of Sociology at the Centre for Study of Social Change and Development, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bangalore, will be the Visiting ICCR Professor at Lund University. He is supposed to arrive in mid-September 2011, and be will hosted by the Department of Sociology. Prof. Karanth has a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, and his main research fields are Peasant Economy and Society; Caste and Social Stratification; Rural-Urban Linkages; and Sociology of Development. He will be second Visiting ICCR Professor at Lund University, after Prof. Lipi Ghosh who spent five months in Lund till March 2011.

The ICCR professorships at Lund University are an outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Lund University, that was signed on 22 June 2010 by Mr. Balkrishna Shetty, former Indian Ambassador to Sweden, and Prof. Per Eriksson, Vice-Chancellor, Lund University. The agreement is valid for four years, with a new Indian Professor to be selected each year. SASNET was actively involved in finalizing the ICCR professorship at Lund University, with strong support from the Embassy of India in Stockholm.
An inaugural seminar with Professor Karanth will be held on Thuursday 6th October 2011, at 15.00. The theme for his lecture will be ”Changing Rural India: Caste and Social Mobility”. After the lecture, a cultural programme will be organised with the Tabla player Subrata Manna, singer Sudokshina Manna, and Kathak dancer Sohini Debnath, all from Kolkata. Venue for the seminar: Edens hörsal (auditorium), Lund University’s Department of Political Science, Paradisgatan 5, Lund. All are most welcome to the event that includes free Indian food and continues up to 7 P.M.


• SASNET lecture on Forces of Democratization in India and China


Manoranjan Mohanty, Durgabai Deshmukh Professor of Social Development at the Council for Social Development in New Delhi, India holds a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Tuesday 20 September 2011, 15.15–17.00. During the seminar, co-organised by the departments of Sociology and Political Science, he will talk about ”India and China: Competing Hegemonies or Forces of Democratization”. Prof. Mohantry is a China scholar with many publications on theoretical and empirical dimensions of social movements, human rights, development experience and regional role

of India and China. Currently he is also the Chairperson, Institute of Chinese Studies in Delhi, and President, Development Research Institute, Bhubaneswar. Besides, he is a Visiting Professor in Global Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara since 2007 where he teaches every Spring. 
Prof. Mohanty retired in 2004 as the Director, Developing Countries Research Centre and Professor of Political Science at the University of Delhi, where he taught since 1969. He is a former Director of ICS and a former Editor of China Report. His earlier academic assignments abroad included Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Moscow (1973), UC, Berkeley (1974), Peking University (1979), Oxford (1987) and Copenhagen (1990) and Lagos (2005). He is also active in the human rights and peace movement. His recent publications include Contemporary Indian Political Theory (2000), Class, Caste, Gender (Ed.2004) and Grass-roots Democracy in India and China (Co-ed. 2007), India: Social Development Report 2010 (Ed. 2010), Weapon of the oppressed: An Inventory of People's Rights in India ( Co-author, 2011) and China’s Success Trap: Lessons for World Development ( Forthcoming).
Venue for the seminar: Conference room 1, Dept. of Sociology, Paradisgatan 5, Lund. More information.

• Venkatesh Athreya lectures on Political Economy of Indian Development since 1991


Professor Venkatesh Athreya from the Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, India holds a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Tuesday 27 September 2011, 15.15–17.00. During the seminar, organised in collaboration with the Dept. of Sociology, he will talk about ”Political Economy of Indian Development since 1991”. Professor Athreya has been co-operating for many years with Prof. Göran Djurfeldt and Prof. Emeritus Staffan Lindberg at Lund University. Among his most well-known publications are“Literacy and Empowerment” (Sage 1996) and “Barriers Broken” (with Djurfeldt and Lindberg, Sage 1990). Currently he is co-operating with Djurfeldt and Lindberg at Lund University in a restudy after 25 years of 213 agricultural households in the Cauvery delta in Tamilnadu. Venue for the seminar: Conference room 1, Dept. of Sociology, Paradisgatan 5, Lund. More information.

• More information about SASNET and its activities 

See SASNET’s page,


Research Community News

 Doctoral dissertation about Forming Local Citizens in Bhutan

Bhutan dissertationWinnie Bothe, Dept. of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, will defend her doctoral dissertation entitled ”Forming Local Citizens in Bhutan: The Traditionalization of Participation – Empowerment, Domination or Subjugation?” on Friday 23 September 2011, at 14.00. It deals with the concept ’Gross National Happiness’, a new development model invented by a small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. 
This development approach is seen by an increasing number of people as a refreshing alternative to the conventional development models that often take growth as their main target. But how is it actually practiced in Bhutan and how does this influence the way in which the rural inhabitants are constructed as citizens? The thesis addresses questions of how local governance reforms are diverted by national discourses on citizenship, ones that serve to traditionalize the local citizens into roles as supplicants rather than promoting self-determining citizens. Thus, even if donors have success in localizing governance it may not result in the form of citizenship donors would like to see. 
The committee to assess the thesis consists of Associate Professor Anders Berg-Sørensen, Dept. of Political Science, University of Copenhagen; Professor Emeritus Staffan Lindberg, Dept. of Sociology, Lund University; and Professor Michael Hutt, SOAS, University of London, UK. Venue for the dissertation: Dept. of Political Science, Copenhagen University, Øster Farigmagsgade 5, entrance E. 
More information.

• Doctoral dissertation about Ravidassa Sikh community in Catalonia


Kathryn Lum, Research Assistant at the Dept. of Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute in Florence, Italy, will defend her doctoral dissertation entitled ”How Caste Works: Forging New Identities in a Punjabi Ex-Untouchable Community in Catalonia, Spain” on Monday 10 October 2011. Kathryn has previously completed her MA at the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University. 

RavidassaThe doctoral thesis is an ethnographic study of an ex-untouchable group from the Punjab region of India known as the Ravidassias. Its aim is twofold: on the one hand to elucidate the mechanisms of caste in social life and in particular, to analyse how ex-untouchables negotiate caste stigma, and on the other, to explore the caste, gender, and youth dimensions of the Ravidassia community in Catalonia, Spain. This study is comparative in nature, discussing caste, the management of caste stigma, and the Ravidassia sociocultural/religious movement in the Punjab, India and Catalonia, Spain. More information.

• Indo-Swedish research collaboration agreements on Health Care and Maternal Health

SMI– A high level delegation from India visited Sweden 18–20 May 2011 to participate in the Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting set-up under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of Health Care and Public Health between the Government of India and Sweden. During the visit a Memorandum of Intent was signed between the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) India and the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet, SMI) to increase cooperation in the field of antibiotic resistance and its rational use. The contact person on the Swedish side are SMI Director General Johan Carlson, and Project Manager Viveca Urvitz.

Midwife programme– The Department of Woman and Child Health at Karolinska Institutet is coordinating a project entitled ”Partnership between Swedish and Indian Institutions for improving maternal health and strengthening midwifery in India” in collaboration with the Academy for Nursing Studies (ANS), Hyderabad and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. As part of this project, a study/exposure visit was recently organised for a five-member state-level delegation. It is well-documented that Sweden was able to reduce its maternal mortality even when it was a low resource country with the help of well trained and professional midwives. The purpose of this visit was to understand the structure and functioning of Swedish training institutions, public health and midwifery organizations for improving maternal health. The contact person for the KI-ANS/IIMA collaboration on the Swedish side is Professor Kyllike Christensson.
More news from the Sweden Express Newsletter July–September 2011, published by the Swedish Embassy in New Delhi.

• Karlstad University Masters programme for teachers training in Afghanistan


The Karlstad University run Masters Programme in Educational Research and Development i Afghanistan (MAP) project has now been successfully completed with all targets reached. The programme was developed by the researchers Pia Karlsson (photo) and Amir Mansory (both of them first based at the Institute of International Education, Stockholm University, and from 2008 at the Dept. of Educational Work, Organisation and Society, Karlstad University).
Read the final report sent to the European Commission

SCAKarlsson and Mansory are now involved in planning for a new Masters programme, focusing on teachers training. This Teacher Educators Master Programme, TEMP, will run as a collaboration project between Karlstad University, the Ministry of Education in Kabul, and the Swedish Committeee for Afghanistan (SCA). The programme is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida. 
The focal problem is the low quality of teaching in Afghan schools with subsequent poor learning outcomes – a serious constraint for the future development of Afghanistan. Teachers are not qualified for their work. In order to contribute to improved learning outcomes, TEMP will specifically train a cadre of teacher educators, who will be able to design, implement and evaluate relevant and adequate teacher training programmes of high quality. TEMP plans for three intakes of 30 participants, totally 90 for the years of 2011, 2012 and 2013. The first courses are planned to start in December 2011. The participants will be registered at Karlstad University. The training will take place in Kabul at National Academy (NA) of Teacher Education Department (TED)/Ministry of Education. More information.

• Position as Postdoctoral Fellow in State and Democracy in Modern India at Göttingen


The Centre for Modern Indian Studies at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in Germany invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow in State and Democracy in Modern India. The position will start on 1 April 2012 or thereafter. It is three-year fixed-term contract, with the possibility for renewal contingent upon the availability of funding. In addition to pursuing a postdoctoral research project within the centre’s Research group on “State and Democracy”, the fellow will assist in the design and organization of international conferences on state and democracy in modern India, and in the teaching of politics courses at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies. Applicants must have a PhD in Political Science or in allied fields including History, Anthropology, Sociology and Media Studies. More information.

• Professor in Medieval, Modern and Contemporary Indian Studies wanted in Lausanne


The Faculty of Arts, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, invites applications for a position as Professor in Medieval, Modern and Contemporary Indian Studies. The position is tenable from August 2012. The person holding the position will operate within the Department of Slavonic and South Asian Languages and Cultures, and be highly competent in Literatures and History of Islamic Cultures in India. He/she is expected to play a cooperating role in building up a joint reflection on cultural transfers (Indo-Muslim worlds) and identity formation in South Asia (linguistic, social, religious aspects). Closing date for applications is 15 September 2011. More information.

• Academics Stand Against Poverty launch seminars worldwide


Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP) is an international
organization of scholars and teachers that aims to increase the impact of academics on global poverty through promoting and supporting collaboration, public outreach and policy intervention. ASAP members include moral and political theorists, economists, environmental scientists, public health experts, and scholars from a range of other disciplines.
ASAP is staging a series of launch conferences in 2011-2012. The aim of these conferences is to grow the network and develop ideas for achieving positive impact, as weIl as to promote concrete poverty alleviation projects.
The US launch conference was held at Yale University in April 2011. The UK launch conference was held at the University of Birmingham in May 2011. The India launch conference will be held in New-Delhi in October 2011.
More information about ASAP.
3–4 September 2011, a meeting will also be held in Oslo. This marks the launch of the ASAP network in Norway. It will be hosted by Thomas Pogge, President of ASAP, Research Director at the UiO Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN) and Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale. More information about the Oslo conference.

• Sri Lanka offers 100 scholarships to foreign students

The Government of Sri Lanka has decided to implement a scheme to offer 100 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships for foreign students commencing the academic year 2011/12 at a Srilankan university. Sweden has been identified with a quota of two, one each for undergraduate and postgraduate. Applications should be submittted before 30 September 2011. More information

• More information about South Asia related research at Swedish and Nordic universities

See SASNET’s page,

Educational News

NCI Logo

• NCI launches full semester Hindi programme in Varanasi

From the fall semester 2011, the Nordic Centre in India (NCI) university consortium organises a full semester Hindi Study Programme in Varanasi, India. The programme is organised in collaboration with the Gandhian Institute of Studies, and is held from 29th August till 2nd December 2011. This first full semester course has participants from Aarhus University, Denmark; University of Oslo, Norway; and Stockholm University, Sweden. It is tailor-made for the Advanced Hindi students from the Nordic countries. The course has been developed by NCI Director Mirja Juntunen, who is also the Academic Coordinator of the course and Senior Lecturer in Hindi at the Department of Oriental Languages, Stockholm University. The course will again be given in the Fall 2012, and is open for applicants from all NCI Nordic member universities. More information.

• More information about South Asia related education at Swedish and Nordic universities

See SASNET’s page,

Conferences and workshops

• NCI workshop on Conducting Fieldwork in Asia in Kolkata

The Nordic Centre in India university consortium (NCI) holds a two-week workshop on 'Conducting Fieldwork in Asia' in Kolkata, India, 5–16 September 2011. The workshop is organised in collaboration with the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS) in Kolkata, and the Department of Oriental Languages, Stockholm University. Venue: MAKAIAS premises, IB 166, Salt Lake Sector III, Kolkata. More information.

 Oxford conference on Devi worship in the Sakta traditions


Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (OCHS) in the UK organises a conference entitled ”The Goddess: Understanding The Sakta Traditions” on 10–11 September 2011. The aim of conference is to address fundamental questions such as the clarification of the distinction between Saiva and Sakta traditions, questions about Sakta textual lineages and their interrelationship, the clarification of doctrines and practices of the different schools, questions about the relationship between the tantric and the puranic Goddess traditions, questions about the relationship between local Goddess traditions (such as the Teyyams in Kerala) and the pan-South Asian traditions, raising questions about the relationship between esoteric practices and the exoteric temple cults, asking what the delimitation of Sakta doctrine is, and what developments there are in contemporary Sakta worship. Speakers include Dr. Marianne C. Qvortrup Fibiger, University of Aarhus, who will talk about Devi worship. Venue: Somerville College, Woodstock Road, Oxford.
More information about the OCHS 2011 conference.

• South Asia presentations at Danish-Swedish media conference

Örecomm”Agency in the Mediatized World” is the overarching theme for the first Ørecomm Festival, 9–13 September 2011, a five-day event that brings an inspiring mix of seminars, lectures and conferences to Malmö, Copenhagen and Roskilde. The Ørecomm Festival, co-organised by the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, offers a rare opportunity for students, professional practitioners and researchers to meet, share ideas and critically examine emerging media environments, and the new forms of social and political agency they may offer. Guest speakers include Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Karin Wilkins and representitives from UNDP, SIDA, DANIDA, IMS and SPIDER.
Some focus lies on South Asia. Nishant Shah from the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore, will give a presentation on “Internet and Society in India”; and Teke Ngomba and Jakob Thorsen from the University of Aarhus will give a presentation on “Discourses of Positionality and the Challenges of Democratization in the Global South: The case of Nepal and Cameroon”.
All are welcome, and much of the proceedings will be freely available on the net. More information.

• DIIS conference on Ten Years after 9/11: What did We Learn about Religion?

DIISThe Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) and the Centre for Advanced Security Theory (CAST) at the University of Copenhagen jointly organizes an international conference entitled ”Ten Years after 9/11: What did We Learn about Religion?”, on 22-23 September 2011. Among the invited speakers are Shehryar Fazli, Senior Analyst, International Crisis Group, Islamabad, Pakistan, who participates in a panel on ”Religious Terrorism Post 9/11 – Lessons and Future Perspectives”; and Rahimullah Yusufzai, Bureau Chief, The News International, Peshawar, Pakistan, who participates in a panel on ”What does Religion have to do with Taliban and Al-Qaida?”  Registration is unfortunately no longer possible due to overwhelming interest in the seminar. Venue: DIIS, Strandgade 71, Copenhagen. More information.

• Copenhagen conference on Public Sector Reforms in India and China


An International conference entitled ”Globalization and Public Sector Reforms in India and China” will be held in Copenhagen on 23–24 September 2011. The conference is organized by Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard and Anthony P. D’Costa at the Asia Research Centre, Copenhagen Business School (CBS). It is a follow-up to the December 2009 conference on “Globalization and Economic Nationalism in Asia”. The Asia Research Centre now revisits the role of the state, but in a different way. The objective is to firmly grasp the central issues surrounding public sector reform in India and China. The conference calls for empirical papers that are theoretically grounded and directly address the significance of public sector reforms in China and India in the wider political, economic, and social contexts. The organisers also welcome well-positioned industry, sectoral, technological, and national-comparative analysis of public sector reforms. Registration deadline is 15 September 2011.
Keynote speakers include Dr. Parthasarathi Banerjee, Director National Institute of Science and Technology and Development Studies, Government of India, New Delhi; Professor Pranab Bardhan, Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley; and Professor Manoranjan Mohanty, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi.
Venue: Room DSØ 089 (ground floor), Copenhagen Business School, Dalgas Have 15, Frederiksberg (Copenhagen).
More information on the conference web page.

• Dallas conference on Alternative Ramayanas


The South Asia Research and Information Institute (SARII), and the Asian Studies Program at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas, present a one-day conference on ”Alternative Ramayanas: Variations in an Epic Tradition” on 24 September 2011, 09.00–17.00. The conference is chaired by Steven Lindquist, SMU. Attendance is free and open to the public, but registration is required by Sept. 17th. Venue: McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall. More information.

• Third Annual Conference of the Cluster of Excellence ”Asia and Europe in a Global Context”

The third Annual Conference of the Cluster of Excellence ”Asia and Europe in a Global Context” will be held at Heidelberg University, Germany, 5–7 October 2011. This year’s topic is ”Frontiers of Knowledge: Health, Environment and the History of Science”. The conference presents the ongoing research results of the Cluster’s Research Area C ”Health and Environment” in collaboration with renowned scholars from around the globe. Together they will examine and discuss transcultural issues in these fields transgressing the conventional intellectual divisions between Asia and Europe.

The conference features keynote lectures by Prof. Sunder Rajan (University of Chicago) on transcultural health and Prof. Janet Hunter (London School of Economics) on earthquake and economics. Four major panel sessions will discuss the topics ”Ancient Medicine”; ”Circulation and Changing of Conceptions of Knowledge”; ”Travelling Technologies, Tracing Transculturality: Paradigm Shifts in Science, Medicine and Society”, and ”Seascapes and Shipping”. To showcase the research being conducted at the Cluster, twelve further panels will question how we have conceived and are conceiving knowledge in the past and present. During the Annual Conference 2011, the ”Transcultural Studies Association” will be ceremonially inaugurated. More information.

• Stockholm conference on Political regimes, growth politics and conflict in Asia

Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University and the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen jointly arrange the 5th Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference & PhD Course in Stockholm on 21–25 November 2011. The theme for the 2011 event is ”Political regimes, growth politics and conflict in Asia. Responses to changing environmental, economic and socio-cultural conditions in Asia”. The primary focus of the conference is the responses to these ongoing socio-economic, cultural, economic and environmental changes in Asia. In what ways are changes being interpreted by actors in Asian societies? What are the nature and implications of the encounters produced by these recent changes? Conference participation is open to all scholars and graduate students. As this is an interdisciplinary conference we especially encourage contributions from all social science disciplines as well as interdisciplinary perspectives. Abstracts should be submitted before 1 October 2011.
The conference will be combined with workshop activities where doctoral candidates may present and discuss their research projects with senior researchers as well as other fellow doctoral candidates. The first two days will be devoted to panels and keynote speakers while the last two days will focus on workshops for doctoral students. The conference/workshop can be taken as a 7.5 ECTS credit course. More information.

• Delhi conference on Thinking Europe/Thinking India

The European Studies Programme at The University of Delhi, India is holding a conference on ”Thinking Europe/Thinking India” on 23–25 November 2011 at Delhi. Abstracts are invited for a transdisciplinary session on 'Visual Culture' that will focus on visuality in Europe and/or India. The deadline for abstracts is September 15, 2011. More information.

• Belief Narratives International Symposium at Manipur University


The Manipur University in collaboration with the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR) organize the Belief Narratives International Symposium at Manipur University, Imphal, Manipur from 6-8 February 2012. The International Society for Folk Narrative Research is an international academic body whose objective is “to develop scholarly work in the field of folk narrative research and to stimulate contacts and the exchange of views among its members”. The research interest of ISFNR members around the world includes a number of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, “covering all aspects of narrative as representing the pivotal category of human communication”. The Symposium theme will be ”Local Legends in the Global Context”. Deadline for registrations is 30 October 2011. More information.

• Sylhet conference on Environmental Technology for Sustainable Development

SUSTThe 2nd International Conference on Environmental Technology and Construction Engineering for Sustainable Development (ICETCESD 2012) will be held in Sylhet, Bangladesh, 10–12 March 2012. The conference is organized by the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST). It has been preceded by a successful first conference on the same issue (ICETCESD 2011) that was held in March 2011. More than 100 papers were presented and more than 120 paper were published in the conference proceedings of which more than 50 papers were authorized by the scientists, engineers and specialists coming not only from Bangladesh, but also from USA, Canada, UK, France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, India, Nepal, and Afghanistan (see the proceedings from ICETCESD 2011). Papers are now invited for the 2012 conference Deadline for submitting abstracts is 31 October 2011. More information.

• Delhi conference on Arts and aesthetics in a globalising world


The World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA), the Indian Anthropological Society (IAS), the Indian Anthropological Association (IAA), the Association of Social Anthropology of the UK and Commonwealth (ASA) and the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) jointly organize a conference entitled ”Arts and aesthetics in a globalising world” 3–6 April 2012 in Delhi, India. It will be hosted by the School of Arts and Aesthetics at JNU. Every five years or so, the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth (ASA) tries to hold its annual conference outside the UK, in a Commonwealth country. The aim is to widen the possiblities for participation by Commonwealth colleagues. The ASA is happy to announce that it will hold its 2012 conference in India for the first time. The call for panels closes on 30th September 2011. More information.

• Yale University Modern South Asia Workshop 2012


Yale University Modern South Asia Workshop 2012Yale University Modern South Asia Workshop 2012 will be held 7–8 April 2012 at New Haven, Connecticut, USA. Abstracts are now invited for this two-day workshop that brings together the ongoing work of advanced graduate students and recent PhDs working on topics of current interest in modern South Asian Studies. Submissions of paper proposals from all disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences are invited, particularly those that will foster cross-disciplinary dialogue and exchange of ideas from across the diverse regions of South Asia. Past papers have tackled issues ranging from film and ethnomusicology to state formation and elections and have presented new theoretical and methodological alternatives in the study of South Asia. The workshop is sponsored by the South Asian Studies Council at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. More information.

• Other conferences connected to South Asian studies all over the World

See SASNET’s page,

Important lectures and seminars in Scandinavia

Swati• Swati Bannerjee lectures at Lund University

Dr. Swati Banerjee from the School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), Mumbai, India, holds an open lecture at Lund University on Monday 5 September 2011, 10.00–12.00. She will talk about ”Gender Construction and Development Practice in India: Collective Action towards socio-political empowerment of rural women”. The seminar is organised by the university’s Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies (ACE). Venue: Scheelevägen 15, room Alfa 1010, Lund.

• Anjoo Sharan Upadhyaya holds seminars at Karlstad University


Prof. Anjoo Sharan Upadhyaya, Director of the Nepali Research Centre in Varanasi, India, will give three open lectures at Karlstad University during the period 7-15 September 2011. The seminars are organised by the university’s Dept. of Political Science, History and the Faculty of the Humanities. Prof. Upadhyaya has formerly neen the Dean of Social Science and Head of Political Science at Banaras Hindu University (BHU). , Varanasi, India. – On Wednesday 7 September, 10.00–12.00, she will talk about “Female Empowerment in South Asia: Past and Present”. Venue: Hall 1D:328.
– On Tuesday 13 September, 15.30–17.00, she will talk about “Female Empowerment in South Asia: Past and Present”. Venue: Hall 3C:413.
– On Thursday 15 September, 14.15–16.00, she will talk about “Public and Private Social Work in India”. Venue: Hall 3D:504.
More information about the seminars.

• 50 years anniversary seminar at International Science Programme, Uppsala University

A one-day seminar to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of International Science Programme (ISP) at Uppsala University will be held on 26 September 2011. When it started in 1961, it was called the International Seminar for Research and Education in Physics. Over the 50 years since then, the programme has developed from a fellowship programme into a capacity building programme, not only in Physics, but also in Chemistry (since 1970) and Mathematics (since 2002). ISP gives long term support to the establishment of viable research teams in developing countries, including South Asia. Regional cooperation and networking are also important parts of the activities. The seminar aims to highlight experiences drawn in the past 50 years from different perspectives, and to indicate the way forward.RaoInvited speakers include Professor C.N.R. Rao (photo) from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore, India, who will talk about ”Developing Countries in the International Year of Chemistry”; and Professor Hans Rosling, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, who will talk about ”ISP and the world”. 
Dr Anders Granlund, Head of the Unit for Research Cooperation at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida); and Mr Tomas Kjellqvist, Research Manager at Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH), and former director of the Secretariat for Research Cooperation at Sida, will also participate.
Lars Eklund will represent SASNET at the ISP seminar day. 
Venue for the seminar: Ihresalen, Engelska Parken, Thunbergsvägen 3H, Uppsala. 
Full information on ISP’s seminar page.

• Aarhus lecture on Scheduled Tribes in India

The Contemporary India Study Centre Aarhus (CISCA) presents a guest lecture on ”Why Scheduled Tribes are more excluded than Scheduled Castes in India?” by Prof. Tanka B. Subba (Head of the Department of Anthropology, North- Eastern Hill University, Shillong).  Venue: Building 1410, room 136 (Historisk Mødelokale) 4th October 2011, 10-12 AM

The National Sample Survey Organisation data pertaining to 1983 and 1999- 2000 show that the STs continue to lag behind the SCs in India with special reference to education despite the fact that the latter additionally suffer from social disability that the former does not. This lecture critically examines the “hill and forest” habitation theory to explain the continued exclusion of the STs and offers an alternative argument based on social structure. This lecture also examines the state of social disability after six decades of planned development on the basis of data collected from a South Indian village in 2008. Finally, the lecture brings in the Northeast Indian context to argue that both “hill and forest” and “social structure” theories stand contested in the light of “Christianity” theory. More information

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

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Business and Politics

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South Asia related culture in Scandinavia

• Indian Cultural Festival in Uppsala from 3 September

Incredible India

In Uppsala, an Indian Cultural Festival is held at many different places during September, October and part of November 2011. The festival is entitled ”Incredible India” and is organised by the association Kulturum with support from many public and private organisations. The programme includes art and photo exhibitions, concerts and dance performances, lectures, screening of Indian films, Bollywood shows, Indian cooking and a literary festival. The festival starts on 3–4 September with an Indian market at Kulturoasen in Håga, and a dance and music performance by Odissi dancer Ulrika Anoukha Larsen and musicians Moa Danielson (Tabla) and Stian Grimstad (Sitar).
ShashankOther coming events include concerts with the renowned South Indian Flute players Shashank Subramanyam (on 9th September, photo) and Shantala Subramanyam (on 24th September); an Indian film festival at Fyrisbiografen 18–20 September; and public lectures by Uppsala University researchers such as Sten Widmalm (5th September), Eva Hellman (12th September) and Beppe Karlsson (27th September). 
The formal inauguration of Incredible India will take place on Saturday 10th September, that happens to be Uppsala’s Cultural Night. Lots of India focused activities will then take place from mid-day till late at night.Full information about the Incredible India festival in Uppsala.

• Anna Laine’s Kolam exhibition on display at Angered

Kolam art

During the period 10 September – 22 october 2011, an exhibition on Kolam, the South Indian practice where women daily draw geometrical images in front of their homes to invite the deities, is held in Angered, outside Gothenburg. The exhibition is made by Dr. Anna Laine, Social Anthropologist and Artist, now based at Dalarna University, Campus Falun, but previously connected to the University of Gothenburg where she defended her doctoral dissertation on the Kolam practice in 2009. More information about Anna Laine’s project.
The exhibition, previously shown at Etnografiska Museet in Stockholm, is entitled ”Kolam – flyktiga mönster för ändlös lycka” . Venue: Kulturum, Kulturhuset Blå Stället, Angereds Torg 13. More information.

• Copenhagen cultural event with Indra Sinha

IndraThe well-known Indian writer Indra Sinha from Mumbai visits Copenhagen in connection with publicity for his book ”Animal's People” that has recently been translated into Danish. A cultural event will be organised by the Indian Music Society in Copenhagen on Sunday 4 September 2011, at 15.00. Indra Sinha will present the book, that was shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize and is the Winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers's Prize: Best Book From Europe & South Asia. 
GrunnetAfter a coffee/tea break, the Copenhagen musicians1Morten Grunnet (photo) and Sandipan Chatterjee will perform a North Indian afternoon rag, played on Sitar and Tablas respectively. 
Venue: Tranquebar Café og Rejseboghandel, Borgergade 14, Copenhagen. More information about the event (only in Danish).

• Shantala performs at Huddinge Indian Festival

The one-day festival is organised by the Rasa Dance association in Huddinge on Saturday 1 October 2011, 11.00–17.00. It will present Indian culture and traditions to the Swedish public. Focus of the festival will be classical and folk dances of the Indian subcontinent. Live music and song are also featured through the performance of Shantala Subramanyam (photo) and her Ensemble visiting Scandinavia as part of their 2011 European Tour. Shantala Subramanyam Ensemble specializes in creating pieces based on bamboo flute, violin and drums. Venue: Huddinge gymnasium/Aula on Huddinge kommun, Gymnasievägen 3, Huddinge. More information

 Swedish Embassy in Delhi organises Nobel Memorial Week

Nobel Week

The Embassy of Sweden, together with a number of Swedish partner companies, has organized the Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Week annually since 2007. Held in October, the Week showcases the innovation and creativity of Sweden and Swedish companies and aims to enhance the interest for Sweden in India. This year marks the five-year-celebration of the Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Week, and will take place during the period 15–23 October 2011, across Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bengaluru and New Delhi. More information about the Sweden India Nobel Memorial Week.
As part of the Nobel Memorial Week, the Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Quiz brings together quizzers from esteemed Indian colleges and technical Institutes for an Inter-Collegiate Quiz in a battle where minds prevail over muscles (more information). The winning team gets an all-expenses paid trip to Sweden with special visits to some of the Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Week partner companies, as well as chances for internships with these prestigious companies.In 2009, SASNET organised the quiz winners’ visit to Lund University. Read Lars Eklund’s report.

• Jatin Das exhiited Swedish impressions at Skinnskatteberg

Jatin DasAn exhibition of the eminent Indian painter Jatin Das has been held at Gallery Astley in Uttersberg, Skinnskatteberg, Sweden, during the period 17 July – 21 August 2011. Jatin Das, hailing from Mayurbhanj in Orissa, has been painting for 50 years andis one of India's best-known contemporary artists. After studies at the Sir JJ School of Art, Bombay, under Professor S.B. Palsikar, he has held over 55 one-man exhibitions in India and abroad and has participated in numerous national and international shows and artist camps. He has also done several murals and sculpture installations. He works in oil, watercolour, ink, graphics and conté. His works now feature in several public and private collections in India and abroad. 
More information on the artist’s home page.

Jatin Das SwedenJatin Das has a long history with Sweden. Das and renowned poet, the late Dom Moraes had visited Sweden in the summer of 1988 as a guests of the Swedish government under the aegis of 'The Visit of a Poet and a Painter'. Both, taking down their impressions of Sweden and Swedes – one through sketches and drawings, the other through short poems and random thoughts alongside.
After 23 years, these impressions crystallised into a book called The Summer in Sweden, The Journey of a Painter and Poet. In June 2011, the book was launched at the residence of the Swedish Ambassador to India in New Delhi, along with the exhibition of his sketches from 1988. Das then travelled to Sweden with this exhibition of sketches of ink, pencil and charcoal. 
The Skinnskatteberg exhibition was inaugurated on 17th July, in the presence of Mr. Lars-Olof Lindgren, Ambassador of Sweden to India, and H E Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar, Ambassador of India to Sweden & Latvia (seen on the photo along with the artist). It became Jatin Das' second exhibition in Sweden in the past one year – the first as a part of a group and now, solo. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has made this solo exhibition in Sweden possible. 
More information about the exhibition in Sweden.

• Tagore’s impact on Swedish writer theme for new book


At the Göteborg Book Fair, held 22–25 September 2011, a new book will be presented on Rabindranath Tagore and his importance for the writer Gunnel Emia Eriksdotter from Vänersborg. The book, written in Swedish, is entitled ”Han som visste att Gud finns”. It is unique story about the strong impact that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry and music has made on the writer’s consciousness since her childhood. The book will on display at Monter A02:66 (Recito förlag) at the Bok Fair. 
More information about the book.

• Information about South Asia related culture
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New and updated items on SASNET web site

• Swedish departments where research on South Asia is going on:
Constantly added to the list of research environments at Swedish universities, presented by SASNET. The full list now includes more than 280 departments, with detailed descriptions of the South Asia related research and education taking place! 
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Best regards

Lars Eklund
Deputy director/webmaster
SASNET/Swedish South Asian Studies Network

SASNET is a national network for research, education, and information about South Asia and is based at Lund University. Its aim is to promote a dynamic networking process in which Swedish researchers cooperate with their counterparts in South Asia and around the globe.
The SASNET network is open to all branches of the natural and social sciences. Priority is given to interdisciplinary cooperation across faculties, and more particularly to institutions in the Nordic countries and South Asia. SASNET believes that South Asian studies will be most fruitfully pursued as a cooperative endeavour among researchers in different institutions who have a solid base in their mother disciplines.
The network is financed by Lund University.

Postal address: SASNET – Swedish South Asian Studies Network, Scheelevägen 15 D, SE-223 70 Lund, Sweden 
Visiting address: Ideon Research Park, House Alpha 1 (first floor, room no. 2040), in the premises of the Centre for East and South East Asian Studies at Lund University (ACE).
Phone: + 46 46 222 73 40 
Fax: + 46 46 222 30 41
Web site:

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