Newsletter 155 – 20 November 2013


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• Inter-disciplinary SASNET Research Workshop on South Asia: Culture, Technology, and Development

The Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET) at Lund University organises an inter-disciplinary Research Workshop on South Asia: Culture, Technology, and Development on 13–15 June 2014 at the Falsterbo Conference Resort, Sweden. The conference is organized in collaboration with the Nordic Centre in India (NCI) and the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), Copenhagen University. SASNET is now accepting abstracts of research papers for presentation at the workshop. Go for the conference web site.
The main objective of the workshop is to bridge the gap between Nordic researchers in various disciplines working on South Asia. We will discuss interdisciplinary research in terms of theoretical and methodological approaches, assumptions, ethical considerations, and practices. The workshop will consider interdisciplinary research that is already being done in the field of South Asian studies, and will give participants an opportunity to explore promising new areas for future research. Talks by three prominent researchers will be featured.
The workshop is divided into three main thematic sessions.

Session A: Methods, Fieldwork and Ethics in the South Asian context
Session B:  Culture , Religion and Technology in South Asia
Session C: Theory, Practice and Development in South Asia

Researchers and young scholars interested in submitting papers at any of the aforementioned sessions are requested to submit an abstract of individual papers (maximum 500 words) as an email attachment addressed to Hawwa Lubna, by email Deadline for submission is 2 December 2013. Please specify clearly in the email in which session you would like to present the paper.
A clear goal of the workshop discussions is to create strong academic cooperation on South Asia between different disciplines in the form of joint publications or new research projects. Therefore, participants are highly encouraged to send us ideas for new research project or publication in no more than 100 words. We are also exploring the option of bringing out the previously unpublished papers presented at the workshop in a special publication.

• SASNET Seminar on Fragile Peace in Kashmir and the way forward
 Sten Widmalm, Muhammed Farooq Sulehria and Ali Daalat.

SASNET organised a successful seminar entitled ”Fragile Peace in Kashmir. Is there any way forward?” at Lund University on Thursday 14 November 2013. It was arranged in collaboration with the South Asian Students Association (SASA) at Lund University. The two invited speakers were Professor Sten Widmalm from the Dept. of Government, Uppsala University, and  PhD Candidate Muhammad Farooq Sulehria from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK.
Sten Widmalm’s presentation was entitled ”How to build peace in the world’s most dangerous place”, and focused on the issue how peace in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to a large extent depends on whether confidence in democracy can be revived on the ground. However, he also pointed out that stability is also decided by the development in other parts of India, and the political stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Muhammed Farooq Sulehria’s presentation was entitled ”The Kashmir Cauldron: Complexities facing the nationalistic political project” offered a lot of insights regarding the Kashmir national question. 
Sulehria argues that the Kashmir question remains a tripartite dispute whereby Kashmiris constitute the third elemental party to the dispute, and that India and Pakistan mutually want to maintain a status quo on  the Kashmir dispute for strategic reasons. 
The seminar was followed by a screening of ”Lakeer”, a feature film on Kashmir by British-Kashmiri film maker Ali Daalat, who
 was present and held an introductory speech about the film about people who have had to suffer great pain and separation because of India’s partition in 1947. The film skillfully brings alive the pre- and the post-partition life in Jammu and Kashmir, and how the locals have coped with their lives after the Partition.
 More information about the SASNET/SASA Kashmir seminar.

• SASNET lunch seminar on Violence against Women and Children in South Asia

Professor Helle Rydström from the Department of Gender Studies at Lund University holds the final SASNET/ABF Thursday lunch seminar talk for the fall semester 2013 on Thursday 21 November 2013 at Lunds konsthall. The presentation is entitled ”Jeopardizing the Security of Women and Children: Gendered Violence in Public and Private Spaces in India and Beyond”, focusing on violence against women and the girl child in India and elsewhere in the regionPlease note changed time for this specific seminar: 14.00–15.00! 
Abstract: In unfolding the “logic” (Arendt 1970; Bourdieu 1992; Stoler 2010) inherent to different kinds of violence, Helle Rydström examines how gendered and aged violence is informed by assumptions about masculinity, femininity, superiority, and not least male privileges. In so doing, she discusses how women and the girl children become included by exclusion of the social order and its promises about human rights and security (Agamben 1998; Rydstrom 2012; Sanchez 2004).
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 mid-day inside the public art gallery (Lunds konsthall) at Mårtenstorget 3 in central Lund. More information on the SASNET/ABF Thursday Lunch Seminars.

• SASNET seminar with Devleena Ghosh cancelled!

Associate Professor Devleena Ghosh from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia was supposed to hold a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Tuesday 26 November 2013, talking about ”Call Centre Workers and the Transformation of Labour and Gender in India”. The seminar is however cancelled!
Devleena Ghosh coordinates the Indian Ocean South Asia Research Network at UTS, a network linking researchers across Australia and internationally. She has pioneered Indian Ocean studies in Australia and published widely on political and cultural experiences of South Asians, including Fijians, in Australia and on the circulations of the Indian Ocean. Her books include Colonialism and Modernity (2007), Cultures of Trade (ed) (2007), Water Borders and Sovereignty in Asia and Oceania (ed) (2008) and Shadowlines: Women in Asia (ed) (2012).

• Helsingborg workshop with Sheba Saeed on her film ”Beggars in Lahore”

SASNET and the School of Social Work, Lund University is jointly arranging a workshop with Dr Sheba Saeed, as a part of the conference ”Social Work in an International Context” on the 28 November 2013. Venue: Lund University’s Campus Helsingborg, Universitetsplatsen 2, Helsingborg. 
Dr Saeed’s workshop, to be held from 14.30 to 15.45, will be based on her documentary film about beggars in the streets of Lahore, Pakistan. What compels the beggars to beg and what measures have been taken by the government and non–governmental organisations to assist the beggars? The documentary examines the political, social, religious and economic reasons for begging as well as the growth of the beggar’s mafia. In order to participate in the workshop, registration is needed. Contact Teres Hjärpe, International Coordinator at School of Social Work. More information about the Helsingborg conference and workshop.
Dr Sheba Saeed, a solicitor by profession, holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham, UK. For her doctoral research she provided a critique on the regulation of begging in Mumbai using religious and secular laws in an audio-visual format with a written thesis. For her MPhil in History, Film and Television she produced and directed her debut documentary “Beggars of Lahore” as part of an audio-visual dissertation. The film has been screened at International Conferences and Film Festivals. More information about the film.

• SASNET film seminar on Chinese mining exploitation in Afghanistan

On Wednesday 4 December 2013, 19–21, US-based journalist and documentary filmmaker Brent E. Huffman (photo) participates in a seminar on Chinese mining companies involvement in the Mes Aynak project in Afghanistan, that threatens to destroy ancient Buddhist cultural artifacts located on top of the copper deposits, the largest untapped copper reserve in the world. Huffman’s film ”The Buddhas of Mes Aynak” will be shown at the seminar that is jointly organised by SASNET, UPF (Association of Foreign Affairs at Lund University) and the Swedish Committeee for Afghanistan in Lund. Venue: Café Athen, Akademiska Föreningen (AF), Sandgatan 2, Lund. See the poster.
Brent E Huffman is working as Assistant Professor at the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University in Illinois state, USA. After following China's international development in Africa for the last few years, he became interested in China's Mes Aynak project in 2011, and began documenting in volatile Taliban country the beginnings of the largest private investment in Afghanistan's history. Huffman later discovered that as a result of the Chinese copper mine, the entire region would be completed destroyed by open-pit mining. This cost-effective method would force local Afghans to relocate out of the area, as well as demolish their homes and the ancient Buddhist artifacts. The fate of Mes Aynak hangs in the balance as the Chinese company begins creating their destructive open-pit copper mine.
Earlier the same day – 4th December 2013 – the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University (CME) organises an academic seminar with Dr. Huffman. The seminar will be held 13.15–15.00, in the seminar room at CME, Finngatan 16, Lund. More information will follow.

• Minutes from October 2013 SASNET board meeting now available

The minutes are now available from SASNET’s October 8th, 2013, board meeting. Go for the verified Minutes (as a pdf-file).
Among the many issues to be discussed, plans for conferences and other activities during the coming year were agreed upon, and the budget for 2014 was approved. Some important decisions regarding SASNET’s organisational structure were also taken. Dr. Olle Frödin, working for SASNET since August 1, was appointed Deputy Director for the period up till 31 December 2015, with a specialization on issues related to research collaboration, research applications and interdisciplinary collaboration at Lund University. Lars Eklund continues to be in charge of SASNET’s daily work as a Research Communicator, but will keep the title Deputy Director as well. The board also approved that Hawwa Lubna should be given an internship on 20 % at SASNET for a period of six months, assisting Lars with the daily work.
The meeting was attended by all its members, but no student representatives, since the Social Science Students Union had missed to appoint such in time for the meeting. Afterwards, two students have been selected for the period upto June 2014.
Full information about the SASNET board 2013-15.

• Lars Eklund travel reports from October–November 2013 SASNET/Lund India choir tour

During the period 23 October till 10 November 2012, SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund was away from the SASNET office at Lund University. He travelled to Kolkata along with other members of the Lund India Choir, specialized in singing songs by the Indian/Bengali Nobel Laureate poet and composer Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). Lars however also visited a number of universities as part of his SASNET work, among them Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, North Orissa University in Baripada – involved in a Erasmus Mundus collaboration with Lund University, and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, the highrest ranked IIT in India located 120 km west of Kolkata.

In two weeks time the Lund India Choir completed a successful tour consisting of no less than seven concerts in Kolkata, Shantiniketan, Balasore, Baripada and Kharagpur, in order to commemorate the 100th jubilee year of Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize in 1913. The main concert was held at classical Star Theatre in north Kolkata on Saturday 26th October, in a programme together with world famous Mamata Shankar Ballett Troupe. The group also had an amazing concert for students and professors at Sangheet Bhawan, the Music Department at Viswa Bharati University in Santiniketan, Tagore’s own university
First part of the programme coincided with the official Swedish Embassy Tagore commemoration programme held in Kolkata on 25–26 October (more information), but was by some strange reason not admitted to be part of it. The Lund India Choir, led by Bubu Munshi Eklund, also performed at the Calcutta Cricket and Football Club, and at the inauguration of a new Swedish-funded Shakuntala Rheumatology Hospital and Research Institute in Balasore, Odisha State on Thursday 31 October. Other programmes were held at North Orissa University in Baripada and at IIT Kharagpur, and everywhere the choir perfomed it was widely covered by press and TV. Read more about the choir’s India tour, with links to Youtube recordings and press clips.

‡ Lars report from Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), 25 October 2013
‡ Report from Viswa Bharati University, 28-29 October 2013
‡ Lund University Alumni meeting in Kolkata, 30 October 2013
‡ Report from North Orissa University, 2 November 2013 
‡ Report from IIT Kharagpur, 4-5 November 2013

• Bollywood and Diaspora in focus for Karlstad researcher visiting SASNET

Assistant Professor Charu Uppal from the Department of Media and Communication Studies (MKV) at Karlstad University visited SASNET’s office in Lund on her own initiative and had a fruitful meeting with SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund on Monday 11th November 2013. Dr. Uppal hails from India, but has a professional background from Penn State University in the US, and more recently University of the South Pacific in Fiji. Her research focuses on Bollywood and Diaspora, and about how girls, 8-15 years in different countries, including India and Fiji, perceive images of girlhood in Disney movies. At a recent London conference on ”India China Soft Power”, Dr. Uppal presented a paper on Bollystan: An Expanding State (of Mind)”, in which she claims that the international spread of Bollywood films to a large extent is connected to the fact that there are now 25 million people of Indian origin living in diaspora in 110 countries all over the world.

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

Research Community News

• Swedish Research Links grants to South Asia related projects

VetenskapsrådetOn 18 November 2013, the Swedish Research Council decided upon the distribution of grants through the Swedish Research Links (Asian–Swedish research partnership programme). A few South Asia related collaborative research projects were selected in this tenth round of the programme, that from this is year entirely handled by the Swedish Research Council.
The Swedish Research Links programme offers grants for international collaborative research projects of high scientific quality and of mutual relevance for scientists in Sweden and scientists in selected countries in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Africa, Latin America and Europe. The South Asia projects selected will be carried out in collaboration with partners in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
– Sven O KullanderDepartment of Vertebrate ZoologySwedish Museum of Natural History (Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet), Stockholm, gets funding for a project entitled ”Genetic Characterization of Freshwater Fishes in Bangladesh using DNA Barcodes”.
Mannan MridhaDivision of Medical Engineering, School of Technology and Health (STH)Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, gets funding for a project entitled ”Applications of e-agriculture using existing ICT tools to empower the farmers in Bangladesh
– Sunithi GunasekeraDivision of Pharmacognosy, Department of Medicinal ChemistryUppsala University, gets funding for a project entitled ”Discovery of bioactive compounds with potential pharmaceutical applications from Sri Lankan Medicinal Plants.
Go to SASNET’s detailed presentation of the South Asia related projects.

• U-forsk grants from Swedish Research Council for South Asia related projects


On 18 November 2013, the Swedish Research Council decided upon the distribution of grants through the U-forsk programme in support of developing country research for the period 2014-16. Some South Asia related research projects were selected.
– Anna GodheDepartment of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, for a project entitled ”Human health and well being at risk: scenarios for climate change induced harmful microbial blooms along the Indian west coast”. In collaboration with Dr. Per Knutsson, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg; Indrani Karunasagar, College of Fisheries, KVAFSU, Mangalore; Ramachandra Bhatta, Ministry of Environment and Forests, National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, Chennai.
Ann-Mari SvennerholmDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Biomedicine at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, for a project entitled ”Utvärdering av ett vaccin mot ETEC för användning i låg- och medelinkomstländer”.
Maria Emmelin, Social Medicine and Global Health, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, for a project entitled ”Det sociala kapitalets roll för att förhindra diskriminering av människor som lever med handikapp i Bangladesh”.
Christophe SturmDepartment of Geology and Geochemistry, Stockholm University, for a project entitled ”Past-present-future Monsoon variability revealed by stable water isotopes: combining observations and climate models to
assess its impacts on Bhutan and Nepal
Anna Jarstad
Department of Government, Uppsala University, for a project entitled ”Demokrati utifrån? Internationella interventioner i Afganistan, Somalia, Sydafrika och Bosnien-Hercegovina”.
– Sten Widmalm, Department of Government, Uppsala University, for a project entitled ”Why the Well-informed Remain Intolerant – Investigating “Dangerous Minds” in Low-Income Countries”, focusing on India, Pakistan and Uganda.
Go to SASNET’s detailed presentation of the 2013 South Asia related U-forsk projects

• Devika Mehra defended doctoral dissertation at Lund University

Devika Mehra from Social Medicine and Global Health, Department of Clinical Sciences at Lund University, defended her doctoral dissertation on ”Sexual Behaviour among Ugandan university students: A gender perspective” on 25 October 2013. Faculty Opponent was Stefan Swartling Peterson, Professor of Global Health at Karolinska Institutet. Dr. Mehra has spent four years at Lund University as an Erasmus Mundus scholarship holder through the India lot coordinated by Lund University since 2009. Her educational background in India was Delhi College of Arts & Commerce (affiliated to the University of Delhi), but she has also studied at the University of Birmingham in UK. Devika Mehra has previous practical experience of working with HIV/AIDS programmes in local as well as regional UN organisations which is directly related to her PhD project. Go for the full-text thesis.

• Amazing collection of documents provided by South Asia Archive

The South Asia Archive is a great new and extensive web based resource for students and scholars across the humanities and social sciences, offering access to historical documents reflecting the varied range of knowledge production in colonial and early post-colonial India and the wider sub-continent. The content of the South Asia Archive was sourced from a large collection of scholarly material held by the South Asia Research Foundation (SARF), a Kolkata-based, not-for-profit organization that has built an extensive collection of printed historical materials through the acquisition of private collections and the purchase of individual pieces.
The South Asia Archive represents the digitization of a large part of this material, helping to ensure its availability on a global scale. Editors in Chief for the Archive are Professor Boria Majumdar, University of Central Lancashire, UK; and Dr. Sharmistha Gooptu, South Asia Research Foundation, Kolkata. Dr. Kausik Bandyopadhyay, West Bengal State University in Barasat is Advisory Editor.
Documents included in the South Asian Archive can be divided into five main categories covering all available publication types:
• Journals – more than two hundred journals in a range of subjects published from India and South Asia, including early journals such as Asiatic Researchers (first published in 1788), Indian Review, Modern Review, and Calcutta Gazette.  
• Reports – a diverse collection of reports from colonial and post-colonial India, including volumes of the 1901, 1911, 1931, and 1951 Indian Census documents, and the near complete set of Calcutta Riots of 1946 Gazetteers from a range of Indian states such as Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharastra are also available.
• Books – an extensive range of books consisting of series such as The Bibliotheca Indica, a collection of oriental works published by the Asiatic Society of Bengal. It includes translations of the Upanishads, commentaries on Sanskrit grammatical, philosophical, and legal treatises, and such works as the Suddhikaumudi, a Sanskrit treatise on Hindu laws of defilement and purification.
• Legislations, Acts, regulations, law books/case documents from the colonial period, invaluable for any work on colonial Indian history.
• Indian film booklets, 1930–1949 – a collection of rare publicity booklets in a mixture of English, Hindi, Urdu, and Bengali, as sold outside India film theatres.
Go for the South Asia Archive.

• Report from go:India project tour to Puducherry, Varanasi and Delhi

The go:India project run by University of Gothenburg, is now drawing to an end. The coordinator Professor Åke Sander reports from a final project tour to India from 23 September till 8 November 2013, with the second workshop on Religious Change in Contemporary India being the main event. This was successfully held in Puducherry (photo from inauguration), attended by scholars from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi; Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai; Jadavpur University, Kolkata; Vishva Bharati University, Santiniketan; Pondicherry University, Puducherry; Lund University; and University of Gothenburg.
As part of the India tour, Prof. Sander also visited cooperation partners at Banaras Hindu University, and holding seminars at the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy. He also visited Dr. Mirja Juntunen’s Centre for the Study of Indian Languages and Society, run for Scandinavian students in modern and well-equipped premises in Varanasi.
Finally, in Delhi discussions were held with the leadership of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) about signing a MoU between them and the Swedish Research Council in the area of Social Sciences and the Humanities, as a complement to the existing Indo-Swedish agreement from 2005 in the areas of Science and Technology. 
Go for Åke Sander’s travel report from India.

• UNRISD launches Timeline for world social development

To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) has launched its Timeline: an interactive way of delving into five decades of cutting-edge research for social development. Reflecting the breadth of UNRISD research, the Timeline is spread across six wide-ranging themes. Click on the icons to discover more about UNRISD's early work on social indicators, explore our ground-breaking research on the Green Revolution, or find out more about its recent work, for example on the Political and Social Economy of Care, South-South Migration, or the Social and Solidarity Economy. Some ideational context are also included for each decade, highlighting overall development trends and the UNRISD focus within this broader context, as well as the global events which put it all into perspective. Go for the UNRISD Timeline

• Swedish Research Council grant for Tokharian e-dictionary project

Associate Professor Gerd Carling at the Department of Linguistics, Lund University, has been granted SEK 4.8 m from the Swedish Research Council for the period 2014-16 for continued work with CeDICT, a digitized dictionary and tesaur over the Tocharian language type A, and an etymological disctionary of common Tocharian. Tocharian languages, now extinct, belonged to the Indo-European family of languages and was spoken in Central Asia. Dr. Carling has a background from the Department of Comparative Philology at University of Gothenburg, a department that was closed down in 2000. More information on Gerd Carling’s projects.

• SIWI to host the first UNESCO Centre on Water Governance in Sweden

On 13 November 2013, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, decided to establish a research centre in Sweden with a focus on international water issues. The centre will be run by Stockholm International Water InstituteSIWI, in collaboration with Uppsala University and the University of Gothenburg. With its focus on transboundary water cooperation, the centre will be one of a kind. 
The majority of the world’s countries share water resources in some form, such as rivers and lakes. Consequently cooperation between States over this vital resource is essential. The Swedish UNESCO Centre will focus on equitable water cooperation and aims to develop research and knowledge on transboundary water resource management. The centre, which will be located at SIWI, will also concentrate on how to establish and develop effective water partnerships despite contexts of political conflict.
81 UNESCO Centre’s exist in different parts of the world, with 18 of them focusing on water related issues. This is the first time that a UNESCO Centre has been established in Sweden and the first time a Centre will focus on transboundary cooperation. This new UNESCO Centre will help Sweden deepen its involvement in water issues and disseminate Swedish research in this area. The focus will draw from the strong tradition of research on water conflict and cooperation that exists in Sweden today. More information.

• Sujit Kumar Paul Vice President for the Association for World Education

Associate Professor Sujit Kumar Paul from Visva-Bharati University in Shantiniketan, India, has been elected Vice President for the Association for World Education (AWE) at its meeting held in Copenhagen recently. AWE is an international NGO with consultative status in the United Nations and with more than 20 chapters across the world. AWE is a network of individuals, groups and organizations that work with innovative methods of education, democracy, human rights and cultural exchange across the globe. AWE works primarily in the areas of Education, Democracy and Human Rights. For 37 years the AWE has published the Journal for World Education. More information about AWE.
Dr. Paul spent three weeks in Denmak, also delivering lectures at University of Copenhagen, and at the Grundtvig Institute in Vartov. In 2010, Dr. Paul visited SASNET in Lund.

• New US book Series on South Asia

The University of Washington Press in the US has announced a new book series called Global South Asia. This series, with a focus on modern and contemporary periods and drawing on humanities and social sciences as well as interdisciplinary fields, will examine the ways in which South Asia is global and shaping the world. Volumes will explore topics such as the changing experience of democracy, growing environmental risks, community formation in the Digital Age, and the proliferation of cultural industries. The countries considered are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives,  Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 
The series editors are: • Padma Kaimal, professor of art history, Colgate University; • K. Sivaramakrishnan, Dinakar Singh Professor of India and South Asian Studies, professor of anthropology and forestry and environmental studies, and co-director of the Program in Agrarian Studies, Yale University; and • Anand Yang, professor of international studies and history, University of Washington. More information.

• Professorship in South Asian Politics at the The George Washington University

The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and Political Science Department in Washington DC, USA, invites applications for a faculty position in South Asian Politics at the Assistant, Associate, or full Professor level. This professorship is supported by an endowment created by the Elliott School's International Council, and it will be based in the Elliott School’s Sigur Center for Asian Studies with a joint appointment in Political Science. The successful applicant will teach undergraduate and graduate students in South Asian politics, conduct research and produce scholarship and policy analysis on important aspects of South Asian politics, and engage the broader academic and policy communities. This appointment will begin in academic year 2014-15. Review of applications will begin on 4 November 2013 and will continue until the position is filled. More information and application forms.

• Assistant Professor of South Asian Religion to Michigan

The Department of Religious Studies in the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University, USA, in conjunction with the Program in Global Studies in the Arts & Humanities, is seeking applications for a tenure system opening at the rank of Assistant Professor with a specialization in South Asian Religions in a Global Context. 
Applicants must have an Ph.D. in Religious Studies or relevant field completed by date of appointment, evidence of strong research and teaching interests in Hinduism with additional competence in the study of Buddhist traditions on the Subcontinent. Research and teaching interests for Global Studies include but are not restricted to issues of conflict and justice, boundary crossing, or media use and circulation.
The Department of Religious Studies will be the successful candidate’s tenure home, but the candidate will have specified commitments to the Program in Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities. Active participation in the Asian Studies Center and in the College’s general education program is expected, with an opportunity to participate in study abroad programs. Review of applications will begin December 1, 2013 and will continue until the position is filled. More information. 

• Deputy Director wanted for SOAS’ new South Asia Institute

The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at University of London will launch the SOAS South Asia Institute (SAI) in 2014. The SAI will be at the forefront of a major strategic initiative, designed to confirm and strengthen the position of SOAS as the UK’s foremost centre of research, teaching, and outreach with reference to South Asia. The Institute will be an interdisciplinary knowledge hub bringing together the expertise of one of the largest communities of South Asia scholars housed under one roof in the Western world. It will promote independent, critical analysis, provide new and exciting opportunities for postgraduate training and postdoctoral research, and produce scholarly work of the highest international quality. Read Lars Eklund’s September 2013 report from SOAS.
Now a position as Deputy Director for SAI is being announced. The candidate should also be a Senior Lecturer/Reader in Contemporary Indian Studies. The position will be attached to one of the academic departments of SOAS, but all duties and responsibilities of the post will be connected to the SOAS South Asia Institute. Closing date for applications is 2nd December 2013. More information

• Liverpool India Fellowships

The University of Liverpool invites applications for the India Fellowships Programme 2014. The Fellowship Programme offers opportunities for both outstanding early career and established researchers from India to strengthen their experience of research and teaching in an international research-enriched environment. Up to 10 fellowships will be awarded annually.
Fellowships are tenable for periods from three to six months. Fellows are expected to be in residence in Liverpool throughout the tenure of their fellowship and to play a full part in the activities of the University. Fellowships are expected to take place from September 2014, however there may be flexibility to start the fellowships at an earlier date. The deadline for applications is the 6th December 2013. More information and application forms.

• 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

• South Asian issues in focus at MR-dagarna 2013 in Stockholm

In connection with the 2013 edition of the yearly  Swedish Forum for Human Rights (MR-dagarna) that was held 14-16 November in Stockholm, several programmes were devoted to South Asian issues. See the entire programme for MR-dagarna 2013.
On Thursday 14 November, 16.30–17.30, a panel was held that to a large extent focused on the Maldives. The panel, organized by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) at Lund University, was entitled ”National Human Rights Institutions work on National Inquiries”, and highlighted problems related to lack of access to education for children with disabilities in the Maldives. The participants included a representative from the Human Rights Commission on the Maldives, Ms Aishath Fasoha.
On Saturday 16 November, 11.00–11.30the Dalit Solidarity Network-Sweden (DSN-S), and Friends of Village Community Development Society (VCDS) jointly organised a mini-seminar focusing on Caste and Dalit issues in India. A new film on the the living conditions of Dalits – ”Vi är inte oberörbara!”was shown; and Mr. P K Mahanandia, artist living in Borås, but originally coming from Orissa in India, spoke about his experiences of the oppressive Caste system and how he – being a Dalit – was discriminated against by teachers and high caste students during his childhood and youth. 
On Saturday 16 November, 13.00–14.00
the Lund based NGO Swallows India Bangladesh organised a panel entitled ”Women’s Rights in Bangladesh – Progress or Backlash”, focusing on how women’s rights and possibilities in Bangladesh are affected by the political instability. Khushi Kabir, from the Bangladeshi civil society organisation Nijera Kori (”we do it ourselves” in Bengali) working with grassroots women’s empowerment, discussed the situation faced by Bangladeshi women, with Monica Erwér from the Swallows.
On Saturday 16 November, 14.30–15.30, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) organised a panel entitled ”Afghanistan and the future beyond 2014”. Next year the afghan people will elect a new president and the government will have taken over the full responsibility for upholding security from international forces. What actions are most important to give the civilian population an opportunity to enjoy their human rights? What is required of the aid organizations? Participants included Torbjörn Pettersson, director of Department for Conflict and Post-Conflict Cooperation at Sida, Dr Soraya Sobhrang, Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, Magnus Forsberg, former senior security advisor for SCA in Afghanistan, Dr Aminulhaq Mayel, head of education program at Swedish Committee for Afghanistan in Kabul, and Helené Lackenbauer, researcher at research institute FOI. Moderator was the journalist Lasse Bengtsson.

• Stockholm seminar on the Future of India

ABF (Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund) in Stockholm organised an India seminar on Thursday 14 November 2013, at 18.00. It was entitled ”Vart är Indien på väg? Tillväxt på skakig grund” (Where is India heading? Growth on shaky ground). Invited speakers included Professor emeritus Staffan Lindberg, Dept. of Sociology, Lund University; former Ambassador to China Börje Ljunggren; and Associate Professor Per Ståhlberg, Media and Communication Studies, School of Culture and Learning, Södertörn University in Huddinge. Hema Lehocky was the moderator. Venue: ABF-huset, Sveavägen 41, Stockholm. More information.

• Stockholm seminar on Role of Private Schools in Developing Countries

Dr Pauline Dixon, senior lecturer in International Development and Education at The School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences (ECLS), Newcastle University, UK, lectures in Uppsala and Stockholm on ”The Role of Private Schools in Developing Countries” on 19 – 21st November 2013. She has been invited to Sweden by the think tank Frivärld. The seminar in Stockholm is held on Wednesday 20 November, 18–19, at Timbro, Kunggatan 60. More information.
In her research, Dr Dixon has investigated educational policy and economical solutions to education and entrepreneurship in the developing world, especially India and some African nations, and actively takes part in finding practical solutions using her academic work as a vocal platform. She is in favour of school vouchers to be used by the poor for educational access. Recently she published  the bok ”International Aid And Private Schools For The Poor – Smiles, Miracles and Markets” (Elgar Publishing, 2013).

• Uppsala seminar with Martin Fuchs on Indian Bhakti

Dr Martin Fuchs from the Max-Weber-Kolleg, Erfurt, Germany, holds a seminar on Indian bhakti: The Comparative Analysis of Civilizational Diversity in Uppsala on 21 November 2013, 16.15-18.00. Venue: Room 2-0023, Thunbergsvägen, Engelska parken, Uppsala University. The lecture is organised by the  Forum for South Asian Studies.
Abstract: How to conceive of “civilizations” in a meaningful way without falling into the trap of essentialization? How to do justice to cultural divergences and ruptures in civilizational analysis and inter-civilizational comparison? Addressing these questions the paper explores aspects of Indian bhakti – the strand of personal religious devotion or “participation in God” (Prentiss) – from a sociological as well as anthropological point of view. Taking prominent attempts of constructing an integrated picture of India the paper discusses the difficulties their authors have in coming to terms with bhakti. The lecture suggests alternative ways to allow social theory to give full scope to the particular experiential modality of bhakti and examines the potentialities bhakti has offered to disadvantaged segments of society in India. The paper ends with some considerations for new approaches to the idea of “civilization” in the Indian context.

• James Fergusson lectures at Lund University on his Taliban book

British journalist James Fergusson lectures at Lund University on Tuesday 26 November 2013, 15–17. He will talk about his book entitled ”Taliban: The Unknown Enemy”. This was published in 2010, and argued for a negotiated settlement to the war in Afghanistan. The seminar is jointly organised by the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CME), and the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan in Lund. Venue: CME, inngatan 16, Lund.
James Fergusson started out in journalism in 1989 on the Independent. He has written for many publications since,  covering current affairs in Europe, North and East Africa, the Far East, the Caribbean and, especially, Central Asia and Afghanistan. His 2008 book ”A Million Bullets: The Real Story of the British Army in Afghanistan became required reading on many Staff College courses.

• Copenhagen seminar on The Taliban and Afghanistan – Beyond 2014

The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) invites to a seminar on ”The Taliban and Afghanistan – Beyond 2014” to be held on Wednesday 27 November 2013, 09.00-14.00. This DIIS seminar is intended to aid a more nuanced understanding of this complex and enigmatic movement, and we are proud to present five of the world’s foremost experts on the Taliban. Venue: DIIS, Main Auditorium, Østbanegade 117, ground floor, Copenhagen.
As a military defeat of the Taliban prior to the NATO pull-out in 2014 seems ever more unlikely, there is increasing openness to thinking about the Taliban as a movement that must be factored in when considering Afghan politics after 2014. This development requires us to abandon the predominant one-dimensional concept of “the enemy” – as tied to earlier military objectives – in order to better understand: How is the Taliban of 2013 different from that of the 1990’s? Which role might the Taliban play over the coming years? Will they negotiate for political power, and over which issues? And could they play a role in stabilizing Afghanistan?
Speakers include Alex Strick van Linschoten, PhD Candidate at Kings College; Michael Semple, Visiting Research Professor, Institute for Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, Queen's University Belfast and former deputy to the European Union Special Representative for Afghanistan; and James Fergusson, Journalist and author of A Million Bullets: The Real Story of the British Army in Afghanistan (Bantam Press, 2008) and The Taliban: The True Story of the World’s Most Feared Guerrilla Fighters (Corgi Books, 2011).
Participation is free of charge, but registration is required before 26h November. More information.

• Uppsala Seminar on Fictionalization of Violence in Contemporary Hindi Literature

On 28 November 2013, at 16.15, Dr Ines Fornell from Göttingen University, Germany holds a guest lecture in Uppsala on ”The Fictionalization of Violence in Contemporary Hindi Literature”. The seminar is organised by the Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University in collaboration with the university’s Forum for South Asia Studies. Venue: Engelska parken, 42-0026, Thunbergsvägen, Uppsala.
Seminar abstract: For several decades India has frequently been tormented by outbursts of large-scale communal violence, especially between Hindus and Muslims. One of the most traumatic incidences was the destruction of the Bābrī Masjid by Hindu nationalists on December 6, 1992 in Ayodhya followed by a wave of bloody riots in many parts of India. Those events prompted several Hindi writers to deal directly or indirectly with the problem of Hindu nationalism and religious violence in a fictionalized manner. In my paper I will give a short overview of important Hindi novels and stories dealing with different aspects of communalism and communal violence in the 1990s. In this regard, I will mainly focus on the novel Kathāvācak (2001, The Story-teller) by Ābid Surtī which includes fictionalized scenes of the demolition of the Bābrī Masjid as well as the novel “Triśūl” (1993, Trident) by Śivmūrti which describes the effect of the Ayodhya incidents on the relationship between the Hindus and Muslims of a small North-Indian town. More information.

• Oslo Military Power Seminar: Afghanistan Experiences

The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) is arranging the 15th Military Power Seminar, entitled Afghanistan Experiences - Lessons Learned or Lessons Lost? on the 30 November 2013, at 09:00. Venue: The Henri Dunant Hall, the Norwegian Red Cross Conference Centre , Hausmannsgate 7, Oslo.
At a critical moment in Afghanistan, this year’s Military Power Seminar aims to bring together a broad range of contributors and participants to discuss experiences from Afghanistan and their impact. Is the Afghanistan experience just another speed bump with no major influence for the future of Alliance operations? Or has ISAF altered NATO force planning and capability development? Are we seeing adjusted perspectives in the Alliance and its member states? Has the involvement in Afghanistan led to significant changes in Norwegian security and defence policy? What have the Norwegian Armed Forces learnt and which lessons are most relevant? What are possible implications of these lessons for future engagements abroad and the structure and tasks of the Armed Forces at home? These are some of the questions that will be addressed at the Military Power Seminar 2013. More information and registration.

• Indian Ambassador lectures on India’s National Security: Challenges & Policies

The Indian Ambassador to Sweden and Latvia H.E Banashri Bose Harrison will make a presentation on India’s National Security – Challenges & Policies at the Asia forum organised by the Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP) in Stockholm-Nacka on Tuesday 3 December 2013, 15.00-16.30. Venue: ISDP, Västra Finnbodavägen 2.
This presentation will attempt to give an overview of the main challenges that India faces in the complex task of ensuring its national security and the domestic and foreign policies it has adopted for achieving this goal.
In recent years, Indian policy makers have moved from a compartmentalized to a holistic view of national security. For a country the size of India, with a population of over 1.2 billion people, while the security of the country’s borders remains most important, other dimensions of security such as energy security, food security, technology security, and social cohesion have all become equally vital. Further, while India’s steady integration into the global economy has helped it to grow, this has also enhanced its vulnerability. More information about the seminar.

• 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 was 30 October 2013.
Full information about the 2013 workshop.

• Delhi conference on Work Environment, Stress and Health in India

The Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University, and the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) in Mumbai, India, jointly organise a conference on ”Work Environment, Stress and Health in India”, 9 – 11 December 2013. Venue: Taj Ambassador Hotel and Conference Centre, New Delhi.
Stress and poor working conditions have repeatedly been shown to be bad for the health and well being of the workforce. However these studies have largely been conducted in Europe, Japan and North America. We know little about whether these factors are prevalent in India or whether they impact on the health of workers in India in the same way. These are crucial questions given the rapid economic growth of the Indian economy and the transformation of the workforce. Employment in agriculture has declined from around 72% of the workforce in 1971 to just over 50% in 2008. This has been coupled with a dramatic rise in the number of people employed in the service and IT sector. How these changes and the new environments in which these employees work might impact on their health are key questions. This conference will bring together researchers from two of the world's leading centres on work environment and health and researchers from India to discuss these crucial issues. More information.

• Copenhagen seminar on what role India could play in the UN Security Council

The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) is holding a seminar entitled Embattled Sovereignty: India, the UN, and Humanitarian Intervention on Wednesday 11 December 2013, 15.30–16.45. Venue: DIIS, Main Auditorium, Østbanegade 117, ground floor, Copenhagen. The seminar will focus on what role would India play as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Would New Delhi push for humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect in war-torn countries such as Syria, Congo, and Sudan? Or would India present alternative norms for international peace and security? It is part of a DIIS seminar series, which focuses on the security and foreign policy implications of the rising BRIC-states (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).
India is pushing for UN reform and a permanent seat on the UN Security Council as the world body towards its 70th anniversary summit in 2015. But was India’s “audition” on the UN Security Council between 2010 and 2012 a successful one? This seminar will consider India’s evolving role in the UN and explore how India’s own experience with internal conflict has shaped its position towards humanitarian intervention to protect civilians in foreign countries. 
PhD Candidate Rohan Mukherjee (photo) from the Department of Politics, Princeton University will speak at the seminar. He specializes in Indian foreign policy, and his work has appeared in leading international studies journals, including Survival, Global Governance, International Affairs, and International Journal. He was formerly at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. He holds an MPA in International Development from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. More information about the seminar. 

• Stockholm seminar on China and India: Emerging Powers in a New World Order

The Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University is holding a seminar entitled ”China and India: Emerging Powers in a New World Order” on Thursday 12 December, 13.00–15.00. Venue: Stockholm University, Frescati, room F 289.
Dr. Sumit Roy (photo) from the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala is the main speaker at the seminar. His presentation will focus on China and India, as the two major ‘Emerging Powers’ among the group of nations coined as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) which are destined to reshape the world. This is set in the frame of globalisation – a process defined by a blurring of national borders underscored by a shift in emphasis from state to non-state market led policies.
In this context there is controversy over the capacity of China and India to become major players in the world. They function under different socio-political systems-China a ‘planned,’ ‘state directed,’ and ‘centralized democracy’ run by one party and India a ‘mixed’ state and market economy based on ‘multiparty democracy.’ In this respect, the focus of this seminar is on capturing more fully through political economy the key forces which enhance and inhibit the capacity of both to pursue their goals. This is underscored by (a) structural economic transformation to diversify and boost growth while tackling domestic socio-economic and political strife and (b) strategic ties or alliances with nations/regions and institutions within and beyond Asia to bolster their economic and political influence. Insights emerge into the capacity of China and India to usher in a New World Order. 
Dr. Roy holds a Dr. Phil in Development Studies (University of Sussex) and is a Senior Researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute. He is also a Research Associate, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow, School of International Relations and Strategic Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. His work centres on global and comparative political economy – Asia (India and China) and Africa, and he has published extensively on global and regional affairs including books on globalisation and regional development. Among his publications are: ”Globalisation, ICT and  Developing Nations: Challenges in the Information Age”, ”Economic Progress and Prospects:Lessons of Development Experience Since 1945” (with Sir H. W. Singer).

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• Assam Conference on Classical and Contemporary Debates in Vedanta

The international conference entitled ”The Nature of Consciousness: Classical and Contemporary Debates in Vedanta Philosophy” will take place at the Assam University in Silchar, Assam, India, on the 21-24 November 2013. 
The distinctive voices of Vedanta philosophy brought in energy, excitement, creativity and originality  into the conversations on philosophical issues in India from the classical times to the present. The classical Indian tradition and contemporary argumentative minds were both equally influenced by the  Vedantic ideas. There is no denying the fact that Vedanta forged a new Indian philosophical idiom to  which both contemporary Indian and global philosophy are indebted.
Vedanta philosophy coupled with Sanskrit language challenge the slavery brought forth by blindly adhering to methodologies of doing philosophy on a western model. The voice and tongue being  borrowed, the subjugation of the soul is complete in all aspects.
Though the name of the conference suggests that the problematic of the conference is set in the context of Vedanta Philosophy, the conference also welcomes research papers on Consciousness from classical and contemporary western perspectives. People working in the field of Phenomenology and Analytic  Philosophy are equally welcome. More information.

• The Second International Conference on Social Sciences to be held at the University of Kelaniya

The Second International Conference on Social Sciences will be hosted by the Research Centre for Social Sciences (RCSS) of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka on 22–23 November, 2013. 
This time, the conference theme is “Culture, Globalization and the Developing World”. It is expected that the presenters of papers and participants will draw their attention to the interdependent nature of these broad variables and its impact on the life of billions of people in the developing countries. The world has witnessed the triumphant march of the globalization process and its effects on social, economic, political, technological and cultural landscapes of the countries irrespective of their level of development, but the impact on developing countries is more conspicuous. Accordingly, twenty sub-themes have been selected to facilitate the participants to express their views and experiences on these important aspects. More information.

• ICT and Pedagogic Development workshop in Baroda University

Baroda University in India is hosting a regional workshop on ”ICT and Pedagogic Development” in collaboration with LIFE Academy in Karlstad, Sweden and the Department of Computers and Systems Sciences (DSV), Stockholm University, Sweden in cooperation with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
The conference will take place from 25-30 November 2013 at the Department of Educational Administration, Faculty of Education and Psychology, The M.S.University of Baroda, Gujarat, India.
The programme aims at poverty reduction and sustainable development through better integration of IT in education systems. Participants in the decision in-making positions are selected from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Kosovo, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Prof. K.Pushpanadham is coordinating this event in India along with LIFE Academy, Sweden and Department of Computers and Systems Sciences (DSV), Stockholm University, Sweden with the academic leadership of Dr. Henrik Hansson. Read more...

• Third International Colloquium on Politics and religions in the Himalayas and Central Asia


The Paris based European Society For Studies Of Central Asia and Himalayan Regions (SEECHAC) organises its third international Colloquium on Politics and religions in the Himalayas and Central Asia in in Vienna at the Austrian Academy of Sciences from 25 to 27 November 2013. The full title of the colloquium is: ”Interaction in the Himalayas and Central Asia: processes of transfer, translation and transformation in art, archaeology, religion and polity from antiquity to the present day”. The aim of this colloquium will be to focus on various forms of interaction and related processes of transfer, translation and transformation in the Himalayas and Central Asia, including Northern India, Northern Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet, from the perspective of a variety of disciplines and fields of study (in particular archaeology, art history, numismatics, philology, social anthropology, study of religion). Every SEECHAC member may attend the sessions. The papers may be delivered and written in any European language, preferably in English, Italian or French. More information.

• Lahore Conference on Socio-Economic Cooperation between India and Pakistan

The Department of History and Pakistan Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore is organizing an International Conference on Socio Economic Cooperation between India and Pakistan, to be held on 26-28 November in Lahore, Pakistan. The proposed three day conference shall focus on the following broad themes;
Indo-Pak relations in Historical perspective; Trade relations between two countries; Potentialities of investment and joint ventures between India and Pakistan; Cooperation between two Punjabs: Agriculture, Trade and Investment; Infrastructural linkages between two Punjab; Security issues between India and Pakistan; Cultural cooperation between two countries and especially on Punjab; Academic cooperation between two countries and especially on Punjab.
More information.

• 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. More information

• Paris conference on ”The East” in the eyes of 16th-18th century Europe

A conference entitled ”Eastern Resonances 2: India and the Far East 16th-18th centuries” will held at the University of Paris Diderot, France on 5–7 December 2013. The aim is to study the moves, shifts, transformations and translations through which the idea of the East resonated in Europe in general, and Britain in particular, from the early modern period to the romantic age.  More information.

• Leiden conference focusing on South Asia during the 1930s

The Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) in the Netherlands and its South Asian Studies programme organise a conference on the theme of "South Asia and the Long 1930s: Appropriations and Afterlives", to be held during 6-7 December 2013. Placing a particular focus on the political, social, cultural and ideological currents of 1930s, the organisers wish to bring together South Asianists across disciplines, to both contextualise the international flow of ideas, commodities and affinities that marked this interwar period, and rethink the afterlives of the 1930s in the unfolding dialectics of decolonisation in South Asia. More information.

• The Sri Lanka Graduate Student Conference in Stanford

The Sri Lanka Graduate Conference will be held on the 6th and 7th December 2013 at the Center for South Asia at Stanford University. The conference is co-funded by the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies and the Center for South Asia, Stanford. As with the three previous graduate conferences, this workshop will bring together graduate students both in the final writing up stage and pre-research/planning stages from a variety of disciplines and institutions. The graduate conference aims to enhance intellectual exchange on Sri Lanka; emphasize the production of empirical and non sectarian knowledge; focus attention on recent transformations of key concepts; strengthen and build a newcohort of researchers (and research) across disciplines and institutions; and strengthen relationships between American graduate students and local intellectual circles in Sri Lanka. In 2013 the theme is ”The Politics of the Public”. The past year in Sri Lanka has seen new issues concerning infrastructure and urban space, post-war reconstruction, and conflicts and challenges around multi-religious spaces. The organisers welcome all paper proposals, and particularly encourage papers on the following themes: aesthetics and politics including topics related to literature (Sinhala, Tamil and English), public discourse, film, theatre, and urban visuality; urban transformations including infrastructure, urban and rural development, housing and transportation; and public religious life including conflicts around spaces of worship, public representation, and ethnic minorities. More information. 

• Swedish keynote speaker at Colombo conference on Advances in ICT

The International Conference on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions (ICTer) is the successor to the seminal International Information Technology Conference held in Sri Lanka since 1998, the IITC. It provides a platform where research done in ICT is presented by both local and foreign Computer Scientists and IT Professionals. 
This year the conference will take place at BMICH, Committee Rooms, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka on the 12th and 13th December 2013. In addition to the presentation of selected papers, several Keynote Addresses and Invited Speeches by leading personalities in the IT world will be made. One of the keynote speakers is Professor Robert Ramberg, (photo), PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Professor at the Department of Computer- and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University. Ramberg's presentation is entitled ”Design-based Mobile Learning Research: Results and reflections on communication and sustainability”. 

• CSDS workshop on Children's Labour and Schooling in Delhi

The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in Delhi is arranging a workshop entitled ”Childrens Labour and Schooling: Ideologies, Histories, Everyday Lives” on 13-14 December 2013. The proposed workshop is an effort to bring together a range of scholars to explore the interface of childrens work and schooling from the nineteenth century onwards. Quite unlike earlier local, and less publicized attempts to end children's labour through schooling in India, the Right to Education Act (2009) is being viewed as a historic opportunity to finally realize this crucial milestone. Current discussions on this Right are dominated by concerns relating to school access and quality. Though important, these discussions leave little room to explore the complex intersections between child labor and schooling in colonial and postcolonial India: intersections that draw attention to issues not necessarily exhausted by ensuring school access for laboring children. The workshop also welcomes intellectually creative, non-disciplinary reflections on the issue of Dalit and other marginalised communities experience of schooling and work. More information.

• International Sociological/Anthropological Conference to be held in Kathmandu

The Sociological Anthropological Society of Nepal (SASON) organises an International Conference on 14–16 December 2013 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Scholars from around the world are welcomed and papers not just on Nepal but on the thematic focuses of the conference are encouraged. The thematic focuses of the conference are:
"Current dynamics in a transforming Nepal related to development, diversity, and power structures". Under this theme of development, papers are requested on, for example, development practice and the dilemmas of foreign aid; cultural adaptation and mitigation of climate change; migratory labor and the economies of the periphery; governance and development including the successes of user groups and resource governance;  poverty and livelihoods; social services and social security.
Under the theme of "Diversity and identity movements", papers are requested on, for example, global forces and demands for identity recognition; gender and cultural difference; human rights, cultural rights, and religious rights in diverse states. 
Under the theme of "Historical and contemporary socio-polities", papers are requested on, for example, feudal moorings of Nepali politics; national integration and demands for recognition by ethnic minorities; religion and social transformation; social inclusion; violence and symbolic violence. More information

• Mysore conference on Translation, Comparatism and the Global South

The XVI International Conference of Forum on Contemporary Theory, "Translation, Comparatism and the Global South", is being jointly organised by the Forum on Contemporary Theory in Baroda, and the Department of Studies in English, University of Mysore on 15 - 18 December 2013 at Hotel Regaalis in Mysore, India.

The aim of the conference is to bring together scholars from a variety of intellectual and disciplinary backgrounds to reflect on the uses and abuses of translation and comparative methods in the context of the history, cultures and politics of the Global South. In the context of the pasts, presents and futures of the Global South, the conference invites approaches to translation from the point of view of theory (as the subject of metadiscursive rumination), of trope (as a rich metaphor for a variety of processes and experiences of transformation), and of practice (as the painstaking transference of a text from one language to another or, more generally, from one semiotic system to another). The conference envisages presentations and panels approaching comparatism historically as well as theoretically. Translation and comparatism are intimately linked topics. An act of translation is an act of comparison; and comparatism all too often depends on translation. The conference endeavors to direct sustained attention to translation, comparatism and crosscultural dialogue through social analyses, historical accounts, readings of texts, presentation of fieldwork, philosophical inquiries, and other such disciplinary and transdisciplinary sharing of work. More information.

• Karachi seminar on Sindh Through the Centuries

Sindh Madressatul Islam University (SMIU) in Karachi, Pakistan is organizing the Second International Seminar on “Sindh Through the Centuries” 16–18 December 2013. The seminar will focus on history, culture, language, archeology, anthropology, cuisine, arts and crafts of the province of Sindh, which has the distinction of being the seat of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. The seminar is convened by eminent historian Dr Hamida Khuhro.
Here it may be noted that the first International Seminar on “Sindh through the Centuries” was held at Karachi in March 1975 wherein scholars from all over the world had shared their research on various aspects of Sindh. Sindh Madressatul Islam is one of the oldest modern Muslim educational institutions in South Asia.
More information about the seminar

• Kolkata conference on Vivekananda, Grundtvig, Rolland, Gramsci and Freire

The International Forum for Studies in Society and Religion (IFSSR) holds its Fourth International Conference in Kolkata, India, 20–22 December 2013. The theme for the 2013 conference will be ”Swami Vivekananda in the International Perspectives: NFS Grundtvig, Romain Rolland, Antonio Gramsci & Paulo Freire – Efforts towards Making a Global Society”. While paying homage to Swami Vivekananda during this ongoing 150th birth anniverarsary year, the organisers like to contextualize his thoughts with the thinking  of  four world renowned figures who dedicated their lives for similar ideals : N.F.S. Grundtvig of Denmark (1783-1872), a great champion of democracy and universal education, Romain Rolland of France (1866-1944), a relentless fighter for peace, Antonio Gramsci of Italy (1891-1937), an exponent of critical  education and Paulo Freire  of Brazil (1921-1997), the celebrated  ideologue of pedagogy of the oppressed. The conference is convened by Prof. Asoke Bhattacharya and Prof. Piyali Palit at Jadavpur University. More information.

• Dhaka conference on Globalization and Trade Challenges for South Asia

The Department of Economics and Social Sciences at BRAC University is hosting an international conference on "Globalization and Trade: Prospects and Challenges for South Asia" to be held 20–21 December 2013 at BRAC University Dhaka.
The aim of the conference is to bring academics, researchers, and policy makers to brainstorm issues in globalization and trade in the context of South Asia and produce peer-reviewed research outputs. The conference invite research papers that are broadly related to the following themes: – Trade liberalization in South Asia; – WTO & Regional Trade Agreements; – Agriculture, trade & environment; – Global Financial Crisis; – Trade & Food Security; – Trade in Services & IPRs; – Globalization & Labor Market Dynamics; – Investment; – Remittance; – Gender gap & Poverty alleviation; and – Transit. 

• Bhopal Seminar on Contemporary Issues in Population and Development

Shyam Institute in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, is organising the ”XII Bhopal Seminar 2014: Contemporary Issues in Population and Development” 22–24 January 2014. Presentations, discussions and deliberations of the seminar will be organised around the following sub-themes: Population structure; Fertility and family planning; Mortality and health; Marriage and family; Mortality and health; Migration and urbanisation; Population and environment; Population and economy.
Original research papers are invited for presentation at the Bhopal Seminar 2014 on any of the sub-themes and on any other issue related to population and development. Research papers and comparative studies focusing on Madhya Pradesh are welcome. The seminar is directed towards discussion on population and development issues in India through a comparative, inter-state and inter-district, perspective. It also aims to increase the understanding of population and development issues in India through evidence-based analytical research. Discussions at the seminar are also expected to contribute to an objective assessment of the impact of population and development policies of the country. More information.

• AJEI Young Researchers's Workshop on Labour, Mobility and Mobilization

The Association Jeunes Études Indiennes (AJEI) in collaboration with Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi is hosting the AJEI's 16th Young Researchers' Workshop entitled ”Labour, Mobility and Mobilization” in New Delhi from 11 – 14 February, 2014. 
The Association Jeunes Études Indiennes (AJEI) gathers students from different disciplinary fields of social sciences, from MA to post-doctorate level, who are undertaking fieldwork in South Asia. The AJEI organizes every year a seminar in France and a one-week workshop in India for young and senior researchers to present and discuss their work. 
The 2014 Workshop of the AJEI on Labour, mobility and mobilization aims at giving an encompassing view of the most recent research works being conducted on labour in India, in order to understand both conceptual evolutions and the most recent and pregnant issues related to labour in contemporary India. By focusing on the issues of political and social mobilizations and mobility, the objective of the workshop is to place the workers and their daily challenges at the centre of the discussion.
The AJEI is now accepting papers on the following themes and topics : 1) International Labour Migrations from and to India, 2) Seasonal and circular Migrations of Labour 3) Workers' Mobilizations, Trade Unions and Labour regulations, 4) Employment trends in contemporary India and Ethnographies of Labour. More information about the workshop.

• Jharkhand conference on Interdisciplinary Research in Social Sciences in Eastern India

A national Conference on “Interdisciplinary Researches in Social Sciences in Eastern India with special reference to Jharkhand will be organized by the Sociological Research Units within the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata 27–28 Februry 2014. It will be held at the ISI Campus at Giridih in Jharkhand. The main objective of the conference is to encourage inter-disciplinary discourse and collaborations between scholars involved in the study of resources, development and change in Eastern India with special emphasis on Jharkhand. Sub themes include, but are not limited to (a) conservation of resources, (b) effects of ethics and practices, in particular socio-cultural, economic and ecological ones on development, (c) conflict and post-conflict recovery, and (d) post natural disaster reconstruction. Paper abstracts are to be submitted along with the registration form by the 30th November 2013. More information and registration forms.

• Kolkata conference on Dispossession, Livelihoods, and Contestation in India’s Capitalist Transition

The Institute of Development Studies Kolkata (IDSK) hosts a conference entitled ”The Return of the Land Question: Dispossession, Livelihoods, and Contestation in India’s Capitalist Transition” on 4–6 March 2014. It is co-organised by the Australia India Institute and the Faculty of Arts at University of Melbourne, Australia; and the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC). This interdisciplinary conference seeks to understand the process of dispossession and its ramifications for the political economy of capital accumulation in the Indian economy. It therefore seeks to address, inter alia, the following sets of issues: what is the nature of agrarian accumulation that has resulted in the unwillingness of peasants to sell land? What are the employment and livelihood challenges faced by the dispossessed? What has been the nature of contestation that this process of widespread dispossession has elicited? What is the nature of state-capital relationship(s) that underpin this process and has this been constrained by contestation from below within the context of a democratic polity? Who are the stakeholders in this transition process? Has the process of contestation and parliamentary democracy materially altered this process of dispossession?
Scholars from India and abroad are invited to submit proposals, which cover some facet of the land question in India. For India-based participants selected for the conference the organisers will provide roundtrip economy class airfare and lodging and boarding for the duration of the conference. To international invitees they will provide accommodation and meals but encourage international scholars to seek travel funding of their own as we expect to be able to provide only partial travel support. Last date for abstract submission is 8th December 2013. Full information.

• Third Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies conference at Yale

ANHSThe Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (ANHS) holds its 3rd annual conference at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, 14 – 16 March 2014. The conference is hosted by the Yale Himalaya Initiative and convened by Dr Mark Turin. As a central theme, the 3rd Himalayan Studies Conference will address the idea of Communities, broadly conceived. This includes issues relating to communities within and across the Himalaya; ongoing partnerships between scholars, governments and citizens in the region; as well as communities of practice that support Himalayan Studies as an emerging field of interdisciplinary scholarship and practice.
Participation in the conference is restricted to members of the ANHS. The deadline for all panel proposals was 30 September 2013. Panels include:
• Citizenship, Political Subjectivity, and the State
• Conservation Policies, Social Ecologies, and Community Practices in Bhutan
• Himalayan Ummah: Global and Local Muslim Community in the Himalayas
• Representation of the Himalayas in Films and Media
• Translating Medical Ideas across Himalayan Communities of Sowa Rigpa Medical Practitioners, Past and Present
More information.

• 28th BASAS Annual Conference to be held in London

The British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) holds its 28th Annual Conference at the Royal Holloway, University of London, 2–4 April 2014. This year's conference promises to be an engaging and friendly environment for rigorous academic debate with delegates attending from at least two dozen different British universities; as well as from universities in Australia, Bangladesh, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, and the USA. Themed 'South Asia and its wider worlds', the conference aims to address the diverse ways in which trends and developments in South Asia interact with the wider context in which the region is located, whether in the past, present or even the future. Proposals for panels as well as independent papers that address the conference theme are invited. The deadline for the submission of panel abstracts is on the 30 November 2013, paper abstracts 15 January 2014, and the conference registration deadline is on the 15 March 2014. You must be a BASAS member in order to register for the conference. More information.

• Princeton University South Asia Workshop on Cultures – Past and Present

Princeton University in the US is organising its Early Career South Asian Studies Workshop 2014 on 11–12 April  2014. The chosen theme for the workshop is Cultures – Past and Present. The concept of “culture” has emerged as the mainstay of scholarship in early modern and modern South Asian studies in the last few decades. From Louis Dumont’s Homo Hierarchicus to Partha Chatterjee’s “inner” and “outer” domains of colonial society, debates over the merits of “culture” as a field of analysis have been central to these studies. More recently, some concepts of culture have enabled linguistic and religious parochialism, but others have become a rallying point for the opposition of the hegemony of social structures.  While some of these applications of the culture-concept have been discredited, many others are still being intensely debated. In the context of the past scholarship and ongoing debates and controversies, this workshop aims to bring together participants from multiple disciplines and facilitate an intellectual exchange to review the career of “culture” in South Asian Studies, assess its importance today and engage in insightful prognostications of its future. Princeton is now accepting papers to be presented at the workshop. More information about the workshop and call for papers

• Thane Conference on the 900th Anniversary of Bhāskara

To honour Bhāskarācārya, India’s celebrated mathematician and astronomer, on the 900th anniversary of his birth, Vidya Prasarak Mandal (VPM) is organising an International Conference between the 19-21 September 2014 at Thane, Maharashtra, India. VPM is an educational trust, established to provide educational facilities to the city of Thane. Starting with a modest beginning in 1935, it has now grown into an educational society which caters to the needs of about 15,000 students in the Thane campus, from kindergarten to post graduation in different disciplines of science and humanities, including law and polytechnic. Most of its institutions are affiliated to Mumbai University.
Bhāskarācārya was born in 1114 in a family of scholars who cultivated Jyotisa as a family tradition for several generations. He mastered all the traditional branches of learning and made valuable contributions to mathematics and astronomy through his writings. Comprehensive treatment of the subject, careful organization of the material, lucid exposition and high poetic quality of his works made them near-canonical in the subsequent centuries. Bhāskarācārya works were studied throughout the country and several commentaries were composed on them. 
Themes discussed at the conference includes Bhāskarācārya’s Life and Times, Inscriptional and other Evidence; The Līlāvatī, its importance and influence on subsequent writings; Bhāskarācārya’s legacy and more. Full list of themes
Last date for submitting abstracts is on the 31 March 2014. More information. 

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

Business and Politics

• Carl Bildt met ASEM foreign ministers in Delhi

Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt visited India's capital New Delhi during the period 11–13 November 2013. He came to meet foreign ministers and other senior government representatives of over 50 Asian and European states, participating in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), a forum for dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia. ASEM was founded in 1996 and, in addition to EU Member States and a long line of Asian states, also includes Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Russia and Switzerland. At the Asia-Europe Meeting, Mr Bildt spoke on topics such as the significance of the internet for promoting social and economic development, and the importance of freedom on the internet. More information about the meeting.
During the visit to India, Mr Bildt also participated in events during the Nobel Memorial Week that the Swedish Embassy organises each year. This year, the centenary of Rabindranath Tagore's Nobel Prize in literature was commemorated (more information).

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

South Asia related culture in Scandinavia

• India Unlimited disseminates Indian culture throughout the year 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 Embassy of Sweden is creating a platform with the objective of promoting better economic relations and connecting the peoples of India and Sweden.
India Unlimited will:
– Present the opportunities for bilateral economic collaboration through business seminars and exhibitions.
– Connect to a broad Swedish public by showcasing Indian food, art, philosophy, culture and design capabilities through film screenings, music and dance performances, literature evenings, fashion shows, art exhibitions and, specially, children & youth-friendly cultural programs.
The programmes so far include a Fusion concert by a nine member troupe from India led by legendary violinist Dr. L. Subramaniam (photo) at Berwaldhallen on 31st October 2013; a Documentary Film Festival (India Docs) in early November; a tribute concert by Sanjay Guha at Stallet/Stockholm on 3 November; and screening of a few Indian films at Stockholm International Film Festival 6–17 November. More programmes will follow. More information about the India Unlimited.
Ambassador Banashri Bose Harrisson discusses the role of India Unlimited in the Swedish English-language newspaper The Local, 12th November. Read the article entitled ”Immodest Indians to heal Swedish Malady”.

• Rabindranath Tagore programme at Stockholm Public Library

PO Henricson and Bubu Munshi Eklund

In connection with the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Indian/Bengali Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore receiving the Literature Prize in 1913, Stockholm Public Library organises a Tagore programme on Monday 2 December 2013, at 18.00. Per Olov Henricson will lecture on Tagore’s life and work, and Bubu Munshi-Eklund will sing his compositions in the original language Bengali. Venue: Stockholm Public Library – designed by Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund, being one of the most notable structures in the Swedish capital – on Sveavägen 73. More information about the event.
Henricson lives in Stockholm and has pursued non-academic studies on Tagore, but has lived and worked in Bangladesh for some years, and translated a number of Tagore’s poems into Swedish. During the programme, he deals with various aspects of his works and life, giving a personal account of reading the poetry in different English and Swedish translations. A special focus is put on the Nobel laureate’s role to connect the cultures of the East and the West, travelling to a large number of countries all over the World.
Bubu Munshi-Eklund is a professional singer, trained to sing Rabindranath Tagore’s songs at Rabindra Bharati University and Rabitirtha Institute in her native city Kolkata in India. She was trained by Suchitra Mitra and Kanika Bandyopadhyay. Since 1983, she is living in Lund, Sweden, but still regularly performing at rabindrasangheet concerts accompanying herself on the Harmonium, and is also the leader of Lund India Choir.

• Indian Fashion theme for book presented at Oslo book launch function

PhD Candidate Tereza Kuldova at the Department of Ethnography, University of Oslo, presented her new edited volume entitled ”Fashion India – Spectacular Capitalism” at a book launch function in Oslo on Saturday 16th November 2013. Venue: Museum of History, Frederiks gate 2, Oslo. The book is a popular academic tour across contemporary India seen through fashion. It was published just two weks before Ms. Kuldova will defend her doctoral dissertation at Oslo University on the same topic. 
At the book launch function, a few lectures were held. Caroline Osella from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, talked about ”Muslim Style – Modesty and Glamour”, and Tereza Kuldova herself spoke about ”Indian Fashion and the Aesthetics of Power". More information.

• Swedish premiere of documentary on Gendercide in India and China

Doc Lounge, the documentary film club in Lund, screened the documentary It's a Girl! by the American film maker Evan Grae Davis on tuesday 12 November 2013. The film deals with he fact that in India and China, where sons are valued and daughters are considered to be  burdens, millions of babies are killed, abandoned, or selectively aborted, simply because they are girls. The result of longstanding traditions and governmental policies, this devaluation of females has led to rampant violence against women and a growing female “gendercide”.
A powerful and thought-provoking documentary film, It’s a Girl reveals this issue of “gendercide” by exploring the stories of the victims, families, global experts and grassroots activists. Shot on location in India and China, It’s a Girl asks why this is happening and why so little is being done to save girls and women.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion to help contextualise the subject. Participating in the panel are Siri Tellier, Helle Rydström, Marina Thorborg & Petra Flaum. Moderator: Roshni Kapoor. More information.

• South Asian Review invites submissions on Satyajit Ray

Submissions are invited for a special issue of the South Asian Review to be published in the Spring 2015 on late Indien maestro film director Satyajit Ray. Papers are welcomed from scholars considering Ray from any of a host of perspectives: Ray as filmmaker, visual artist, writer of fiction, musical composer (or from cross-disciplinary points of view). Scholarly articles of 15-25 pages, prepared in accordance with MLA style, along with abstracts of 100 words and a 50 word biographical note, must be received by 30 May 2014. More information.

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

New and updated items on SASNET web site

• New book on Dalits and Adivasis in India's Business Economy

Dalits and Adivasis in India's Business Economy — Three Essays and an Atlas” is a new book authored by Barbara Harriss-White, Emeritus Professor of Development Studies at Oxford University, and others. 
The book deals with the fact that India’s founding fathers and neo-liberalisers alike expected economic development to dissolve ‘archaic’ forms of exchange, but the modern Indian economy remains embedded in caste relations. At the base of the caste hierarchy are formerly untouchable and tribal workers. But a growing minority of dalits and adivasis have been incorporated into the Indian economy not as workers but as owners of firms.
The Atlas shows the striking and consistent regional and sectoral differences in the way dalits and adivasis have been incorporated into 14 occupational sectors of the business economy at both state and district levels of resolution over the period 1990 – 2005. Explaining these differences and some adverse trends during the era of globalisation is a task that the three essays accompanying the Atlas attempt to begin.
Using contemporary field research, dalit narratives and statistical data they explore the dalit experience of disadvantageous entry into markets, the state and civil society; their adverse experience of business associations regulating markets; and the surprisingly distinctive patterns of regional disadvantage that dalit and adivasi businesses suffer. More information.

• New book on contemporary development of Indo-Danish cultural heritage and tourism in Tranquebar

Dr. Helle Jørgensen, Dept. of Culture and Society at Aarhus University, has authored the book Tranquebar—Whose History? published by Orient Black Swan. The book is based on the research done within the Tranquebar Initiative of the National Museum of Denmark
About the Book: Tranquebar, a small fishing town on the coast of Tamil Nadu, was a Danish trading colony from 1620 to 1845. In recent years, the drive to develop it into a heritage destination has generated large-scale conservation and restoration efforts aimed at preserving the monuments of the town’s colonial past.
Alongside the proliferation of surveys and development plans, manifold agents including local and state-level authorities, private entrepreneurs, researchers, NGOs, and tourists—Danish and Indian—congregate in the town. Yet the townscape also sets the scene for the everyday lives and concerns of the local inhabitants. Tranquebar—Whose History? explores the significances of cultural heritage in this small town, revealing the multiple attachments to, uses of, and negotiations around the townscape and its histories in daily life, tourism, research and heritage development.
The discussion moves from the differing motivations attending local and transnational constructions of Tranquebar as a remote location, and the sometimes contradictory expectations from development; the conflicting attitudes to modernity and notions of aesthetics among various stakeholders; to shifting constructions of history in which Tranquebar emerges as a postcolony, caught between colonial nostalgia, collective memory and contemporary narrations of anti-conquest. More information.

• 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 around 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/Deputy Director
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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