Newsletter 138 – 9 August 2012


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• Successful 22nd European Conference on South Asian Studies in Lisbon

The 22nd European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS) was successfully held 25-28 July 2012 at the University Institute of Lisbon (also known as ISCTE-IUL) in Portugal. The conference featured no less than 51 panels. Full information on the conference page.
The keynote speakers were Professor Tanika Sarkar from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; and Dr. David Washbrook from Trinity College, Cambridge University. Besides all the varied panels, a one-day programme was organised with interesting new documentary films such as Nilanjan Bhattacharya’s ”The Right Angle”, Anjali Monteiro’s and K P Jayasankar’s ”So Heddan So Hoddan”; and Aamir Bashir’s ”Harud” (Autumn). The film programme was coordinated by Paolo Favero, Senior Research Associate at ISCTE-IUL’s Centre for Research in Anthropology (previously Dept. of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University); and Giulia Battaglia, SOAS, London.
SASNET was represented at the 22nd ECSAS conference by both Anna Lindberg (who co-organised a panel on ”Marriage in South Asia. Practices and Transformations”) and Lars Eklund.
Read Lars personal report from the conference.
ISCTEThe biannual ECSAS conference is the largest gathering of South Asia oriented researchers in Europe, covering all fields from the humanities and social sciences to technology, natural sciences and medicine. The conference is held biannually under the aegis of the European Association of South Asian Studies (EASAS), a professional, non-profit organisation of scholars engaged in research and teaching concerning South Asia with regard to all periods and fields of study. (SASNET organised the 18th ECMSAS conference in Lund in 2004.)
The 23rd ECSAS conference will take place at the University of Zürich (Switzerland) from 23 to 26 July 2014. More information will follow on EASAS’ web page.

• Hectic year reflected in SASNET’s Annual Report for 2011

SASNET’s Annual Report for 2011 has now finally been published. This was a hectic year, full of seminars, conferences – not the least the Falsterbo conference for young scholars, interaction with embassies, universities in Swedem Scandinavia and South Asia, etc. The web site was redesigned and expanded further. The SASNET newsletters reached more than 2,500 addressees in Scandinavia and throughout the world. Go for the 2011 SASNET Annual Report (as a pdf-file).
All administrative reports regarding SASNET’s work and activities from the first planning process in 1999 till today are available at SASNET’s web site. Go for the annual reports.

• Sixth European PhD workshop in South Asia Studies to be hosted by SASNET

SASNET and Lund University are hosting the Sixth European PhD workshop in South Asia Studies that will take place at Falsterbo Kursgård (photo), Höllviken from 17 to 19 September 2012. The workshop is jointly co-organised by the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS); Heidelberg University, Germany; Ghent University, Belgium; University of Edinburgh, UK; Le Centre d'Études de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud (CEIAS), Paris, France; and SASNET/Lund University, Sweden. The previous PhD workshop was held in September 2011 in Paris where two invited PhD students from each participating university (including Lund University) presented papers. See report from the Paris workshop.
The workshop's format gives each PhD candidate the responsibility of introducing the paper of another participant and raising some initial questions. A senior scholar then acts as discussant and provides feedback on the paper, prompting further debate. This format broadens perspectives on research methods, concepts, and theory by helping students consider questions from a variety of disciplines.
This year the two PhD students that will represent Lund University will be Arun Rana from the Division of Water Resources Engineering, and Ive Brissman from the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies.
More information to follow. 

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

Research Community News

• Decisions taken for 2012 Erasmus Mundus India and Asia Regional Lots

Kerala students

On July, 17, 2012, the European Commission’s Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) decided upon the 2012 round of the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 – Strand 1 – Partnership programme, EU’s flagship programme aimed at promoting the attractiveness of the European Higher Education system and third country cooperation and partnerships. The new programmes for mobility activities will start during the academic year 2012–2013. The scholarship programme is open for students on undergraduate, master, doctoral and post-doctoral level as well as for university staff in academic or administrative positions from Asia to Europe only.
Lot No. 9 (corresponding to Lot 12 in 2011!) is primarily devoted to South Asia, where the proposals should include universities in at least three of the following group A countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh; besides at least two of the following group B countries: Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Thailand, China, and North Korea. Four projects were selected, among them a continuation of the EMEA project, coordinated by Lund University.
Lot No. 10 (corresponding to Lot 13 during in 2011!) on the other hand is primarily devoted to South-East Asian countries, but also also gives the possibility to include Sri Lanka, India and/or Maldives as group B countries. Four projects were selected, out of which one includes Indian universities.
Lot No. 11 is devoted to India. Four projects were selected, among them the IBIES project, coordinated by Aarhus University, Denmark. The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm is a partner in two of the other India lots.
Full information about the 2012 selection of India and Asia Regional Erasmus Mundus mobiity programmes.

• Biggest ever European Commission Calls for funding research and international cooperation projects

In the end of July 2012, the European Union announced the biggest ever set of calls for proposals for research under its Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). In total of €8.1 billion (INR 56,700 crores) this worldwide call will support projects and ideas that will tackle issues such as human health, protecting the environment and finding new solutions to growing challenges linked to urbanisation and managing waste. The funding makes up the lion's share of the EU's research budget for 2013. Out of the total funding, €4.8 billion is dedicated to thematic research priorities like health, bio-technology, social sciences, transport etc. Around €2.7 billion has been allocated to cement Europe's place as a world class destination for researchers, mainly through individual grants from the European Research Council (€1.75 billion), and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (€963 million) for training and mobility. A large number of the calls for proposals are open to South Asian researchers and research institutions. More information and application deadlines.

• Massive EU information seminar programme throughout India

Over a three week period, 10–28 September 2012, the European Union and its Member States are organising together 36 information seminars throughout India (see map) to raise awareness among Indian research stakeholders about the opportunities that they can offer for research and innovation cooperation with India.
53 European Science and Technology counsellors and representatives of research organisations from Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the European Research Council, Euraxess Links India, the European Business and Technology Centre as well as from the Delegation of the European Union, will make some 155 presentations in 31 key research and innovation hot spots in India over a three-week period. In addition, five thematic sessions will also be organised and focus on biotechnology, industrial research, sustainable transport, ICT and health. Indian participants in cooperation programmes with Europe will also present their experience and lessons learnt.
The web site for the information campaign,, includes the detailed programme of each information event. Participation is free but requires a registration (see web site).
As part of this occasion, a compendium including all European mobility schemes for Indian researchers and students interested to go to Europe – for example through the Erasmus Mundus mobility programmes (see information); a compendium of partner search tools; and a booklet of testimonies of researchers who have been involved in research with European partners, will be made available to all participants.
More information about the EU information seminars across India.

• Swedish School of Textiles signs MoU with Indian product development organisation

Representatives for the Indian National Centre for Design and Product Development (NCDPD) visited Stockholm and the Swedish capital of textiles Borås in early April 2012. On this visit, organised by Invest Sweden, the four member senior team of directors were introduced to Swedish textile know-how, design, and materials technology primarily through the Swedish School of Textiles (Textilhögskolan) in Borås.
An MoU was signed, and according to Sweden Express, the quarterly newsletter of the Embassy of Sweden in India, the intent of the MoU is already being implemented with a next round of exchanges in Sweden and/or India in the area of design already discussed and expected to take place during the fall 2012.
The Swedish School of Textiles is considered one of Europe's most interesting education and research arenas. Kenneth Tingsvik, International coordinator at the Swedish School of Textiles, is positive towards the agreement that primarily aims at facilitating an exchange of students, and letting Swedish students make project work in India. More information.

• South Asian Arts Group holds inaugural meeting at Norwich

The newly formed South Asian Arts Group (SAAG) based in the UK, invites participants to its inaugural meeting to be held  on 13th November 2012 under the auspices of the Sainsbury Institute for Art in Norwich. SAAG is an informal network of academics, curators, artists and arts professionals, who share an interest in the arts and visual/material cultures of South Asia and the diaspora. SAAG provides a space for interaction, conversation and exchange for people interested in South Asian arts in the UK. Through an annual gathering – held at a different location in the UK each year – participants of SAAG will foster contacts, partnerships and friendships with a view to building interactions across different disciplines and approaches to South Asian arts.
The inaugural event is free and will be organised on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Participants will howevere need to meet their own subsistence, accommodation and transport costs. The meeting is being organised by Daniel Rycroft (University of East Anglia) and Sarah Turner (University of York). The programme for the day will depend on the range and number of participants. It will begin at the Education Studio, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (UEA) and continue at the South Asian Decorative Arts and Crafts Collection (SADACC, Norwich) for a public talk by Rosemary Crill. The emphasis will be on sharing ideas and views on current projects and issues, as pertaining to individuals and institutions.
More information

• Best master thesis award to Norwegian South Asian studies researchers

In June 2012, the Norwegian research network Asia-nettverket announced two winners to this year's competition for best master thesis on an Asian topic. The first winner is Maria Sørlie Berntsen from the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen. She wrote about ”Challenging the Gaze: A Study of a Socially Conscious Photographic Initiative Based in Dhaka, Bangladesh”. The other winner is Ann Kunish from the Department of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo. Her master thesis was on ”Readings From Between the Lines: A Functionalist Approach to the Translation of Classical Chinese Poetry”. Maria Berntsen shared some thoughts about her work at the Asia Network's summer meeting on 16 June 2012. Ann Kunish was in the US, and sent the organisers some thoughts on her work – read them here. At the same time, another Norwegian researcher, Anna Marie Nicolaysen who is currently affiliated to the University of Connecticut recently finished her doctoral thesis in Anthropology entitled ”Empowering Small Farmers in India through Organic Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation” and available at

• Nordic Institute of Asian Studies gets new location in Copenhagen

The Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) has recently received an extention of its contract with the Nordic Council of Minsters, for a new three year period starting in January 2013 and lasting until the end of 2016. In connection to this extention NIAS is moving to a new location, namely to the Social Science Campus, Centre for Health and Society at Copenhagen University. The move will take place in August 2012, and the new address of NIAS will be at Öster Farimagsgade 5, DK - 1353, Copenhagen, Denmark. The NIAS library will also move to the new location, and will be located as an independent part of the central social science library on campus.
NIAS is a research institute located at Copenhagen University, funded in part by the governments of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden via the Nordic Council of Ministers and in part directly by the Nordic scholarly community.
NIAS works to encourage and support Asian studies in the Nordic countries as well as actively participating in the international scholarly community in its own right. SASNET has an established collaboration with NIAS – on one hand through its website, and on the other hand in collaborating to organise the Nordic Conference on South Asian Studies for Young Scholars. 

• More information about South Asia related research at Swedish and Nordic universities
See SASNET’s page,

Educational News

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

See SASNET’s page,

Seminars and Conferences in Scandinavia

• Oslo seminar on Land Resources Management in northern Afghanistan

The Norwegian Afghanistan Committee organises a seminar on ”Managing Land Resources in Northern Afghanistan” in Oslo on Wednesday 22 August 2012, 15.30–17.30. Speakers include Dr. Andrea Taurisano, Geologist at the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE); and Arnold Arnoldussen, Soil Scientist at the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute. The seminar is moderated by Gry Synnevåg, Head of Department, Noragric, Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Ås.

Over the past two years, The Norwegian Afghanistan Committee has sent three geologists, one soil specialist and one specialist on forestry to Badakhshan. Their mission was to train local staff in reducing the risks and consequences of natural disasters, and to contribute to the improved management of natural resources in the province. What can we learn from their experiences? How can Norwegian expertise contribute to solving some of the many development challenges of rural Afghanistan? Venue: Solidaritetshuset, Fredensborgveien 6, Oslo. Register your participation to

More information

• 2012 World Water Week focuses on Water and Food Security

The 2012 World Water Week in Stockholm will be held 26–31 August 2012. The theme for 2012 is ”Water and Food Security”. As ususal, the 22nd World Water Week is organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). Welcome to register now for your participation in the 2012 World Water Week in Stockholm.
The World Water Week is the leading annual global meeting place for capacity-building, partnership-building and follow-up on the implementation of international processes and programmes in water and development, with large relevance to South Asia. The conference is filled with plenary sessions, seminars, workshops, side events and special activities. The Scientific Programme Committee (SPC) planning for the conference was for many years chaired by Prof. Jan Lundqvist at SIWI (previously at the Dept. of Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping University), but from this year the chairman position is taken over by Dr. Torkil Jönch-Clausen. Venue: Stockholm International Fairs and Congress Center (Stockholmsmässan) in Älvsjö, 9 km south of central Stockholm. Full information about the 2012 World Water Week.
Several seminars at the 2012 WWW are of South Asia interest, for example a seminar on ”Micro-irrigation and Integrated Food Security Strategies in India, Guatemala, Madagascar”, convened by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and co-organised by Orissa Tribal Empowerment and Livelihood Programme; and a seminar on ” and Open Data Systems for Water and Sanitation”, convened by Akvo Foundation, and co-convened by the India Water Portal.
One full-day seminar on 28th August is entitled ”Eye on Asia: Food and Water Security”. It is convened by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Finally, the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) convenes a seminar on ”Managing the Vulnerable Water-Food Nexus in the Andes and Himalayas”, with input from among others the Kathmandu based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).
Among many side events during the World Water Week, Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) organizes a late afternoon event entitled ”Safeguarding Water Resilience for Food Security in the Anthropocene”. It is co-convened by Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics in Stockholm, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and University of Osnabrück and its Institute for Environmental Systems Research (USF).

• Two-day Copenhagen workshop on Spectacle of Globality in India

The Centre of Global South Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen invites to a two day international workshop in collaboration with the National Museum, Copenhagen, focusing on ”Spectacle of Globality”, to be held 29–30 August 2012. The two day workshop brings together a range of cutting edge research on post reform India. The workshop is part of a research programme ‘Nation in Motion’ (2010-2014) funded by the Danish Council of Independent Research (FSE). It is first in a series of four international workshops.
The event is public and participation is free. Registration is however required. Venue: National Museum, Ny Vestergade 10, Copenhagen. 

• Copenhagen workshop on Sikh Identity Formation

The Centre of Global South Asian Studies at University of Copenhagen invites to public lectures and a day long workshop on ”Sikh Identity Formations” on Friday 31 August 2012. The workshop is the third in a series of events organised by the 'Sikhs in Europe' research programme funded by the Nordic Research Councils for Humanities and Social Sciences (2009-2013). The programme is a collaboration between Lund University, Sweden, Bergen University, Norway, Jyväskylä University, Finland and the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. More information about the project.
The workshop features two open lectures. The first one focuses on “Traumatic Citizenship: Racial Conflict in Sikh-American Life since September 11, 2001” delivered by Dr. Brian Keith Axel, University of California, Santa Cruz. The second one is entitled “Confronting Caste in Distant Lands: The Emerging Contours of Diasporic Dalit Identity”, being delivered by Prof. Ronki Ram, University of Leiden. Venue: NIAS, Leifsgade 33, 3rd floor, Copenhagen, Denmark. For registration, write to
More information about the Copenhagen workshop

• Peer Molinga lectures on Indian Irrigation Bureaucracy at University of Oslo

Professor Peter P. Mollinga from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, holds a Morgenstierne lecture at University of Oslo on Monday 3 September, 15.15–17.00. The seminar is entitled ”Dedicated to Dams. A Cultural Political Economy Perspective on the Indian Irrigation Bureaucracy”. In his presentation, he explores how the ‘resilience’ of the Indian irrigation/water bureaucracy in terms of effectively resisting efforts at  introducing different forms of ‘reflexive modernization’ can be understood  using a cultural political economy perspective.
Peter P. Mollinga was trained as an irrigation engineer at Wageningen University, the Netherlands; his PhD is on the political economy of irrigation water management in South India. He is presently a Professor of Development Studies at SOAS. He is one of the three founding editors of Water Alternatives. An interdisciplinary journal on water, politics and development. His geographical focus is Asia, particularly South Asia and Central Asia.
Venue: group room 7, Humsam Library, Sophus Bugges hus, Niels Henrik Abels vei 36, Oslo. The lecture is part of Oslo University’s Georg Morgenstierne Series of lectures on South Asia, funded by the departments of Archaeology, Conservation and History (IAKH) and Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS) at the University of Oslo.

• Oslo seminar on Dalit women, neoliberalism and India’s disjunctures

Dr. Karin Kapadia, Contemporary South Asian Studies, Oxford university, UK, holds an open seminar on ”The necessity of faith: Dalit women, neoliberalism and India’s disjunctures” on Wednesday 5 September 2012, 14.15–16.00. The seminar is organised by the Department of Social Anthropology (SAI), University of Oslo. Venue: Room 648, Eilert Sundt, Blindern, Oslo.
Karin Kapadia has been researching in Tamilnadu, South India since 1986. Her several publications include the monograph, ”Siva and Her Sisters: Gender, Caste and Class in Rural South India” (1995) and the edited volume, ”The Violence of Development: The Politics of Identity, Gender and Social Inequalities in India” (2002). In her lecture, she focuses on the effects of neoliberalism in India, increasing the gap between rich and poor. The ‘new economy’ allows some mobility to better-off Dalits, but does not prevent discrimination against Dalits. Neoliberal capitalism is assisted by patriarchal ideologies that subordinate most women. With worsening options, how do lower-income Hindu Dalit women in Chennai slums find meaning in their lives? One possibility, for some women, has been conversion to Pentecostal Christianity. The meanings of Tamil Pentecostalism for Dalit women, and what ‘females-only’ conversion can tell us about the state of the nation, will be explored.
More information about the Oslo seminar.

• Environment in focus at Oslo University’s 4th annual India seminar

The University of Oslo holds its 4th annual contemporary India seminar on Thursday 6 September 2012. The theme for the 2012 seminar is ”The Politics of Environmental Challenges in India”. It seeks to explore how various environmental challenges are politicised in India. The organisers wish to examine how environmental issues have entered the realm of political discussions as a result of intentional actions by individuals or groups, who have sought to mobilise people around environmental agendas. The seminar is organised by the Nordic Forum for South Asia (NoFSA) in collaboration with the Nordic Network for the Study of Environmental Challenges in South Asia (NECSA). The deadline for submitting an abstract was 1 May 2012. More information.

• Anthony D’Costa’s new book to be launched at CBS

The Asia Research Centre at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) invites to a public launch of the latest book edited by Professor Anthony D'Costa, ”Globalization and Economic Nationalism and Asia”. The event will take place on 11 September 2012, 15.00 – 18.00, at CBS. The book in focus aims at challenging the popular view that with globalization either the role of the state becomes redundant or that states are unable to purposefully intervene in the economy. The book argues that since most states pursue national interests, which largely include economic development, they work with national business and often intervene on their behalf to create internationally competitive industries. Contributors from Asia and elsewhere present wide-ranging arguments and demonstrate that states in Asia are active in shaping trade, investment, technological, industrial, and financial outcomes. Countries covered include India, China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, and the East Asian region as a whole.
The book launch event starts at 15.00 with a welcome by the Dean of Research at CBS, Prof. Alan Irwin. It continues with a short speech by Prof. Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard, Director of the Asia Research Centre at CBS. Other speakers will be Prof. Rory Miller, University of Liverpool and coeditor of Journal of Latin American Studies, as well as Associate Professor Jørgen Pedersen, Aarhus University who will talk about ”India: Economic Nationalism as a Road to Growth and Development?”. The programme finishes with a reception that will last until 18.00.
Venue: Copenhagen Business School, room PH408, Porcelænshaven 24, 2000, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Everyone is wellcome. Please register free of charge at

• Indo-Danish conference on India Today – Copenhagen Tomorrow

A conference entitled ”India Today – Copenhagen Tomorrow” will be held in Copenhagen 13–14 September 2012. Leading personalities in Indian culture, politics and business will share their country's experience on how mutual opportunities can be realised through co-creation. The goal of the conference is to create closer ties between India and Denmark, strengthen mutual understanding and inspire future collaboration in several areas. The conference is jointly organised by the Danish Cultural Institute, The Holck-Larsen Foundation, The Confederation of Danish Industry and Copenhagen Business School (CBS). The event is part of a larger Danish – Indian initiative that takes place between August 2012 and January 2013 (see previous SASNET news about it), featuring events about art, music and dance, film, design and fashion, literature, media, education, science and business. The September conference requires registration. More information.

• Stockholm University organises International Educational for Rural Transformation Symposium in India

The Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University co-organizes the 3rd International Educational for Rural Transformation (ERT) Symposium, that will take place 15 – 17 October 2012 at the Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. The theme for the 2012 symposium will be ”Education for Rural Transformation (ERT) – Good Practices from National and International Perspectives”. The present and ongoing three-year comparative research study on Education for Rural Transformation (ERT) is coordinated by Professor Vinayagum Chinapah at the Institute of International Education (IIE), Department of Education, Stockholm University, in collaboration with Dr. Zhao Shangwu, Professor Zhou Nanzhao, and Dr. Pushpanadham Karanam at the Dept. of Educational Administration, MS University, Baroda. The aim is to critically examine the concept, policy and practice of education for rural transformation in China and India from a comparative perspective using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Thus the 3rd Syposium is a follow-up to the two symposia held in Stockholm, Sweden in 2010 and Chengdu, China in 2011.
For more information please contact Prof. Vinayagum Chinapah, or visit the Stockholm University webpage.

• Oslo conference on Imagining Multiple Indias in India and beyond

The Museum of Cultural History, University of Osloorganises a three day conference on ”The Indian Phantasm: Imagining Multiple Indias in India and Beyond” 10–11 December 2012. Venue: Museum of Cultural History, Frederiksgate 2, Oslo.
The idea is to identify and analyze the multiple narratives, representations and imaginaries of contemporary India, both within and beyond its borders. Papers featuring analysis of Indian material culture, consumer goods, Bollywood and other Indian film production, calendar art, fashion, posters, photography, soap operas, advertising, music videos, TV-shows, theater, performance, religious expressions and spiritual tourism are particularly welcome. The idea is to get a grasp of what the phantasm of contemporary India might consist of and how it could be creatively approached in ethnographic research and what it can tell us about the current Indian postcolonial condition. The conference will feature several ethnographic movies and therefore theoretical papers on ethnographic filmmaking and the use of photography and image in ethnography are also of interest. Featured ethnographic movies include FlyoverDelhi by Paolo Favero & Angelo Fontana (2004), India Deluxe: Dreams of Luxury, Realities of Life by Tereza Kuldova & Arash Taheri (2012), and Beggars of Lahore by Sheba Saeed (2010). Other invited speakers include Rachel Dwyer, Sanjay Srivastava, Caroline Osella, and Jean-Claude Galey. Abstracts should have been submitted before 1 August 2012. More information.

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• 4th International Nepali Folklore Congress in Kathmandu

The Nepali Folklore Society based in Kathmandu organizes its 4th International Folklore Congress on 17–19 August 2012. It will be an academic forum for researchers, teachers, as well as practitioners working in different disciplines such as folkloristics, sociology, anthropology, geography, culture, history, linguistics, literature, musicology, tourism, computer engineering/science (especially working in the field of technologies related to intangible cultural heritage). The focus of the 2012 Congress will be on intangible cultural heritage within folklore and folklife studies. The theme is ”Folklore and Folklife Studies: Special focus on Intangible Cultural Heritage”. Subthemes of the congress include, but are not limited to – Folklore, Folklife and Intangible Cultural Heritage; – Folklore and Development Issues; – Folklore, Gender and Power; – Folklore, Creative Writing and Poetry; – Folklore and Performing Arts; – Folklore, Identity and  Inclusion; – Folklore and Information Technology, and many more. Abstracts should have been submitted before 30 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 was 15 May 2012. Read the full call for papers.

• SAARC conference on Archaeology of Buddhism in South Asia

The SAARC International Seminar on 'Archaeology of Buddhism: Recent Discoveries in South Asia' will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 22–24 August 2012. It is supposed to focus on Buddhist sites and remains that have been worked up during the last six decades or so. It would include both kinds of papers – straightforward ones that just report archaeological finds; but will also have a second part to it that interrogates the methodological/ theoretical frameworks within which archaeological work is carried out. Venue: Buddhist Cultural Centre, Colombo.
The SAARC Cultural Centre invites all the Member States to send a minimum of four nominations (maximum 10 persons can be nominated by a member State) from amongst the experts and academicians of their country. The SAARC Cultural Centre would also accept the participation of other experts from the region (other than the nominees of the respective SAARC Member States) as well as from those residing outside the SAARC Region provided they are able to meet their travel and accommodation expenses to attend the Conference. The last date for sending the nominations was 10 June 2012. More information.

• IIAS Summer Programme on World Wide Asia: Asian Flows, Global Impacts

The International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) organizes its second Summer Programme at Leiden 27 August – 1 September 2012. The theme will be ”World Wide Asia: Asian Flows, Global Impacts”. IIAS runs the programme in partnership with the Leiden Global Interactions Group (LGIG) at Leiden University.
It starts with a four-day master class followed by a two-day international conference. The aim is to critically explore Asian migrations as a globalizing force. The flows of people, goods, capital and ideas within and from the Asian continents have been transforming the global landscape for centuries. Arguably, this influence has become more recognizable and acute in the present day. The study of Asian mobilities can provide important insights into the conditions, processes and effects of globalization and historical global forms. 
The programme will be run by three leading scholars in the fields of global migration history, the history of globalization, and modern Asian history. They include Prof. Radhika Singha from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi.
PhD candidates and advanced research masters students worldwide whose work deals with some aspect of Asian migration are invited to participate.
The programme will close with a two-day conference on the same theme of Asian migrations, featuring international scholars. Students who participate in the Summer Programme will be given opportunities to meet and interact with the conference panellists and a select number of students may be invited to present their research in one of the conference sessions. All students will be invited to attend the conference and participate in the discussions.
Full information about the 2012 IIAS Summer Programme.

• Ananda Coomaraswamy Memorial Conference on Asian Art and Culture

The Centre for Asian Studies at University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, organises the Ananda Coomaraswamy Memorial Conference on Asian Art and Culture on 8–10 September 2012. The conference coincides with the 135th birth anniversary and 65th death anniversary of Ananda Coomaraswamy, renowned Ceylonese philosopher and metaphysician, as well as a pioneering historian and philosopher of Indian art (particularly art history and symbolism). He was an early interpreter of Indian culture to the West.
Full information about the conference.

• Fourth annual Indo-Global Education Summit

Indo-Global SummitThe Indus Foundation, a non-profit making educational organization dedicated to the promotion of higher education in India, organises the fourth annual Indo-Global Education Summit in Hyderabad, India, 7–11 September 2011. Indo-Global Education Summit 2012 is a unique event which is being organized in India as a sequel to the highly successful Education Summits held in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
The Summit 2012 will have sessions on collaborative research programs, joint / dual degree programs, twinning & transfer programs, faculty & student exchange programs, study abroad in India programs, distance education programs, vocational education programs, and other academic partnerships. There will be separate sessions for student recruitment. An important feature of the Summit would be visits to well established and prominent Indian educational institutions.
Major fields covered would be Engineering & IT, Business & Management, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Natural Sciences, Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, and Educational Technology. There will be one-on-one meetings between representatives of Indian institutions and those of foreign universities for forging academic collaborations. The Summit 2012 is specifically designed for university presidents, vice-chancellors, provosts, deans, enrollment / recruitment officers, and their executive-level team members.
More information about the Indo-Global Education Summit 2012.
The US-based Indus Foundation has a network of offices in India covering the major cities including Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Eluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jallandhar, Kakinada, Kanpur, Kochi, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Meerut, Mehsana, Nagpur, Nashik, New Delhi, Noida, Panchkula, Pilibhit, Pune, Sambalpur, Surat, Thane, Trivandrum, Udaipur, Vadodara, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Vijayawada, and Visakhapatnam. Over the years, the Foundation has emerged as a leading recruiter of well-qualified and financially able Indian students for study in foreign universities.

• Second Nepal and Himalayan Studies Conference at Fetzer Center

ANHSThe Second Conference of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (ANHS) will be held at the Fetzer Center on the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, in conjunction with the 61th Annual Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, 21–23 September 2012. The format of the conference will include traditional panel with presentations by four panelists and a discussant; workshops around papers presented; roundtable discussions on a topic of broad interest; and panels on a recent significant publication or film. More information

• Dallas Conference on Muslim Cultures of South Asia

The US-based South Asia Research and Information Institute (SARII) and the Dept. of Asian Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, USA, organise a one day conference on 22 September 2012 on ”Cities, Courts and Saints: Muslim Cultures of South Asia”. Venue: McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall, Southern Methodist University.
The conference brings together six leading specialists of Indo-Muslim history and culture who will present new perspectives on the way Muslim traditions contributed to forms of religious life, social etiquette, music, and art of the Indian subcontinent.
The following six topics will be in focus: ”Bengal, Gujarat, and the Deccan: New Indo-Muslim Courts of the 14th-15th Centuries”, ”Mughal Letters and Mughal Lives: A Brahman Munshi at Shah Jahan’s Court”, ”Sufism and Kingship in the Mughal Empire: From Babur (d. 1530) to Jahangir (d. 1627)”, ”The Begum of Bhopal: A Muslim ”Queen” holds Court in Colonial India”, ”From One Empire to Another: The City of Delhi, 1707-1858”, ”The Social History of Song Collections: Awadh, Delhi, and Hyderabad (circa 1800)”. Download abstracts.
Participation is open and free of charge including a lunch bag, but registration is required by 15 September 2012. Full information.

• Singapore workshop on South Asian Diaspora Engagement in South Asia

An international workshop on ”Diaspora and development – South Asian Diaspora Engagement in South Asia” will be held in Singapore 25–26 September 2012. It is being organised by the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), part of the National University of Singapore. The workshop will explore the various forms and fields of diaspora engagement that include entrepreneurship, philanthropy, international relations, portfolio investment, remittances, advocacy, peacebuilding, trade such as in ethnic goods, political engagement, socio-cultural linkages and religious or spiritual movements, amongst many other categories  that all have potential for advancing growth in South Asia. Some of the specific questions that the workshop will adress are – what is the relationship between diaspora engagement and development; what is the structure of diaspora engagement in South Asia?; – What are the existing diaspora engagement policies in South Asian countries individually and how could they be regionally integrated?, and more. The workshop targets empirically based papers involving South Asian countries (i.e. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and South Asian diaspora members/communities/groups living and working across the globe.  Full information.

• Third Borderlands Research Conference to be held in Singapore

The 3rd Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network will be held in Singapore 11–13 October 2012. The theme for the 2012 conference will be ”Connections, Corridors, and Communities”. The conference is organized by the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore; International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), the Netherlands; the Asian Borderlands Research Network; in collaboration with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.  It is convened by Prof. Prasenjit Duara, Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore, Prof. Tansen Sen, Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Dr. Tina Harris and Prof. Willem van Schendel, University of Amsterdam, and Dr. Erik de Maaker, Leiden University, Netherlands.
Venue: University Hall, National University of Singapore, Lee Kong Chian Wing, 21 Lower Kent Ridge Road.
Extensive land and maritime networks have crisscrossed Asia for centuries, providing the basis for encounters between diverse ethnic, linguistic, economic, religious, and political groups. Today, developments such as new infrastructural projects, an increase in media access, and renewed interest in shaping cross-border cultural identities serve to both underscore these long-standing linkages and create new forms of connections across Asia.
During the 3rd Asian Borderlands Research Conference in Singapore, presentations will address continuities and ruptures along routes and borders in Asia, broadly related to the theme, Connections, Corridors, and Communities. The keynote speaker will be David Ludden (photo), Professor of Political Economy and Globalization in the Department of History at New York University, USA.
More information about the conference.

• KKH involved in designing Khoj Contemporary Art Intensive course in Delhi

Khoj International Artists’ Association in India announces a call for applications for “Khoj Contemporary Art Intensive”, which will be held in New Delhi 1–9 December 2012. Designed in association with the Royal School of Art (KKH) in Stockholm, Sweden, the course is aimed at young curators, writers, critics, artists and art professionals. The course will specifically focus on developments in art practice and theory since 1989. The nine-day course is divided into four modules and focuses on areas in art theory and criticism that are generally overlooked in academia.
Khoj International Artists Association was established in 1997. It has built an international reputation for outstanding alternative arts incubation. It plays a central role in the development of experimental, interdisciplinary and critical contemporary art practice in India, constantly challenging the established thinking about art. Though a variety of programmes including workshops, residencies, exhibitions, talks and community art projects, Khoj has supported the experimentation of many leading Indian artists before their international acclaim. Over 200 Indian and 400 International Artists from countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Uganda, kenya, Turkey, Pakistan, Japan, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Korea, UK, Germany, France, Mexico and America have been through KHOJ.
Four modules will form the core of the Khoj Contemporary Art Intensive course: – The Three Phases of Institutional Critique and Beyond (taught by Amanda Newall); – Media Art Histories (taught by Leon Tan); – From Performance to Participation via Performativity (taught by Ola Johansson); – From Conceptual Art to Experience Design (taught by Ronald Jones). Application is possible only for Indian nationals. Deadline for applications is 22 August 2012.
More information about the course.

• Coimbatore conference on Governance and Sustainable Development

Amrita University in Coimbatore, India, and Deakin University, Australia jointly organise an International Conference on ”Governance and Sustainable Development: Building Commerce and Communities” to take place in Coimbatore 10–13 December 2012. The principal goal of the conference is to provide a forum for stimulating debate and exchange of ideas by exploring the latest developments in the governance of sustainable development from a variety of perspectives including environmental sustainability, social enterprise, corporate governance, legal pluralism, and social investment. The conference will appeal to academics, professionals from both business and non-profit entities, and policy makers. Thus papers are currently invited in the following four areas:
– Environment Sustainability, Carbon Emissions and Climate Change Impacts
– Women, Social Entreprenuership and Innovation
– Social Investment, Community Development and Indigenous Communities
– Social Audit, Reporting and Ethical Decision-Making
Deadline for submission of papers is 15 September 2012. Full information. 

• Ankara conference on Salman Rushdie and his work

Source: WikipediaThe Department of Foreign Language Education at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey, organises it's 20th conference on British Novelists to take place 13–14 December 2012 in Ankara. The theme of this year's conference is ”Salman Rushdie and His Work”. Rushdie became famous with his novel ”Midnight's Children” published in 1981 and his work since has been combining magical realism with historical fiction, being concerned with the many connections, disruptions and migrations between East and West.
Keynote speaker will be Abdulrazak Gurnah, Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies, University of Kent, UK. The organisers invite 250-word abstracts for 20-minute presentations on any aspect of Salman Rushdie's work. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 13 September 2012.
More information.

• 7th International Conference on Mycorrhiza in New Delhi

The seventh edition of the International Conference on Mycorrhiza will take place 6 – 11 January 2013 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India. The conference is organised by The Indian Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in collaboration with the Mycorrhiza network. The title of this edition of the conference is ”Mycorrhiza for All – an Under Earth Revolution”. The summit would cover various aspects of mycorrhizal symbiosis and their role in a wide range of areas covering ecosystem dynamics, nutrient cycling, gene expression, metabolic regulation, reclamation technologies, and more. Registration should be done before 30 September 2012 and done through the official conference website:
Scholars interested to present papers should send their abstracts by 1 October 2012.

• Hyderabad conference on India in World Affairs: The Next Decade

The Osmania University in Hyderabad, India organises an international conference on ”India in world Affairs: The Next Decade” to take place 22 – 24 January 2013 in Hyderabad, India. The conference is proposed both to reflect the manner in which India is negotiating its position on the emerging global issues in the world community and to pool together current scholarship shaping Indias position on these issues. The objective is to bring into focus Indias policy options and a critical evaluation of their salience. The main themes of the conference are thus: – The World in India – India in the World; – India and her Neighbours; – West Asia and India; – India and the sub-Saharan Africa; – India and the Americas-North and South; – India and Europe; – India and Asia: Japan and China; – South East Asia; – India and the emerging international scenario-choices and options. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 1 September 2012. Full information. 

• International Seminar on Sacred Places to be held in Allahabad

The Society of Pilgrimage Studies organises an international seminar on ”Sacred Places – Cosmological Power and Environment Issues” in Allahabad, India on 5–7 February 2013. The seminar is organised in connection to the occasion of Kumbh Mela 2013, a Hindu bathing festival held every twelfth year at Allahabad, attracting more than 40 million piligrims from all over the world. The seminar will focus on the cosmological power of and environmental issues at sacred places, besides the esoteric as well as outer meaning of the heritage associated with them. Concrete themes in focus will be: – religion-environment interaction; – theories and approaches to pilgrimage studies; – cosmic geometry and power of sacred places; – pilgrim circulation and economy; – pilgrimage archetype, hierarchy and pattern; – spatiality of time and temporality of space; – rituals, functionaries and festivities; – sects, saints and monastic organizations; – cultural symbolism; – environmental issues at pilgrimage places; and problem of pollution in the holy rivers. Abstracts of 500 words are accepted by October 2012.
The Society of Pilgrimage Studeis is an Indian registered academic charity that focuses on the interdisciplinary study of sacred places and journeys in all religions and countries. More information about the Allahabad seminar

• Papers invited for 2013 British Association for South Asian Studies Conference in Leeds

The British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) conference 2013 will be hosted by the  University of Leeds 3–5 April 2013. Panel suggestions and papers are now invited for this important annual conference. Proposals are welcome from the full range of disciplines reflected with the broad membership of BASAS. Deadline for submitting panel and papers proposals is 1 December 2012. More information about the 2013 BASAS conference.
See the programme for the previous BASAS conference, held in London in April 2012. 

• Vienna conference on Ethnicity and Cultural Identities of Northeast India

The Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria, invites papers for an International Conference on ”Negotiating Ethnicity: Politics and Display of Cultural Identities in Northeast India”. The conference aims at examining changes of collective identities and ethnicity in various parts of Northeast India, as well as look at practices related to ethnicity and cultural identities. Northeast India is the political unit defined by the Indian Government as the ”North Eastern Council”, which includes the eight states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim. Proposals from scholars working in a variety of disciplines, including, but not limited to, history, sociology, economics, anthropology and cultural studies are welcome to submit research paper proposals. The conference will take place during 3 days in the first week of July 2013. Deadline to submit paper abstracts is September 2012. The organisers expect around 40 participants half of whom from India. The organisers cover travel fares and lodging for all speakers and discussants. Full information.

• Other conferences connected to South Asian studies all over the World
See SASNET’s page,

Business and Politics

• Information about South Asia related business and politics in Sweden
See SASNET's page,

South Asia related culture

• 12th edition of River to River Florence Indian Film Festival

The 12th edition of River to River Florence Indian Film Festival will be held 7–13 December 2012 in Florence, Italy. The festival accepts 2011 and 2012 features, shorts and documentaries from and about India. Submissions are done online by 30 September 2012.
The River to River festival, under the Patronage of the Embassy of India in Rome, is the first festival in the world entirely devoted to films from and about India. New for this year is that besides the Bitebay Audience Award, the festival announces the new "Piaggio Foundation Award" for the feature film category. The jury of the award will be composed by a special committee of the Piaggio Foundation. The award, given to the director of the winning feature film by the President of Piaggio Vehicles Private Ltd of Pune, will be the new Vespa LX125 just launched on the Indian market.
Deadline for accreditations is 20 November 2012. Last minute accreditations can be done from 7 December 2012 at the festival venue. Full informaiton on the festival website.

• Information about South Asia related culture in Sweden/ Scandinavia
See SASNET’s page,

New and updated items on SASNET web site

• A New India?: Critical Reflections in the Long Twentieth Century

Costa volumeA New India?: Critical Reflections in the Long Twentieth Century, volume edited by Anthony D'Costa, Professor in Indian Studies and Research Director at the Asia Research Centre, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. A critical examination of the notion of a ‘new’ India by exposing the many economic, social, and political contradictions that are integral to contemporary India, aimed at scholars and advanced students of contemporary India, comparative politics, and development studies; the intelligent and curious reading public interested in the rise of India. Includes foreword by Deepak Nayyar and chapters by Anthony P. D’Costa on ”New Interpretations of India’s Economic Growth in the Twentieth Century”; Kunal Sen on ”Continuity and Change: Notes on Agriculture in ‘New India’”; and Nitya Rao on ”The ‘New’ Non Residents of India: A Short History of the NRI”. Anthem Press, London, December 2010.
A paperback edition of the book is released in August 2012. More details here.
The book will be officially launched in September 2012.

• Swedish departments where research on South Asia is going on

This month there was 1 new department added to SASNET's list: 
         ‡ Centre for Environment and Sustainability (GMV), Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg,
                  (in collaboration with University of Gothenburg)

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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