Newsletter 135 – 3 May 2012


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Kolkata tombs


• Join SASNET's updated researchers database!

As part of the technical development of the SASNET website we have now upgraded our Researchers Database.
The database was initially created in 2001 with the goal to make it easier to identify Nordic scholars who do research in various areas related to South Asia – from humanities to natural sciences, thus hoping to enhance collaborations, exchanges and networking among researchers. The database has now been upgraded and allows the researchers themselves to enter and manage the information about their research. It also has an improved search engine that allows for searching in various ways – either by entering search keyword(s) or by browsing the researchers filtered by their country of interest, area of research or university.
Anyone who is doing research or collaboration with South Asia and is affiliated to a Nordic university is welcome to register and help us develop further the database, thus enabling collaborations and future projects of interest for both Nordic and South Asian scholars.
If you are not already present in the database, you can join by creating your profile here or browse the Researchers Database.

• India Evening in Lund with seminar on Caste Identity, and Sarod/Tabla concert

On Wednesday 16 May 2012, from 18.00, an evening programme devoted to Indian society and culture will be held in Lund. The event is jointly organised by SASNET/Lund University and Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF) Lund, and is free of charge. Venue: ABF premises, Bangatan 10 (opposite the railway station), Lund. All are welcome.
The programme starts at 6 P.M. with a lecture by Professor G K Karanth on ”Caste ‘Pride’ and Caste ‘Prejudice’: Personal Reflections”. Prof. Karanth comes from Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bangalore, India, but during the academic year 2011/12 he has been the ICCR India Chair Professor at Lund University hosted by SASNET and the Department of Sociology. In his presentation, he will discuss issues related to Indian caste identities, based on his own personal experiences as having been born and brought up in a family with a caste identity of its own.

The lecture is followed at 7.30 P.M. by a classical North Indian music concert by young talented Sarod player Somabanti Basu from Kolkata, who is being accompanied by her husbandSuman Sarkar on Tabla. Basu and Sarkar are currently on a European tour, but this will be their only performance in Sweden. Somabanti Basu plays according to the Maihar gharana tradition.
The India Evening also includes a performance by the India Choir of Lund, and serving of Indian snacks.
More information about the SASNET/ABF India Evening.  

• SASNET Brown Bag seminar on Inland Fisheries in Bangladesh and India

Associate Professor Alia Ahmad from the Department of Economics, Lund University, will hold the coming SASNET Brown Bag lunch seminar lecture on Thursday 10 May 2012, 12.30–13.30, at Lunds konsthall, Mårtenstorget 3, Lund. Her presentation is entitled ”Community Management of Inland Fisheries in Bangladesh and India”, and is based on results of a joint research project in which she has been involved in recent years. The study was initially supported by a planning grant from SASNET and later on sponsored by Sida and the Swedish Research Council. Organisations from three countries have been involved – Lund University, Sweden; Gujarat Institute of Development Research, India; and WorldFish Center, Bangladesh. The project addressed two major research issues: community management of inland fisheries for poverty alleviation, and the role of external agents in promoting user-based community organisations. The case studies are the community based Fisheries Management (CBFM) in Bangladesh, and the Cooperative Fisheries  Management of TAWA Reservoir in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. See the poster for the seminar.
The interdisciplinary South Asia seminars were introduced by SASNET a year ago, and from 2012 they are organised in collaboration with Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF) Lund, and Lunds konsthall.
More information about previous Brown Bag seminars.

• Lund University lunch seminar on Migration from Nepal

Dr. Anita Ghimire, Kathmandu University, Nepal, holds an open brown bag lunch seminar at Lund University on Monday 14 May 2012, 12.00–13.00. She will talk about ”Migration: The case of Nepal”. The seminar is jointly organised by SASNET and the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies (ACE), Lund university. Venue: ACE Conference room, Scheelevägen 15 D, 1st floor, Lund.
Seminar abstract: While Nepal is largely understood as a labor sending country to countries of East Asia, Gulf and  Malaysia, it has significant number of other types of out migrants and also hosts different kinds of migrants from other countries. The presentation discusses the trend and the present status of these different kinds of international migrants related to Nepal. The objective of this presentation is to shed light on different forms of migration related to Nepal and present the real position of Nepal in the migration hub.
Dr. Ghimire has a joint PhD in Human and Natural Resources Studies from Kathmandu University and University of Zurich, Switzerland. Her PhD thesis from 2010 was entitled ”Social and Territorial Impact of Armed Conflict Induced Displacement and the Livelihoods of Internally Displaced People in Nepal”. She is currently doing post-doc research focusing on student returnees and use of knowledge and skills in Nepal, being involved in an international research project entitled ”Migration Revisited”. It studies the nexus between migration, knowledge and development in Nepal, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Switzerland. Besides, Dr. Ghimire is also part of another project on “Migration, Mobility and Movement“, which is a comparative study of regional movement in South and Central Asia, South and Central America, and Ivory Coast in Africa. Finally, she is working with a research project in Nepal on “Livelihoods and Trajectories in Conflict Affected Situations and the Role of Governments, Aid Agencies, Markets and the Private Sector in Enabling People to make Secure Living“.
All are welcome to the seminar. ACE offers free brown bag lunch to those who wish to have such. If so, please send an e-mail to Julia Velkova before Friday 11 May 2012.

• SASNET/NCI meeting on increased future collaboration
 From left to right: Lars Eklund, Henrik Hofvendahl, Anna Lindberg and Kristina Myrvold.

On Tuesday 10 April 2012, a meeting was held at SASNET’s office in Lund between representatives of SASNET (Anna Lindberg, director, and Lars Eklund, deputy director); the Nordic Centre in India (NCI) university consortium (Kristina Myrvold, director); and Lund University (Henrik Hofvendahl, International Programme Officer at the Division of External Relations). The aim was to explore the possibility of various forms of increased collaboration between SASNET, based at Lund University, and the Nordic Centre in India. Several ideas were discussed and may be realised within a near future.
NCI is a consortium consisting of currently 19 Nordic universities. It runs summer courses and a semester programme in India, and collaborates with the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) in Mumbai; the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bangalore; Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi; University of Hyderabad (UoH) in Hyderabad; and South Asia Institute (SAI) in Heidelberg. Dr. Kristina Myrvold took over as new director for NCI on a 50 % basis from 1 March 2012. Besides, she is working as a researcher at the Dept. of History and Anthropology of Religion, Lund University.
More information about the Nordic Centre in India consortium

• Lars Eklund report from Kristianstad University

On Monday 23 April 2012, SASNET’s deputy director Lars Eklund visited Kristianstad University in order to meet some of the researchers and staff working on South Asia related collaboration projects. A meeting was kindly organised by Associate Professor Kerstin Samarasinghe from the School of Health and Society, and Lise-Lotte Nilsson, Director of International Relations, Kristianstad University. Associate Professor Ann-Sofi Rehnstam Holm, and Associate Professor Torvald Olsson from the School of Education and Environment, both of them strongly involved in India related research, participated. Lars also met the university Vice Rector Lena Persson, and Dr. Christer Ohlin, in charge of Special Education at the School of Education and Environment.
The university has had a long-standing collaboration with Sri Lanka, not the least due to Dr. Kerstin Samarasinghe’s efforts over the years, with Linnaeus Palme exchange programmes  first with the Open University in Colombo, and now with Sri Jayawardenepura University. The collaboration with Sri Lanka got a boost when a high-level delegation from Kristianstad University, led by the Vice Chancellor Lars Carlsson, and Vice Rector Lena Persson, led a delegation to the country in February 2012. It was a fruitful visit, resulting in both a number of collaboration agreements, and plans for a new triangular collaborative Masters programme in Geriatric Nursing between Kristianstad University, Open University and Chiang Mai University in Thailand.
Read Lars report from the visit to Kristianstad University.

• SASNET and Go:India launched lunch seminar series in Gothenburg

From the spring 2012 the University of Gothenburg project Go:India and SASNET has jointly launched a new lunch seminar series with focus on contemporary India that will take place in Gothenburg. Go:India is an interdisciplinary academic network and project promoting exchange and cooperation between University of Gothenburg and universities in India. Go:India was initiated in 2011 and its first phase will continue until 2013. In the spring of 2012 SASNET and Go:India decided on joining efforts in order to replicate the successful Lund-based SASNET Brown Bag seminar series, and offer a similar seminar series also in Gothenburg.
The seminar series is held once a month and features researchers working on contemporary India.
Coordinators for the seminar series are Sigríður Beck and Katharina Plank from Gothenburg University, and Julia Velkova from SASNET.
The first public lunch seminar of the series took place on 17 April 2012 at the The Glass House (Glashuset), located at Chalmersgatan 4 (the inner court yard between the School of Photography and the Valand School of Fine Arts) in Gothenburg. The seminar featured Professor Gopal Karanth who is ICCR India Chair Professor at Lund University during the academic year 2011/12. Prof. Karanth talked about ”Looking back and looking forward. Class, Caste and Economic Change in Contemporary Rural India”.
Read a report from the seminar.
The next Go:India – SASNET Brown Bag seminar in Gothenburg will take place on 29 May 2012 and will feature Professor Annika Härenstam from the Department of Work Science. More information to follow.

• Christ University delegation visited Lund University and SASNET
SASNET’s Lars Eklund with Bino Thomas and Johny Joseph from Christ University, Bangalore.

On 26 April 2012, Bino Thomas, Head of the Dept. of Social Work, Christ University, Bangalore, India; and Johny Joseph, Director of the Center for Social Action at the same university, made a courtesy call to SASNET’s office in Lund. They met with Anna Lindberg, Lars Eklund and Julia Velkova.
Thomas and Joseph had come to Lund University to participate in a conference on ”Social Work in an International Context”, organised by the School of Social Work, Lund University. During this conference, the School of Social Work’s partner universities and organizations in India, Argentina, Holland, Iceland and Denmark – among them Christ University – held presentations on social work in their countries.
Mr Thomas has a specialization is social work and family mental health, family and marital counseling and parenting skills development programmes. Johny Joseph has, through the Center for Social Action, initiated developmental projects for rural and urban communities involving the students of Christ University since 1999, and has designed activities for student sensitization on social issues.

• More information about SASNET and its activities
See SASNET’s page,

Research Community News

• Swedish researchers study effects of toxic algae along the Indian west coast

Anna Godhe

For the past 16 years, Dr. Anna Godhe at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, has been involved in a long-standing and fruitful research collaboration with the Karnataka Animal Veterinary and Fisheries Science University in Mangalore on the Indian west coast,focusing on Toxic algae, their ecology, and about methods to develop identification and detection of these algae, along the south-west coast of India.
Dr. Ann-Sofi Rehnstam-Holm, School of Education and Environment, Kristianstad University, has been Anna’s main Swedish partner in the India projects.
Currently, a project funded by Swedish Research Links and SIDA-Formas, is running with several other Swedish and Indian partners. The project is entitled ”Climate induced changes in phytoplankton community structure: The role of harmful algal species in the Arabian Sea”, and aims to understand how climate-induced changes in sea surface temperature (SST), salinity, pH, and sources of macronutrients may affect the phytoplankton community structure, and to identify environmental drivers of harmful algal bloom (HAB) species. Such knowledge will enable us to foresee effects in the marine food web affecting e.g. fisheries, and assess the risks HABs pose to human health under present and future environmental conditions.
The project will be further strengthened during 2012, since the Gothenburg Centre for Marine Research, a multidisciplinary research centre at University of Gothenburg established in 2011, has granted funds for providing two PhD projects within the India project. One of the PhD candidates, still to be selected, will be supervised by Anna Godhe and deal with climate changes in the pelagial (bacteria and algae) in the Arabian Sea. The second PhD candidate will be supervised by Dr. Per Knutsson, School of Global Studies, and focus on societal changes taking place along the Indian west coast due to effects of the blooming of toxic algae and bacteria in the sea.
More information about the project.

• Uppsala Symposium on Democracy and Development marks the closure of DevNet

The Swedish Development Research Network on Nature, Poverty and Power (DevNet), based at Uppsala University, invites  to a one-day symposium entitled ”Democracy and Development: A Disputable Pair” on Thursday 31 May 2012, 10–17. The symposium marks the probable closure of DevNet (at least in its present shape), since its funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has come to an end. It will therefore be dedicated to a retrospective as well as forward looking discussion on the central concepts of democracy, (sustainable) development, globalisation and power. Venue: Hambergssalen, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala University. Participants should register before May 28th to
The symposium addresses the meanings and realities of democracy and development and their linkages to globalisation and power. What meanings are assigned to these concepts? How do they connect? Such difficult questions and possible answers will be illuminated and debated by experienced and concerned scholars of various generations and backgrounds. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Neera Chandhoke, University of Delhi, India, who will speak about ”Globalisation and Democracy: An Equivocal Relationship”. Other invited speakers include Dr. Beppe Karlsson, Dept. of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University; Dr. Seema Arora-Jonsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala; Professor Lars Rudebeck, DevNet, Uppsala University; and Professor Olle Törnquist, University of Oslo.
In his presentation, Lars Rudebeck (photo) will sum up his thinking on the symposium theme after half a century of research, teaching and efforts to support transdisciplinarity in the field of development studies. He was one of the founders of the interdisciplinary Uppsala-Stockholm arena called the AKUT Group (Working Group for the Study of Development Strategies) based at Uppsala University, 1976-1993, as well as the subsequent Seminar for Development Studies (SDS), which in 2008 was transformed into the nation-wide research network DevNet. The continuous aim of these and related constellations has been to promote interdisciplinary exchange in the field of ‘development studies’, and Lars Rudebeck has been one of the central figures in making this possible. Thus, the present symposium is also a tribute to this life-long effort of his.
More information about the DevNet symposium.

• Doctoral dissertation on Treatment of Textile Wastewaters in Tirupur and Kanpur

Maria J


Maria Jonstrup, Department of Biotechnology, Lund University, defended her doctoral dissertation entitled ”Treatment of textile wastewaters using combinations of biological and physico-chemical methods” on 29 September 2011. The faculty opponent was Professor Bert Allard, School of Science and Technology, Örebro University.
Maria’s research was carried out within the department’s dye remediation research group (more information), under supervision from Prof. Bo Mattiasson, with funding from Sida and Mistra. In India, research has been carried out in Tirupur (photo to the right) and in Kanpur. The project was carried out in collaboration with Indiska Magasinet AB, Sweden, and the target was to deliver a viable treatment method to the textile industry for cleaner production.
This project focused on degradation of textile dyes using white-rot fungi and combining anaerobic-aerobic bacterial processes. Part of the effort also lay on photocatalysis, though being a physico-chemical process it has many advantages. First a laboratory scale treatment process for synthetic wastewater should be developed. Once this is achieved the next step is to build a pilot plant at a textile factory in India. The final goal is to be able to reuse the treated wastewater within the factory. More information with a link to the abstract.

• Doctoral dissertation on the Theosophical Society’s contributions to education and politics

Per-Olof Fjällsby, Department of History and Political Science, Karlstad University, will defend his doctoral dissertation entitled ”Indien som utopi och verklighet. Om den teosofiska rörelsens bidrag till indisk utbildning och politik 1879–1930” (India as Utopia and Reality. On the Contributions by the Theosophical Society to Indian Education and Politics, 1879–1930) on Friday 1 June 2012, at 14.00. The faculty opponent will be Dr. Henrik Chetan Aspengren, Department of History, Uppsala University. In the study P-O Fjällsby tries to explore the various ways in which the past was used by the Theosophist in order to construct a national identity in India. Three subjects are in focus; their national political ambitions, efforts in the field of a national education and in the women's movement. The first attempt from the Theosophist's to interact with the nationalist movement in India was taken already in 1879. Contact was than established with the Hindu revival movement, Arya Samaj and its leader Dayananda Saraswati. In 1885 A O Hume, at that time a theosophist, was (one of) the founder to the Indian National Congress. In 1909 more than 10 000 were members in TS, mostly people from the middle class in the Anglo-Indian society.
More information about the thesis.

• Geir Heierstad new NoFSA-net mailing list manager

From 1 May 2012, NoFSA-NET – the Nordic Forum for South Asia mailing list – has got a new list manager, Dr. Geir Heierstad (photo), Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS), University of Oslo. Ram Gupta, who has been in charge of the NoFSA website and the NoFSA mailinglist ever since it was launched in 1996, is about to leave the University of Oslo for greener pastures elsewhere. Ram will, however, retain his seat on the NoFSA board.
NoFSA’s goal is to inform members about current events of potential interest to people who deal with South Asia in some capacity (e g students, volunteer organizations, journalists, etc.) in the Nordic region. NoFSA-NET works in close collaboration with SASNET. The mailing list has around 250 members, and the facebook group has almost the same number of members. Today, most of the activities are taking place via the facebook group.
The network is coordinated by PhD Candidate Kenneth Bo Nielsen at the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), Oslo. He is assisted by a board with representatives from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. The ambition is to encourage South Asianists from all the Nordic countries to contribute more actively to the networking activities. NoFSA also has a board, consisting of Kenneth Bo Nielsen and Ram Gupta from OsloUwe Skoda, Aarhus University, Denmark; Lars Eklund, SASNET/Lund University, Sweden; and Sirpa Tenhunen, University of Helsinki, Finland.
More information about NoFSA.

• Finnish researchers focusing on India connected by blog

A new blog for Finnish or Finland-based researchers focusing on India has been launched. The blog is entitled ”India Researchers of Finland” and aims to be a hub for India researchers in Finland. The idea originally came from Dr. Mari Korpela of University of Tampere who suggested an India related workshop at the Finnish Anthropology Conference 2011. After the workshop was held, the participants decided to continue organizing, starting with a blog.
Go for the India Researchers of Finland blog.

• Tenure position in South Asian Studies at University of Helsinki

The Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki is announcing one open tenure-track position as Associate Professor in South Asian Studies. The focus should be on the principal languages of South Asia and research on contemporary Indian culture and society. The applicant should also have a creative view on development within the field of research, be able to teach on an interdisciplinary basis, and secure external funding for international research projects that promote the the discipline. Deadline for applications is 15 June 2012. More information (only in Swedish).
South Asian Studies at the University of Helsinki is carried out within the framework of Asian Studies, also including East Asian Studies, Altaic Studies, and Indoeuropeistics. Asian Studies is a new interdisciplinary, regional subject, part of the Department of World Cultures. It was launched in the autumn of 2011 and concentrates on Asian nations, people, societies, languages and cultures.

• Time to apply for Master’s Program in Modern Indian Studies in Göttingen

The Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS) at the University of Göttingen in Germany accepts applications for its master program in ”Modern Indian Studies”. The program is taught in English and integrates perspectives from the humanities, the social sciences and economics. Thematically, inequality and diversity link the analyses of modern Indian politics, history, society, religion and economy.  The following courses are part of the program: – Modern Indian History; – Indian Economic Development; – Indian Religions; – State and Democracy in Modern India; – Society and Culture of Modern India; – Anthropology of Public Health in South Asia.
Application closes on 15 May 2012. Full information.

• Call for chapters in an edited volume on exploring India China relations

Dr. Biswajit Mohapatra from the Dept. of Political Science at North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in Shillong, India. invites for contributions for an edited volume on ”Exploring India China Relations: Historical Constructions and Future Possibilities”. The submissions should address the problem of the contentious dispute over borders and related geopolitical competition for power, influence, resources, and above all markets between China and India. The edited volume aims further at looking at the evolution of the relations between the two countries after 1950s, and analysing an emerging security scenario in which the adversarial nature of the Sino- Indian rela­tionship are examined, as well as strategic grounds so as to help these two regional powers to conduct smooth negotiations to settle their differences and mistrust are defined. Deadline for sending a 500-word abstract is 30 April 2012. Full chapters are due by 12 June 2012. Full information.

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

Educational News

• Apply for Heidelberg’s master's programme on Health and Society in South Asia

Since 2008, the South Asia Institute at University of Heidelberg, Germany, runs an interdisciplinary Master's programme entitled ”Health and Society in South Asia” (MAHASSA). The programme is a taught, two-year interdisciplinary degree with a focus on Medical Anthropology and South Asian Studies.
Masters programmeIt is integrated with the curriculum of Heidelberg University’s South Asia Institute, allowing students to integrate South Asian languages, geography, politics, etc. into their plan of study. Most students base their Masters Thesis on field research conducted in South Asia. The language of instruction is English.
The programme is intended for students who plan to work (or already work) in health-related fields but also for those who wish to pursue an academic career. The programme is administered by the Dept. of Anthropology at the South Asia Institute, specializing in Medical Anthropology, with various staff members conducting research on ritual healing, folk medicine, South Indian medicine, health and environment, Ayurveda, Tibetan Medicine, gender and health, women's reproductive health and Islam, and other topics.
The programme combines Medical Anthropology with South Asian Studies. Medical Anthropology is the study of healing systems, not primarily in terms of scientific theories or health policies, but also focusing on and analyzing how they are practiced in concrete, socio-cultural contexts. Admissions for the next program starting in October 2012 is now open and applications should have reached the University before 15 June 2012.
More information about MAHASSA

• Growth Analysis seminar on recruitment of Indian students to Sweden
Andreas Scheutz (top right) presents the descrease of Indian applicants to Higher Educational Institutions in Sweden after the introduction of fees. 

On 25 April 2012, the Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis  (Tillväxtanalys) organised a seminar on ”Student recruitment in India – regions, collaborations and advantages for Sweden”. The seminar took place in Gothenburg and SASNET was represented at the meeting through the participation of Julia Velkova. Present in the seminar were also representatives from Jönköping University, University of Gothenburg, University of Borås, Chalmers University of Technology, Skövde University, and Halmstad University. The seminar was based on a recent Growth Analysis report that looks into the possibilities for Swedish universities to develop further their processes of internationalisation and attract more Indian students to study in Sweden after the introduction of fees for studying at higher education insitutions. Read the report.
The seminar was mainly led by Andreas Muranyi Scheutz, representative of Growth Analysis in New Delhi, India who discussed various issues, strategies and Swedish organisations represented in India that could assist Swedish universities in attracting Indian students. Andreas Scheutz' presentation was complemented by input from Andreas Larsson, Growth Analysis Stockholm and Anna Liberg from Exportrådet.
After the seminar in Gothenburg, an identical seminar was held in Stockholm on 25 April 2012.
Growth Analysis is a cross-border organisation with head office in the city of Östersund in Sweden, but activities are also conducted in Stockholm, Brasilia, Brussels, New Delhi, Beijing, Tokyo, and Washington D.C.

• New signs of need for reform in the Indian higher educational sector

A new comparative study made by the National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR) in India has shown that Chinese research institutions are three times better than their Indian counterparts in terms of research performance. The major problem in front of Indian research institutions seems to be that they put too much of their resources on activities other than research, at least this is the opinion of Assistant Professor N. Raghuram from the institute. Read more about the results of this study at Deccan Herald.
Another report, made by TeamLease Services which is an Indian recruitment company have come to the conclusion that it is relatively few who decide to continue studying at higher educational level, and the educational sector is not flexible enough. There seems to also be a problem with matching the competences that students receive from universities and the needs of the labour market. Read more about this study at Business Standard.

• Heidelberg Summer School on "Seeing Matter(s): Materiality and Visuality"

The Heidelberg University's Cluster of Excellence ”Asia and Europe in a Global Context” organise a summer course that will focus on the way images and objects spread across geographical and cultural boundaries, and will take place in Heidelberg 29 July - 4 August 2012. The course is aimed at post-graduate students at Masters and PhD level from the areas of humanities and social sciences, and the program is structured around lectures, seminars and workshops. In terms of content, the emphasis is on the role and impact of visual and material culture. Among the topics addressed at the school are the formation of material worlds, the portrayal of intimacy and the exposition of images and objects in exhibitions and performances. The course will be given by academics from Germany, Canada, India, and the United States. The deadline for applications to sumbit application to participate in the school is 15 April 2012.
More information.

• Würzburg University summer course on Language and Culture of Karnataka

The University of Würzburg, Germany organises a Summer School on ”Language and Culture of Karnataka (South India)” to take place 17 – 28 September 2012. The course will provide an introduction to the Kannada language, which is a classical Indian the language of the state of Karnataka spoken by more than 60 million people today. Introduction to spoken Kannada, as well as reading, writing and grammar skills will be given. The language course will be combined with an introduction to the history and culture of the Kannada–speaking areas of the Indian subcontinent. The state´s capital, Bangalore, a globalized IT-Boomtown is also called the “Silicon Valley of India”, whereas the Unesco World Heritage site Hampi gives a great impression of the capital of the late medieval Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagara (“City of Victory”), whose kings ruled over vast parts of South India for around 300 years. Cultural and religious traditions include the Islamic culture of North Karnataka, Jainism and Hinduism. The course is free of cost, but study literature and materials are to be covered by the students. Accommodation can be arranged upon request. Deadline for registration is 30 June 2012.
Full information.

• Winter school on Philologies Across the Asias in New Delhi

The Center for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in Delhi, and the Forum Transregionale Studien with a base in Berlin, Germany invite scholars to apply for an international Winter School to be held in Delhi from 10—21 December, 2012 on the theme ”Philologies Across the Asias: The Translation, Transmission and Transformation of Knowledge in the Early Modern World”. The winter school is organised within the framework of the research project ”Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship” that aims to support research in neglected varieties of philology with the explicit aim to integrate, across the pre/modern divide, texts and scholarly traditions from Asia, Africa, the Middle East as well as from Europe itself.
This particular winter school will work with exploring the role that textual practices, language studies and archival policies have played in the constitution of knowledge across Asia since 1500.
Eligible candidates are post-doctoral students, and advanced doctoral students of language studies, history and cultural studies, whose philological work promotes an inter-Asian perspective. The organisers will cover travel costs and accommodation. Interested applicants should apply by 20 May 2012. Read full information about the application process.

• Other educational news connected to South Asian studies all over the World

See SASNET’s page,

Seminars and Conferences in Scandinavia

• Gothenburg workshop on Lohorung and Nepali spoken language

Jens Allwood

Since 2009, Professor Emeritus Jens Allwood at SCCIIL Interdisciplinary Center, Department of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Theory of Science (FLoV), University of Gothenburg, has led a research project on ”Contributions to the "Linguistic Survey of Nepal" – work on Lohorung and Nepali spoken language”. The project, funded by a Swedish Research Links grant, has been carried out in collaboration with Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu.
More information about the project.
As part of the project collaboration, a group of Nepali researchers (Sagun DhakhwaBhim RegmiRam Sakun and Madhav P Pokharel) are visiting the SCCIIL Interdisciplinary Center on 30 April – 6 May 2012. On Thursday 3 May, there was a workshop where the Nepali researchers presented their work in a series of five talks. Venue: IT University at Lindholmen, House Patricia. More information about the workshop.

• Stockholm workshop on the civil society facing the challenges of international terrorism and domestic resistance

The Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University organises a two-day workshop on ”The civil society-security nexus, facing the challenges of international terrorism and domestic resistance” on 3 – 4 May 2012 in Stockholm. Scholars from  India, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines along with researchers from Europe will gather to discuss various aspects of international terrorism and domestic resistance. Professor Sanjib Baruah, a political science scholar from Bard College, USA speaks about ”Enclosing the Water Commons: Hydropower and the Specter of Maoism in Northeast India”. Read here his and the other participants' abstracts. 
Read the full programme.

• Uppsala seminar on Founding an Empire on India’s Northeastern Frontiers

The Forum for South Asia Studies at Uppsala University invites to a public lecture with Professor Gunnel Cederlöf, Department of History, Uppsala University, on Monday 7 May 2012, 13.15–15.00. The seminar is entitled ”Climate, Polities and the Making of a Citizen: Founding an Empire on India’s Northeastern Frontiers”. Venue: Main University Building (universitetshuset), Room 8, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala.
In public debates for most of the last century, North East India remained a region at the far end of the state, cut off from the ‘mainland’ and the larger markets, and haunted by violence. It has carried legacies of colonial governance into the present of government being unable to subdue and domesticate people and landscape within the larger polity. This secluded position of the region has a comparatively short history. The interest in mineral wealth of the hills, and of connecting Bengal (and India) with the large markets in China was a major driving force behind the British East India Company’s advance eastwards. Commercial prosperity and private returns pushed forward Company initiatives to establish de facto control of the territories argued to be included in the diwani grant of 1765 providing extensive revenue rights over large territories. The British Company sought to reopen, not close the commercial overland routes to the east. This talk focuses on conflicts involved in establishing colonial governance and will elaborate on three themes and their interrelatedness.

• Stockholm seminar on the new Amercan Silk Road Strategy

The Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP) in Stockholm-Nacka invites to a Silk Road Forum on “The New Silk Road Strategy: US Policy in Afghanistan and Greater Central Asia post-2014” on Thursday 10 May 2012, 13.00 – 14.30. Dr. S. Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, will speak about the new IS  strategy for Afghanistan and how this does not arise in a vacuum. What has the government of Afghanistan been doing along these same lines, and what are the ambitious goals of the Asia Development Bank in this same area? What does it mean for America's European partners? Finally, what are the chances that all this activity will prove successful?
Dr. Starr is a Research Professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Boston, USA. His research, which has resulted in twenty books and 200 published articles, focuses on the rise of pluralistic and voluntary elements in modern societies, the interplay between foreign and domestic policy, and the relation of politics and culture. Venue: ISDP, Västra Finnbodavägen 2, Nacka. More information

• Oslo University seminar on Governance and Law in Ancient India

Professor Patrick Olivelle, University of Texas at Austin, holds a guest lecture at University of Oslo on Thursday 10 May 2012, 13.15–15.00. She will talk about ”King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: The Origin of Kauṭilya's Arthaśāstra”, based on his new insights on the Arthaśāstra gained in connection of his new translation of this important early Indian text. The seminar is organised by the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS). Venue: Room 454, P A Munchs hus, Blindern, Oslo.
Professor Olivelle's visit to Oslo University takes place in the context of IKOS' cooperation with the College of Liberal Arts at University of Texas at Austin. He holds the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, and works in ancient to medieval Indian cultural history, focusing especially on religious history. He has translated many important ancient Indian texts, including the Upanishads, ancient codes of law, and books of folktale, and he is especially interested in the connections between social, political, economic and religious dimensions of Indian history. More information.

• Uppsala seminar on Bangalore slum communities

Anirudh Krishna, Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, USA, holds an open Forum Lecture at Uppsala University on Tuesday 15 May 2012, 10.15–12.00. He will speak about ”Stucks in slums (The design of a third-world city?): Investigating 14 settlements of Bangalore, India”. Venue:  Department of Peace and Conflict Research (PCR), Hall 2, Gamla torget 3, 1st floor, Uppsala.
Prof. Krishna’s research investigates how poor communities and individuals in developing countries cope with the structural and personal constraints that result in poverty and powerlessness. His presentation consists of investigations in 14 officially-recognized slum communities in Bangalore, including detailed interviews with 1,481 households, show that rather than being way-stations that lead to better lives slums have become final destinations for many. A vast majority has lived in slums for more than three generations. There is a great deal of occupational and residential continuity. Economic status has improved somewhat with the passage of generations. Not one young slum man or woman is a medical student, and no more than two attend engineering colleges. Low upward mobility prospects, high vulnerability, and weak institutional linkages combine to keep slum residents stuck in place. More information.

• NIAS lunch seminar on the February 7th Coup in the Maldives

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Nils Finn Munch-Petersen, Senior expert at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen, Denmark, holds an open lunch lecture at NIAS on Wednesday 16 May 2012, 13.00 – 14.00. He will speak about ”Maldives – the 7th February coup”, on the coup that took place earlier this year in the Maldives replacing a democratically elected government by groups loyal to the former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who ruled the Islands for 30 years. The coup was planned in detail during December 2011 and carried out by the police and judiciary. Venue: NIAS, Leifsgade 33, 3rd floor, Copenhagen.

While the Maldives have been a 100% Muslim country since the 1100’eds, the strange rationale for the coup was defending Islam: and, even stranger, the new and illegal government was almost immediately recognized by both India and the US. As an Islamic manifestation, on the day of the coup, all pre-Islamic artifacts at the Maldives National Museum were destroyed. During the short period of democratic rule the Maldives received world attention and generous aid due to a well marketed sea-rise due to global warming, as well as international recognition for the government’s efforts for environmental protection. However while no sea rise has been recorded for the archipelago, the Maldives is also the only South Asian country without even a single nature protected area. More information about the seminar.

• Jyotirmaya Sharma holds SCAS lecture on Hindu Identity

Jyotirmaya Sharma, Professor of Political Science, University of Hyderabad, India, holds a lecture in Uppsala on Tuesday 15 May 2012, at 11.00. Prof. Sharma, who is a Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) in Uppsala during the Spring semester 2012, will talk about ”Creating a Religion: Some Thoughts on Hindu Identity”. Venue: Linneanum, Thunbergsvägen 2, Uppsala.
Founded in 1985 SCAS was the first institute of its kind in Northern Europe. It is a national scientific institution, chartered by the Government of Sweden as an institute for advanced study mainly in the social and human sciences. A core component of an institute for advanced study is a highly selective programme for visiting fellows, and over the years, several researchers from South Asia have been selected for fellowships at SCAS.
Prof. Sharma’s recent publications include, ”Hindutva: Exploring the Idea of Hindu Nationalism” (Penguin/Viking, 2003) and ”Terrifying Vision: M.S. Golwalkar, the RSS and India” (Penguin/Viking, 2007). He is currently working on the thought of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, Tagore and Gandhi, while simultaneously working on a book exploring the life and ideas of Gandhi. An edited volume titled ”Grounding Morality: Freedom, Knowledge and the Plurality of Cultures” (co-edited with A. Raghuramaraju) was published by Routledge in 2010.
More information about the SCAS lectures during the spring 2012.

• Stockholm seminar on Reconciliation in Post-Civil War Sri Lanka

The Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP) in Stockholm-Nacka invites to a Asia Forum with Professor P. Sahadevan, Professor of South Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India, on Wednesday 16 May 2012, 10.00 – 11.30. Prof. Sahadevan, who is also Editor-in-Chief of International Studies – a quarterly journal published by SAGE Publications, will speak about ”Challenges to Peace and Reconciliation in Post-Civil War Sri Lanka”. 
The end of the 26-year long ethnic war in Sri Lanka connotes the dawn of a new political life and qualitatively different challenges facing both the state and nation. The country has entered a 'post-war situation' marked by absence of manifest violence, armed resistance movements and open use of military coercion as a state policy. However, post-war Sri Lanka is yet to become a post-conflict society. This underlines the need for a permanent political solution aimed at redressing the legitimate grievances of the Sri Lankan Tamil community. Yet, a political solution is far from the reality. Where is Sri Lanka heading towards? What are the post-war realities? Does the international community have a role to play in the conflict? The presentation will identify the emerging trends and challenges to peace and reconciliation in the island. Venue: ISDP, Västra Finnbodavägen 2, Nacka. More information.

• Call for papers for Helsinki conference on Asian Performance and Visual Arts

The Finnish Theatre Academy Helsinki (Teak), and the Asian Art and Performance Consortium (AAPC) of the Academy of Fine Arts (Kuva) organise an international symposium on ”Shifting Dialogues: The Politics of Site, Locality & Context in Asian Performance and Visual Arts” to be held in Helsinki on 18-19 May, 2012. The event is part of a research project that focuses on Asian Performance and Fine Arts (read more about the project).
Some of the issues that the symposium will examine are: – the concepts of Site, Locality, Context; – Buying & Selling the Tradition; – Vanguard culture: Are there new avant-gardes or vanguards responding to new economic conditions? – What are the aesthetics corresponding to the new equations of economic and political power?, and more.
Full information.

• Akhil Gupta lectures at Gothenburg seminar on the liberalization of Indian state

The Department of Sociology and Work Science at the University of Gothenburg organises two seminars with Professor Akhil Gupta on 22 May 2012 in Gothenburg, in collaboration with Gothenburg Centre of Globalization and Development (GCGD). Akhil Gupta is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Calfornia Los Angeles (UCLA), USA, and has obtained his PhD from Stanford University. Read more about him at his personal webpage.
The morning seminar, which will take place 10.15 – 12.00 will be on ”The Liberalization of the Indian State” when Prof. Akhil Gupta will present his book with the same name, co-edited with K. Sivaramakrishnan, published by Routledge in 2011. The seminar will be followed by comments on the book by Bengt Larsson, Martin Letell and Håkan Thörn.
After a lunch break, the seminar continues with an afternoon session on the ”Transformations of the Swedish welfare state: from social engineering to governance?” in which Prof. Gupta will comment on a book with the same title published in 2012 and authored by Bengt Larsson, Martin Letell and Håkan Thörn. The seminar will conclude with a discussion on the possibilities to compare state liberalization in the Global South and North generally, and India and Sweden in particular. All are welcome! Venue: Samvetet, room F417, Skanstorget 18, Göteborg.
For more information contact Professor Håkan Thörn at the Department of Sociology and Work Science.

• Gothenburg conference on Theorisation of Heritage Studies

The Heritage Seminar at the University of Gothenburg hosts a conference entitled ”The Re/theorisation of Heritage Studies” 5–8 June 2012. It is organised in collaboration with Association of Critical Heritage Studies, a newly formed international network of scholars and researchers working in the broad and interdisciplinary field of heritage and museum studies. Its primary aim is to promote heritage as an area of critical enquiry. To this end, the Association works to promote dialogue and networking between researchers from different fields and disciplinary backgrounds and between researchers, practitioners and activists. The Association’s web pages are currently hosted by the Australian National University. The Gothenburg conference will be the official launch of the Association. Bosse Lagerqvist at the Dept. of Conservation, University of Gothenburg, is the main contact person for the conference. More information.

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

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Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• Seventh Annual Tamil Studies Conference to take place in Toronto

Tamil StudiesThe Seventh Annual Tamil Studies Conference will be held in Toronto, Canada, 11–12 May 2012. It is being organised by the University of Toronto the University of Windsor. The plenary speakers are Noboru Karashima, Emeritus Professor, University of Tokyo, Japan; and A.R. Venkatachalapathy, Professor, Madras Institute for Development Studies, Chennai, India. This conference aims to understand the means by which people come to know, feel, and reflect upon their past. Questions of history, memory, and heritage are all guided by the ethical concerns of the present and by desires regarding the future. The production of alternatives to the dominant narrative might also entail their own forms of exclusion. Contestation arises precisely when the past becomes a resource to remake the contemporary world. But how do we narrate pasts? What counts as “evidence” in such narrations? Whose stories prevail? Which pasts are silenced? More information.

• Politics of Religion in Asia conference in Iowa

U of IowaAn International Conference on "Politics of Religion in Asia" will take place 12 - 13 May 2012 at the University of Iowa, USA and a call for papers is now open. The conference will focus on the development of religion and its role in politics in Asian countries, among which China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and India. The conference organisers from the International Programs, University of Iowa will support the participants whose papers are accepted with airfare and lodging, as well as with publishing the papers in an edited volume. More information (as a pdf-file).

• Islamabad conference on Muslim Everyday Ethics

An International Workshop entitled ”Being Muslim in the World: Everyday Ethics and Cultures of Adab” will be held in Islamabad, Pakistan, 23–24 May 2012. The conference is jointly organised by the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, Arizona State University, USA, and the Iqbal International Institute for Research and Dialogue & Islamic Research Institute, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan. The workshop will bring together a select number of scholars focusing on the two spheres of ethics: adab (formally enacted ethics) and everyday ethics. The concern of the workshop is to identify concepts, issues, and directions of research in Muslim lived ethics.
Selected papers presented at the conference will be submitted to appropriate journals such as Journal of Islamic Studies, Journal of Islamic Philosophy, Muslim World, Journal of Asian Studies; Journal of Religious Ethics, and Islamic Studies (Journal of the Islamic Research Institute). The ambition is also to form a network of engaged scholars to organize future conferences and scholarly exchanges. More information.

• London conference on India: A Veneration Nation

A one-day conference entitled ”India: A Veneration Nation?” will be held at University College London on 12th June 2012. It is organised by the university’s Dept. of Anthropology, and with a purpose to critically examine India through the lens of a “Veneration Nation” – a country with thriving and recursive cultures of adulatory practices and aesthetics. By looking at contemporary research on India that invokes ideas of ritual, spectacle, prayer, and affectivity we hope to interrogate and extend the application of analytic categories of ‘religion’, ‘politics’ and ‘embodiment’. The conference will be accompanied by an ethnographic exhibition from private collections, a film screening and a web publication. In the interests of highlighting new and emerging work on this subject, the speakers will include post-fieldwork PhD students and postdoctoral researchers as well as established academics such as the renowned Sumathi Ramaswamy, Professor of History and Director of the Duke Center for South Asian Studies, who will provide the Keynote Address. More information

• Young South Asia Scholars Meet Workshop 2012 in Heidelberg

The third annual Young South Asia Scholars Meet (Y-SASM) Workshop will be held in Heidelberg, Germany, 14–16 June 2012. The theme for the 2012 Y-SASM Workshop, to be hosted by the South Asia Institute at Heidelberg University, will be ”Beyond the Metropolis. Implications of Urbanization in South Asian Towns and Small Cities”. Deadline for handing in papers is set for 31 January 2012.
In response to the positive feedback to the workshops held in Berlin in the last two years, Y-SASM has been established as an annual workshop. The Y-SASM workshops have the declared aim of providing young scholars working on South Asia with a platform for presenting their own research and interacting with scholars from various disciplines. Thereby, it offers an opportunity to establish research networks across the German-speaking region and beyond.
The 2013 Y-SASM workshop is already planned to be held the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and the 2014 workshop at University of Göttingen.
Read the Call for Papers.
More information on the Y-SASN blog page

• Ghent conference on Knowledge Transfer, Product Exchange and Human Movement in the Indian Ocean World

Ghent University organises an interdisciplinary conference on "Crossroads between Empires and Peripheries – Knowledge Transfer, Product Exchange and Human Movement in the Indian Ocean World" to take place between 21 - 23 June 2012 in Ghent, Belgium. The main focus of the conference will be to explore the dichotomy between legal and illegal (contraband), private and official exchange, anchored in the following five topics: - Private and official commercial exchange; - Exchange of knowledge, technology, and ideology; - Human movement and migration (including slave trade); - Controversy or parallelism of tribute and trade; - Indirect impacts of IOW global exchange (e.g. diseases, espionage, creolization, etc.). Full information.

• Dartmouth conference on Vedic Cultures Epic and Pauranic Phase

The World Association of Vedic Studies (WAVES) organises the 10th International conference on ”Vedic Cultures Epic and Pauranic Phase” to take place 13 – 15 July 2012 at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, USA. The Conference aims at bringing together both scholars and the broader public with academic interest in diverse areas of Indian, and in particular Vedic Studies. The topics of the conference will be around the following themes: – Insider/Outsider perspectives on Vedic culture; – Origin of Vedic knowledge; Changing paradigms on Vedic knowledge. Suggestions for papers  can be from a broad set of fields that can relate to these themes, such as Archaeology & Anthropology; History & Social Sciences; Language, Literature & Linguistics; Science & Technology; Vedas; Upanishads; Smirities; Puranas; Epics – Ramayana & Mahabharat, Gita; and more. Deadline for abstracts submission is 15 April, full lenght papers are due by 15 May 2012. Full information.

• Young Scholars Economics Academy on Dynamics of Migration in Geneva

The Swiss foundation for Ecology and Economy – oikos Foundation, in collaboration with the Graduate Institute's Programme for the Study of Global Migration in Geneva, organizes the oikos Young Scholars Economics Academy to take place 19 – 24 August 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland. The topic of the conference is  “The Dynamics of Migration” and junior scholars (PhD students, as well as graduates) are invited to submit papers on one of the following topics related to migration: – remittances and development; – Poverty and economic inequality; Health, education, and saving; Climate change and the environment; Institutional and technological change; Cultural identity; Labor markets and intellectual capital; Trade and foreign direct investment. Deadline for abstract submission is 15 May 2012. Read the full call for papers.

• Kolkata symposium on South Asian Cities under Siege

The Centre for Built Environment (CBE) in Kolkata, India, organises an International Symposium on ”Cities under Change” on 17–19 October 2012. The focus will be on South Asian Cities and/or a comparative presentation of European Cities. Separate sessions will also be held on Global Cities Forum, Urban Research Forum and Youth Urban Forum. The symposium is convened by Mr. Partha Ranjan Das, CBE Vice President, and coordinated by Ms. Sonia Gupta, CBE Secretary General. More information about CBE in a 2005 SASNET report.
Full information about the October 2012 symposium.

• Singapore conference on Religion, Disaster Relief, and Reconstruction in Asia

A conference on ”Salvage and Salvation: Religion, Disaster Relief, and Reconstruction in Asia” will be held in Singapore 22–23 November 2012. It is organised by the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, and focuses on the dynamics in play at the intersection of religion and disaster relief in Asia? Over the past few years, Asia has witnessed frequent massive and high profile disasters, notably the Indian Ocean tsunami (2004), the Kashmir earthquake (2005) –photo, Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (2008), the Pakistan floods of 2010, and most recently the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disasters in northeast Japan. In the wake of these tragedies – and the numerous smaller-scale disasters that also afflict the region – religious organizations have played pivotal roles in disaster response initiatives. Millions of relief workers and billions of dollars in aid have been mobilized through their networks.
Abstracts should be submitted before 15 May 2012. More information

• Aurangabad conference on Rural South Asia

The Sudarshan Foundation Trust in India organizes an International Conference on ”Rural South Asia: Imagining Heritage and Progress” at Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India, on 4–7 January 2013. This is the second initiative from Sudarshan Foundation Trust after our successful conference held in 2009 on Gandhi and Gram Swaraj: Reflections on Gandhian Ideology (more information). The objective of the conference is to organize a series of brainstorming sessions the results of which will be disseminated through projects for rural planning and improvement in South Asia. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 July 2012. More information

• 14th Conference of the International Association for Studies in Forced Migration to be held in Kolkata

The 14th Conference of the International Association for Studies in Forced Migration (IASFM) will take place in Kolkata, India 6 – 9 January 2013 and will be hosted by the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group. This is the first time that the conference is being hosted in South Asia. The topic of the conference is ”Contested Spaces and Cartographic Challenges”, and particular focus will be on – Borders and Displacement; – Geography and economies of Displacement; – Rights, Ethics, and Institutions. Alongside traditional panel presentations, the conference will include plenaries, round-table discussions, public dialogues, film shows and cultural events. While academic contributions will be at the heart of the conference, there will also be a strong presence of policy-makers and activists since the conference seeks to influence the relevant policy discussions and civil society interventions. Abstracts are to be submitted by 15 June 2012. Some financial assistance may be available to assist those who might be otherwise unable to attend the conference. Priority will be given to graduate students and individuals from the Global South. Read the full announcement.

• 18th International Euro-Asia Research Conference in Venezia, Italy

Following a number of conferences held in France, Ireland, Norway, Japan, China, Spain, Indonesia and India since 1994, the 18th International Euro-Asia Research Conference will take place in Venezia (Italy) between 31 January and 1 February 2013. The topic of the conference is ”The Globalisation of Asian Markets: implications for Multinational Investors”. Papers are invited in the following subtopics: – Asia's Growing Consumer Markets: the rise of Asia's Middle Class; – Cultural differences in marketing and other management issues; – Relocation abroad and relocation back home: European and Asian experiences; – Developed versus developing countries MNCs in Asia: comparison of international strategies; – SMEs internationalisation strategies; – European and Asian perspectives; – Impact of the global economic crisis on international business; – European and Asian perspectives.
Convenors of the conference are the School of Asian Studies and Business Management Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy; Yokohama National University, Japan; IAE of The University of Poitiers France; The University of Pau, France, TELECOM Ecole de Management, France; The School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield, U.K., and the University of Limerick, Ireland.
Deadline to submit abstracts is 4 June 2012. Read the full announcement.

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

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Business and Politics

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South Asia related culture in Scandinavia

• Indian Spring Festival Concert at Sagohuset in Lund

A belated Indian Spring Festival (Holi) concert will be held at Theatre Sagohuset in Lund on Friday 4 May 2012, at 19.00. The concert is organised jointly by Sagohuset and the Association for Indo-Swedish Cultural Exchange, and features Bharata Natyam dance performances by Anna Kav and Annemette Karpen from Copenhagen, and Rabindrasangheet singing by Bubu Munshi Eklund. Venue: Sagohuset, Revingegatan 8, Lund. See the poster.
Holi is a most popular spring festival in India, and the programme is connected to its legends and stories. Bubu Munshi Eklund will sing a number of Krishna songs composed by Rabindranath Tagore, whereas Anna Kav and Annemette Karpen will perform dances with Holi themes. Anna Kav comes from Minsk in Belarus, and has studied Bharata Natyam in Minsk and in Varanasi. Annemette is Danish, living in Copenhagen, and over the years she has given a large number of dance performances in Europe, USA, and India. All are welcome to Sagohuset on 4th May to enjoy a wonderful atmosphere of Holi. More information.

• Bangalore artist exhibited at Wanås Konst during the summer 2012

The Indian artist Srinivasa Prasad from Bangalore will be represented with one of his pieces of art at the outdoor Wanås Konst exhibition inbetween Hässleholm and Knislinge in southernmost Sweden during the summer 2012, from 20 May till 28 October. For his creative work, Prasad uses natural materials such as mud, hay, water, grains, and cow dung, sith a deep root in the tradition and culture of his native land. He also takes in the essence of performing arts to his works and emphasizes the interaction between the audiences and the work. On the green lawn at Wanås, a stretch of tall willows was recently planted, a 40-metre coiling line that would measure 500 metres if it were straight. The saplings are planted in the form of a labyrinth to form Srinivasa Prasad the artist's signature written in Kannada, the provincial language of his Karnataka state in India.
Wanås Konst this season also opens an entirely new room dedicated to film and video art. In the film program ”But a pit stop on a long journey” loaded and imaginary landscapes passes by in films by Indian based artists, namely Neha Choksy, Rohini Devasher and Asim Waqif.
Wanås Konst is run by the Wanås Foundation, a non-profit art foundation located on an estate consisting of a medieval castle, an organic farm, and a sculpture park. Marika Wachtmeister initiated the exhibitions at Wanås in 1987 and is the Founder of the Wanås Foundation. The sculpture park holds a constantly growing number of permanent works by internationally renowned contemporary artists. The focus is on sculpture and installations, most of which are made by the artists specifically for the Wanås Foundation. More information on Wanås Konst and its 2012 exhibition.

• Stockholm photo exhibition on Indian cultural traditions related to water

A photo exhibition exploring the theme of ”Water & Culture” is held  4 – 6 May 2012 at Aula Magna, Stockholm University. The exhibition focuses on the sacred importance of the ”Maha Kumbh Snan” in India. Kumbh is the largest peaceful religious congregation of human beings in the world where millions of Sadhus (holy men), Sannyasis (holy renunciates), devotees and pilgrims – from all parts of India come to undertake a holy dip in the water, and are joined by hundreds of foreign visitors. The exhibition explores the deeper meaning and importance of the Kumbh Snan in Indian culture, identifying it as an explicit expression of the centrality of water in religious beliefs and practices. Organisers of the exhibition and photographers are Associate Professor Nandita Singh from the Department of Land and Water Resources, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), and her husband O.P. Singh. All are welcome! More information.

• Seventh Annual Day celebration for Saraswathy Kalakendra in Huddinge

Saraswathy Kalakendra Institution of Fine Arts in Huddinge invites for its seventh Annual Day celebration on Saturday 5 May 2012 from 16.00The Bharata Natyam dance school was started in 2004 by Usha Balasundaram, originally from Kerala and trained at the famous dance institution Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts in Chennai, India. Performances have been frequent during the past years in the Stockholm region, most recently for example at functions organised by the Hindu temple Association in Stockholm, by Karolinska Institutet, and the Indo-Swedish Association.
This year's program will feature traditional and folk dances from various Indian states. A dance drama performance will in addition present stories related the Indian culture. The programme will finish with Bollywood dance and possibility to try Indian food. Venue: ABF Auditorium, Kommunalvägen 26, Huddinge. More information on Saraswathy Kalakendra Institution of Fine Arts and the Annual day celebration.

• Information about South Asia related culture in Sweden/ Scandinavia

New and updated items on SASNET web site

• Philip Oldenburg solves the puzzle of Indian-Pakistani divide

India, Pakistan, and Democracy: Solving the Puzzle of Divergent Paths, by Philip Oldenburg, research scholar at Columbia University, USA. Routledge 2010 (Indian edition distributed by Manohar). The book’s arguments are excellently summarized by Christophe Jaffrelot in an review essay entitled ”The Indian-Pakistani Divide. Why India Is Democratic and Pakistan Is Not” in Foreign Affairs April-May 2011. Read Professor Jaffrelot’s review.
Oldenburg dispels some common misunderstandings about India and Pakistan, the first being that they had similar experiences during the colonial era. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the British began gradually devolving power to local authorities in several provinces across India. They did not pursue such reform very far in the North-West Frontier Province and Punjab, two provinces that would make up the bulk of Pakistan after the 1947 partition. Both territories were important military recruitment grounds for the Raj and were located along its restive western frontier, where devolution was considered a security threat. Whereas several of the provinces India inherited from the Raj had experience with some democracy, Pakistan inherited two highly militarized provinces with no such background, laying the groundwork for the country's military-bureaucratic ethos. Even more, India was born with an intact bureaucratic apparatus in Delhi, whereas Pakistan had to build an entire government in 1947 under a state of emergency.

• 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 nearly 300 departments, with detailed descriptions of the South Asia related research and education taking place! See the full list of departments here:

• Useful travelling information

Look at our Travel Advice page. Updated travel advises from the The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office about safety aspects on travelling to the countries of South Asia.

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 
Web site:

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