Newsletter 172 – 12 February 2015


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• SASNET Work Report 2014 now published

The complete SASNET Work Report 2014 was published on 11 February 2015. It contains an extensive summary of the work being done by SASNET at Lund University in 2014, in Swedish. An important issue during he year has been to revitalize the staff by employing young co-workers, A concious effort has also been to increase and support student activities, and also involve SASNET in the educational programmes at Lund Universuty.
Besides a colourful 2014 Activity Report in English is enclosed, giving details about every single networking activity during the year. We organised 15 academic seminars by ourselves or with partner institutions at university or with external partners such at the Association of Foreign Affairs (UPF) and the Swedish Commitee for Afghanistan (SCA). SASNET also organised an international research workshop in Falsterbo. Besides, our student association SASA successfully organised eight informal fika without borders seminars, as these popular events are called, and other events such as movie nights.
A large number of Scandinavian and South Asian academics, journalists and business people visited SASNET, and we made valuable networking tours to several universities in Sweden, Europe and South Asia, besides attending the 23rd European Conference on South Asian Studies in Zurich.
SASNET also administered the fourth and final Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) visiting Indian guest professorship at Lund University, and acted as consultants to the university’s Division of External Relations. With full funding from Lund University, SASNET also made efforts to increase South Asia related research at the university, and integrate South Asian studies into educational programmes. Finally, we continued to develop and update our extensive Internet gateway disseminating information on South Asia-related education and research being conducted at 300 Swedish university departments, and also publishing the monthly on-line newsletter that circulates to 3,000 recipients worldwide. See the SASNET 2014 Work Report.

• Nine panels selected for SASNET 2015 Conference on Structural Transformation of South Asia

Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET) at Lund University organises a three-day international conference on the structural transformation of South Asia on 20–22 May 2015. The conference is entitled ”South Asia in Transformation: World of Slums, Global Power Houses or Utopias? Migration, labour, and family changes in a dynamic region”. The conference will have nine panels, each one led by eminent researchers. The theme of the panels vary from ”Urbanization and Social Sustainability”, to ”Ethnicity, Religion and Changing Caste Relations”, and ”Structural Transformation and Social Conflicts”. Full papers of accepted abstracts are due on March 15,  2015 (5000-8000 words).
Keynote speakers are Gita Sen from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India (and Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University); Ruth Kattumuri, London School of Economics, UK; Zoya Hasan, Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR); Abram de Swaan, University of Amsterdam, the 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. Full information about the conference.

• Lund University organizes EASAS workshop in May 2015

On behlf of the European Association of South Asian Studes (EASAS), SASNET will host the Ninth European PhD workshop in South Asia Studies, to be held at Lund University, Sweden, on 18–19 May 2015. This is a two-day annual workshop for a maximum of 20 PhD candidates and six faculty members from European universities with an aim to give PhD students an opportunity to receive feedback on their theses from senior scholars and fellow PhD candidates who are also working on South Asian topics.
Participants should be PhD candidates in their second or later year at a European university, working on any topic that has a strong relevant to South Asia. SASNET/Lund University invites European universities to nominate a maximum of three students each for the workshop. Each university should, if possible, also be prepared to send a researcher who can participate in the workshop as a discussant, and (if possible) commit to assisting with travel and accommodation costs for their students. Lund University will provide board and lodging for students and guest faculty members.
Sending universities nominated participating students till 31 January 2015. The names of selected participants will be announced in February 2015.

• SASNET visit to University of Gothenburg, Friday 23 January 2015
From left to right: Alexandra Krettek, Lars Eklund, Sukanya Raghavan and Anna  Lundgren.

On Friday 23 January 2015 afternoon, SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund visited Sahlgrenska Academy, as the Faculty of Medicine is called at University of Gothenburg, to meet some of the researchers there who are involved in South Asia related research. It was a kind of belated follow-up meeting of a SASNET visit to Sahlgrenska Academy in April 2008 (read the report from that visit).
The participants were Professor Alexandra Krettek from the Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Medicine; Associate Professor Anna Lundgren from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology; and Associate Professor Sukanya Raghavan from the same department.
The reason behind the visit was to present what SASNET stands for today, being a network fully funded by Lund University but still keeping the national databases on South Asia related research at all Swedish universities, and to learn from the Gothenburg researchers their current activitues in order to update information on SASNET’s extensive web site.
Prof. Krettek was till recently also connected to the Nordic School of Public Health (NHV) in Gothenburg. However NHV was closed down on December 31, 2014. Alexandra Krettek herself has been involved in collaboration programmes with Nepal, and supervised a number of sandwich PhD candidates from Nepal.
Anna Lundgren and Sukanya Raghavan both work at a department with a strong South Asia connection, especially with Bangladesh and the highly reputed International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) institute in Dhaka. The department owes its good reputation to the eminent research work by Prof. Emeritus Jan Holmgren and Prof. Anne-Mari Svennerholm, both of them still active in research.
From Sahlgrenska Academy, Lars took a walk passing by Chalmers Institute of Technology down to the House of Humanities (Humanisten) at Renströmsgatan, housing a number of departments within the field Humanities at University of Gothenburg.
Here a meeitng was scheduled with Professor Åke Sander at the Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion (LIR). Prof. Sander has been in charge of the Go:India project, a three year University of Gothenburg project (2011 – 2013, but extended til 2014), intended to build a platform for co-operation within the areas of research, teaching and education between its Swedish partners, also involving researchers at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts (School of Photography, and the School of Design and Crafts); Sahlgrenska Academy (Global Health, Institute of Biomedicine); and the Faculty of Social Sciences (Dept. of Social Work), and their collaboration partner institutions in India. Go:India was one of a number of international projects at University of Gothenburg, being part of what was called ‘The Global University’. The Go:India project has now been closed down, but hopefully a new similar initiative may take shape during 2015. A proposal for a South Asia project awaits possible approval. Read more about Lars’ networking meetings in Gothenburg.

• India in focus for coming SASA/SASNET Fika without borders seminar

The South Asian Student Association (SASA) at Lund University invites to its second 2015 Fika without borders seminar on Thursday 19 March 2015, 17–19, at the usual venue: the basement floor at Lund University External Relations (ER) building, Stora Algatan 4, Lund. The March event will be dedicated to India, and the main presentation will be delivered by Aradhna Aggarwal, new Chair professor in Indian Studies at the Asia Research Centre (ACR) within the Copenhagen Business School (CBS). Her presentation is entitled ”From SAFTA to South Asian Economic Union: Prospects and Challenges”.
Before joining CBS, Prof. Aggarwal worked at the Dept. of Business Economics, University of Delhi. Her research interests include industrial growth, entrepreneurship, globalisation, economic reforms, competition, international trade, FDI, technology transfer, technology creation and innovations, export competitiveness, and WTO-related issues. She has several publications in other national and international journals and chapters in edited books. She has singly authored monographs: The WTO Anti-dumping Agreement and Developing countries; and Social and Economic Impact of SEZs in India, both published by OUP.  She has also been the principal author of the “Kerala Perspective Plan 2030”. 
The programme also includes a couple of presentations by Indian students at Lund University, and a cultural programme in the form of a rabindrasangheet session by Bubu Munshi Eklund. Besides some delicious Indian snacks will be served. 
Fika Without Borders South Asia events is a project started by SASA, in collaboration with SASNET, in which SASA organises a fika once a month, each time focusing on one of the eight South Asian countries. The 2015 series started wilth a Nepal fika on 5th February. More information.

• SASA launched 2015 spring semester with Nepal fika seminar
Uddhab Pyakurel with Rubana Musharrat, Sharmin Rashid, Swati Shukla and Lars Eklund.

The first SASA 2015 Fika without borders seminar was dedicated to Nepal. It was held on Thursday 5 February 2015, The event was hosted by Noshan Bhattarai and Rubana Musharrat from the SASA board, and Lars Eklund from SASNET. Dr. Uddhab Pyakurel from Kathmandu University, during the early spring 2015 based in Copenhagen as a Danida scholarship holder and being connected to the Dept. of Education, Aarhus University, was the chief guest. 35 people came to listen to his presentation entitled ”Politics of Education & Marginalized Community in Nepal. Dr. Pyakurel has a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and is teaching Political Sociology as Assistant Professor in the School of Arts at Kathmandu University. He is also associated with various democracy forums i.e., South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy (SADED), Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (VK), and Network Institute for Global Democratization (NIGD). In 2007, he wrote ”Maoist Movement in Nepal: A Sociological Perspective” (New Delhi: Adroit Publishers, 2007), and he has been the co-author of two books – ”Dalit Representation in National Politics of Nepal” (Kathmandu: NNDSWO 2012) and ”State of Conflict and Democratic Movement in Nepal” (New Delhi: Vij Books, 2013). Last year, 2014, he also edited a monograph entitled ”Higher Education in Nepal: Inclusive Policy Guidelines” (Lalitpur: School of Arts, Kathmandu University & SNV=Nepal, 2014).
Lund University student and SASA board member Noshan Bhattarai also held an interesting presentation about his way from studying in Nepal to doing research in Sweden. Dr. Neil Webster from Danish Institute of International Studies (DIIS), but previously for three years working as regional technical advisor with the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in Kathmandu, who happened to be in Lund on this day – invited by SASNET – made some extremely relevant comments and summaries to the two Nepalese speakers presentations. Finally the Swedish NGO ABC with work being done in Nepal prresented themselves, and they also catered for the food being served. Read more...

• SASNET Networking Partner 14: Dept. of Urban and Rural Development; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala
SASNET partners presented till now:
1. Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University
2. Department of Business and Economic Studies, University of Gävle
3. Department of History, Uppsala University
4. Division of Physiotherapy, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm
5. School of Social Work, Lund University
6. Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg
7. Department of Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping University
8. Stockholm School of Economics
9. Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg
10. Division of Chemical Physics, Lund University
11. Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm
12. Pervasive and Mobile Computing Laboratory, LTU, Skellefteå
13. Department of Cultural Sciences, Linnaeus University, Växjö/Kalmar

The Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU), based in Uppsala, Umeå and Alnarp, is a strong centre for South Asia related research in Sweden. The Division of Rural Development (LAG) within the Department of Urban and Rural Development has interests and activities relevant both to rural development in the Nordic region and in the ‘south’ (Africa and Asia). The research carried out is interdisciplinary and focuses on rural change processes within a comparative perspective.
Adam PainThe researchers include Professor Adam Pain, who has combined a career of working in theory and practice in Rural Development. From 1992 to 2000 he worked as principle advisor to the Minister of Agriculture in Bhutan on research and extension policy and natural resource management including running a long term EU agricultural support services. In 2001 he rejoined Development Studies, UK as a Senior Research Fellow and since then has worked extensively in Afghanistan on rural economy and change and worked with research programmes on Natural Resource management (forestry) in Nepal and India. He has published extensively on Bhutan and Afghanistan.
In August 2009, Dr. Pain was awarded a SASNET planning grant for a research project entitled ”Development of a Rural Development Network between the College of Natural Resources (CNR), Royal University of Bhutan, and the Division of Rural Development, SLU, Uppsala”. The project was carried out in collaboration with Mr. Dorji Wangchuk and Dr. Jamba Gyeltshen,
Recently, in November 2014,  Professor Adam Pain was granted a development research grant from the Swedish Research Council for a project entitled ”Thinking beyond REDD: analysing smallholder´s motivation and actions for ecosystem service management”, involving research on deforestation in Brazil and Nepal, and the implementationof the the United Nations collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD).
SeemaAssociate Professor Seema Arora Jonsson, defended her doctoral dissertation on ”Unsettling the Order: Gendered subjects and Grassroots activism in two forest communities” in 2005. In August 2012, Seema published a book entiled ”Gender, Development and Environmental Governance. Theorizing Connections”,  dealing with the diversity of the people involved at multiple levels – villagers, development agents, policy-makers, private resource users and others – and taking seriously their aspirations, conflicts and collaborations. It included insights from India.
Dr. Ian Christoplos has been a part-time non-resident researcher at the Divison of Rural Development. His work with the department primarily has consisted of contributions to the department’s education programme in Vietnam, but he has also worked on extension service provision, dealing with agricultural rehabilitation and rural development in countries experiencing chronic conflict. In recent years he has completed issues papers on agriculture and livelihoods, commissioned by the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, AREU. Later on he has also been highly involved in the evaluation of AREU. Since August 2009, Dr. Christoplos is also working as a part-time Senior Project Researcher for the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) in Copenhagen. His role there is to analyze issues related to the role of local institutions in relation to poverty and natural resource management, with particular focus on climate change. Read more about the South Asia research at the Department of Urban and Rural Development.

SASNET tries to keep track of all South Asia related research at the Swedish universities, and in our database we have information about approximately 300 departments where some kind of South Asia related research and/or educational collaboration projects with institutions in the eight South Asian nations is going on. Among our networking partners, we regularly present one these departments – our SASNET partners – and the researchers working on South Asia related projects. Go for SASNET’s list of Swedish departments.

• Lars Eklund on tour to Kolkata, Shantiniketan, Dhaka and Imphal

SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund will visit India and Bangladesh during the period 18 February–15 March. He will mainly stay at his Kolkata office (photo) near Lake Market, and on behalf of SASNET visit the many universities and eminent research institutions in the city – including University of Calcutta, Jadavpur University, Rabindra Bharati University, Indian Statististical Institute (ISI), and the Indian Institute for Science Education and Research (IISER). Of course he will also visit the Vishwa Bharati University in Shantiniketan.
Besides he will travel to Dhaka in Bangladesh where meetings at Dhaka University are planned for, and also at the Swedish Embassy.
Finally Lars will travel to Imphal in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, and the University of Manipur. Researchers and others interested to meet Lars can contact him via e-mail,

• NIAS meeting on the future management of SASNET’s web site

On 9 February 2015, SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund visited the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen, and met Inga-Lill Blomkvist, NIAS Librarian & Web coordinator, and Bernd T Wunsch, student assistant at NIAS library and its Drupal expert, The aim was to discuss joint technical issues regarding the SASNET web site management. Read more...

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

Research Community News

• KTH researchers sign MoU on Arsenic mitigation centre in West Bengal
Professor Prosun Bhattacharya with Mr. Subrata Mukherjee, Minister in Charge, Department of Panchayat and Rural Development and Public Health Engineering, Govt. of West Bengal, at the MoU signing ceremony in Kolkata.

On 30 December 2014, the Department of Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian state government of West Bengal, that also involves two other partners, namely the prestigeous Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, and the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef).
The MoU covers technical support in setting up an International Centre for Water Quality Research at Joka in the south-western fringes of Kolkata. It also involves also collaborative research for implementation of sustainable arsenic mitigation methods in the affected localities of Bengal. The Centre will be funded by the Indian Central government and be complete by 2016. Former finance minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee had made the announcement in the Union Budget of 2012-13 and had allocated Rs 50-crore as the first installment. Principal secretary of the West Bengal state Public Health and Engineering (PHE) department Mr Saurav Das signed the MoU. Afterwards he commented for The Statesman newspaper:
“This is for the first time that a state government department has inked a MoU with international agencies of repute. This will go a long away in tackling arsenic contamination in our state and ensure supply of quality drinking water to everyone”. 
The driving force behind the initiative on the Swedish side is Professor Prosun Bhattacharya, coordinator of the KTH-International Groundwater Arsenic Research Group, strongly involved in research on how to tackle the problem with Arsenic in groundwater all over the world. Read more...

• Doctoral thesis on Street Children and Services in Bangladeshi cities

Md Munjur E Moula defended his doctoral dissertation entitled ”Street Children and Services: A Qualitative Study of Street Children in the Context of Service Delivery System in Bangladesh” at the Department of Social Studies/Social Work, University of Helsinki, Finland, on 20 June 2012. Dr. Moula is now working as a post-doc at the Department of Energy Technology, Aalto University in Espoo. The thesis examines how the existing service system for street children is structured in two cities of Bangladesh and from the perspectives of street children themselves and from service providers  perspective. Hence, the study analyses explanations for (1) how the children end up in the streets and their street-based livelihood system and surviving, and for (2) how it is written about the child perspective, child rights, service delivery for children and the elimination of street children from the streets by developing their livelihood conditions. Thus, these explanations were considered in this research combining and using ecology of human development, poverty, social exclusion and Giddens structuration theory. The structuration theory offers the dimensions of child policy and service delivery system. The study explores its arguments through the situation of street children (beneficiary and non-beneficiary) and support delivery system for them in two cities as Dhaka and Bogra in Bangladesh. More information.

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

Educational News

• Call for South Asian candidates to Swedish Institute Young Leaders programme

The Swedish Institute has issued a Call for applications to its 2015 leadership programme entitled Young Connectors of the Future (YCF). This is an intercultural leadership programme that aims to lay a foundation for dialogue, mutual understanding and knowledge sharing among young leaders from four selected countries in South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan). The programme invites young leaders from these countries, representing different sectors of society, and who are actively working for social change in their respective contexts. Intercultural leadership training is combined with theory and practice in the fields of transparency, democracy and human rights. The programme aims at building a dynamic network of young leaders and connectors of the future in the region, promoting dialogue, knowledge-sharing and openness. The YCF programme is designed to provide the participants with new skills, networks and innovative tools to strengthen their work to drive social change in their respective contexts. The participants are visionaries who are in a position to make a difference.
To be en eligible candidate you must be between 22 and 32 years old, be dynamic and open-minded and actively working for democracy, transparency and human rights within the spheres of society, culture, politics, entrepreneurship and media. This may include project managers, youth leaders, youth politicians, government civil servants, lawyers, journalists/bloggers, entrepreneurs, cultural workers etc. The programme will be held in English: proficient command of both written and spoken English is therefore a requirement.
There is no fee for the programme. Travel, hotel and food expenses are included in the programme. The deadline for applications is 3 March 2015. The first part of the programme (module 1) will be held in Sweden during the period 8–25 September 2015, and a second part (module 2) will be held at some other location (still not confirmed) 14–21 February 2016. More information about the programme.

• Lund University student served as intern for the Swallows in Madurai

Michaela Nummenpää from the Welfare Policies and Management program at Lund University has completed an internship by the Lund based NGO The Swallows India Bangladesh, an internship being financed by Sida. The internship included two preparation courses at the Lund office as well as one course organised by Sida in Härnösand. Then the placement in India itself and after returning to Sweden ”informationsarbete” will take place. This year The Swallows have sent 10 interns, placed in either India or Bangladesh. They have been staying for 4.5 months, from the beginning of September 2014 to middle of January 2015.
Michaela worked at Evidence in Madurai. Evidence is a human rights and social justice organisation working with Dalit and Adivasi issues. The organisation works towards effective implementation of laws and policies to protect and promote Dalit and Adivasi rights, especially to eradicate discrimination and atrocities committed against them. During the internship she worked with two major tasks. First, conducting a small review of one of Evidence's Dalit programmes and secondly, been drafting a potential project proposal. It has been great to be able to work with these tasks and gain better knowledge of how such tasks should be carried out. In addition to this, it has been great to work closely with Dalit issues, a topic that has has been interesting me for for a long time.
One year earlier, in he fall 2013, Michaela did field work in India, based at the Kerala-based Centre for Research and Education for Social Transformation (CREST) in Fall 2013. CREST is an autonomous institution under Government of Kerala, India. It has been conceived as a national institute of humanities, science and professional studies, addressing the needs of the Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalized communities of India while integrating with the informational society. More information.

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

See SASNET’s page,

Seminars and Conferences in Scandinavia

• Copenhagen seminar on Amritsar Massacre and Colonial Violence in British India

The Centre of Global South Asian Studies at Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen, invites to a public lecture on ”The Amritsar Massacre. Genealogy of Colonial Violence in British India” by Dr. Kim Wagner, Senior Lecturer in British Imperial History, Department of History, Queen Mary University of London. on Wednesday 25 February 2015, 14.00–16.00. Venue: Faculty of Humanities, Karen Blixens Vej 4, Copenhagen. Registration is not required. All are welcome.  
Dr. Wagner completed a Ph.D. in South Asian history at the University of Cambridge in 2003. His recent publications include The Great Fear of 1857: Rumours, Conspiracies and the Making of the Indian Uprising (2010) and 'Treading Upon Fires’: The ‘Mutiny’-Motif and Colonial Anxieties in British India’, Past & Present (2013). In his Copenhagen presentation he will focus on the assumtion that the inter- and post-war period saw an intensification of colonial violence, as imperial powers sought to maintain control in the face of increasing opposition from anti-colonial nationalism and other global forces. The late colonial state, however, only appears to have assumed more repressive forms, with increasing recourse to indiscriminate violence, if one assumes a perspective restricted to the twentieth century. This paper seeks to recast the Amritsar Massacre, and the violence of decolonization more generally, within the longer history of colonial spectacles of exemplary punishment. More information.

• Uppsala seminar on Emerging Markets in Transition: Growth Prospects and Challenges

Dr Kalpana Kochhar, International Monetary Fund (IMF) holds a guest lecture on ”Emerging Markets in Transition: Growth Prospects and Challenges” at Uppsala University on Friday 6 March 2015, 13.15–15.00. The seminar is organised by the Forum for South Asia Studies at Uppsala University. Venue: Room F433, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10 B, Uppsala.
Kalpana Kochhar is currently a Deputy Director in the Asia and Pacific Department of the IMF. Between 2012 and 2014, she was Deputy Director in the Strategy, Policy and Review Department. Between 2010 and 2012, she was the Chief Economist for the South Asia Region of the World Bank. Dr. Kochhar’s research interests and publications have mainly focused on studies of emerging markets, jobs and growth including gender issues and structural reforms, and Asian economies, including major reports on jobs, inequality and regional integration in South Asia. She holds a PhD in Economics from Brown University, USA. More information.

• SASNET support to Copenhagen workshop on Contested Narratives
Willem van Schendel and Lotte Hoek

An International Workshop entitled ”Contested Narratives” will be held in Copenhagen 23–24 April 2015. The workshop is accompanied by a PhD course on the same theme, and is organised by the Dept. of Cross-Cultural & Regional Studies (ToRS) and Centre of Global South-Asian Studies at University of Copenhagen, but is partly funded by SASNET. The convener is Dr Manpreet K Janeja. The two keynote speakers are Professor Willem van Schendel, University of Amsterdam; and Dr Lotte Hoek, University of Edinburgh. Go to the website.
The workshop focuses on varying frames or forms of narratives – whether of historical trajectories of the emergence of modern nation-states and their boundaries and borderlands, configurations of memory and cultural heritage, politics of identity and not-belonging, or modes of (un-)development and migration. Such narratives and frames are constantly woven, contested, ruptured, and re-imagined. For example continuing contestations, debates, and re-interpretations of Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971 and the International Crimes Tribunal (set up to investigate alleged War criminals) reveal the fraught histories, representations, and perceptions of Bengali and Bangladeshi nationalism and identity, generated from within Bangladesh and from Bangladeshi diaspora groups in London, Dubai or Lisbon in dialogue with various local, national, and transnational formations.
Venue: Room 27.0.17 (Building 27-Ground Floor-Room 17), KUA 1, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen, Njalsgade 136, Copenhagen. For all those who wish to attend the keynote lectures and round-table discussion (Day 1), and research talks (Day 2), please register by emailing the workshop co-ordinator Jacco Visser). For further information, please contact the workshop convenor Manpreet K Janeja.
Full information about the workshop and PhD course.

• Uppsala conference on Paths to the Future for India and Pakistan
Christophe Jaffrelot, Mahvish Shami and Ian Talbot.

The 2015 Forum for South Asia Studies (FSAS) Conference at Uppsala University will be held on 4 May 2015. The theme for the conference is ”Paths to the future for India and Pakistan”. Keynote presentations, open to the public, will be given by Professor Christophe Jaffrelot from SciencesPo, Paris; Professor Mahvish Shami from London School of Economics (LSE); and Professor Ian Talbot, University of Southampton. In addition a number of workshops will be held, aimed at South Asia scholars in Sweden, proving an opportunity for senior researchers and PhD students to share their current and planned research on South Asia. South Asia researchers active in Swedish universities, in the fields of social sciences and humanities, to make paper presentations, including those that go beyond the scope of India and Pakistan.
This year the conference will however pay extra attention to current developments and future options in India and Pakistan. In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, now almost one year in power, is pushing for economic modernization. His support base however, contains conservative forces that may push the country in other directions. His counterpart in Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has during his two years in power tried to consolidate a fragile democracy. This time of change in South Asia’s two most important countries is the theme of the conference. Against this backdrop, this year’s three keynote speakers will focus on the political, social, and economic development in Indian and Pakistan. Details about the conference, papers submission and how you apply to participate in the workshops, will be available by February 18th. More information.

• SCAS Symposium on Human Rights: Constitutive Moments, Intellectual Practices and Shifting Global Contexts
Jyotirmaya Sharma and Krishnan Srinivasan.

The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) in Uppsala organises a Symposium on ”Human Rights: Constitutive Moments, Intellectual Practices and Shifting Global Contexts” on 25–26 May 2015. The invited participants include two eminent Indian professors and former fellows at SCAS, namely Jyotirmaya Sharma and Krishnan Srinivasan. The symposium is being held in collaboration with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities; the Swedish Academy; and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. It will take place in Stockholm-
Prior registration is required. Further information will be available soon.
SCAS is a national Swedish resource for universities and research institutions in the social and human sciences at large. Its aim is to strengthen the historical and global orientation of the social and human sciences, to support humanistic disciplines, and to promote cooperation between the economic and other human and social sciences. The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study also interacts and collaborates with a large number of scholarly institutions in Sweden and abroad.

• PhD dissertation workshop on Inequity and Urbanism in the Global South

The Centre of Global South Asian Studies, and the PhD School at Dept. of Cross Cultural and Regional Studies, both institutions at University of Copenhagen, are organising its 4th annual collaborative workshop for doctoral students at New York University, USA, 12–13 June 2015. This time Amsterdam University has joined the NYU-Copenhagen initiative as well. The theme for this multi-disciplinary Dissertation Workshop will be ”Inequity and Urbanism in the Global South”. 
The aim is to bring together PhD students from various theoretical and empirical perspectives, including but not limited to fields of history, sociology, anthropology, political science, political economy and development studies. They should have completed substantial dissertation research on any aspect of urbanized inequity in the world of globalization. Applicants should send a letter describing their research and reasons for joining the workshop along with a CV and a short writing sample (drawn from their dissertation), combined in one PDF email attachment, to David Ludden (New York University),  Ravinder Kaur (University of Copenhagen), and Barak Kalir (University of Amsterdam). Deadline for applications is 1 March 2015. Full information.

• Asian Food, Feeding and Eating theme for 7th ADI conference in Copenhagen

The 7th international Asian Dynamics Initiative (ADI) conference at the University of Copenhagen will be held 24–26 June 2015, and has the theme ”Food, Feeding and Eating In and Out of Asia”. ADI invites abstract proposals for paper presentations addressing the conference theme, but especially welcomes perspectives relating to one or more of the selected panels, that include a panel on ”Politics of Vegetarianism – Identities between the individual and the community”, convened by Ravinder Kaur and Maansi Parpiani; and a panel on ”Making Muslims: Food, Halal, and community in the Restaurant”, convened by Aparna Nair. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 12 March 2015. More information.

• Copenhagen conference on FDI for Sustainable Economic Development in South Asia

Copenhagen Business School (CBS) invites to an International Conference entitled ”Leveraging Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for Sustainable Economic Development in South Asia: Evidence, Challenges and Prospects” to be held 2–3 October 2015. The conference, organised by the Asia Research Centre at CBS, is soliciting high quality research papers on multi-faceted aspects of FDI from the perspective of South Asian countries. Abstracts leading to original unpublished full papers based on any of the following four sub themes of the conference in the South Asian context are welcome:
• FDI inflows and outflows: determinants, challenges and prospects; • FDI and productive capacity; • FDI and social development; and • Environmental impacts
Abstracts should be submitted before 31 March 2015. All submitted abstracts will be peer-reviewed. Selected papers will be published in an edited volume and/or a special issue of an indexed journal which will be negotiated based on the quality of papers. The conference convener is Professor Aradhna Aggarwal. More information.

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• Delhi conference on Modernity and the formation and transformation of genres

The Goethe Society of India organises a conferene entitled ”Through the looking glass. Modernity and the formation and transformation of genres” will be held at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi 18–20 February 2015. This international conference will take forward the discussion initiated at the previous conference on the idea and function of genres by focusing specifically on what may be called the genres of modernity. It will explore the emergence and subsequent trajectories of specific genres in the historical context of modernity and the social, cultural, political, economic and technological changes that it involved. Its concern will therefore be less with the so-called natural forms or modes of literary expression and more with the historically contingent symbolic forms that grew out of and sought to capture and articulate the temporal and spatial disorientations of the modern age. This contingency is marked by the fundamental influence of modern technologies – print, photography, film, digital media, as well as the larger technological and societal transformations that they represent. Abstracts should be submitted before 30 December 2014. More information

• Kolkata conference on Myanmar: Moving Towards Elections 2015

The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS) in Kolkata, India is organising the two-day International Conference on ”Myanmar: Moving Towards Elections 2015” on 19-20 February 2015. This  two day conference will create an opportunity for academics, practitioners, think tanks, PhD students to come together, exchange ideas, debate and discuss issues on Myanmar’s democratic transition since 2011, its foreign relations with immediate neighbours and that with India, amidst New Delhi’s urge to Act East. Call for abstracts were open until 20 January 2015. More information.

• SSAI workshop on Religion, Environment and Global Concepts of Conservation in South Asia

The SOAS South Asia Institute (SSAI) at University of London invites to a one-day workshop on “Religion, Environment and Global Concepts of Conservation in South Asia” to be held on Friday 20 February 2015. The workshop is convened by Dr. Mari Miyamoto, and Dr. Michael Hutt – the SSAI Director.  Deadline to submit papers and presentations is 20 December 2014. Venue: MBI Al Jaber Room, MBI Al Jaber Building, 21 Russell Square, London.
This one-day workshop will capitalise upon the presence of Dr Miyamoto (photo), being a Newton International Fellow at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS) during 2015, and a visit from her principal research collaborator from Bhutan. Dr. Miyamoto obtained her PhD from Kyoto University in the field of political anthropology working on cultural politics of environmentalism in contemporary Bhutan for which she did intensive ethnographical fieldwork in Bhutan. The workshop is intended as an opportunity for a discussion of interpretations of the global concept of environmental conservation in South Asia and the contradictions and conflicts which arise between this and local concepts and practices. The workshop will focus on religious and cultural aspects of conservation as inseparable factors in people’s everyday lives and practices in the region.
The organisers invite offers of papers, presentations and thought pieces from researchers who are interested in how the concepts and regulations of global environment conservation are interpreted or re-conceptualized in people’s everyday practices and value systems in rural South Asia, particularly in relation to religion, including rituals for indigenous deities and localised spiritual practices. The workshop will aim to create a new network of scholars with a shared interest in this issue, and discuss the scope for future research initiatives. PhD students who are at an advanced stage of their research are welcome to participate as well as established researchers and academics.
Contributions to this workshop may take the form of unpublished papers of 2.500-4.000 words, or 20-minute presentations of schemes of ongoing research in this field.  If you would like to attend and contribute to this workshop, please send a 200-word abstract of your proposed contribution to Dr. Mari Miyamoto before 20th December 2014. The SOAS South Asia Institute will provide a contribution to travel and accommodation costs to a maximum of £200 for contributors travelling from outside London whose papers have been accepted for inclusion in the workshop programme. 

• Bhubaneshwar conference on Language, Literature and Community

The International Center for Research & Development at Jagadguru Kripalu University in BhubaneshwarIndia organises the Second International Conference on Language, Literature and Community“  from 21-22 February 2015 in collaboraton with the Canadian Global Association of Intellectuals. The conference will be held in BhubaneshwarThis is a two day interactive international forum which creates an opportunity for academics, practitioners, PhD students to come together, review their research findings, exchange ideas, and discuss emerging trends. Participants are expected to come from more than 30 countries. Call for abstracts was open until 15 November 2014. More information

• Colombo Conference on Advances in Women’s Studies

The Second International Conference on Advances in Women’s Studies will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 25–27 February 2015. It is jointly organised by Unique Conference, Canada and the International Center for Research & Development (ICRD). This conference will be held in parallel with the Second International Conference on Interdisciplinary Legal Studies 2015 and registered participants of the AWS 2015 will be allowed to participate the technical sessions. Abstract should be submitted before 30 November 2014. 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.

• Kurukshetra conference on new perspectives of the 1947 Partition

The Department of History at Kurukshetra University in the Indian state of Haryana, 160 km away from Delhi, organises an international conference entitled ”1947: Rethinking” on 13–14 March 2015. The conference will focus on the partition of British India in 1947 and the establishment of the sovereign state of Pakistan, being the culmination of the demand of All India Muslim League and the success of Muslim communal politics. The partition and the establishment of two sovereign states, i.e., India and Pakistan was a significant signpost in the evolution of Modern South Asia as a social-political unit. However, as is the case with every aspects in the study of history, there is a room for further analysis. The availability of new sources, access to more private papers, emerging trends in historiography and ever- evolving tools of historical research still provide exciting opportunity to the researchers to focus attention on the hitherto neglected aspect on the study of the partition of India and also to provide fresh interpretations on the existing one. Historians and scholars from United States, UK, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will present their viewpoints in this international conference. Selected papers will be published shortly after the completion of the conference in form of a book. More information about the conference.

• BASAS 2015 conference focuses on The Securitisation of South Asia

The British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) holds its 29th Annual Conference at University of Portsmouth, 8–10 April 2015. Themed ‘The Securitisation of South Asia’, the conference aims to address the ways in which concepts of security and insecurity have and are playing themselves out in different South Asian contexts at macro, meso, and micro scales. We invite proposals for panels as well as independent papers that address the conference theme—whether at global, personal, local, regional, state and inter-state levels—within South Asia and across its diaspora. Panels and papers might be focused around issues of hard security as well as everyday security/insecurity. Topics of interest may include military intervention (the history of and current manifestations), the impact of the so-called global war on terror which could be explored through a diaspora lens or examination of foreign policy and state level responses; as well as issues relating to human security; gender–based violence, water and food security, migration, urbanisation to name but a few possible options. As always the organisers welcome bold, innovative and interdisciplinary approaches.The deadline for the submission of panel proposals/papers is 28 February 2015. You must be a BASAS member in order to register for the conference. More information.

• Delhi conference on Gender, Conflict and Security: Perspectives from South Asia

The Department of International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences at the South Asian University (SAU) in Delhi, in collaboration with UN Women, invites paper proposals for a regional conference entitled ”Gender, Conflict and Security: Perspectives from South Asia” to be held in New Delhi on 23–24 April 2015. Deadline for submission of abstracts is Monday 2 March 2015. While the conference would be anchored to the core terrains of International Politics and Peace Studies, it would attempt to strike conversations across disciplines, particularly drawing on contributions from anthropology, sociology, political science and economics. It would engage with three broad themes: How does gender intersects with conflict and security discourse in South Asia? How would perspectives emanating from South Asia enrich the Women, Peace and Security discourse at the global level? How would this push to re-imagine the women, conflict and security discourse from a South Asian perspective? More information about the conference.
SAU is an international university established by the eight member nations of South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) viz. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It started its operations from the academic year 2010. The university now offers post-graduate and doctoral programmes in various disciplines that include Development Economics, Computer Science, Biotechnology, Mathematics, Sociology, International Relations and Law. It will ultimately have 11 post-graduate faculties and a faculty of undergraduate studies. SAU attracts students from all member nations and its degrees are recognised by all the eight SAARC countries. The University is currently functioning from Akbar Bhawan Campus in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi before it eventually moves in to its 100 acre campus in Maidan Garhi, South Delhi where the construction is starting very soon.

• ICAS 9 with interesting South Asia workshops to be held in Adelaide, Australia

The ninth International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS 9) will be held in Adelaide, Australia, 5–9 July 2015. It will be hosted by an internationally networked team of experts, spearheaded by Adelaide’s three leading public universities: University of Adelaide, Flinders University, and the University of South Australia. 1,500 to 2,500 Asia specialists are expected to attend. ICAS 9 boasts two new formats aimed at promoting publications/dissertations by convention participants: the Book Presentation Carousel and the PhD Pitch. The submission deadline for proposals of individual abstracts, panels, roundtables, and book and dissertation presentations was 10 September 2014.
During the ICAS9 conference there will also be two very exciting one-day workshops/mini-conferences on governance in India and Pakistan featuring invited international presenters; the frts one entitled ”Pakistan, governance and cultural formations”, convened by Samina Yasmeen; and tghe second entitled ”Acche din? Politics and Governance in India after One Year of the BJP”, convened by Priya Chacko.
The ICAS Book Prize (IBP) was established by the International Convention of Asia Scholars in 2004. It aims to create an international focus for publications on Asia while increasing their worldwide visibility. The biennial ICAS Book Prize is awarded for outstanding English-language works in the field of Asian Studies. The five awards are: Best study in the Humanities; Best study in the Social Sciences; Best dissertation in the Humanities; Best dissertation in the Social Sciences and the Colleagues’ Choice Award. In addition to the Awards, the Reading Committee can award Accolades to publications with particular merit.
ICAS is the premier international gathering in the field of Asian Studies. It attracts participants from over 60 countries to engage in global dialogues on Asia that transcend boundaries between academic disciplines and geographic areas. More information on ICAS 9.

• Eighth International Conference on the Inclusive Museum in New Delhi

The Eighth International Conference on the Inclusive Museum in partnership with Common Ground Publishing, the USA, and the International Institute for the Inclusive Museum, Australia/Denmark, will be hosted by the National Science Centre, New Delhi, India, on 7–9 August 2015. The theme of the conference is "Museums as Civic Spaces". Museum experts and professionals from all over the world are going to participate and make presentations. Case studies, demonstration projects and multiple voices will inform the sessions with papers from all kinds of museums – social history, anthropology, archaeology, art museums to science museums, ecomuseums and heritage parks. Confirmed plenary speakers include Indian President Pranab Mukherjee; Professor Romila Thapar; and Professor Sudharshan Seneviratne. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 12 February 2015. More information.

• IIAS workshop on Belonging across the Bay of Bengal

The International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) at Leiden University, the Netherlands, organises a workshop entitled ”The Indian Ocean World – Belonging across the Bay of Bengal” for PhD candidates and early career post docs on 17 August 2015. It is organised through the IIAS Rethinking Asian Studies Forum on Asian Spatialities. and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The idea is to bring together a group of fifteen scholars, some invited and others selected through this call for papers, to discuss the state of research and teaching in the burgeoning field of Indian Ocean history. The workshop also aims at triangulating a dialogue between Euro-American and South and Southeast Asian scholars. The organizing committee of the workshop includes Prof. Nira Wickramasinghe at Leiden University and Prof. Bhavani Raman from University of Toronto), Canada. The workshop is supposed to overcome spatial limitations established by nations and empires, past and present, dealing with with flows, interactions, and community agency across seas and landmasses of Central, South, and Southeast Asia.
The forum draws from a series of events cosponsored by IIAS and the University of Amsterdam and held in a number of Asian countries under the Asian Borderlands Research Platform. The series has contributed to a reconfiguration of theoretical and methodological approaches to geographical regions in general. It encourages exchanges among local and international scholars possessing different disciplinary and regional expertise, with a focus on three distinct sub-projects. The workshop will be followed by a second, entitled “The Bay of Bengal and Area Studies: Space, Scale and Location”. Deadline for submitting proposals is 15 March 2015. More information.

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

Business and Politics

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

South Asia related culture in Scandinavia

• International Mother Language Day commemorated by Bengalis in Skåne

Since some years back, the 21st February every year has been declared by UNESCO to be the International Mother Language Day, symbolizing the recognition of the importance of all the languages around the globe. Originally this was an initiative fom Bangladesh, where the 21st February is commemorated in honour of the ultimate sacrifice made in 1952 by Bengalis to protect the right to use their mother tongue as official language in the then East Pakistan. It is still celebrated with mourn and pride in Bangladesh. On Saturday 21 February 2015, 10.00–12.00, the Bangladesh Cultural Association in Skane (BCAS) – with support from SASA and SASNET – will celebrate the day in Lund. During the function, the historical and cultural significance of the day in Bangladeshi context will be discussed. The program will be concluded with a Bangladeshi Fika. Venue: International Office, basement floor, Lund University, Stora Algatan 4. More information.

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

New and updated items on SASNET web site

• Swedish departments where research on South Asia is going on

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