Newsletter 156 – 19 December 2013


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• SASNET moved back to premises in central Lund

After exactly 10 years, SASNET has now moved its office back to centrally located premises in Lund. From 10th December 2013, SASNET is accommodated at Paradisgatan 5, in the same G-building that houses the Department of Sociology, and very close to SASNET’s first office at Gamla Kirurgen. The new address for SASNET and its staff, currently consisting of Anna Lindberg, Lars Eklund, Olle Frödin and Hawwa Lubna, is Box 114, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden. E-mail and phone connections remain the same as before.
From November 2003 till December 2013, SASNET has been located at Ideon Science Park, in the Alfa 1 building that also  houses the Department of Economic History and the Center for East and South-East Asian Studies.

• Papers invited for SASNET South Asia Workshop on Culture, Technology, and Development

The deadline for submission of abstracts to the SASNET workshop on "Interdisciplinary Research Workshop on South Asia: Culture, Technology, and Development 2014" has been extended to 31 January 2014. See the new call for abstracts.
This workshop is organised by the Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET), Lund University, in collaboration with the Nordic Centre in India (NCI) and the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) at Copenhagen University. It will be held at the Falsterbo Conference Resort in Höllviken, south of Malmö, Sweden from 13 - 15 June, 2014. 
The workshop is organised in an attempt to bridge the gap between Nordic researchers in various disciplines working on South Asia. During the three days of the workshop, participants are expected to discuss interdisciplinary research in terms of theoretical and methodological approaches, assumptions, ethical considerations, and practices. The workshop will also bring forward the 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.
Young researchers and scholars  from all countries are eligible to participate in the workshop. The research papers must have a South Asia focus. Those scholars and researchers with an affilitation to Nordic University or institution are highly encouraged to apply. For registration and more information please visit the workshop website.

• Ashok Jhunjhunwala and Suma Prashant from IITM visited SASNET

Professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM), Chennai, made a courtesy visit to SASNET office in Lund on Tuesday 26 November 2013, and had a meeting with SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund (photo). 
Prof. Jhunjhunwala, who is also 
a member of the Indian Prime Minsters Scientific Advisory Committee, was accompanied by Ms. Suma Prashant (photo to the left), Director for IITM’s Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI). This is a vital IITM initiative with a rural and social inclusive focus, established in 2006 with a mission to design, pilot and incubate scalable business models/ventures leveraging on Information Communication and Technology (ICT).
They had come to Sweden with the purpose to meet their main Swedish research collaboration partners at the School of Computing at Blekinge Institite of Technology (BTH), but they also took an opportunity to meet with a few contacts at Lund University. The visit to SASNET was actually a follow-up on a visit to IITM that SASNET assistant webmaster Jonathan Stoltz made in February 2013 (read his report from Chennai).

• Media departments in Lund and Thiruvanthapuram develop collaboration with SASNET assistance

In early November 2013, lecturer Andreas Mattsson from the Department of Communication and Media at Lund University made a week-long visit to University of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram, India, to overview and investigate the possibilities of future collaborations within the field of journalism with the Dept. of Communication and Journalism at University of Kerala. The visit was facilitated by SASNET, and he was accompanied by SASNET director Anna Lindberg. The main purpose was to strengthen the relationships and seek the possibilities for future exchanges involving the teachers and researchers as well as students in both departments. Read more.

• Indian journalist Hindol Sengupta visited SASNET

Hindol Sengupta, Senior Editor for the Indian edition of the Fortune magazine, made a courtesy visit to SASNET’s office in Lund on Friday 29 November 2013, and had an inspiring dicussion with deputy director Lars Eklund. Mr. Sengupta has spent a week in south Sweden, visiting participants to Lund University’s ongoing Social Innovation in a Digital Context (SIDC) academic scholarship programme (more information about SIDC).
Besides writing on public policy, politics and the business of luxury and heritage for Fortune, Mr. Sengupta is also the founder of India's only open government foundation, the Whypoll Trust, which has worked closely with the United Nations Millennium Campaign and UNICEF. Whypoll created the first crowd-sourced listing of the 100 most unsafe places in the Indian capital New Delhi and launched the first women safety mobile app in India. Whypoll has also done pioneering work in data visualisation in India with UNICEF on education data, the Planning Commission, the foremost policy body of the Indian government on federal policy data, and with a leading Member of Parliament on the area of village council data. 
He is the author of three books. His last book ”The Liberals” on 20 years of Indian economic liberalisation and the ”Manmohan’s children” generation, as it is called, has won praise from some of the most important public intellectuals in India and the UK, and he was invited to speak at the prestigious Jaipur Literature Festival last year.
Finally, he
 is one of the few journalists from India to have frequently reported from Pakistan having interviewed many key leaders of the Pakistani government. He was the last Indian journalist to interview Salman Taseer, the governor of Lahore, who was later assassinated, and he is one of the very few Indian journalists to have been allowed into Taliban terror affected Bajaur in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. More information.

• 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) participated 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” was shown at the seminar that was 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.
See Youtube recording of the seminar, by Talat Bhat.

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) organised an academic seminar with Dr. Huffman. The seminar was held 13.15–15.00, in the seminar room at CME, Finngatan 16, Lund. 
More information about the film and the seminar.

 Brent Huffmann with his hosts for the afternoon seminar, Anna Lindberg, SASNET,
 Leif Stenberg, CME, and Lars Eklund, SASNET.
 Brent at evening film seminar jointly
 organised by SASNET, CME and SAK.

• Lars Eklund revisited Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm

After a gap of many years, SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund visited the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm on Monday 2 December 2013, and more specifically its International Relations Office, located in nice premises on the seventh floor in the new university administration building (that till recently was a building belonging to the Red Cross Hospital). 
There he met Ms. Alphonsa Lourdudoss (photo), who is KTH’s Regional Advisor for India related projects – India is considered to be one of four prioritized regions at KTH, the others being Brazil, China and South East Asia). Alphonsa is also main Coordinator for one of the recently concluded Erasmus Mundus Action 2 mobility programmes with India, and current local coordinator for two other Erasmus Mundus programmes, Swagata (coordinated by Ghent University), and India4EU (coordinated by Politecnico di Torino). 
The reason behind Lars’ visit was to update existing information about South Asia related research on SASNET’s web site. Currently, about 20 departments are listed in the database, giving information about what research has been carried out during the past 10 years and details about individual researchers and their projects. Much information needs updating. South Asia related research could be found in most of the KTH schools, for example within the Department of Land and Water Resources at School of Architecture and the Built Environment; the Department of Applied Microbiology at School of Biotechnology; the Division of Energy and Climate Studies (ECS) at School of Industrial Engineering and Management; and the Division of Medical Engineering at School of Technology and Health (STH). More information.

• Julia Velkova made a tremendous development work för SASNET

JuliaFrom 1 July 2011 till 31 August 2012, Ms. Julia Velkova (photo) worked full-time for SASNET as assisting webmaster, in charge of SASNET’s web development. Besides being an invaluable resource person in assisting deputy director Lars Eklund in his web editorial work, Julia did an impressing and tremendous job in developing SASNET’s web site, transferring it from a traditional html site into a modern CMS solution, using the Drupal programme (later also adapted by Lund University). This work was carried out in close collaboration with Bernd T Wunsch at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen.
Julia Velkova was also the main coordinator for the SASNET/NIAS joint conferences for young Nordic scholars that was held in Falsterbo in August 2011 (and had previously worked with SASNET on a project basis with the two Falsterbo conferences in 2009 and 2010). Besides, she was the Acting Deputy Director for SASNET for a period in February 2011. With her unique educational background from Bulgaria, with double degrees in Telecommunication Engineering, and Eastern Philosophy and Culture with a focus on India, and 10 years of experience of working with IT for development in the Balkans, former Soviet states and Europe, as well as with overall project coordination, she came to play an immense role for SASNET. It should also be mentioned that after coming to Sweden, she completed a second Masters degree in Communication for Development at the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University.
However, from 
1 September 2012, Julia Velkova is part of a PhD programme at the Department of Media & Communication Studies, Södertörn University College in Huddinge. She lives with her family near to Stockholm. More informaton about her research.

• 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.
‡ 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 

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 (more information). 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

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

Research Community News

• Formas/Sida grants to three India related research projects

On 5 December 2013, the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) decided to fund seven Swedish research projects that address sustainability issues in the fields of natural resource use and governance, increased agricultural production, and environmental management in low-income countries. Three of the projects involve research collaboration with partners in India.
The projects specifically provide mobility grants for young researchers, and they are based both within the social and humanistic sciences as well as the natural sciences, and the overall intention is to contribute to development of new knowledge that will support global sustainable development, and to promote capacity building long-term cooperation between Swedish researchers and researchers in low-income countries. The programme will run for four years (2013-16), with Formas and Sida contributing equal shares. While the Sida funding is restricted to research collaboration between Sweden and the institutes or field stations within the CGIAR-system (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research), the Formas funding is open for collaboration with other institutes or universities in low-income countries as well. More information in the announcement.
Read more about the projects being funded (in Swedish only)
The following three projects more or less focus on India:
• Dr. 
Sahar Dalahmeh, Department of Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala: ”Pharmaceutical Pollution at Use of Wastewater in Crop Production: Consequences and Mitigation Measures for Soil Ecosystem and Agricultural Productivity in Developing Countries – India and Ghana”. SEK 1.021 million.
• Dr. Matilda Palm, 
Division of Physical Resource Theory, Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg: ”Cultivating Resilient Landscapes – Opportunities for Restoring Degraded and Vulnerable Lands with Agroforestry Systems in India and Vietnam”. SEK 5.390 million.
• Dr. Patrik Oskarsson, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg: ”Coal Conflicts: Participatory Resource Governance for Improved Sustainability and Conflict Resolution in India and Mozambique”. SEK 5.444 million. More information about this project.

• Time to register for 23rd ECSAS Conference in Zurich 2014

The 23rd European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS) will take place 23 – 26 July 2014 at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. It consists of 51 accepted panels, focusing on diverse issues ranging from ”Video varieté: the cultures and forms of new visual media in South Asia”, to ”'Mafia(s)' and politics in South Asia”, ”Understanding rural Pakistan: the political economy of power and agrarian relations”, ”Conspiracy, terrorism and counterterrorism in late colonial India (c.1900-1947)”, ”Lost in transition? Negotiating power, legitimacy and authority in post-war Nepal and Sri Lanka”, and ”India in the eyes of the others: world perspectives on India's global role”. Go for the full list of panels.
There is no separate call for papers as this is a convenors' conference: all papers must be part of an approved panel. All decisions about paper proposals are in the hands of the panel convenors. It is possible to register for the conference from 16 December 2013.
Please note that panel convenors and paper presenters at the 23rd ECSAS must be members of EASAS through 2013 and 2014. Non-members cannot attend the conference. It is easy to join EASAS through the following link:
The ECSAS has met regularly since 1968, and has provided an important opportunity to discuss current research and scholarship on topics relating to South Asia within the humanities and social sciences. The ECSAS conferences now operate under the auspices of the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS), a charitable, academic association engaged in the support of research and teaching concerning South Asia with regard to all periods and fields of study. The hosts for the 23rd ECSAS are the Department of Geography and the University Research Priority Program (URPP) Asia and Europe, both at the University of Zurich. Conference convenors are Prof. Dr. Ulrike Müller-Böker, Department of Geography, University of Zurich (CH); and Prof. Dr. Angelika Malinar, Department of Indology; Academic Director University Research Priority Program Asia and Europe, University of Zurich (CH). Full information about the 2014 EASAS conference.

• Major Swedish Human Protein Atlas Project involves Indian researchers

In 2012, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation decided to give SEK 900 million as a Strategic Grant to the Human Protein Atlas Project. The project is directed by Mathias Uhlén (photo)Professor of Microbiology at the AlbaNova University Center, part of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. More information about Prof. Uhlén and his research
Some 70 researchers are involved, in Sweden primarily from KTH and the Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) – the latter being a national center for molecular biosciences with focus on health and environmental research, and a collaboration between four universities: KTH, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm University and Uppsala University.
This major project also includes researchers in India. Lab Surgpath in Mumbai is the site for the annotation of the immunohistochemistry images. The pathologists there handle and make diagnostics of the tissues used in the Human Protein Atlas (photo of Mumbai staff in 2007). 
The project, launched in 2005, is said to be a gigantic mapping of mankind's machinery, its genome. It was a sensational news when researchers in 2001 announced that they had managed to map the human genome. The Swedish researchers now take this knowledge one step further, mapping all proteins (about 20 000), all of the cogs in the human machinery that converts the gene blueprint into a real, functioning body. The findings are being published in a freely available protein atlas on the Internet for the use of researchers around the world to advance their knowledge of the role of proteins in various diseases. Go for the Atlas.
When the protein atlas is finished, it will be a powerful tool in the struggle against cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and disorders in the nervous system. Mathias Uhlén believes that as of December 2013, we will have information on 80% of all human proteins, and the complete mapping will be finished at the end of 2015. Read more about the project

• High-profile Oslo workshop on the Relevance of Cultural History for the Study of Contemporary South Asia

University of Oslo organised a high-profile research workshop on ”Why history? On the Relevance of Cultural History for the Study of Contemporary South Asia” on 10 – 12 December 2013. It was held in honour of Professor Pamela Price who has turned 70 years of age. The workshop was divided into five sessions: Ritual, Religion, Politics; Social and Political Values; Thinking about the Contemporary; Structures in Materiality; and The Uses of History, and each session featured four presentations by leading Scandinavian, British and American scholars in the field of South Asian Studies, with a colleague being the discussant. The participants included Jonathan Spencer, University of Edinburgh; David Ludden, New York University; Paul R. Brass,  University of Washington; and Norbert Peabody, Wolfson College Cambridge. See the full workshop programme...

• Doctoral dissertation on the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami disaster

Emmanuel Raju from the Dept. of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety, Lund University (and the Lund University Centre for Risk Assessment and Management (LUCRAM), defended his doctoral dissertation entitled ”Exploring Disaster Recovery. Coordination: Stakeholder Interfaces, Goals and Interdependencies” on Tuesday 17th December 2013, at 10.15. (Photo to the right along with mother and father).
Faculty opponent was Prof. David Alexander, University College London, UK (photo to the left). Venue: Lecture hall K:F, Kemicentrum, Getingevägen 60, Lund.
Abstract: Disaster risk management has seen the importance of coordination at various levels of planning and implementation, ranging from preparedness to disaster response, and in planning for long term recovery and sustainable development. This thesis aims to develop a deeper and analytical understanding of stakeholder coordination for disaster recovery. The thesis is built on case studies from the mega–disaster of the Indian Ocean tsunami that affected India in 2004 and one case-study from repeated flooding in the Western Cape in South Africa. The key question addressed in this thesis is related to the factors affecting coordination for sustainable disaster recovery. The thesis presents the factors affecting coordination drawn from empirical data and its analysis. Finally, this thesis is an attempt to set the stage for more research to address recovery coordination as a governance issue.

• Doctoral dissertation on the textual history of Kavikumārāvadāna

Leif Asplund from the Section for Indology at the Department of Oriental Languages, Stockholm University, defended his doctoral dissertation entitled ”The Textual History of Kavikumārāvadāna: The relations between the main texts, editions and translations” on Friday 29 November 2013. Faculty opponent was Dr. Roland Steiner from Philipps-Universität, Marburg, Germany. 
Leif Asplund has worked on this project dealing with the Structure of Avadana stories (about Buddha’s past lives) in Nepal, and Newari influences on the Sanskrit versions of these. He was admitted to the department already in 1985, and collected material – Nepalese manuscripts and Tibetan block prints – in 1986 but made a long break before coming back to complete his research project. He has received valuable assistance from the Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project (NGMPP) and the National Archives in Kathmandu. The thesis consists of a comparisions between three of the main texts containing stories about Kavikumāra. A comparison of the stories about Kavikumāra and the Hero Story is also made. 
Read the full-text thesis.

• Swedish Embassy in Delhi seminar on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights research projects

The Swedish Embassy in New Delhi, India, organised a seminar for invited participants on ”Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights. Good practices and results achieved” on Tuesday 3 December 2013. It was being devoted to reports from several Indo-Swedish research collaboration projects during the past five years, since the Indian and Swedish governments signed its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of Health Care and Public Health in February 2009. Venue: India Habitat Centre, Maple Hall, New Delhi. 
The aim of the MoU (see the signed agreementhas been to promote bilateral cooperation between the countries in the field of health care and public health on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit. The cooperation includes medical education, and research on health and medicine. Sweden has been involved in the health sector in India for many years with a special focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights even before 2009, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has financed several major projects involving Swedish researchers for example at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University (more information). The character of development cooperation has however changed from traditional development cooperation towards partner driven cooperation, and a shift towards technical collaboration and exchange of knowledge and experiences. More information about the Swedish government’s policy
The invited Swedish researchers included Associate Professor Anette Agardh from Social Medicine and Global Health, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University; Professor Kyllike Christensson from the Division for Reproductive and Perinatal Health, Department of Woman and Child Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm; Dr Marie Klingberg Allvin from the Department of Public Health Sciences, also Karolinska Institutet; and Associate Professor Birgitta Essen from International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University. They are all involved in major Indo-Swedish research collaboration projects related to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, and their Indian counterparts were also participating at the seminar to present their work. Dr Rakesh Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, held a speech, and separate presentations were given by representatives for the Health Institute for Mother and Child (MAMTA), and the Breastfeeding Promotion Network in India (BPNI). See the full programme.

• Doctoral dissertation on Fashion and Prestige in Urban North India

Tereza Kuldova from the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo, defended her doctoral dissertation entitled ”Designing Elites: Fashion and Prestige in Urban North India” on Friday 29 November 2013. Venue: Auditorium 3, Eilert Sundts hus, Blindern, Oslo. First opponent was Dr. Jean-Claude Galey, Directeur d’études ved Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris, France; and second opponent was Dr. Henrike Donner, Senior Lecturer in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, UK.
The thesis, grounded in a yearlong fieldwork in New Delhi and Lucknow, investigates the intersection of the aesthetic, material and ideological production of the North Indian business elites and their prestige, often directly connected to accumulation of wealth and its theatrical display. Focusing on the emerging Indian fashion industry, the thesis zooms on the dominant opulent aesthetics of excessive royal chic and the material and immaterial production of this segment of the heritage luxury business. More information.

• Time to apply for Aarhus University‘s Indo-European mobility programme

The second call for scholarships for the Indo-European Erasmus Mundus Action 2 mobility programme IBIES is now open. The Interdisciplinary Bridges for Indo-European Studies (IBIES) Consortium is led by Aarhus University in  Denmark. The call includes many fully funded PhD scholarships for Indian students interested in pursuing a PhD at Aarhus University or at any of the other 5 European universities in the IBIES consortium (Hochschule Bremen University of Applied Sciences, Leiden University, Reutlingen University, University of Milan, and University of Warsaw). The application is open until 31 January 2014. Read the Call for applications.
The aim of IBIES is the promotion of Indo-European higher education, to support the improvement and enhancement of scholars' career prospects as well as the promotion of intercultural communication and understanding through cooperation with the partner countries. IBIES supports mobility at all level of higher education, including both mobility for students (undergraduate, master, doctoral and post-doctoral) and for staff (academic and administrative).
The IBIES network in the frame of the Erasmus Mundus programme will see to the further enhancement of the individual student, researcher or teacher in order to improve not only their knowledge, qualifications and skills but also to strengthen the cooperation between India and EU and contribute to the development of theses societies. The Interdisciplinary Bridges for Indo-European Studies (IBIES) consortium has been selected for funding under the Erasmus Mundus Programme Action 2 Strand 1 and External Cooperation Window. More information.

• Nehru Memorial Museum and Library resources accessible on Internet

The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) in New Delhi was established in the memory of former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964) and is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture of the Government of India, Located in the majestic Teen Murti House, the official residence of the first Prime Minister of India. It has four major constituents namely, a Memorial Museum, a Library on modern India, a Centre for Contemporary Studies and a Planetarium.
The Library is a favourite place for researchers, a s documented by Dr. Derek L. Elliott, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, who writes enthusiastically about the institution in Dissertation Reviews on 15th January 2013, see his text, ”A review of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, where he describes that it is hard to find a more pleasant work environment in India than the Nehru Memorial Library, set amidst beautiful gardens flush with peafowl, squirrels, and macaques.
The many rich resources at NMML has recently (December 2013) become much more accessible to researchers around the world, by launching a new website with many of its catalogues available there as downloadable pdf-files. Go for the new page
Of special interest is the NMML web link to its Occasional Papers, new series 2012-2013. Go for the web link.
More catalogues are to come. There are also photos, audio and videos to watch and download, as well as the program for the many coming seminars and workshops. 

Every year, NMML organises a number of high-profile Lecture Series. Go for the 2014 NMML 2014 Public Lecture Series on ‘Science, Society and Nature’. The series include lectures for example by Prof. Ronald Herring, Cornell University, USA, on ”State Science and National Specificity: Cotton to Brinjal in India”; Prof. Deepak Pental, University of Delhi, on ”The Societal Response to Transgenic Crops: Apathy, ideology or fear of the unknown?”; and Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, on ”Technologies for India”.

• 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 ”Evaluation of a Vaccine against EHEC for use in low- and middle income countries”.
Maria Emmelin, Social Medicine and Global Health, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, for a project entitled ”The Role of Social Capital in preventing Discrimination of People living with Handicaps in Bangladesh”.
Christophe SturmDepartment of Geological Sciences, 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 ”Introducing democracy from the outside? International Interventions in Afghanistan, Somalia, South Africa and Bosnia-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

• 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

• Copenhagen seminar on Law Reform in Pakistan

Dr. Osama Siddique from the Department of Law & Policy at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan, held a public guest lecture on ”Law Reform in Pakistan” at University of Copenhagen on Thursday 12 December 2013. The lecture was organised by Asian Dynamics Initiative and Centre of Global South Asian Studies at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies (ToRS).
Law Reform in Pakistan attracts such disparate champions as the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the USAID and the Taliban. Common to their equally obsessive pursuit of 'speedy justice' is a remarkable obliviousness to the historical, institutional and sociological factors that alienate Pakistanis from their formal legal system. The lecture endeavored to highlight vital and widely neglected linkages between the 'narratives of colonial displacement' resonant in the literature on South Asia's encounter with colonial law and the region's post‐colonial official law reform discourses. More information.

• Uppsala/Guwahati joint conference on Understanding functional materials

A conference entitled ”Asia Sweden meeting on Understanding functional materials from Lattice Dynamics” will be held at the Indian Intitute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, India, during 9-11 Januari 2014. The conference is part of an ongoing Swedish Research Links programme between the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University and IIT Guwahati in Assam. 
With the increasing need of smart technology in various needs of human life, the research in materials science has gained huge momentum in recent times. Subsequently, the importance of lattice dynamics in solids has drawn considerable attraction. This meeting aims at bringing together the practitioners in India and abroad to discuss the recent trends in understanding the properties of state of the art functional materials from the point of view of lattice dynamics. The meeting would be focused on various different aspects of lattice dynamics starting from new methodological developments to the effects of coupling between different degrees of freedom. The programme would consist of 15 invited talks by top rank scientists from India and abroad and short talks and poster presentations by young researchers. A discussion session on the future work plan and collaborations would also be organized in the meeting to make the outcome fruitful. More information.

• 2014 World Water Week focuses on Energy and Water

The 2014 World Water Week in Stockholm will be held 31 August – 5 September 2014. The theme being ”Energy and Water. As ususal, the 24th World Water Week is organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). The World Water Week is the leading annual global meeting place for capacity-building, partnership-building and follow-up on the implementation of international processes and programmes in water and development, with large relevance to South Asia. Every year around 200 delegates from South Asia participate (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka).
When addressing the "energy and water" theme during 2014 World Water Week in Stockholm the organisers want to take an overall "systems view" of how we develop and manage energy and water for the good of society and ecosystems – at local, national, regional and global levels – and avoid unintended consequences of narrow sectoral approaches. The "water, energy and food security nexus", underpinning the green growth approach, will be central to the agenda. The registration link will open in April 2014. 
The 2013 World Water Week report ”Cooperation for a Water Wise World - Partnerships for Sustainable Development” is now available. The report provides input into the discussions at the 2013 World Water Week in Stockholm. The report also explore emerging issues such as the role of information and communications technology in advancing water cooperation, the importance of climate mitigation and adaptation coherence and the interplay between actors in the water, food and energy nexus. Full information about the 2013 World Water Week.

• Copenhagen conference on Intra-­Asian Connections: Interactions, flows, landscapes

The Asian Dynamics Initiative (ADI) at University of Copenhagen invites participants to its 6th annual International Conference with the theme ”Intra-­Asian Connections: Interactions, flows, landscapes” to be held 22–24 October 2014. The conference will take place over three days and feature distinguished keynote speakers as well as panels emphasizing intra-Asian connections in order to highlight the historical contingency of modern borders and hence of area studies themselves. Through comparative and cross‐border perspectives we seek out opportunities to rethink the ‘maps in our minds’; to theorize alternative temporalities, spatialities and modernities that emerge when Asia is not simply cast in opposition to the West; and to seek alternative epistemological grounding in conceptualizations of interactions, flows, and more dynamic landscapes.
Keynote speakers include 
Professor Shalini Randeria, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland, and Professor Willem van Schendel, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 20 May 2014. More information.

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• 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. 

• 12th International Asian Urbanization Conference to be held in Varanasi

The 12th International Asian Urbanization Conference will be held in Varanasi, India, 28–30 December 2013. It will be hosted by the Department of Geography at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), in association with The Asian Urban Research Association (AURA). AURA was established in January 1986 and is based at the University of Akron, Ohio, USA.
The conference seeks to address a wide variety of problems in the Asian urban milieu. The themes to be covered include Rural Urban transformations; Globalization and the urban economy; Urban transportation and commutation; Amenities and facilities in urban areas; Climatic change and urban environment; Marginalization of local communities in urban areas; and Use of Geoinformatic tools (GIS, Remote Sensing and GPS) in urban environmental studies. More information.

• Atheist Centre 75 Years International Conference in Vijayawada

The Atheist Centre 75 Years International Conference will be held in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India, 5–6 January 2014. The 75 years of Atheist Centre witnessed two of the world renowned atheist social reformers and well-known Gandhians, Gora (1902-1975) & Saraswathi Gora (1912-2006), starting the Atheist Centre in 1940 and paving the way to build atheism as a life stance/way of life and positive atheism as a philosophy. Atheist Centre has been involved in a plethora of activities reaching out to a large number of people across India and globally. All through its voluntary service, Atheist Centre has been able to undertake multifarious programmes for the all-round development of the society.  It was closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi and the Gandhian movement in India. The discourse between Gora & Gandhi was published in a book titled 'An Atheist with Gandhi', by the official Gandhian publishers. Both Gora & Saraswathi actively participated in the freedom movement and satyagrahas and were arrested on many occasions in pre & post independent India. 
The two-day international conference is a great occasion for atheists, humanists, rationalists, freethinkers, skeptics, social workers, reformers, academicians, human rights activists, peace builders and agents of social change and scientific temper, to discuss on issues that are affecting the society and world at large. Full information.

• Nalanda University conference on Inter-Asian Cultural Heritage

An International Conference entitled “Cultural Heritage: Environment, Ecology and Inter-Asian Interactions” will be held in the city of Rajgir in Bihar State, India, 6–8 January 2014. It is jointly organised by the brand new Nalanda University, and the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) in Leiden, Netherlands. Papers that investigate the role environmental/ecological and historical factors have played in the changing significance of sites in Asia and/or how these factors (continue to) influence the maintenance and conservation of these sites are invited. Venue: Rajgir Convention Center, Rajgir, Dist. Nalanda (Bihar), India.
Keynote speakers include Frederick Asher, Dept. of Art History, University of Minnesota, USA; Robin Coningham, Dept. of Archaeology, Durham University, UK; and Akira Matsui, Director, Center for Archaeological Operations, Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Japan. Rajgir promises to be an exceptionally interesting location for this conference given its proximity to the ancient site of Nalanda University (a prime example of inter-Asian connections) as well as many other important historical and religious sites such as Bodh Gaya, where Buddhism finds it origin. More information.

• Haryana workshop on what Social Policy mean in the Indian context

The first ever workshop on “Comparative and International Social Policy Theories & Methods. Lessons for research and Practice in India. What does Social Policy Mean in the Indian Context?” will be held in Sonipat, Haryana, India, 9–11 January 2014. It is jointly hosted by the Development Studies Association (UK); Social Policy Association (UK); and the O.P. Jindal Global University in Sonipat. This training workshop will bring together academics, practitioners and government officials who are working on emerging social policy issues in India and the United Kingdom. Its primary aim is to provide participants with an answer to the question ‘What is Social Policy?’ by providing an overview of its key theoretical and methodological approaches. In particular, the workshop aims to discuss the relevance and applicability of social policy research across the Social Science disciplines to lower middle income economies – specifically India. The number of participants is restricted to 50.
The organising team includes Dr Joe Devine, Senior Lecturer in International Development and Head of the Department of Social and Policy Studies at the University of Bath; Dr Zoë Irving, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Social Policy at the University of Sheffield; Dr Stefan Kühner, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of York; and Dr Keerty Nakray, Associate Professor at the Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, Haryana. More information.

• AIIS 50th anniversary conference held in Delhi

The American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) organizes its 50th Anniversary Conference in New Delhi, India, on 10–11 January 2014. Recognized as an educational institution in India in its own right, AIIS can directly recommend issuance of student visas for language study and for programs that bring students to India. 
The conference theme is ”Political Imaginaries: Rethinking India’s Twentieth Century”. It is held both at the India International Center, and at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi. Keynote speeches are given by Partha Chatterjee, and Zoya Hasan, the latter speaking about ”Democratic Politics, Social Mobilization and Policy Change in India”. Other eminent researchers participating include Manu Goswami, Mrinalini Sinha, Mary John, Nandini Sundar, and Amita Baviskar. More information about the conference.

• Mumbai Conference on Technology, Accountability and Democracy in South Asia

The Stanford University is hosting an conference entitled ”Technology, accountability and democracy in South Asia and beyond” on the 17-18 January 2014. Location: University of Mumbai, India. The conference is organised by the Center for South Asia, and the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) – both at Stanford University, in partnership with Department of Civics and Politics, University of Mumbai, and the Stanford Alumni Association of India.
Over the last few years, there has been unprecedented focus on corruption and accountability across South Asia.  Accountability movements have resulted in a variety of initiatives including special monitoring bodies, transparency laws, monitoring mechanisms, judicial reforms and refining government processes.  These initiatives bring different understandings of problems and approaches, with varied strengths and weaknesses. Despite these differences, they are increasingly converging on the use of technology to augment a growing set of accountability strategies. This conference proposes to bring together people who are engaged in these questions as activists, officials, academics and innovators to examine how technology is currently being used for accountability projects and to build meaningful platforms for the future. We specifically seek to bring together people with experience in accountability movements (with or without the use of technology), young innovators and researchers in order to promote rich multidisciplinary conversation and to build new collaborations. More information and registration. 
The Conference invites papers on relevant themes, see the the call for papers.

• Relationship between Manchester and South Asia theme for 2014 SAAG Symposium

The 2014 Annual Symposium of the UK based South Asian Arts Group (SAAG) will be held at the Manchester School of Art on Friday 28 March. It is being hosted by Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design (MIRIAD) that Manchester School of Art is a part of at Manchester Metropolitan University. The theme for the 2014 symposium will be ”Manchester and South Asia: shared histories and revived relationships”. Looking at shared artistic, cultural and industrial histories that underpin contemporary cultural partnerships between a city, Manchester, and South Asia, the organisers would like to explore the possibilities for contemporary culture via shared historical and industrial narratives. There will be opportunities for four papers to be presented. Deadline for sending proposals is 12 December 2013. More information.
The South Asian Arts Group (SAAG) is an informal network of academics, curators, artists and arts professionals, who share an interest in the arts and visual/material cultures of South Asia and the diaspora. SAAG provides a space for interaction, conversation and exchange for people interested in South Asian arts in the UK. 

• Honolulu symposium on Science, Technology and Society in South Asia

The Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Hawai’i is holding its 31 Annual Spring Symposiam themed "Brave New South Asia: Science, Technology, and Society" from 16 - 18 April 2014 in Honolulu, Hawai’i. This symposium invites critical reflections on science and technology as they transform the relationship between humans and their environments and reshape our conceptions of the human and natural in the context of South Asia and the diaspora. The aim of the symposiam is to generate a conversation across the sciences, social sciences and humanities that examines the interface between science and technology and the varied social, political and cultural ecologies as they have developed over time to bring us to our current moment — when South Asia figures as an incubator of innovations and as a striking example of their utopic and dystopic manifestations. 
The organisers are currently accepting papers for presentation at the symposiam. For more information please visit from 
Center for South Asian Studies website. 

• Zurich Workshop on Mediatizing South Asian Indigeneity

A workshop on ”'Tribes' on Screen – Mediatizing South Asian Indigeneity” will be held on 22 July 2014 at the Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich in Switzerland. It is being convened by Erik de Maaker, Dept. of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University, Netherlands; and Markus Schleiter, Frobenius Institute at
Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. The workshop will discuss the concept of ‘indigeneity’, a disputed concept in South Asia. On the one hand, the term is associated with administrative labels such as ‘tribe’ (India), ‘upojati’ (Bangladesh) or ‘qaum’ (Pakistan), which can – notably in India – translate into significant advantages. On the other hand, the term ‘indigenous’ often seems to serve as a replacement or synonym for earlier notions such as ‘primitive’ or ‘backward’. More information.

• Third Annual Kathmandu Conference on Nepal and the Himalaya

The Third Annual Kathmandu Conference on Nepal and the Himalaya will be held in Kathmandu 23–25 July 2014. It is being jointly organised by Social Science Baha; the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies; and the Britain-Nepal Academic Council. Proposals are invited for stand-alone papers or three-paper panels.Papers can deal with any aspect of life in Nepal and the Himalaya from a social science perspective. Papers can also be comparative so long as Nepal or the Himalaya is included in the comparison. Deadline for proposals is 16 February 2014. Full information.

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

Business and Politics

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

South Asia related culture in Scandinavia

• Doctor behind new Indo-Swedish Rheumatology hospital invited to poetry book release party

A Swedish-funded Rheumatology Hospital and Research Institute was inaugurated in Balasore, Odisha state, India, on Thursday 31 October 2013. This institute will render super specialized treatments while undertaking advanced research works along with patient’s education, mass information and communication services in the field of rheumatology. The centre would work as a non-profit entity, were old people from the neighbouring areas can avail the benefit of the centre. Behind the initiative stands a number of senior doctors and medical professionals in both Sweden and India, among them Dr Rabinarayan Dash and Professor Urban Rydholm (photo below).
They were both present at the inauguration, and so were members of Lund India Choir – including SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund (on photo from the inauguration ceremony above). Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) Dr Anup Ghosh and noted poet Dr Brajanath Rath were among others present during the inauguration evening, that also included a cultural programme jointly by the artists of Sweden and Balasore.
Rabinarayan Dash who lives in Lund is also a poet. On Saturday 7 December 2013, a book with his latest collection of poems was released in Malmö. It is written in Swedish, and the title is ”Grisarnas känsla för solen”. A release party was held
in the premies of Corona Förlag, Nobelvägen 135, Malmö.  More information.

• Successful Rabindranath Tagore programme at Stockholm Public Library

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 (Stockholms stadsbibliotek) succesfully organised a Tagore programme on Monday 2 December 2013, at 18.00.
Per Olov Henricson gave a learned lecture on Tagore’s life and work, and reciting some beautiful poems in Swedish translatíon, and Bubu Munshi-Eklund sang
 his compositions in the original language Bengali. Listen to five songs performed by Bubu. The excellent video recording was made by Mr. Meah Mostafiz. 
The seminar was also transmitted via Skype to the libraries in Visby and Arvika.

Bubu Munshi Eklund, Achala Moulik, and Ambassador Banashri Bose Harrison.

Indian Ambassador Banashri Bose Harrison participated and gave an inspired introductory talk, and Indian writer Achala Moulik from Shantiniketan, on a short visit to Sweden, talked about the Indo-Swedish connection that Tagore’s Nobel Prize came to initiate. 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.

• Initiative Asia programme on Tagore and Strindberg in Stockholm

The Stockholm based organisation Initiative Asia (iA), dedicated to friendship and cooperation among Swedes, particularly Swedes with an origin in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, was founded in 2011. iA is a network, working for cultural, intellectual and social interaction between peoples and countries. 
In a joint initiative with Stockholms Kulturförvaltning and a travel agent, iA organised a cultural programme entitled ”Tagore and Strindberg – Great Writers of Asia & Europe” on Wednesday 4 December 2013, 18–21. Venue: ABF-Huset, Z-salen, Sveavägen 41, Stockholm. The Ambassador of India to Sweden, Mrs. Banashri Bose Harrison, introduced also this event, and Shantiniketan writer Achala Moulik talked about ”Humanism Tagore”. Ludvig Rasmusson talked about Strindberg, and finally Usha Balasundaram & Shipra Nandy danced and sang. For more information, see the poster

• Lund India Choir commemorates Tagore’s Nobel Prize in Lund

The Lund India Choir, specialized in singing the songs by Indian/Bengali Nobel Laureate poet and composer Rabindranath Tagore holds a concert at Teater Sagohuset in Lund on Friday 27 December 2013, at 18.00. The choir who recently returned from a successful tour to Kolkata, Shantiniketan, Balasore, Baripada and Kharagpur, takes a final chance to commemorate the 100th jubilee year of Rabindranath Tagore’s 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature on home ground. More information on the poster.

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

New and updated items on SASNET web site

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

ÖrecommMemory on Trial: Media, Citizenship and Social Justice” was the overarching theme for the third Ørecomm Festival, 13–16 September 2013, a four-day event that brought an inspiring mix of seminars, lectures and conferences to Malmö, Copenhagen and Roskilde. It was jointly organised by Roskilde University and the School of Arts and Communication, Faculty of Culture and Society, Malmö University. All presentations are now available on the web.
The previous 2012 Festival featured an Indian panel, as a result of a collaboration project entitled ”Memories of Modernity II” between Malmö University and the Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, Bangalore. This experimental project of combined academic and artistic research was now documented during one of the workshops at the third Ørecomm Festival, on Sunday 15 September. Papers were presented by Nicolas Grandi and Deepak Srinavasan from Srishti, and Jyothsna Belliappa, who recently moved to Azim Premji University in Bangalore (see link page to their presentations). Itziar Ancin from K3 also presented a paper entitled ”The Kabir Project. Mumbai and Bangalore” (Itziar seen on photo to the right). See her presentation. The workshop was moderated by Oscar Hemer, who also concluded the workshop with a presentation entitled “Bengaluru Boogie: Outlines for an Ethnographic Fiction” (see the presentation). 
A separate workshop was dedicated to the issue of  “Methods of Analysis in Ethnographic Studies of Mediated Memories”, condducted by the Media/Ethnography Group with Annette Markham, S. Elizabeth Bird and Jo Tacchi. Finally, another South Asia related event took place at the Festival, when Urvashi Butalia (photo tothe left), Publisher, Kali for Women in New Delhi, India, held a presentation entitled “Difficult Memories: Speaking about Sexual Violence” (see her presentation).
On the first day of the workshop, held in Roskilde, there were also presentations about Bhutan. Devi Bhakta Suberi from Roskilde University talked about “ICT for Good Governance in Bhutan”; and Dorji S., Sangay Thinley & Thinley Namgyel from Sherubtse College in Bhutan, talked about Citizen-State Relationship in Democratic Bhutan: A Post 2008 Analysis of People’s Views” (see link page to their presentations).
More information about Ørecomm 2013 with full programme.

• Swedish departments where research on South Asia is going on

This month there were 2 new departments added to SASNET's list: 
         ‡ Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm
         ‡ Unit of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University

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, Box 114, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden 
Visiting address: Paradisgatan 5 G (first floor, room no. 201), in the premises of the Dept. of Sociology, Lund University.
Phone: + 46 46 222 73 40 
Web site:

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