Newsletter 167 – 6 October 2014


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• Call for SASNET 2015 Conference on Structural Transformation of South Asia

Gita Sen, Ruth Kattumuri, Zoya Hasan, Abram de Swaan, and Geoff Wood.

Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET) at Lund University invites South Asia researchers to a three-day international conference on the structural transformation of South Asia. It is entitled ”South Asia in Transformation: World of Slums, Global Power Houses or Utopias? Migration, labour, and family changes in a dynamic region”, and will be held at Lund University 20–22 May 2015. Keynote speakers are Gita Sen from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India (and Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard, USA); Ruth Kattumuri, London School of Economics, UK; Zoya Hasan, Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR); Abram de Swaan, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Geoff Wood, University of Bath, Bath, UK.

The purpose of the conference is to explore the social consequences of the transformation of South Asian societies (and by implication, the world). Structural transformations produce new opportunities and risks as job possibilities and wealth are created and redistributed unevenly. This may lead to the marginalization of some groups as well as social conflicts. The aim of this conference is also to map the social impact of South Asia’s structural transformation so far, with specific reference to changes in labour migration patterns and in the composition of the care economy of families and households. Each of these aspects is often studied in isolation despite the fact that they are deeply interrelated.
Further, the conference explores interrelated social and economic aspects of sustainability simultaneously and targets a process whose outcomes will be felt across the world, given the sheer population size of South Asia. For global sustainability purposes, it is crucial to map the current state of affairs and explore different development possibilities and scenarios for this region. Papers that compare South Asia with other regions are welcome. Abstracts should be submitted before 15 November 2014. Read the Call for papers and panel chairs.

• David Satterthwaite holds SASNET lecture on Urbanisation and Environment

David Satterthwaite, Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in London, UK, holds a SASNET lecture on ”Urbanisation and Environment” at Lund University on Thursday 16 October 2014, 13.15–14.00. Satterthwaite is also a Visiting Professor at the Development Planning Unit, University College London, and a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third and the Fourth Assessments.
The lecture is the first in a new international seminar series entitled Structural Transformation, Urbanisation and the Challenge of Sustainability organized by the SASNET. The seminar series focuses broadly on issues relating to contemporary transformations in South Asia with specific reference to urbanization. Venue: Palaestra nedre auditorium, Universitetsplatsen, Lund. See the poster.
Most of David Satterthwaite’s work since 1979 has been in research, working with collaborating institutions in Africa, Asia and Latin America, mainly on issues of urban poverty, housing, health, environment, urban development and rural-urban linkages. This includes a particular interest in what causes and underpins the vulnerabilities of low-income groups to environmental hazards, including extreme weather events.
A development planner by training with a Doctorate in Social Policy, he has long had an interest in the power and capacity of grassroots organizations formed by residents of informal settlements; this was the focus of a book written with Jorge Hardoy in 1989 entitled Squatter Citizen. More recent books published by Earthscan include: The Earthscan Reader on Sustainable Cities (editor), 1999; Environmental Problems in an Urbanizing World (with Jorge Hardoy and Diana Mitlin), 2001; Empowering Squatter Citizen (co-editor with Diana Mitlin), 2004 and Adapting Cities to Climate Change (co-editor with Jane Bicknell and David Dodman), 2009.

• SASNET holds event to release Surinder Jodhka's new book on the Indian caste system

SASNET is organizing a book release function on Wednesday 8 October 2014, 14.30–15.00, launching the latest work by eminent Indian sociologist Surinder S. Jodhka from the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
The new book is entitled ”Caste in Contemporary India” and
deals with contemporary realities of caste in rural and urban India. Venue and Time: Läsveranda, second floor of Department of Political Science (Paradisgatan 5H). See the poster.
In his book, based on rich empirical findings across north India, Professor Jodhka presents an original perspective on the reasons for the persistence of caste in India today, and offers a broader theoretical framework for comparative understandings of the entrenched social differences, discrimination, inequalities, stratification, and the modes and patterns of their reproduction. Surinder Jodhka was the third Visiting Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Professor at Lund University. Read more about Prof. Jodhka and the book release event.
During his stay in Lund, Surinder Jodhka also participates in a workshop entitled ”Emerging Realities”, organised by the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies (ACE) on 9–10 October. More information.

• SASA/SASNET Fika without borders seminar on Afghanistan

The South Asian Student Association (SASA) organises its sixth informal Fika Without Borders South Asia event in collaboration with SASNET on Friday 10 October 2014, 17–19. The theme country for this month’s event is Afghanistan. Venue: Basement of International Desk at Lund University, Stora Algatan 4, 221 00 Lund, Sweden. See poster.
At the Afghanistan fika, we will focus on the question of Afghanistan's future. The fika includes a talk by Fawad Sultani, deputy programme director for the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) based in Kabul. He is engaged in a successful democracy project in Taliban controlled areas of Afghanistan, and he will talk about the future of country.
Furthermore, Sweden's foremost experts on Afghanistan, and the Former Manager of SCA Anders Fänge will also join the event to give an introduction to the organisation and development projects in Afghanistian. In his role as a manager of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, Fänge has been a pioneer in developing its projects in agriculture, healthcare, and education, and has been adriving force behind the functional nationwide school system in Afghanistan today. He has also been engaged in securing education for girls and women. In addition to Afghanistan, he has also worked over the past 30 years in Ethiopia for Save the Children, in Central Asia for the Red Cross, and in Somalia and the West Bank for the UN. He holds an honorary doctorate from Umeå University. Besides, Anders is a member of SASNET’s board.
Afghanistan is a landlocked state of 31 million people falls within the geographical territory of South Asia as well as Central Asia. However, in 2007, Afghanistan became a full member of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), amid debates and reluctance from other member countries. All SASA activities are based on the eight countries of SAARC. 
Terrorism, poverty and devastation are first words that comes to most people's mind when they hear Afghanistan. Modern day Afghanistan has been plagued by several coups, civil war and conflicts. However, little focus today is casted on Afghanistan's years as a bustling center of modernity, and its unique cultural heritage, surreal geographical landscape and ethnic diversity. Today it is one of the most poorest in the world with lowest literacy and health indicators. In recent years, international community has been heavily involved in Afghanistan's military, humanitarian and development agenda. 
As usual, the event will include socializing in a friendly atmosphere and eating good food from the country in focus. SASA holds these fika without borders events once a month, and each time the focus is one of the eight South Asian countries, that are the member states of SAARC. Another two Fika Without Borders events will appear during the fall 2014. – Tuesday 28 October 2014, 17-19Bhutan; – Tuesday 18 November 2014, 17-19Bangladesh.

• SASNET/UPF seminar on Exclusive or Inclusive Human Rights in India

Professor Asha Mukherjee from the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, India, holds a joint SASNET/UPF seminar on ”Human Rights in India: Exclusive or Inclusive?” in Lund on Thursday 16 October 2014, 19–21. Venue for the seminar: Café Athen, Akademiska Föreningen (AF), Sandgatan 2, Lund. 
Asha Mukherjee is currently a guest professor at the University of Gothenburg, that has a partnership relation to Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan. More information about Prof. Mukherjee.
In her Lund presentation, Prof. Mukherjee reflects upon the fact that it is often suggested that human rights and duties are two sides of the same coin. Yet in Indian context traditionally the dharma discourse (obligation based) and the issue of human rights have never been in the focus for discussion, nor has it been a ‘problem’ for Indian masses. In modern India human rights have been reconciled or discovered within Hinduism and its caste system which necessarily generates tension and conflict due to the complexity and multilayered structure and also since opportunities are not in abundance.
Who deserves what and who decides are extremely important questions. It is argued that in India today we face the most difficult question – how to include the excluded and how to exclude the included. At the core of the Human Rights debate there lies a need to interrogate the very being of individual, person, self and “other” for accommodating the claims and the counter claims of rights to be creatively human, the promise of mankind which gets threatened by any destructive self of the few in power either political or social or economic or religious. What we find in India today is more and more divide between the ‘self’ and the ‘other’ on the name of democracy. There is no automatic guarantee of success by the mere existence of democratic institutions, democratic institutions like that of all other institutions depend on the activities of human agents in utilizing opportunities for reasonable realization.

• New board elected for the South Asian Student Association (SASA)
 The new SASA board, from left to right Jacco Visser, Rubana Mussgarat Priyanka and Noshan Bhattarai.

On 23 September 2014, the South Asian Student Association (SASA) at Lund University elected a new board for the academic year 2014/2015. Jacco Visser is the new SASA chairperson. He is a second year student in the Masters programme in Asian Studies at the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies (ACE)Rubana Mussharat Priyanka and Noshan Bhattarai were elected as deputy chairpersons. Rubana is also an ACE student, whereas  Noshan is a MSc student in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation for Environmental Modeling and Management (GEM) at Lund University. 
SASA was launched on 24 April 2013, as a student body of the Swedish South Asian Research Network (SASNET) and is registered as a working group under the Social Sciences Student Union. The overall aims of establishing SASA has been to promote Lund University student's research interest in South Asia region, and also provide a platform for students in Lund – coming from both South Asia and other countries – to discuss, exchange and build partnerships relating to South Asian development. Over the past one and half year, SASA has been actively organising educational and cultural activities related to South Asia, including seminars, movie nights, and cultural celebrations. Read more about the new SASA board and its activities.

• SASNET meeting with researchers at Lund University’s Faculty of Engineering
SASNET meeting at Faculty of Engineering, Lund University: From left to right: Prof. Gunnar Lidén, Department of Chemical Engineering; Dr. Santosh Jagtap, School of Industrial Design; Professor emeritus Baboo Nair, Division of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry; Lars Eklund, SASNET; Professor Ebbe Nordlander, Division of Chemical Physics; and Hawwa Lubna, SASNET.

For almost 15 years, the Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET) has been hosted by Lund University. The initiative originally came from the Swedish government and the ambition was to increase research and education related to the South Asian region (which means Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka).
For 10 years the network was funded by Sida, and SASNET played – and still plays – an important role in connecting researchers at all Swedish universities and working on South Asia related projects in different fields from technology and medicine to humanities and social sciences.
However, since a few years back, SASNET is fully funded by Lund University, and the focus rests a bit more on promoting South Asia related research and education in Lund. As part of this strategy, the SASNET staff members currently organise informal meetings with researchers in various fields to discuss what they would like SASNET to do for them. One such meeting was held at the Faculty of Engineering (LTH) on 22 September 2014 (photo above) where Lars Eklund and Hawwa Lubna from SASNET met a number of researchers within technology and natural sciences – researchers strongly involved in South Asia related research and/or research collaboration. The meeting was kindly arranged with support from the International Office at LTH.

• Presentation by Thomas Bibin at SASA/SASNET seminar on Sri Lanka
Kenneth Carlsson (to the left) listens to the presentation by Thomas Bibin.

The South Asian Student Association at Lund University – the student body of SASNET – organised its fifth informal Fika Without Borders South Asia event in collaboration with SASNET on Tuesday 23 September 2014. The theme country for this month’s event was Sri Lanka, and featured a presentation by Thomas Bibin, well-known Swedish Radio journalist now living in Halmstad, with 40 years experience of Srilankan politics and development and with a unique insight regarding the Tamilian issue. His presentation was entitled ”Some aspects to the problem of Monotheism in a Multiethnical and Multilingual Country”. Another journalist, Kenneth Carlsson, who is the editor of the Lund University students union newspaper Lundagård, also participated with a presentation focusing on the issue of identity, drawing on his personal experiences growing up in Sweden with a mixed origin, as a half Swede, half Srilankan. Read more about the seminar...

• Nishi Mitra discussed extended collaboration between Lund University and TISS
Nishi Mitra to the right with Linda Hiltmann at SASNET’s office.

On Monday 29 September 2014, SASNET arranged a networking meeting between Associate Professor Nishi Mitra from the Advanced Centre for Women's Studies, School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, India, with a number of Lund University representatives. Dr. Mitra had come to Lund as a scholarship holder through the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 programme EMINTE, coordinated by Lund University, to stay for one month, being affiliated to the Law and Vulnerabilites research group at the Faculty of Law.
The meeting discussed the possibilities to establish an extended academic partnership between Lund University and TISS for developing a Gender and Human Rights International Certificate or Diploma programme through the Linneaus Palme exchange programme, as well as organizing joint conferences on the theme of domestic violence. This latter theme is an international issue with growing attention, both noticed within the human rights field as well in the interest of the students.
Besides Anna Lindberg, Linda Hiltmann and Lars Eklund from SASNET, the meeting was attended by Ulrika Andersson from the Faculty of Law; Rolf Ring from the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI); and Jan Magnusson and Cecilia Heule from the School of Social Work. The meeting agreed to aim to hand in an Linneaus Palme application later this year. During her stay in Lund, Nishi Mitra has also met with Prof. Helle Rydstöm from the Dept. of Gender Studies, and Prof. Catarina Kinnvall from Political Science to discuss the possible cooperation from these departments as well.

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

Research Community News

• THE and QS Ranking lists differ on Scandinavian and South Asian top universities

According to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2014-15, only three Nordic universities appear among the top 100 in the world – Karolinska Institutet as No. 44 (down by 8 positions compared to last year), Stockholm University, and Uppsala University, the two latter on a shared 98th position (up by 5 and 13 positions respectively compared to last year). The majority of universities in the top of the list are American or British. The ranking list was published on 1 October 2014. The THE rankings employ 13 separate performance indicators, making them the only global university rankings to examine all the core missions of the modern global university – research, teaching, knowledge transfer and international activity. 
Just below the top 100 comes University of Helsinki as No. 103, Lund University as No. 119 (up by 4 positions), Technical University of Denmark as No. 121, and Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm as No. 126 (down by 9 positions). Aarhus University ranks as No. 153, Copenhagen University as No. 160 (down 10 positions), and Oslo University as No. 186.
In South Asia, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore (photo), and Panjab University in Chandigarh, India, are ranked highest, to be among the positions between 276 and 300. Only two other South Asian universities – both Indian Institutes of Technology – are ranked among the top 400, in a position between 351 and 400. They are IIT Roorkee, and IIT Bombay. On the other hand, the three IITs in Delhi, Kanpur and Kharagpur have fallen out of the Top 400. See the full THE ranking 2014-15.

Compare this information with another ranking service, QS World University Rankings 2014/15, said to be among the most trusted university rankings available. According to this ranking, Lund University is the premier Swedish university, ranked as No. 60 (up by 7 positions compared to previous year), whereas University of Copenhagen is No. 1 in Scandinavia on position No. 45 (followed by Helsinki on No. 67, Uppsala on No. 81, and Aarhus on No. 96). That means five Nordic universities among the top 100. University of Oslo comes just outside on position 101. 

QS also has a different ranking priority when it comes to South Asia. Here, IIT Bombay is the premier institution with position No. 222, followed by IIT Delhi on No. 235 (photo of IIT Delhi students), and IIT Kanpur on position No. 300, and then follows IIT Madras on position No. 322, and IIT Kharagpur on position no. 324. 
The strongest non-Indian South Asian university to qualify to the QS Top 800 ranking is the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad, Pakistan, ranked to be in a position between 481 and 490 in the world, slightly after University of Delhi (421-430), and IIT Roorkee (461-470).
The University of Mumbai, Calcutta University, and IIT Guwahati are all ranked to be in the gap 551-600, and finally ranked together characterized as 701+ we find another nine South Asian universities: Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi; Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS); Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad; University of Engineering and Technology (UET) in Lahore; and the universities of Colombo, Dhaka, Karachi, Lahore, and Pune. Go for the QS World University Rankings.

• Doctoral dissertation on the Anti-Land Acquisition Politics in Singur

Kenneth Bo Nielsen from the Department of Social Anthropology, & the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM) at University of Oslo, defends his doctoral dissertation entitled ”Saving the Farmland: The Making of Popular Anti-Land Acquisition Politics in Singur, West Bengal” on Tuesday 21 October 2014, 13.15–16.00. First opponent is Prof. Lucia Michelutti, University College London, UK; and seond opponent is Dr. Sirpa Tenhunen, University of Helsinki, Finland. Venue: Domus odontologica, main auditorium, A1.1001, Sognsvannsveien 10, Gaustad, Oslo. The trial lecture will be held on the day before, Monday 21 October, 11.15 – 12.00. More information about the dissertation.
The thesis deaks with the fact that India over the past decade has been home to thousands of land struggles that have centred crucially on the often forcible transfer of agricultural land from small and marginal farmers or indigenous groups to industrial conglomerates or special economic zones. Yet in spite of the proliferation of such struggles, and the key role they have played in public debates over ‘development’ in India, few of them have been studied ethnographically ‘from within’ as they happened. Kenneth Bo Nielsen’s dissertation seeks to fill this ethnographic gap through a study of one of the most talked-about land struggles in Indian in recent years, namely that against the setting up of a Tata Motors car factory on fertile agricultural land in Singur in the state of West Bengal. Drawing on recent theories growing out of the Subaltern Studies tradition, and the works of Partha Chatterjee in particular, Nielsen explores how Singur’s anti-land acquisition movement, spearheaded by the so-called ‘unwilling farmers’, have sought to forge alliances with key actors in civil society and in the organised domain of regional party politics to prevent their farmland from being acquired and, when that proved futile, to have the land acquisition undone. Read more about the thesis.

• Doctoral dissertation on early Buddhist school of India

Jens Wilhelm Borgland from the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at University of Oslo, defends his doctoral dissertation entitledA Study of the Adhikaraṇavastu: Legal Settlement Procedures of the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya” on Friday 24 October 2014 at 09.15. Venue: Arne Næss’ auditorium, Georg Morgenstiernes hus, Blindern, Oslo.
The Mūlasarvāstivāda was one of the early Buddhist schools of India. The origins of the Mūlasarvāstivāda and their relationship to the Sarvāstivāda sect still remain largely unknown, although various theories exist. The judging committee includes Dr. Petra Kieffer-Pülz, Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mainz, Germany; Dr. Ulrich Pagel, SOAS, University of London, UK; Gregory Schopen, Professor University of Los Angeles, USA;y and Professor Mark Teeuwen, University of Oslo. Jens’ research interests includes languages and religions including Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Buddhism, Jainism, Vinaya, especially Mulasarvastivadavinaya and Tibetan. He completed his Bachelor in Religious Studies and Master in Sanskrit, both from University of Oslo. More information about the dissertation.

• Ten PhD candidates positions at Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies

The Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, funded by the German federal and state governments’ Excellence Initiative, will admit up to fifteen PhD students to its doctoral programme, which is to begin on 1 October 2015. Up to ten of these candidates will receive a Graduate School grant; the other candidates will be supported in their search for funding. The application deadline is 15 November 2014. The Graduate School, based at Freie Universität Berlin, investigates the plurality, changeability, and global connectedness of Muslim cultures and societies. It invites applications from candidates whose dissertation project fits one of the Graduate School’s Research Areas. As part of the three-year programme we expect doctoral students to take active part in the academic life of the Graduate School. Besides doing their PhD, doctoral students should be open to interdisciplinary and transregional exchange. A receptive attitude to challenging research questions on new terrain is very much appreciated. More information.

• Danish research project on Urban Precarity among Industrial Workers in Nepal

Dr. Dan V. Hirslund at the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, has received major Danish Research Council funding for a project entitled ”Solidarities of Debt: An Ethnographic Investigation of Urban Precarity among Industrial Workers in Nepal”, to be launched in February 2015 and run for two years. The project wlll focus on the fact that changing economic dynamics have increased livelihood insecurities for workers worldwide in the past few years. Hirslund will explore the social role of worker’s debts in industrial settings in order to analyze the multiple forms of solidarity that underpin emerging capitalist economies, and the project speaks to a renewed interest in theorizing the nature of capitalism and the social embeddedness of labor relations. Empirically, the project is focused on the small manufacturing industries in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, where it investigates the entanglement of social and economic obligations within, and beyond, sites of work. Theoretically, the project throws light on the moral economy of debt, labor and solidarity that produce the urban economy, and it contributes to studies of precarity and current efforts at retheorizing economic anthropology. More information about Dan Hirslund and his research.

• Time to apply for funds from Endangered Archives Programme

The Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library is now accepting applications for the next round of funding. Detailed information on the timetable, criteria, eligibility and procedures for applying for a grant is available on the Programme’s website, Applications will be accepted in English or in French. The deadline for receipt of preliminary grant applications is 7 November 2014. 
Since it was established ten years ago, the Programme has so far funded 244 projects worldwide with grants totalling £6 million. The Programme is funded by Arcadia (formerly known as the Lisbet Rausing Charitable Fund), in pursuit of one of its charitable aims to preserve and disseminate cultural knowledge and to promote education and research. The aim of the Programme is to contribute to the preservation of archival material worldwide that is in danger of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration. The endangered archival material will normally be located in countries where resources and opportunities to preserve such material are lacking or limited. To be considered for funding under the Programme, the archival material should relate to a ‘pre-modern' period of a society's history. 
The Programme is keen to enhance local capabilities to manage and preserve archival collections in the future and it is essential that all projects include local archival partners in the country where the project is based. Professional training for local staff is one of the criteria for grant application assessment, whether it is in the area of archival collection management or technical training in digitisation. More information
In South Asia, more than 30 projects in Bhutan, India and Nepal are currently supported by the Endangered Archives Programme. They include projects on digital documentation of manuscripts at Drametse and Ogyen Choling monasteries in Bhutan (photo from Drametse); a project on Locating and surveying early religious and related records in Mizoram; a project on Archiving texts in the Sylhet Nagri script; and a project to Retrieve two major and endangered newspapers: Jugantar and Amrita Bazar Patrika in Kolkata. More information about the South Asian projects.

• 2014 Right Livelihood Award given to Asma Jehangir

Asma Jahangir, Pakistan’s leading human rights lawyer, received one of the 2014 Right Livelihood Awards (slightly in the shadow of David Snowden who received one of two Honorary Awards). The Jury recognises her efforts “for defending, protecting and promoting human rights in Pakistan and more widely, often in very difficult and complex situations and at great personal risk”. It is the first time that a Right Livelihood Award goes to Pakistan. The Awards will be presented at a ceremony in the Swedish Parliament on 1 December 2014.
For three decades, Asma Jehangir has shown incredible courage in defending the most vulnerable Pakistanis – women, children, religious minorities and the poor. Having founded the first legal aid centre in Pakistan in 1986, Jahangir has courageously taken on very complicated cases and won. For her relentless campaigning against laws that discriminate against women, and for continuously speaking truth to power, Jahangir has been threatened, assaulted in public and placed under house arrest. She made history when she was elected as the first female President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan in 2010.

• Sverker Sörlin lectured about Historicizing Climate Change in New Delhi

Professor Sverker Sörlin from the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, was invited to hold a public lecture at The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) in New Delhi, India, on 1st October 2014. Sörlin’s lecture was entitled ‘Historicizing Climate Change: Or, what could climate change history be?’, and it was part of the ‘Science, Society and Nature’ seminar series at NMML.
Prof. Sverker Sörlin’s work focuses on the environmental history of modernizing societies and especially the role of science and policy. Among his recent books are The Future of Nature (Yale UP 2013) and Nature's End (Palgrave 2009). His policy oriented work has appeared in Nature, Nature Climate Change,Global Environmental Change, and other journals. He has advised the Swedish government on research and environmental research and policy since 1994. In 2012 he was a co-founder of the KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory in Stockholm.
In his Delhi lecture, he focused on the fact that there has been a revolution in knowledge about climate change in the past couple of decades. The same is true for our knowledge of the history of climate change. We have had a broad range of books and papers mostly in environmental and science history that have made us understand the chronology and the context of the science that has brought us to our current understanding.
However, given the pervasive nature and complex politics of the issue, wouldn’t it be useful to consider the future historicizing of climate change as an undertaking that would engage wider strands of history and related disciplines? Could climate change history be fruitfully sorted as a dimension of the history of global capitalism? As part of a nowadays much-debated ‘species’ history of mankind (Chakrabarty), or a Big History on the planetary level?  Should it be located in a historical discourse which is much more to do with justice, distribution, rights and that engaged postcolonial scholars and social historians.
In his lecture Sverker Sörlin addresses these questions against the background of the intense debates on global equity and sustainability issues spurred in recent years by the concept of Anthropocene – the current era when human societies impact nature on the planetary level. The speaker’s ambition is to arrive at identifying some possible ways forward for the necessary undertaking to locate climate change more centrally in our historical understanding of human societies and the human enterprise. More information about NMML and its seminars.

• Oxford University South Asian Studies research project on low carbon transitions

The South Asian Studies Program of the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, University of Oxford has published information about the ESRC-DFID funded pilot project implemented by the department on low carbon transitions research.
The research project entitled "Resources, greenhouse gases, technology and jobs in India's informal economy the case of rice" was implemented between October 2011-June 2013. The researchers aimed at developing a set of micro-level methods that can be usefully applied elsewhere, including in advanced economies. This project developed a series of methods for the study of the materiality of the informal economy. The researchers focused on CO2 and water as indicators of materiality, and take rice in 3 states of eastern India as our case study.
Rice was chosen not because it is regarded as a big polluter but because of the teams familiarity with this sector, its complexity both in terms of social organisation and GHG emissions, the poor quality of much employment associated with its production and distribution and the fact that its production-distribution systems weave in and out of the informal economy. 
So as well as developing transferable methodologies, the project will contribute new knowledge about the rice system. There are currently 19 working papers in progress which will be published in the website soon. More information.

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

Educational News

• Undergraduate course on Religions in Asia at Linnaeus University

Every year the Division of Religious Studies at the Department of Cultural Sciences at Linnaeus University in Växjö/Kalmar organize a 7.5 credits undergraduate course on “Religions in Asia” which is designed to acquaint students with beliefs, practices, and institutions of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions as well as religions in China. Students can study religions in Asia either as an independent course within a program for an academic degree or within the program for becoming teachers in religious education at primary and upper secondary school. Since 2013 the instructor and course coordinator is Kristina Myrvold. This semester 45 students will explore Indian religions the next coming weeks during October-November 2014. More information.

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

See SASNET’s page,

Seminars and Conferences in Scandinavia

• Lund University seminar on Producer Collectives in Rural India

PhD fellow Mathew Abraham from the Asia Research Centre, Department of International Economics and Management, Copenhagen Business School (CBS), holds an open seminar at Lund University on Monday 6 October 2014, 13.15–15.00. He wll speak about ”Collective action, distributive justice and development – Lessons from producer collectives in rural India”. The seminar is organised by the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies (ACE). Venue: ACE, room 2065 (conference room), Scheelevägen 15 D, Lund. More information.
The title of his PhD is “New Cooperativism: A study of emerging producer organisations in India”. This study tries to understand how collective actions among small and marginal agricultural producers are structured and sustained to enable them to better access markets and other institutions such as credit and R&D to improve production. An understanding of this is crucial to guide policy and markets to become inclusive and bring about more broad based development in the rural economy.
Prior to his PhD, Mathew graduated with a Masters in Asian Studies from Lund University in 2007. Following this he worked at the Centre for Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India for three years. As a researcher, his main area of expertise was food security, development theory, rural institutions, agribusiness and corporate social responsibility.

• Copenhagen debate seminar on Caste in Contemporary India

The Centre of Global South Asian Studies at University of Copenhagen is hosting a debate seminar to release Prof. Surinder Singh Jodhka’s new book entittled “Caste in Contemporary India“ on Tuesday 7th October 2014, 10.00–12.00. Venue: Frokost Stue, 3rd Floor, Building 10, Department of Cross Cultural and Regional Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Copenhagen. 
Besides Jodhka himself, the debate panel include Hugo Gorringe from Edinburgh University, plus Manpreet Janejaand Ravinder Kaur from University of Copenhagen. Caste in Contemporary India“ is a book that deals with Caste is a contested terrain in India’s society and polity. This book explores contemporary realities of caste in rural and urban India. Presenting rich empirical findings across north India, it presents an original perspective on the reasons for the persistence of caste in India today. 
About the author: Surinder Singh Jodhka is Professor of Sociology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is also a Honorary Fellow at the Indian School of Political Economy in Pune, and during the period 2008–2010, he was the Director for the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies. His recently published books include ”Religions, Communities, Development: Changing Contours of Policy and Politics in Contemporary India” (edited with Gurpreet Mahajan): Routledge, New Delhi, 2010; ”Village Society: Culture, Politics and Social Life in Rural India”. Orient Blackswan. Edited, 2012; and ”Changing Caste: Mobility, Ideology, Identity”. Sage Publications, New Delhi. Edited, 2012. The most recent publication is a book entited ”Caste: Oxford India Short Introductions” published by Oxford University Press in July 2012.

• Copenhagen PhD workshop on Education, Globalization and Imagination

The Aarhus University Copenhagen Campus organises a PhD workshop with visiting professor Fazal Rizvi from Melbourne University, Australia, on Tuesdays 7h and 14th October 2014. The theme for the PhD workshop is ”Education, Globalization and Imagination – imagined futures, scales, and economies in studies of projects concerned with education”. Venue: IUP/DPU in Emdrup, outside Copenhagen, Denmark.
Built around Professor Rizvi’s writings, the workshop will focus on the social imaginaries of globalization and the knowledge economy and their links to education policy. The first session, (October 7, 14.30 – 16.30 in room D165) is a public lecture by Professor Rizvi entitled ‘The rise of Asian Higher Education’. Prior to the second session, a one-day workshop, participants are asked to write and circulate a short project description relating their material and projects to Professor Rizvi’s ideas and vocabulary about ‘social imaginaries’ concerning globalization and education.
The second session – one-day workshop (October 14, 9.30-16.15 in room D217) – will begin with a presentation by Professor Rizvi detailing the concept of social imaginaries and its application in the study of educational projects in an age concerned with globalization. This will be followed by a series of student presentations where each will be questioned and critiqued by a peer student with the help of professor Rizvi. Deadline for registration: September 26th. Submission of one page project description by: October 3rd. More information.

• India Day at University of Gothenburg

University of Gothenburg (GU) organises an India day on Friday 10 October 2014, 10.30–18.00. It is planned for by Prof. Åke Sander and his colleagues at the Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion (LIR). Venue: Renströmsgatan 6, Göteborg. The programme includes lectures by Professor Asha Mukherjee from Vishva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, India, currently guest professor at GU, on ”Academic studies of religion in India. Debates and challanges”; Dr. Patrik Oskarsson, Department of Global Studies, on ”Land, minerals and community rights in India and beyond”; and Dr. Linda Lane Department of Social Work, on ”Building bridges through collaborative cross-cultural research”. Indian Ambassador Banashri Bose Harrison will also participate with a presentation entitled ”Potentials for educational (and research) collaboration between India and Sweden”. More information.

• Gender perspectives in focus for 8th NNC Conference at Reykjavik

The 8th annual Nordic NIAS Council (NNC) Conference and PhD Course will take place in Reykjavik, Iceland, 13-17 October 2014. The theme is ”A Multitude of Encounters with Asia – Gender Perspectives”, and it is jointly organised by the Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (RIKK); and the EDDA Center of Excellence, at University of Iceland; the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen; and the Gendering Asia Network (GAN). One of the great challenges in increased relations with Asia through business, culture, life biographies, historical relations as well as ITC networks is to make the importance of gender visible. Encounters have become increasingly, mutually interrelated and perhaps even dependent in multiple ways. Economically encounters are wide-ranging with financial decisions made in one part of the world affecting the real lives of many in the other part of the world. In the political sphere the need for enhancing mutual understanding and tolerance grows every day. How can we understand these multiple links, interactions and encounters and how are they gendered? Some encounters are vividly obvious and others are less prominently visible, or perhaps consciously or unconsciously made obscure. How is knowledge of encounters being produced, by whom and for what purposes? More information.

• Oslo seminar on use of smart phones in rural West Bengal

Professor Sirpa Tenhunen from the Department of Ethnology and History, University of Jyväskylä in Finland, holds a guest lecture at University of Oslo on Monday 20 October 2014, 14.15–16.00. She will speak about ”Smart Phones and the Digital Gap in Rural West Bengal”. The lecture explores how mobile telephony mediates social interaction, communication and intersecting hierarchies in rural India. Open for all. Venue: Seminarrom 360. P.A. Munchs Hus, Blindern, Oslo. 
Tenhunen examines differences in phone use and especially in the way people use smart phones and the internet. Is the ideology about the need to bridge the digital divide in internet access simply an extremely powerful utopia or does internet access empower people in some ways? Does people’s use of the internet and smart phones differ according to their social position? More information.

• 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. More information.

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• Interdisciplinary comparative seminar on Balkans and South Asia at Ohio State University

Ohio State University's Sawyer Seminar Conference 2014 will focus on the theme “Imagining Alternative Modernities: Interventions from the Balkans and South Asia“. The conference will be held at Ohio State University Campus in Columbus 9–11 October 2014. The conference completes and complements a series of interdisciplinary activities in 2013-14, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the John E. Sawyer Seminars on the Comparative Study of Cultures grant program. On the surface, the Balkans and South Asia might seem to have little in common. However, despite many specific differences, they share similar dilemmas of linguistic, religious, cultural, and ethno-national complexity, similar turbulent political developments associated with imperial, post-colonial, and Cold War legacies, and a similar diversity of responses to these historical and contemporary challenges. Both areas have seen a mixing of people through migratory settlement, conquest, contact, and trade. But both have also experienced periods of reaction to cultural hybridity: a radical unmixing of people through partition and population exchange. The impact of these upheavals is seen in the direct violence of war and devastation, but also through crises on the levels of language, religion, and other modes of culture and human creative activity. 
Proposals for paper presentations from any disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspective within the humanities and social sciences addressing one or more of the following themes in the Balkans or in South Asia, or comparatively between the two regions: 1. Violence, Gender, and Human Rights, 2. Nation, Religion, Language, and Secularism, 3. Minorities, State, Language, and Citizenship and 4. Postcolonial and Postsocialist Perspectives on Neoliberalism. More information. 

• 43rd Annual Madison Conference focuses on Improvising South Asia

MadisonThe 43rd Annual Madison Conference on South Asia is held 16–19 October 2014. The conference, that is sponsored by the Center for South Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, attracts over 650 scholars and specialists on South Asia, who travel from countries all over the world and much of the United States. It is a great venue for intellectual, professional, and social exchange. Panels, roundtables, and individual papers on all topics pertaining to South Asian studies are welcome.
This year a plenary session will be organized around the theme of ”Improvising South Asia”. The organisers especially welcome panels that consider this theme in relation to a wide range of settings, whether it be music and theatre, architecture and design, or economic and cultural life.  The conference features nearly 100 academic panels and roundtables, as well as association meetings and special events ranging from performances to film screenings. Venue: Madison Concourse Hotel, 1 West Dayton St., Madison, Wisconsin, USA. More information

• Madison pre-conference on Extreme Weather and Disasters in South Asia

The American Institute of Bangladesh Studies (AIBS) organises a Regional Symposium on ”Extreme Weather, Disasters, and Indigenous Practices in South Asia” at Madison, Wisconsin, USA, on Thursday 16 October 2014. This day-long symposium is sponsored by the American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC). This interdisciplinary conference will provoke critical engagement with the multiple meanings of extreme weather for its various constituencies – liberal arts and social sciences educators, policy makers, research scientists, and agency officials mitigating the consequences of disasters as a result of extreme weather. It is proposed to bring together scientists, planners, and scholars of social science and humanities to examine the best available projections highlighting the impact of extreme weather and possible responses to it. More information.

• Third Students’ Conference on Bengal Related Studies in Halle

WittenbergThe Third Conference on Bengal Related Studies for Students and Young Scholars will be held in Halle (Saale), Germany, on 24–26 October 2014. It is hosted by the South Asia Seminar, Institute of Oriental Studies, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg along with the association Bengal Link e.V. and the Arbeitskreis Neuzeitliches Südasien of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Asienkunde e.V. (DGA). The Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg is a leading German university where research on the Bengal regions, Bengali language and culture has been an integral part for a long time. The conference organisers realised the necessity of giving students and young scholars an option to discuss their various topics and after the success of the first and second conference in 2010 and 2012 the organisers are now very much looking forward to hosting the third one interdisciplinary network for Bengal Related Studies. Guests are very welcome.There will be no conference fee, but those interested in participating as guests are requested to first contact the organisers by email for a better planning.
Among the students presenting their works are Apurba Chatterjee from Uppsala University, with a paper entitled ”Pictures of Power: Envisaging Early British Presence in Bengal, 1756-1793Nahreen Islam Khan, University of Marburg, Germany, with a paper entitled ”Improving Standards of Leather Industries Through Formal and Informal Education: A Case Study on the Tanneries Located in Hazaribagh, Bangladesh”Zobaida Nasreen, Durham University, UK, with a paper entitled ”The Ecology of Violence and Self-Surveillance in the CHT of Bangladesh: Everyday Forms of Violence, Resistance and Women’s Negotiation on Peace Building and Conflict Management, and Somak Biswas, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, with a paper entitled ”From Noble to Nivedita: Sister Nivedita and her Passages Through Bengal”. More information about the Halle conference.

• 2nd International Workshop on Micronutrient and Child Health in Delhi

The 2nd International Workshop on Micronutrient and Child Health (MCHWS-2014) will be held 3 – 7 November 2014 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, India. It is being organized to update the participants about the recent advances in the field of Micronutrients and Child Health, and feature presentations and discussions on Magnitude of the Iron, Iodine, Vitamin A and Zinc deficiencies; their Health Consequences, Methodology of their Assessments, Strategies for Prevention & Control; Micronutrients Supplementation to improve child morbidity & mortality and related issues. The 1st International Congress on Micronutrient and Child Health (MCH-2009) was organized in November 2009, in which more than 1000 delegates participated.
A large pool of scientific evidence is being generated globally on issues related to Role of Micronutrients in reduction of morbidity and mortality and Promoting Child Health. There are many important issues like Interaction between Micronutrients Supplementations when given simultaneously; Prevention of IDD amongst Pregnant Mothers; Iron Supplementation in Malaria Endemic Area; Micronutrient Supplementation for Prevention of Diarrhea and Respiratory Infections; Micronutrient Fortification of Foods-Rationale, Application and Impact; Micronutrient Fortification of Complementary Foods; Iron Supplementation in Early Childhood: Health Benefits and Risks; Effect of Iron Supplementation on Mental and Motor Development in Children; Vitamin A Supplementation and child survival etc. All  Research Abstracts presented will be published in Indian Journal of Community Health. More information about the MCHWS-2014.

• Gujarat conference on Village Social Accounting Matrix

Gujarat Institute of Development Research (GIDR) in Ahmedabad, India, organises an international workshop on ”Village Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) and Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Modelling: Application in Agricultural Research and Development Studies” on 3–10 November 2014. More information.

• Kolkata Conference on Gender, Empowerment and Conflict in South Asia

Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (MCRG) and the Norwegian Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) are jointly organizing an international conference on ”Gender, Empowerment and Conflict in South Asia” on 7–8 November 2014. This is the final conference for a collaborative project entitled Making Women Count for Peace: Gender, Empowerment and Conflict in South Asia. Funded by the Research Council of Norway's INDNOR and NORGLOBAL programmes, the project aims to generate new knowledge and debate on women's empowerment and the challenges facing implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Nepal and India. With a focus on Northeast Indian experiences and a comparative look at Nepal, the project addresses the role of women in local governance and politics, particularly within the context of peace and security processes.
The best papers presented at the conference will be included in an edited volume with the aim of contributing new insights to the debate on gender and political change in conflict-ridden societies. The volume would endeavor to generate awareness about the empowerment of women in peacebuilding efforts and their roles as political activists, members of social movements, politicians or writers. More information.

• Thrissur students conference on Restructuring Indian States

The Center for Economy, Development and Law (CED&L) at Govt. Law College, Thrissur, Kerala, invites papers for presentation at the 1st Annual All India Students Conference on Restructuring Indian States, Society and Economy. The theme for this conference is ‘Restructuring Indian States, Society and Economy: An Inquiry into Today and Tomorrow’. This conference open to interested student scholars irrespective of their disciplines of studies will be held on 8–9 November 2014. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 20 September. Venue: Kerala Institute of Local Administration, Thrissur, Kerala. More information.

• Delhi conference on Geographies of Resistance, Agency, Violence and Desire in Asia

An International Seminar on ”Re Orienting Gender: Geographies of Resistance, Agency, Violence and Desire in Asia” will be held in Delhi, India, 19–21 November 2014. It is organised by the Department of Geography at University of Delhi, with support from the International Geographical Union (IGU) Commission on Gender and GeographyDespite more inclusive geographies today, epistemic violence continues to construct non white, non western subjects mostly as poor, powerless and unempowered. In much the same way, within conventional theory, spaces come to be constructed through discourses that ultimately flatten and homogenize them. In this situation, difference, diversity, local feminisms, local knowledges and local understandings of space and place risk being lost unless seen contextually, using situated knowledges. This seminar seeks to re-orient the geographies of gender through a focus on understandings of gender and space in a specifically Asian context. More information.

• Fourth Conference on Asian Borderlands Research to be held in Hong Kong

The fourth Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network focusing on the theme ”Activated Borders: Re-openings, Ruptures and Relationships” will be held from 8-10 December 2014. Venue: Southest Asia Research Center, City University of Hong Kong. The keynote speech will be given by Prof. Brantly Womack, University of Virginia, USA.
The conference is organized by the Southeast Asia Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong, in collaboration with International Institute for Asian Studies in Netherlands and Asian Borderlands Research Network.
One of the main goals of this conference is to spur collaboration and conversation across diverse fields in the hope of building up a more nuanced picture of the intersections and relationships across Asian borderlands, submissions are invited from scholars, writers, policy studies researchers, artists, filmmakers, activists, the media, and others from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds. All over Asia, international borders condition encounters between diverse ethnic, linguistic, economic, religious, and political groups. Recently, many formerly disregarded borders have been 'activated'. Some have become more permeable for people, goods and ideas. By contrast, elsewhere in Asia borders have actively hardened. Such border dynamics (which have a history of centuries) shape cross-border linkages and are shaped by them. More information. 

• Eleventh International workshop on Tamil Epigraphy in Thanjavur

The eleventh International workshop on Tamil Epigraphy will be held 15 – 21 December 2014. The workshop will be held in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, India. It is coordinated by Dr. Appasamy Murugaiyan from the research group Iranian and Indian Worlds at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE), University of Paris 3 (Sorbonne Nouvelle); Dr. K. Rajan, Pondicherry University; and V Selvakumar from Tamil University, Thanjavur. The workshop is divided into two sessions: 1) three days field work and 2) four days lectures and practical training. More information.

• Hyderabad conference on New Directions in Indian Ocean Studies

An International conference on New Directions in Indian Ocean Studies” will be held at the Osmania University Centre for International Programmes (OUCIP) in Hyderabad, India, 26 – 28 February 2015. With increasing concerns for environment, climate change, natural calamities, and biodiversity, scholars across disciplines are moving towards Ocean Studies. The oceanic turn in sciences and  humanities will be critical to shaping a new world order in the twenty-first century. The recent upsurge in Indian Ocean Studies is part of this  phenomenon.  It is obvious that this field has moved beyond its  traditional ‘marginal studies’ to a global discourse involving  natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Scholars, researchers and students are invited to submit proposals by November 10, 2014. More information.

• 20th International Euro-Asia Research Conference to be held in Bochum

Following a number of conferences held in Italy, France, Ireland, Norway, Japan, China, Spain, Indonesia and India since 1994, the Twentieth International Euro-Asia Research Conference will take place in Bochum (Germany) during 27 – 29 May 2015. Research contributions addressing any aspect of ”Asian Development, Institutional Change and Business Strategy in an unstable World Economy” are welcome. Deadline for submitting proposals is 30 October 2014. 
The Conference, hosted by Ruhr Universität Bochum (RUB), is intended to bring together researchers engaged in Management/Economics, Politics, Cultural Studies and related fields from Europe, Asia and other parts of the World. Doctoral students are also strongly encouraged to submit papers for consideration. The Scientific Committee behind the conference includes Professor emeritus Bengt Sandkull, Linköping University, Sweden; and Associate Professor Ajay Singh, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow, India. 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
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South Asia related culture in Scandinavia

• Musica Vitae performs Tagore’s Garden of Devotion in new musical rendering

A fresh musical rendering of Nobel Prize Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry has recently been composed by Rolf Martinsson (photo to the right), Professor of Composition at Malmö Academy of Music, part of Lund University. Martinsson has chosen a series of Tagore poems entitled ”Garden of Devotion” to be performed by the chamber orchestra Musica Vitae from Växjö in the end of September 2014. The composition work, commissioned by the orchestra with support from the Swedish Arts Council, has resulted in five songs for a soprano soloist, Lisa Larsson, that are sung in English (based on Tagore’s own translation from Bengali).
The poems are carefully selected telling the story of the love between a man and a woman, where the woman is sure of her own feelings, but not as sure of the man’s feelings towards her. She begs the man to trust his emotions, not to keep his love to himself, not to elude her, and not to abandon her when she herself has proclaimed her great love of him.
The song cycle forms part of a concert programme with the theme Love and Life. The concerts are given at Växjö Konserthus on Thursday 25 September 2014, Malmö on Friday 26 September, at Lund University main auditorium (Universitetsaulan) on Saturday 27 September (photo above); and finally at Vara Konserthus near Gothenburg on Sunday 28 September at 16.00. More information.

• Somnath Roy Group performed at fourth Incredible India Cultural festival in Uppsala

The ”Incredible India” cultural festival is held in Uppsala for the fourth year during the fall 2014. This year the festival has been spread out over a longer period. It is as usual organised by Kulturum in collaboration with the Forum for South Asian Studies at Uppsala University (FSAS), and with support from the Embassy of India. The festival invites you to filmshows, classical concerts, theater, exhibitions, lectures, Indian market, food etc. Uppsala Stadsteater showed a comedy entitled ”Colour Correction”, which is a unique Swedish-Indian cooperation in the form comedy examining the situation of women in India today, on 5–6 September. On Saturday 20 September, a concert was given by Shantala Subramanyam Group, playing her bamboo flute accompanied by Akkarai Sornalatha on violin.
One week later, on Saturday 27 September, a concert was given by Sri Somnath Roy Group (photo above)Full information about the 2014 Incredible India festival in Uppsala.

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

New and updated items on SASNET web site

• Lund University researchers contribute to volume on Persistence of Poverty in India

Persistence of Poverty in India, edited by Nandini Gooptu, Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford, and currently Head of the Department of International Development at Oxford University; and Jonathan Parry, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Social Science Press, New Delhi, India, September 2014.
A unique book in several respects. What distinguishes it from the existing literature on persistence of poverty in India, despite high growth, is the multi-disciplinary and “bottom-up” approach in devising solutions to this problem. 
Fifteen essays, written by political analysts, anthropologists, sociologists, economists and others offer valuable insights on the realities of poverty at the ground level and unequal distribution of powers among different classes in the society.  
The volume includes artices by Lund University sociologists 
Staffan Lindberg and Göran Djurfeldt plus their Indian collaboration partners Venkatesh B. Athreya, A. Rajagopal, and R. Vidyasagar on ”Progress over the Long Haul: Dynamics of Agrarian Change in the Kaveri Delta”; Dipankar Gupta on ”From Poverty to Poverty: Policies for Translating Growth into Development in India”; Arild Ruud on ”Notions of Rights and State Benefits in Village West Bengal”, Surinder S. Jodhka on ”What’s Happening to the Rural? Revisiting ‘marginalities’ and ‘dominance’ in North-West India”; and Barbara Harriss-White on ”The Dynamic Political Economy of Persistent South Asian Poverty”. Read more...

• Essays on theatre traditions in five South Asian countries

Mapping South Asia through Contemporary Theatre. Essays on the Theatres of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, edited by Ashis Sengupta, Dept. of English, North Bengal Univerity, Siliguri, India. Palgrave Macmillan, September 2014. In 2009, Dr. Sengupta was invited to Sweden on a SASNET guest lecturer grant. The School of Humanities at Växjö University was one of inviting Swedish university departments, the others being Mälardalen University in Västerås and the School of Arts and Languages, Högskolan Dalarna.
This volume probes the overlap of theatre, society and politics in contemporary South Asia, approaching theatre primarily in politico-aesthetic terms and locating it in the simultaneity of local, national and regional discourse. While re-mapping the region by examining enduring historical and cultural connections, the study discusses multiple traditions and practices of theatre and performance in five South Asian countries within their specific political and socio-cultural contexts. South Asian theatre today means a whole range of performance genres and practices – appropriation of traditional forms in an urban, alternatively modern theatre; improvised and collectively devised performances on or off the proscenium stage; dramatic theatre in local languages or in English; translation/adaptation of foreign plays; and a whole host of community and applied theatre types. 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 more than 300 departments, with detailed descriptions of the South Asia related research and education taking place! See the full list of departments here:

• Useful travelling information

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

Best regards

  Lars Eklund

Deputy Director in charge of Communication
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 Department of Sociology, Lund University.
Phone: + 46 46 222 73 40 
Web site:

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