Newsletter 152 – 5 September 2013


Subscribe to the newsletter by sending an e-mail to!




• SASNET/UPF seminar on Gang Rapes in India

A joint SASNET/UPF (Association of Foreign Affairs at Lund University) seminar on ”Gang Rapes in India” will be held in Lund on Wednesday 11 September 2013, 19.00–21.00. Malin Mendel Westberg, Swedish public service television (SVT) correspondent in India will share her experiences from reporting on the violent December 2012 Delhi gang rape case, the recent Mumbai gang rape case involving a photo journalist, as well as other cases concerning the safety or lack of safety for women in India. Venue: Café Athen, Akademiska Föreningen (AF), Sandgatan 2, Lund. See the poster.
The shocking gang rape incidents have generated widespread national and international coverage and has been condemned by various women's groups, both in India and abroad. Subsequently, public protests against the Government of India for not providing adequate security for women has taken place in New Delhi and other major cities throughout the country. Members of the Indian parliament have also demanded severe punishment for the perpetrators, and in view of the widespread protests, several steps to ensure women's safety have been announced.
Malin Mendel Westberg has been working for SVT as a reporter and video photographer since 2005. During the years she has covered lots of issues concerning women in India for the programme Korrespondenterna as well as for the news programmes Rapport and Aktuellt. She has recently released a book about India and Bombay (”Bombay Takeaway. Indien genom maten”) where the situation for Indian women is highlighted in two of the chapters.
Please note the seminar language will be Swedish.

• SASNET lunch seminar on Gendered Participation in Sikkim and Bhutan

Dr. Winnie Bothe from the Department of Political Science at Lund University holds the first SASNET/ABF Thursday lunch seminar talk for the fall semester 2013 on Thursday 26 September 2013, 12.30–13.30, at Lunds konsthall. The presentation is entitled ”Gendered Participation in the Buddhist Himalayas. Sikkim and Bhutan: A comparative study on visions of female participation”. See the poster.
In her presentation, Dr. Bothe focuses on the Buddhist women from the Kingdom of Bhutan and the Indian state of Sikkim, sharing a similar cultural background rooted in Tantric Buddhism. Given this cultural similarity she sets out to explore their political engagement under two different models of governance. The main questions asked is the extent to which these women are empowered to participate in local politics, in particular their subjective understanding of their ability to apply the room that is opened to gain influence at local village meetings. 
In both Bhutan and Sikkim women would frequently participate in local meetings. But in spite of the similarities of a Buddhist cultural background we found great disparities. In Bhutan illiterate women generally felt they were mere ‘beings’ rather than ‘political beings’, lacking the competence, self-esteem and the political value to speak up in village meetings. In Sikkim, by contrast, the illiterate women in general felt they had the self-confidence, the competence and respect that allowed them to act as ‘political beings’, in the sense of actively taking part in discussions in the meetings. Surprisingly, the difference in rights between the Buddhist women in democratic Sikkim and the monarchic system of Bhutan could not account for the difference found. In fact, the women in Bhutan held larger rights than did the women in Sikkim. Rather, Dr. Bothe suggests the difference in empowerment can better be explained by the difference in the political view of women of these two states. In Sikkim, an egalitarian gender discourse was pursued by preferential treatment for women through gender quotas, promoting a vision of the women as ‘political beings’ with a stake in local politics. By contrast, the traditional approach to governance of the Bhutanese state promoted a vision of state and religion as a male spheres, which was little conducive to the political engagement of the women.
SASNET’s Thursday lunch (brownbag) seminar series, aimed at presenting and disseminating the eminent South Asia related research carried out at Lund University, was launched in 2011. Since last year the seminar series is organised in collaboration with Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF) Lund, and Lunds Konsthall. The seminars, open for all interested, are held once a month on Thursdays at 12.30 inside the public art gallery (Lunds konsthall) at Mårtenstorget 3 in central Lund. More information on the SASNET/ABF Thursday Lunch Seminars

• SASNET seminar on Health and Safety in the Bangladesh Ready Made Garment industry

SASNET invites to a seminar with Professor Emeritus Doug Miller from the School of Design at University of Northumbria in Newcastle on Tyne, UK, on Thursday 3 October 2013, at 15.15. His presentation is entitled ”Forcing Workers to Die – the State of Health and Safety in the Bangladesh Ready Made Garment industry”. The seminar is organised in collaboration with the Dept. of Sociology and the School of Social Work at Lund University. Venue: Edebalksalen, School of Social Work, Bredgatan 13, Lund. See the poster.
The textile and clothing industries provide the single most important source of economic growth in Bangladesh's rapidly developing economy. Today, about 4 million people, mostly women, work in Bangladesh's export-oriented ready-made garment industry, and exports of textiles and garments are the principal source of foreign exchange earnings. The backside is super-exploitation and repression of the workers who receive minimal wages, and an alarming lack of occupational health and safety due to corruption. Deadly fires and other incidents occur regularly, and the Rana Plaza garment factory complex collapse on April 24, 2013, when more than 1 000 textile workers were killed is the worst disaster ever in manufacturing (photo). 
Doug Miller (photo to the left) is a leading expert on workers rights in the fashion business. Between 2000 and 2008 he was Research Director at the International Textile Garments and Leather Workers Federation (ITGLWF), the global union for the sector. He has also authored a book, ”Last Night in Savar”, published in 2012, on the 2005 Spectrum Sweater Factory Collapse in Bangladesh (more information), and has an ongoing interest in mechanisms for costing and delivering a living wage in the global fashion industry.
Swedish writer Helena Thorfinn (photo to the right), now working as Communications Manager for the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) at Lund University, will act as moderator. She has previously worked as a journalist and as a social analyst for Save the Children and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) in Bangladesh. Last year she presented a novel ”Innan floden tar oss/Sisters by the River” based on her work experiences. The book is a fascinating story on life in Bangladesh, including so many true-to-life experiences such as criminally dilapidated textile factories, corruption, etc. More information about the book.

• SASNET contributes with South Asia books to Lund University's Asia Library

Through its early involvement with Lund University’s Masters Programme in Asian Studies, SASNET has actively been working to open up the Lund University’s Asia Library to include South Asia related literature besides its existing collections of literature on East and South-East Asia.
For a couple of years, starting in 2007, the SASNET board set aside SEK 25 000 a year to buy and catalogue books on modern South Asian studies for the Asia Library. A number of books from SASNET’s root node office collection were also donated to the Asia Library. A list of SASNET’s first books contribution is available through the Asia Library web page. Go for the list of South Asia books in Lund University’s Asia Library (as a pdf-file).
In August 2013, SASNET again decided to contribute with South Asia related books to the Asia Library, and as a first symbolic gesture a number of books already available in SASNET’s office books collection were donated to the library, among them Kaushik Basu’s ”The retreat of democracy and other itinerant essays on globalization, economics, and India”; Gunnel Cederlöf’s ”Landscapes and the law: environmental politics, regional histories, and contests over nature”; Irfan Habib’s ”To make the deaf hear: ideology and programme of Bhagat Singh and his comrades”; Ramachandra Guha’s ”Makers of modern India”; Claude Markovits’ ”The unGandhian Gandhi: the life and afterlife of the Mahatma”, and Tan Chung’s (ed) ”Tagore and China”. Go for the complete list of new books to the library.
Lund University’s Asia Library is located at Scheelevägen 15 C, ground floor, in the same building (Alfa 1) that also houses the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies (ACE), and SASNET.
More information about the books and magazines collection at SASNET’s office, including the Karl Reinhold Haellquist donation, and the unique collection of South Asia related doctoral theses from Nordic universities.

• SASNET visit to universities in London

During the week 9-13 September 2013, SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund will visit universities in London, networking with researchers working on South Asia related projects. He first will go to Westminster University, to attend an international conference entitled ‘Communicating Soft Power: Contrasting Perspectives from India and China’, on 9-10 September. It is being organised by Professor Daya Thussu from the India Media Centre at the university’s Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI). This two-day international conference will explore competing and contrasting approaches to soft power in India and China, the world’s two fastest growing economies, whose rise is set to reconfigure global power equations in a multi-polar world. More information.
Lars will then visit London School of Economics (LSE), a vibrant research institution with many researchers working on South Asia projects. He will be hosted by Professor David Lewis from the Department of Social Policy, and Dr. Mukulika Bannerjee at the Department of Anthropology. Prof. Lewis held a SASNET seminar on ”Bangladesh: Politics, Economy and Civil Society 40 years after Liberation” at Lund University in December 2011. Dr. Bannerjee is the key person behind an initiative to launch a South Asia Centre at LSE from January 2014, and she has an interest to discuss networking experiences with Lars Eklund. 
On 12th September, Lars will visit the British Library and the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP), a programme being  funded by Arcadia (formerly known as the Lisbet Rausing Charitable Fund), that contributes to the preservation of archival material worldwide that is in danger of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration, not the least in South Asia.  Lars will be hosted by Cathy Collins, Grants Administrator for EAP. Approximately 30 projects in Bhutan, India and Nepal are currently supported by the Endangered Archives Programme. They include projects on digital documentation of manuscripts at Drametse and Ogyen Choling monasteries in Bhutan (photo from Drametse); a project on Locating and surveying early religious and related records in Mizoram; a project on Archiving texts in the Sylhet Nagri script; and a project to Retrieve two major and endangered newspapers: Jugantar and Amrita Bazar Patrika in Kolkata. More information about the South Asian projects.
Finally, Lars will visit the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at University of London, one of most important research environments when it comes to South Asia related research in Europe. Lars will be hosted by Professor Michael Hutt, Professor  of Nepali and Himalayan Studies, and Chair for the Centre of South Asian Studies at SOAS. Prof. Hutt was one of the keynote speakers at SASNET’s 2013 South Asia Symposium at Lund University in April 2013. At SOAS, Lars hopes to meet a number of other researchers within varied fields such as Economics, Development Studies, History, Linguistics, Politics and Religious Studies, and before leaving London, he will meet a representative of the recently formed Muslim South Asia Research Forum (MUSA), a new cross-disciplinary initiative focused on bringing together PhD students and early career researchers working on any aspect of Muslim societies in the countries of South Asia. 

• SASNET Networking partner 8: Stockholm School of Economics

Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) (Handelshögskolan i Stockholm). Contact person: Associate Professor Anders Olofsgård, Deputy Director, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE). This institute was established in 1989, and has primarily become a leading research and policy center on transition in the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe, but more recently the institute has also broadened its geographical reach, and now produce research and policy advice that can benefit all emerging market economies, for example in South Asia.
Anders Olofsgård earned his Ph.D. in Economics, with specialization in political economy, development economics and applied microeconomic theory, from the Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) at Stockholm University in 2001. Before joining Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, he was working as Associate Professor at Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, USA. He has also been a visiting scholar at the research department of the IMF, and done work for among others the World Bank, USAID and the Swedish Parliament. Currently he is involved in an India related research project entitled ”Collective Action and Community Development: Evidence from Self-Help Groups in India”, funded by an U-forsk grant for the period 2013-15. The project is the second phase of a larger research undertaking on membership groups for the poor in India. The first phase of this project was completed in February 2012, and was funded by The Brookings Institution and a series of grants at Georgetown University and was conducted in collaboration with the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) of India.
Jon SigurdsonTill a few years ago, Professor Emeritus Jon Sigurdson worked as Director for the East Asia Science & Technology and Culture Programme at SSE, holding an endowed ASTRA Professorship of East Asia Science & Technology and Culture. Even though Prof. Sigurdson’s research mainly focused on China, he has also made a number of comparative studies that included India. In 1997 he published an article together with the Dr. Prasada Reddy at Lund University’s Research Policy Institute entitled ”Strategic location of R&D and emerging patterns of globalization: the case of Astra Research Centre India”, and in November 2006 Jon Sigurdson wrote a book entitled ”Kina och Indien – Sagan om de två giganterna (in Swedish: China and India – A tale of the two giants), where he shows how both India and China started to open up their economies during the 1980s and 1990s. More information about the South Asia related research at the Stockholm School of Economics.
SASNET tries to keep track of all South Asia related research at the Swedish universities, and in our database we have information about approximately 300 departments where some kind of South Asia related research and/or educational collaboration projects with institutions in the eight South Asian nations is going on. Among our networking partners , we will each month present one or two of these departments and the researchers working on South Asia related projects. Go for SASNET’s list of Swedish departments.

• SASNET concert with eminent artists from Kolkata at Sagohuset

The extraordinary talented North Indian classical singer Sudokshina Chatterjee Manna from Kolkata again visits Lund for a concert along with her Tabla player husband Subrata Manna, and the Kathak dancer Sohini Debnath, on Sunday 13 October 2013, at 19.00. Venue: Theatre Sagohuset, Revingegatan 8, Lund. See the poster.
The artists are all trained in North Indian musical traditions. Subrata was a student of Tabla maestro Pandit Shankar Ghosh and has learnt all the most important musical styles (gharanas). Both Subrata and Sudokshina also have academic degrees from Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata. Sohini Debnath dances Kathak, the Indian original behind the Spanish Flamenco dance.
They come to Sweden as part of a European tour, being invited to Lund by SASNET. The Lund concert, organised in collaboration with Theatre Sagohuset and Sensus, will be the only one in Scandinavia. Tickets cost SEK 150 and can be pre-booked from SASNET, phone 0731-50 88 44, or Sagohuset, 046-12 21 41. Leftover tickets are sold at the entrance (by cash only).

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

Research Community News

• Swedish Research Council establishes Committee for Development Research

The Swedish Research Council has established a development research committee in accordance with the appropriation directions for 2013. The Committee for Development Research will shape strategies and enhance evaluation of scientific quality in the research arena. Further, the committee will integrate development research as a more distinct aspect of the Swedish Research Council’s activities. The news was made public on 19th August 2013.
The committee’s sphere of responsibility encompasses Swedish research of particular relevance for low- and medium-income countries. The research funded should be of the highest scientific quality and relevant to the overall goals of Sweden’s collaboration in development and the policy goals of global development. This means that research should contribute towards just and sustainable development and/or help create the conditions that enable poor populations to improve their living situation. The funds must be used in accordance with the OECD/DAC’s definition of development assistance. The Committee will be responsible for the Swedish Research Links Programme and the U-Forsk grants. Previously, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) managed the U-Forsk grants, and the agencies collaborated in the Swedish Research Links Programme. The Swedish Research Council will distribute SEK 170 million of the Government’s assistance budget under this initiative.
See SASNET’s lists of South Asia related projects funded by Swedish Research Links grants 2002-2012.
See SASNET’s lists of South Asia related projects funded by Sida’s U-forsk grants 2003-2011.
Kerstin Sahlin, Secretary General of the Scientific Council for Humanities and Social Sciences at the Swedish Research Council, will be in charge of the scientific aspects of the committee’s work. Members of the Committee for Development Research include Arne Bigsten, Professor in Development Economics, University of Gothenburg; Caroline Moser, Professor Emeritus, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester; Göran Tomson, Professor of International Health Systems Research, Karolinska Institutet; and Stein Tønnesson, Professor, Peace Research Institute, Oslo. More information.

• Sirpa Tenhunen new Director of the Nordic Centre in India

The Nordic Centre in India (NCI) university consortium has appointed Dr. Sirpa Tenhunen at University of Helsinki as the new Director, responsible for the daily activities of NCI, from 1 September 2013. Dr. Tenhunen currently works on a research project on mobile technology, gender and development in India at University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She is also an Associated Professor in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki. In addition to new media, her research interests cover gender, work and politics in India.  Her e-mail address is
She succeeds Dr. Kristina Myrvold who has been the Director of NCI since 2012 and now will continue her research work in Sikh studies on a new position in Religious Studies at the School of Cultural Sciences, Linnaeus University in Växjö/Kalmar. From 2014 the Linnaeus University is a new member of NCI and Dr. Myrvold will continue being involved in activities of the consortium as the representative for Linnaeus University in the NCI General Assembly.
The Secretariat of NCI continues to be located at the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus. More information on NCI’ s web page.

• Linnaeus University launches strategic project on collaboration with India

Linnaeus University, located in both Växjö and Kalmar, takes initiatives to increase its academic cooperation with Indian universities. In April 2013, the Network for Internationalization (with representatives from all departments at Linnaeus University) and the Vice-Rector Nils Nilsson approved a proposal to launch a strategic project that involves encouraging the academic staff at Linneaus University to seek and establish long-term academic relationships with research institutions in India. 

 Soniya Billore and Kristina Myrvold.

Another part of the project is to deepen the knowledge and understanding of higher education in India by arranging lectures, seminars, workshops and cultural activities related to India. Linnaeus University will also join the Nordic Centre in India (NCI) university consortium from 1 January 2014. Finally, LNU representatives will take part in a workshop at the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad on 19-20 September 2013, which aims at establishing a new Department of Nordic Studies.
A strong role in the development is played by Dr. Sonia Billore, who has been recruited to the university’s School of Business and Economics from Temple University in Tokyo; and Dr. Kristina Myrvold, who has been recruited to the university’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities from Lund University. Both of them have with long experience of research and studies in India, and Kristina Myrvold was also till very recently the Director of Nordic Centre in India. Read more about the India projects at Linnaeus University.

• THE ranks three Indian IITs to be among world’s 400 best universities

According to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2012-13, only two Scandinavian universities appears among the top 100 in the world – Karolinska Institutet as No. 42, and Lund University as No. 82. Just below the top 100 then comes Uppsala University as No. 106, University of Helsinki as No. 109, Aarhus University as No. 116, Stockholm University as No. 117, Copenhagen University as No. 130, and Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm as No. 140.
In South Asia, only three universities are placed among the top 400, all of them being Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT). The top university according to the THE ranking is IIT Kharagpur, ranked to be in a position between 226 and 250 in the world. The two other are IIT Bombay ranked to be somewhere inbetween postion 251 and 300, and IIT Roorkee, in the scan 351-400.
These rankings were presented in October 2012, but a new ranking for the perid 2013-14 will be published on 3 October 2013. The THE rankings employ 13 separate performance indicators, making them the only global university rankings to examine all the core missions of the modern global university – research, teaching, knowledge transfer and international activity. See the full THE ranking 2012-13.
Compare this information with another ranking service, QS World University Rankings 2012/2013, said to be among the most trusted university rankings available. According to this ranking, Lund University is the premier Swedish university, ranked as No. 71, whereas University of Copenhagen is No. 1 in Scandinavia on position No. 51 (followed by Helsinki on No. 78, Uppsala on No. 81, and Aarhus on No. 89.
QS also has a different ranking priority when it comes to South Asia. Here, IIT Delhi is the premier institution with position No. 212, followed by IIT Bombay on No. 227, and IIT Kanpur on position No. 278. Then follows IIT Madras on position No. 312, and IIT Kharagpur on position no. 349. The only non-Indian South Asian university to qualify to the QS Top 600 ranking is the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad, Pakistan, ranked to be in a position between 401 and 450 in the world, the same ranking as University of Delhi, and IIT Roorkee receives. Go for the QS World University Rankings.

• Local Interventions Group works for smarter technology driven governance
LIG's Nepal Election Snapshot infographic outlines some interesting facts and figures from Nepal's 2008 elections, with main focus on elections violence – where it took place, which groups were most affected and how many were killed. While this information cannot necessarily be considered to be indicative of future events, it can show where problems are more likely to arise and can hopefully be used to help prevent similar situations from arising in the future.

The Local Interventions Group (LIG) is an international non profit company, based in London and Kathmandu, that works for smarter governance by introducing technology-led development solutions. The mission is to reform the government so that it works closely with the civil society and the private sector in addressing everyday governance problems. Its core programme is Open Government, an initiative to democratise government information, increase transparency and accountability and allow effective public oversight. Crowdsourcing programme complements Open Government. 
LIG grew out of a research seminar at the London School of Economics (LSE) and launched programmes in Nepal and Pakistan in September 2011. It is jointly managed by Mr. Subindra Bogati (who is also coordinator of the Nepal Armed Violence Assessment for the Small Arms Survey, NAVA) and Pranav Budhathoki from LSE.
Among the programmes being launched, one is entitled ”Mapping for Peace and Accountability: Crowdsourcing and Data Visualization for Nepal Elections 2013”. It aims at making Nepal’s upcoming elections more transparent and less violent by using crowdsourcing, mapping and data visualization technology. Reports will be able to be submitted using mobile and landline phones, email and the web. More information on the LIG web page.

• Apply for funds from Endangered Archives Programme

The Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library is soon accepting applications for the next round of funding. The announcement is expected in September 2013, and the deadline for receipt of preliminary grant applications is 1 November. The Programme is funded by Arcadia (formerly known as the Lisbet Rausing Charitable Fund, a grant-making fund established in 2001), in pursuit of one of its charitable aims to preserve and disseminate cultural knowledge and to promote education and research. The aim of the Programme is to contribute to the preservation of archival material worldwide that is in danger of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration.
The Programmes objectives are achieved principally by awarding grants to applicants to locate relevant endangered archival collections, where possible to arrange their transfer to a suitable local archival home, and to deposit copies with local institutions and the British Library. Pilot projects are particularly welcomed, to investigate the survival of archival collections on a particular subject, in a discrete region, or in a specific format, and the feasibility of their recovery. More information
In South Asia, approximately 30 projects in Bhutan, India and Nepal are currently supported by the Endangered Archives Programme. They include projects on digital documentation of manuscripts at Drametse and Ogyen Choling monasteries in Bhutan (photo from Drametse); a project on Locating and surveying early religious and related records in Mizoram; a project on Archiving texts in the Sylhet Nagri script; and a project to Retrieve two major and endangered newspapers: Jugantar and Amrita Bazar Patrika in Kolkata. More information about the South Asian projects
The Endangered Archives Programme is pleased to announce the addition of a new catalogue to its web pages. The catalogue gives details of material copied by the project EAP310: The digital documentation of manuscripts in Thadrak, Tshamdrak and Nyephug temples in Bhutan, holding significant collections of ancient manuscripts such as Buddhist canonical texts, religious and philosophical writings, historical and biographical literatures, which have hitherto remained unknown and inaccessible to scholars. More information about the project.

• Heidelberg University seeks Branch Manager for Colombo office

The South Asia Institute (SAI) of Heidelberg University, Germany, seeks a manager for its branch office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, beginning in January 2014. With seven academic departments (Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Indology, Modern Languages, and Political Science), and the largest library of its kind in Europe, the SAI is Europe’s leading Centre for the academic study of South Asia. It has branch offices in Delhi and Kathmandu, and representatives in Dhaka and Islamabad. The Colombo branch office was inaugurated in 1999 and remained active until 2007, when it was downsized. Over the years of its operation, the branch office played a major part in organizing student exchanges between Sri Lanka and Germany, as well as a number of other educational initiatives and research projects, which include several publications. SAI now seeks to resume full operations. Major tasks of the Branch Office Manager include helping Sri Lankan to obtain visas for students and academics from Heidelberg; coordinate joint research programs, exchange programs, summer schools, and other forms of scientific and educational cooperation between Heidelberg and Sri Lankan academic institutions; and organize public lectures/workshops.
The successful applicant will have excellent skills in English and Sinhala; knowledge of Sri Lankan as well as European universities; and sound experience in business management. Deadline for applications is 1 November, 2013. More information.

• Bangalore gender studies researcher attends Ørecomm Festival in Malmö/Copenhagen/Roskilde

Associate Professor Jyothsna Latha Belliappa from Azim Premji University in Bangalore, India, visits Sweden in connection with her attending the Ørecomm Festival in Malmö, Roskilde and Copenhagen 13–16 September 2013 (more information about the Ørecomm Festival). An informal meeting was planned to be held for Dr. Belliappa at Lund University by SASNET on Tuesday 10 September 2013, in order for her to meet with sociologists and scholars in gender studies at the university. However, the meeting has been cancelled due to the fact that the Swedish government refused to give her a visa for more days than just the conference dates. 
Dr. Belliappa was till recently working for Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, where she coordinated the Mediating Modernity Festival held in Bangalore in January 2013 (in collaboration with Malmö University). Her research work has been on women in professional life, the relationship between work and personal life and the self. More lately she has developed an emerging interest in gender harassment in both public and professional spheres and on women in education, and recently she published a book entitled ”Gender, Class and Reflexive Modernity in India” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). More information about Dr. Beliappa.
SASNET’s Lars Eklund met Dr. Belliappa while visiting the Shrishti School in March 2013. Read his report.

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

Educational News

• Report on sexual harassment against American student on study tour to India

A CNN iReport by an American female college student from the University of Chicago on her experiences from a three months study tour to India has caused a great stir since it was posted on the Internet on August, 23, 2013. In the report entitled ”India: The Story You Never Wanted to Hear”, Michaela Cross says she and others faced repeated sexual harassment, groping and worse, and upon her return, she says she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and is now on a mental leave of absence from the school after a public breakdown in the spring.
Her story has struck a chord around the world, and quickly found its way to India, where many readers sympathized with the story and men felt compelled to apologize for the experience she endured. Others called for greater perspective and warned against making generalizations about India or its people. Read the full article.

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

See SASNET’s page,

Seminars and Conferences in Scandinavia

• Centre of Global South Asian Studies invites to 4th annual workshop in Copenhagen

The Centre of Global South Asian Studies (CGSAS) at University of Copenhagen invites to its annual  workshop on 10th September 2013, 09.45–17.30. The keynote speaker is Professor Kavita Philip (photo), University of California, Irvine, USA, who will talk on 'Science Fiction and Emerging Technological Nationalisms'. A number of research presentations across disciplines, temporalities, and regions feature in the day-long event as well. Peter Birkelund Andersen will speak about ”The Christian Missions to Boros and the Collections of Halfdan Siiger”; Ida Sofie Madsen on ”The police saint in Lahore. On protection, spirituality and a charismatic Sufi trickster”; Emilija Zabiliute on ”Ambiguous Citizens, Different Bodies: Drawing Boundaries in a Delhi Suburb”; and Rune Bennike on ”Ruly Hills – Darjeeling on the Edge of the Northeast”.
This 4th annual workshop also features a special session with Niraj Srivastava, who has been newly appointed India's diplomatic envoy to Denmark. He will give a lecture titled 'India Today' which will be followed by discussion.
The event is public and requires no fee. Registration is required. Venue: Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen, Building 27, Room 27.0.09, Karen Blixens Vej, Copenhagen. More information.

• Oslo seminar on the art of demobilisation of ex-combatants in Nepal

The Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO) organises a one-day seminar on ”The Art of Demobilisation – Nepal, a Success Story?” on Wednesday 11 September 2013, 09.30–15.00. In 2006 a peace agreement ended a decade-long civil war in Nepal between the state and the Maoist People’s Liberation Army. Cantonments were set up for ex-combatants, and the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) verified about 19,600 as former combatants while more than 4,000 were found to be under-aged or joined after the ceasefire. In 2012, almost six years later, the cantonments were finally closed and over 3,000 weapons were taken over by the Nepal Army. The Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) process in Nepal has taken a long time and met with many difficulties , but can it be termed a success story after all? This seminar takes stock of the DDR process in Nepal and asks if other DDR processes can draw lessons from it.
Participants include Lt. General (Retd.) Bala Nanda Sharma, Nepalese Army Integration Coordination Committee; Yohn Medina-Vivanco, Department of Political Affairs, United Nations Nepal; and a Maoist ex-combatant Commander. Venue: PRIO, Hausmannsgate 7, Oslo. More information.

• Caste in focus for University of Oslo's 5th Annual Contemporary India Seminar

University of Oslo hosts its 5th Annual Contemporary India Seminar, "Caste Today", on Thursday 12 September 2013. This year’s seminar is organised by Geir Heierstad, Kenneth Bo Nielsen and Uday Chandra with support from the Department for Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS); the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM); the Network for Asian Studies; and the Nordic Forum for South Asia (NoFSA).
The reason for choosing Caste as the seminar theme is the fact that once being a staple of Indian sociological and political analysis, caste has today been curiously marginal in recent academic discourses on India. The contemporary marginality of caste owes undoubtedly to the opening up of new areas of study concerning gender, neoliberalism, conflict, development and more. Yet caste continues to be a significant force in Indian society and politics, taking on new guises even as older pervasive hierarchies continue to seep into the present. To interrogate caste in contemporary India in its many forms and aspects, this seminar invites papers from scholars working on this subject across disciplines. Participants are encouraged to address the contemporary workings of caste, and the practices and ideas associated with it, from an empirical point of departure. 
Contributions from younger scholars are particulary welcomed. As are papers that deal with the significance of caste in parts of India such as West Bengal, where caste hierarchies are generally seen as ‘weak’; or among social strata were the influence of caste is believed to be on the wane or subject to important transformations. 
Deadline for full papers is 1 September 2013. More information

• Memory on Trial theme for 2013 Ørecom Festival in Malmö and Roskilde

ÖrecommMemory on Trial: Media, Citizenship and Social Justice” is the overarching theme for the third Ørecomm Festival, 13–16 September 2013, a four-day event that brings an inspiring mix of seminars, lectures and conferences to Malmö, Copenhagen and Roskilde. It is jointly organised by Roskilde University and the School of Arts and Communication, Faculty of Culture and Society, Malmö University. Last year’s Festival featured an Indian panel, as a result of a collaboration project entitled ”Memories of Modernity II” between Malmö University and the Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, Bangalore. This experimental project of combined academic and artistic research will now be documented during one of the workshops at the third Ørecomm Festival. Papers will be presented by Nicolas Grandi and Deepak Srinavasan from Srishti, and Jyothsna Belliappa, who recently moved to Azim Premji University in Bangalore. The workshop will be moderated by Oscar Hemer. 
A separate workshop will be dedicated to the issue of  “Methods of Analysis in Ethnographic Studies of Mediated Memories”, condducted by the Media/Ethnography Group with Annette Markham, S. Elizabeth Bird and Jo Tacchi. Finally, another South Asia related event will take place at the Festival, when Urvashi Butalia, Publisher, Kali for Women in New Delhi, India, will hold a presentation entitled “Difficult Memories: Speaking about Sexual Violence”. More information with full programme.

• Gender in focus at Lund University Development Research Day 2013

Lund University Development Research Day 2013 will be held on Thursday 19 September 2013. The title for the one-day conference is ”Gendered Developments – Imaginings, Politics and Practices”. The Development Research Day is an annual event intended to bring together those interested in development issues from a wide variety of disciplines. This year it is hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences.
Confirmed keynote speakers are Wendy Harcourt, Naila Kabeer and Margot Wallström. Al Lund University students and researchers interested in gender and development are invited to participate and share their research findings and ideas. The deadline for submitting an abstract of 200-250 words was 19 August and they should be sent to A detailed programme will be available at in due course. See the poster.

• Stockholm University workshop on Neoliberal Development and Indian Democracy

The Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University organises a three-day international workshop on ”Neoliberal Development and Indian Democracy: The Politics of Rights, Rebellions and Reforms” on 10–12 October 2013. The conference with invited speakers will bring together analysts whose research throws light on aspects of India’s encounter with neo-liberalism. There will be political-economic, sociological and ethnographic explorations of the following themes of rights, rebellion, dispossession and the reconceptualization of the state. Except for the first open morning session (programme posted below) it is necessary to pre-register with the organisers – by mail – in order to participate in the workshop. Venue: Aula Magna, Stockholm University, Frescati.

 Kanchan Chandra, John Echeverri-Gent and Alpa Shah.

The open session is held on Thursday 10 October, 10.00–12.30, and features presentations by Kanchan Chandra, New York University, USA, on “The New Indian State”; by John Echeverri-Gent, University of Virginia, USA, on “India's Neoliberal Turn: Do the costs outweigh the benefits?”; and Alpa Shah, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK, on “The Rise and Fall of the Maoist Movement in India”. They will be introduced by Professor Sanjib Baruah, Bard College, USA,  & currently at the Dept. of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University.
During the following two and a half days of workshop, several other invited scholars from Sweden, Norway, Germany, India, Australia and the US give highly interesting presentations on issues such as India's Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Indian Forest Rights Act, Vernacular Rights Culture in Northeast India, Indian anti-mining activism, and (Neo)liberal Peacebuilding in India. Speakers include Olle Törnquist, University of Oslo; Shylashri Shankar, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi; Duncan McDuie-Ra, University of New South Wales, Australia; and Uday Chandra, Max Planck Institute, Göttingen, Germany.
The workshop is convened by Dr. Henrik Berglund, Dept. of Political Science, Stockholm University, and Dr. Beppe Karlsson, Dept. of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University. See the full workshop programme.

• Three seminars by Rila Mukherjee in Uppsala and Stockholm

Professor Rila Mukherjee, Director of the Institut de Chandernagor in the state of West Bengal, India, visits Sweden in October 2013, and holds three seminars at Uppsala University and the Vasa Museum in Stockholm.
Prof. Mukherjee has written ”Strange Riches: Bengal in the Mercantile Map of South Asia” (2006), ”Merchants and Companies in Bengal: Kasimbazar and Jugdia in the Eighteenth Century” (2007), and recently ”Oceans Connect” (2013) – photo from book release of the latter book in Kolkata.
On Monday 14 October, 13.15–15.00, she will hold a lecture entitled “Writing a Water History: New directions for historical research”, a seminar organised by the Dept. of History, Uppsala University, and the research node Mind and Nature. This presentation will chart the shifts in studies on the Indian Ocean: from maritime studies to oceanic studies and water based studies. Venue: University main building, room VII.
On Wednesday 16 October, 13.15–15.00, Prof. Mukherjee will speak about “The Eastern Indian Ocean Trading World”, in a seminar organised by the Forum for South Asia Studies at Uppsala University. This lecture will elaborate the global flows across the eastern Indian Ocean world until c. 1600. This part of the ocean includes the vast water-body stretching from Sri Lanka (central Indian Ocean) through the Bay of Bengal, the Java seas, the Melaka and Sunda Straits, and into the China seas. Venue: English Park Campus, room 2-1024.
On Friday 18 October, 13.00–15.00, she will speak about “Writing a Water History: New directions for historical research”, in a seminar organised by Maritime Studies at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. This presentation will chart the shifts in studies on the Indian Ocean: from maritime studies to oceanic studies and water based studies.
Full information about Prof. Mukherjee’s seminars.

• Sixth SASNET Fermented Foods symposium to be held in Anand

The sixth International Seminar and Workshop on Fermented Foods Health Status and Social Wellbeing will be organised by the Swedish South Asian Network on Fermented Foods (SASNET-FF) at Anand Agricultural University in Anand, Gujarat, India, 6–7 December 2013. The theme of the conference is Prevention of Major Non-communicable DiseasesSASNET Fermented Foods is a forum for scientists of the south Asian countries, Sweden and other countries for exchanging information in the field of food fermentation and its practical application.  It was launched in 2003 by Professor Baboo Nair, Division of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, Lund University, and has has helped to strengthen relation among academicians, researchers and food industry professionals. The network is coordinated by Professor J. B. Prajapati, Head of Department of Dairy Microbiology, SMC College of Dairy Science at Anand Agricultural University.
The 2013 conference will provide a platform to present and share scientific and technical knowledge on fermented foods and also give chance to the young scientists to present their research work. Apart from this, industries will highlight on their latest developments, especially, experience gained from a collaborative project between Indian and Swedish food scientists of the two institutions Lund University and Anand Agricultural University will be highlighted and presented for open discussion. The project has been supported by SIDA, the Swedish International Development Cooperation AgencyMore information about SASNET Fermented Foods.
Deadline for submitting abstracts for the conference is 30 October 2013.
Full information about the 2013 workshop.

• Wardha conference on Evidence Based Practice in Nursing

An International conference on ”Evidence Based Practice in Nursing” will be held at Wardha in Maharashtra state, India, 6–7 Februay 2014. It is jointly organised by Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University) – DMIMS; Smt. Radhikabai Meghe Memorial College of Nursing, Sawangi (Meghe); and the Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, Science, and Technology, Karlstad University, Sweden. The purpose of this conference, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), is to share research findings and experiences of evidence based practice in nursing, and heed to nurse researchers, nurse teachers, clinical nurses, and nursing leaders and administrators all around the globe. It marks the end of a three year long Partner driven Swedish-Asian collaboration project on evidence-based practice in India and Sweden.
Professor Elsy Athlin from Karlstad University will hold one of the keynote presentations, entitled ”Collaboration between academy and clinical practice to promote EBP in Indian and Swedish health care contexts- similarities and differences”.  Deadline for submitting abstracts is 13 September 2013. Read the Conference information.

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• London conference on soft power in India and China

The India Media Centre and the China Media Centre of the Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI) of the University of Westminster, London, UK, organises an international conference entitled ‘Communicating Soft Power: Contrasting Perspectives from India and China’, on 9-10 September 2013. SASNET’s deputy director Lars Eklund will participate in the conference.
This two-day international conference will explore competing and contrasting approaches to soft power in India and China, the world’s two fastest growing economies, whose rise is set to reconfigure global power equations in a multi-polar world. The conference will discuss the American origins of the concept and how it has been extrapolated in non-American contexts, namely in India and China. Contributors to the conference will examine whether soft power needs to be de-Americanized and expanded to be more inclusive, and historicized to take account of the role of countries and civilizations, such as India and China, in the global communication sphere.
The University of Westminster, which hosts the highest-ranked research department in media and communication in the UK, is home to specialist media research facilities in the China Media and India Media Centres. This pioneering attempt to discuss Asian soft power in a comparative frameworkwill provide an opportunity to examine the strengths and limitations of the idea of soft power, deploying a multi-perspectival approach.
Keynote plenary speakers include Professor Amitabh Mattoo from the Australia-India Institute in Melbourne, Australia (and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi). Venue: University of Westminster at its central London campus. Full information.

• Tenth International workshop on Tamil Epigraphy in Puducherry

The tenth International workshop on Tamil Epigraphy will be held 16 – 27 September 2013. Please note that the workshop will be held in Pondicherry and in Tanjavur in Tamil Nadu, India. It is coordinated by Dr. Appasamy Murugaiyan from the research group Iranian and Indian Worlds at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE), University of Paris 3 (Sorbonne Nouvelle); Dr. K. Rajan, Pondicherry University; and V Selvakumar from Tamil University, Thanjavur. No registration fees are required, but each participant has to bear the cost of practical works and travelling to different sites. The workshop will be held from Monday till Friday, morning 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. (lunch break) afternoon 2.00 to 4.00 p.m. The participants have to arrange themselves their travel. This special program, part of the regular seminar, is organised as requested by many researchers on humanities working on Tamil in different countries. More information.

• Kathmandu conference on Governing Youth in South Asia

The second Joint Regional Conference on ”Governing Youth in South Asia” will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal, 22–24 September 2013. It is organised by a regional network of research organisations in South Asia, including Colombo University, the Institute of Governance Studies (IGS) at BRAC University in Dhaka, the Social Science Baha in Kathmandu, the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in New Delhi, as well as the Delhi Office of the South Asia Institute (SAI) of Heidelberg University. The Kathmandu conference will be hosted by Social Science Baha. The topics to be addressed are inclusive democracy and post-conflict situations, health and education, access to labour markets. Abstracts should be submitted before 20 May 2013. More information
The first Joint Regional Conference was held at Colombo University in March 2012, (co-)funded by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) in New Delhi, the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), UNICEF, and the Affiliated Network of Social Accountability (ANSA South Asia) in Dhaka. The 40 participants included members from nearly all South Asian countries (Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bhutan), and comprised of development partners, as well as policy makers, youth organisations and members from the Sri Lankan Youth Parliament, and scholars from the South Asian region and from Germany.

• Christianity in South India theme for annual SMU conference in Dallas

Asian Studies at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the South Asia Research and Information Institute, both in Dallas, Texas, USA, invite to their annual South Asia conference to be held on 28 September 2013 on the SMU campus. This is a day-long conference that is free and open to the public. The aim of this conference is to bring together South Asia specialists with the larger Dallas - Fort Worth community. The theme for the 2013 conference is ”Conversion, Caste, and Coexistence: Christianity in South India”. Among the presenters are Dr. Robert E. Frykenberg, Professor Emeritus of History & South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, who will speak about ”Anglicanism and 'The Lutheran Aggression:' Conflicts over Caste, Class, and
Conversion in South India”. More information.

• Innovative research in focus at fourth Inter-Asian Connections conference

During the fourth Inter-Asian Connections conference, to be held during October 2-5, 2013 at the Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey, concurrent workshops, coordinated by individual directors showcasing innovative research from across the social sciences and related disciplines will be organised. The workshops will focus on themes of particular relevance to Asia, reconceptualized as a dynamic and interconnected historical, geographical, and cultural formation stretching from the Middle East through Eurasia and South Asia, to East Asia.
It follows three earlier conferences in a series, the one held in Dubai in February 2008 (more information), in Singapore in December 2010 (more information), and Hong Kong in June 2012 (more information). As with the preceding events, this four-day conference aims to effect a paradigm shift in the study of the Asian expanse, re-conceptualized as a dynamic and interconnected historical, geographical, and cultural formation stretching from the Middle East through Eurasia, South Asia and Southeast Asia, to East Asia.
The Inter-Asian Connections Conference Organizing Committee is composed of representatives from the Social Science Research Council, Yale University, the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (HKIHSS) at the University of Hong Kong, Göttingen University and Koç University.
Individual paper submissions are invited from junior and senior scholars, whether graduate students or faculty, or researchers in NGOs or other research organisations, for the following seven workshops:
  – “After Neoliberalism?” The Future of Postneoliberal State and Society in Asia
  – Asian Early Modernities: Empires, Bureaucrats, Confessions, Borders, Merchants
  – Contemporary Art and the Inter-Asian Imaginary
  – Inequalities in Asian Societies: Bringing Back Class Analysis
  – Porous Enclaves: Inter-Asian Residential Projects and the Popular Classes from Istanbul to Seoul
  – Rescuing Taste from the Nation: Oceans, Borders and Culinary Flows
  – The Sounds and Scripts of Languages in Motion
More information.

• Illinois conference on Law, Culture and Morality: East and West

An international and interdisciplinary conference on ”Law, Culture and Morality: East and West” will be held at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, 4–5 October 2013. Subtopics include Laws of Manu & Other Hindu Lawgivers; Islam & Law; and Buddhist Ethics. Papers from the conference will be published subject to editorial review in the Journal of International and Interdisciplinary Studies / Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion. More information.

• London symposium on South Asian Murals and Floor-Drawings

The South Asian Arts Group (SAAG) based in the UK, and the Centre for Research and Education in Art & Media (CREAM), University of Westminster in London, are joining forces to run a symposium entitled ”From Floor to Ceiling: South Asian Murals and Floor-Drawings”, to be held in London 25 - 26 October 2013. The purpose of this event is to spark debate and encourage collaboration and exchange on the vast but, thus far, under-researched area of South Asian mural and floor-drawing traditions and their contemporary manifestations.
In order to accommodate a wide range of papers, the organisers apply a broad definition of the term South Asia, to include the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet. This area of research lends itself to diverse approaches, including anthropological and ethnographic perspectives, art historical interpretations, aesthetic views, practitioner-based narratives that may focus on the creative process, gendered accounts and material culture studies. Full information about the symposium.
The Centre for Research and Education in Art & Media (CREAM) has a portfolio of research across the disciplines of visual arts, ceramics, photography, film, experimental media, music and fashion. CREAM has been a key participant in debates on practice-based research in audio-visual media. The South Asian Arts Group (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. 

• Dhaka conference on Democracy, Citizenship and Urban Violence

The 2nd Annual Conference of Urban Research and Development Society will be held at University of Dhaka, Bangladesh on 4–5 December 2013. The theme for the conference will be ”Democracy, Citizenship and Urban Violence”. Based on Bangladeshi experiences where inequality and social polarization has led to new forms of urban violence, and with disjunctions between democracy and modernity – producing fragmented urban spaces, the conference aims to address urban violence under neoliberal democracy and insurgent form of citizenship. 
Today's Dhaka is a city of shopping malls, restaurants, cafes, beauty parlours and glamorous gymnasiums. Dhaka in a short space of time has transformed, the landscape now dominated by new developments and an array of real-estate advertisements offering lucrative land and housing deals across the city. Alongside these new developments a new wave of service privatization, of universities, hospitals and schools is sweeping across the city, pricing out the vast majority from access to basic services. Millions of poor people moved to the city’s peripheries with the hope and prosperity where they were again entrapped into the new urban poverty. It is thus in this context in which the peripheries, where new manufacturing and garments factories are fast developing, which become centers for poverty, violence and exploitation. In fact, urban poverty, widespread violence, and massive population movements to Dhaka have contributed to the peripheralization of poverty and violence during the period of market democracy. This new forms of urban violence has produced citizen insecurity.
The conference organisers are Prof. Shahadat Hossain, and Dr. Samina Luthfa, both from the Dept. of Sociology, University of Dhaka. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 October 2013. More information

• International HIV Symposium in Chennai

The International Science Symposium on HIV & Infectious Diseases, HIV SCIENCE 2014, will be held in Chennai, India, 30th January to 1st February, 2014. This 5th National and 2nd International Science Symposium will cover various topics encompassing HIV epidemiology, pathogenesis, host-virus interactions, immune responses to infection, disease progression, opportunistic infections, co-infections, current treatment strategy, natural history, vaccines and other infectious diseases not limited to STDs, TB and viral hepatitis. The variety of scientific sessions planned for this symposium would meet the needs of participants from various disciplines.
Venue: Vigyan Auditorium, CSIR - SERC Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Campus, Taramani, Chennai - 600113, India. Landmark: Opposite to Ascendas IT Park. Deadline for submitting abstracts is  1 November 2013. More information.

• Sikholars 2014 conference on Sikh and Punjab studies to be held at Stanford

The Sikholars Conference on Sikh and Punjab Studies 2014 will be held at Stanford University in California, USA, 15–16 February 2014. The conference is sponsored by the Center for South Asia at Stanford University and the Jakara Movement. For the past five years, the Jakara Movement has created a forum for budding scholars and researchers, working on various projects Sikh, to come together, share, and challenge each one another.
The previous Sikholars conferences has attracted young scholars from over three continents and twenty–five universities. With topics ranging from Khalistani nationalism to Unix Coding for Gurmukhi, from sex-selective abortion to diasporic literature analysis, from the history of Nihangs in the court of Ranjit Singh to the North American bhangra circuit, from Sikh sculpture and architecture to representations of masculinity in Punjabi films, he organisers encourage the widest possible range of those pursuing graduate studies on Sikh and Punjab Studies. Researchers from all disciplines are welcomed. While all topics are welcomed and panels will be formed around their various themes, there will be two panels for special consideration.  
1/ Theeja Ghallughara: Justice, Memory, & Transmission. As 2014 marks the 30th year memorial since the attack at Darbar Sahib by Indian Armed forces in June 1984, this year we will hold a special panel discussing the battle, its aftermath, and its effects. We seek special papers for this panel that explore topics related to the theme. From ethnography to sociology, from internet studies to musicology, from history to anthropology, the organisers welcome any number of approaches. 2/ Technology and Entrepreneurship Panel. Due to the widespread interest and demand from attendees and the vicinity to the hub of technological innovation, Sikholars 2014 again will have a special panel devoted to technological entrepreneurship. The panel will be limited to three panelists.
Abstracts should be submitted before 31 October 2013. More information.

• Ahmedabad conference on Law, Society and Sustainable Development

The Institute of Law at Nirma University in Ahmedabad, India, organises an international conference entitled ”Law, Society and Sustainable Development: Problems and Prospects", on 17–18 February 2014. The themes of the conference include: – Environmental Management and Sustainable Development; – Sustainable Development and Green Technology; – Socio-Political and Economic Dimensions of Sustainable Development; – Legal Structures and National/International Framework for Sustainable Development; and – Globalisation, Development and Sustainable Development. The conference convener is Dr. Ravi Saxena. Abstracts should be submitted before 14 October 2013. More information.

• Varanasi conference on Multiple Modernities and Social Inclusion

An International Seminar on ”Multiple Modernities and Social Inclusion” will be held at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, India, 25–27 February 2014. It is being organized by the university’s Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP). The conference will deliberate upon the following themes, which will have technical sessions also depending on the nature of abstracts: - Democracy, Pluralism and Development; - Globalization and Lived Religion; and - Post Colonial narratives and Comparative Methodologies. There will also be an Open session.
The convener is Professor Ashok Kumar Kaul, CSSEIP coordinator, and ICCR Visiting Guest Professor at University of Gothenburg during the Spring 2013. Professor Sanjay Srivastava is the co-convener. Abstracts should be submitted before 15 December 2013. Full information.

• 5th Biannual Gujarat Studies Association conference to be held in Ahmedabad

The 5th Biannual Gujarat Studies Association (GSA) Conference on "(Re)Defining Gujarati Identity" will be held 19-20 February 2014 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Keynote speaker will be Dr. Michele Hardy (photo), University of Calgary, Canada. Her research involves examining the impact of globalization on small scale craft producers in Kutch, Gujarat State, India.  She works with the Mutwa people, a Muslim clan living along the northern fringes of Kutch, tracking the changes that have affected their lives and especially their embroidery production since the mid-60's. 
The notion of identity has come to be recognised as the key to understanding individuals and their relationships with others, which are often based on shared belonging and differences, thereby creating boundaries, to make sense of our world. This conference aims to (re)define the identities and/or representations of Gujaratis, both within and outside India.
Abstracts in English are invited for papers from academics in all areas of study for an inter-disciplinary conference that addresses various aspects of Gujarati identity including, but not limited to: Local and/or Global Identities, Minority and/or Majority Dynamics, Cross-Cultural Interactions, Identity in Crisis, Material Culture, Spatial Identities, Literary Identities, The Gujarati Language, Historical and/or Contemporary Perspectives, Cultural Life, Religion and Spirituality, Femininities and/or Masculinities, Life in the Gujarati Diaspora/Post-diaspora, Collective Memory and Historiography. 
Submissions are encouraged from graduate and post-graduate students. A limited number of student bursaries are available for master's level, doctoral and post-doctoral candidates presenting papers at the conference. Abstract submission deadline / bursary application deadline is 9 September 2013. More 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 in Scandinavia

• Three weeks of Indian Cultural programmes during Uppsala festival

The ”Incredible India” cultural festival will be held in Uppsala for the third year in a row, 3–22 September 2013. The festival is again organised by Kulturum in collaboration with the Forum for South Asian Studies at Uppsala University (FSAS), and with support from the Embassy of India. The programme includes art and photo exhibitions, concerts and dance performances, lectures, screening of Indian films, Indian cooking and much more.
A cultural evening will be organised on 14 September, featuring a concert with Sur Shakti and Garam Masala, Classical Indian dance and a Bollywood  workshop for children, Hindi handprinting, Indian bazar with handicraft, clothes, art, food and more. On the same day, Slottsbiografen organises a programme devoted to 100 years of Indian film production, showing films provided by the Indian embassy. This is followed by a three-day Indian Film Festival on 20–22 September. As part of the festival, Uppsala University will also involved in organising seminars. Full information about the 2013 Incredible India festival in Uppsala.

• Swedish Radio broadcasts excellent music documentaries on Ravi Shankar

Two excellent radio programmes on the life and work of Indian Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar – who brought Indian music to the West – were broadcast by Swedish Radio in August 2013. The programmes are produced by Sten Björnulfson (photo), a Swedish writer based in Gothenburg but who has spent long time in India studying Indian classical music.
The first music documentary, entitled ”Ravi Shankar – Den långa vägen” (Ravi Shankar – the long road), deals with Shankar’s life from his birth in a village outside Varanasi, via European tours with his brother Uday’s dance troupe, and his Sitar studies for Allauddin Khan, to his breakthrough as an internationally renowned musician. Listen to the programme, available till 10 September 2013 at Swedish Radio web site.
The second programme, entitled ”Möte med Väst” (encounter with the West) focuses on Ravi Shankar’s later encounter with Western music during the 1960s and 70s, when he became involved in collaboration with George Harrison and the Beatles. Shankar became a favourite among hippies, something which finally ended up in a deep life crisis for him. (Photo with Harrison and Shankar). Listen to the programme, available till 17 September 2013 at Swedish Radio web site.

• India Unlimited launch event in Stockholm

On Wednesday 4 September 2013, the Indian Embassy in Stockholm launched India Unlimited, a series of events leading up to a full Indian Festival Week in May 2014. The Indian Unlimited launch event was held at Clarion Hotel, Ringvägen 98, Stockholm. The programme included an Ayurveda Seminar, featuring Eva Forsberg Schinkler, one of the most active promoters of Ayurveda in Sweden; and a Talk Show entitled “India – from Rumour to Reality” with a number of interesting people. They included Ingegerd Råman, prominent figure in Swedish design who has created products for Orrefors since 1999, and a collection for INDISKA stores; Dheeraj Akolkar, London based young Indian filmmaker who has most recently directed a poignant and touching documentary “Liv & Ingmar”; Ravi Venkatesan, former Chairman of Microsoft India, current board member of Volvo, and author of the recent book “Conquering the Chaos: Win in India, Win Everywhere” published by Harvard Business Review; Malin Mendel Westberg, Sweish Television journalist who has just published a book entitled “Bombay Takeaway”; and Göran Westerberg, CEO of Rusta AB, Swedish supermarket chain which has opened a sourcing office in India earlier this year. The programme concluded with a Bollywood Dance Show by Sugar n’ Spice – troupe from India. More information about the India Unlimited launch event.

• 13th River to River Film Festival held in both Florence and Rome

The 13th edition of River to River Florence Indian Film Festival is held 22 –28 November 2013 in Florence, Italy, and 29 November – 1 December in Rome. The festival focuses on 2012 and 2013 features, shorts and documentaries from and about India. 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. Deadline for entries is 15 September 2013. The film chosen by the Festival audience will win the River to River Bitebay Audience Award. The prize – one for each category within the feature films, the shorts, and the documentaries – consists in the free online distribution of the film. Full information on the festival website.

• Bollywood dance performances in Vällingby and Uppsala

In collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the Embassy of India in Stockholm organises a Bollywood dance performance by the troupe 'Sugar n Spice' on Friday 6 September 2013, at 19.00. The show will be held at Vällingby Teater, on the western outskirts of Stockholm. Tickets (SEK 100) for the event are available for purchase from the Embassy, please contact Ms. Sunita Rao, phone 08 10 70 08. Venue: Vällingby Teater – former S:t Jacobi Gymnasium, Kirunagatan 22-28, Vällingby. More information.

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

New and updated items on SASNET web site

• Swedish departments where research on South Asia is going on

Constantly added to the list of research environments at Swedish universities, presented by SASNET. The full list now includes 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

Research Communicator
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:

Subscribe to the newsletter by sending an email to!