Newsletter 174 – 15 April 2015


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• Thomas Blom Hansen holds SASNET lecture on how communal conflicts transform Indian cities

Thomas Blom Hansen, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for South Asia at Stanford University in USA, holds a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Monday 27 April 2015, 13.15 – 15.00. He will talk about ”Vernacular Urbanism: Community,Capital and Urban Space in Middle India”. Venue: Lecture Hall Eden at the Department of Political Science. In his presentation, Prof. Blom Hansen describes how, in the 1970s and 80s, the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra was a by-word for bitter and violent conflicts between Hindus and Muslims. In the late 1980s, Shiv Sena won political control over the city, a dominance the party has retained ever since. During the same period, the city almost tripled its size and became a major center for manufacturing and tourism and home to a powerful new elite. Based on fieldwork in 1991 and again in 2012, he  explores how the  violent street battles in the city along communal/religious lines over the past decades have been transformed into “infrastructural violence”: heavy handed demolition of Muslim owned properties, and markets; renaming of public spaces and re-framing the city’s history; the emergence of networks of private enterprises and public institutions sharply divided along community lines. Aurangabad share many features with other large provincial cities in India. Its combination of rapid growth and a dominant Hindu nationalist presence in politics and public life may indicate and illustrate what  “urban middle India” will look like in the near future. Read more...

• SASNET lecture on remixed histories and smart images in post-exotic India

Ravinder Kaur, Associate Professor of Modern South Asian Studies at University of Copenhagen, will hold a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Wednesday 6 May 2015, 13.15–15.00. She will talk about ”Post-exotic India On Remixed Histories and Smart Images”.  The lecture is based on a paper that examines the aesthetics of remixing history at the heart of the neoliberal project of India’s image makeover as ‘land of limitless opportunity’ for global tourists and investors. Prof. Kaur argues that the project of remixing India’s history is predicated upon the ontological fault line of how to retain and erase the original simultaneously while shaping the new in the contemporary global. Taking Incredible India as an example, she shows how the original essence of India is revealed and authenticated in the very moment of its disappearance as it is remixed and morphed in the aesthetics of the contemporary global. The post-exotic self, she further argues, is not produced by effacing the exotic past, but by remixing, condensing, accelerating and fast-forwarding it into a timeless, infinite global present. And in doing so, it also reveals the blueprint of the ongoing visual rearrangement of nation’s civilizational past in the making of new India.
Ravinder Kaur also directs the Centre of Global South Asian Studies, besides holding a Visiting Professorship at the Centre of India Studies in Africa, Witswatersrand University, Johannesburg. She is currently engaged in two long-term research projects. The first focuses on post-reform India’s transition into an attractive ‘emerging market’ in the global political economy, and second, explores the yet unfolding connections between Asia and Africa via a study of new business connections between India, China and Africa. Her previous research focused on the questions of forced migration, refugee resettlement, social class and caste and the making of modern citizenship during India’s Partition in 1947. Her publications include Since 1947: Partition Narratives among Punjabi Migrants of Delhi (Oxford, 2007), Religion, Violence and Political Mobilization in Contemporary South Asia (Sage 2005), a co-edited special issue ‘Governing Difference: Inequality, Inequity and Identity in India and China,’ Third World Quarterly 2012 as well as many journal articles.

• SASNET lecture on changing food traditions among Bengali middle-classes

Dr. Manpreet K Janeja, Assistant Professor at the Department of Cross-Cultural Studies and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen gave a SASNET lecture entitled ”Anxious Hearths and Risky Meals – Re-imagining Domesticity in a South Asian Worlding City” on Wednesday 8 April 2015. The lecture was held at the Department of Sociology, Lund University, Paradisgatan 5 G, Seminar room 335, third floor. The seminar was filmed by Talat Bhat. See the Youtube recording.
This lecture focused on re-imagining domesticity in contemporary urban formations through the aesthetics of food in a ‘worlding’ city. Taking the meal as the fulcrum of much activity in Bengali Hindu daily life in Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal, it traces the vicissitudes of what emerges as constantly negotiable but contested normal home food. Manpreet examines the relatively new phenomenon of cooks from cooking bureaus working in households in the upper echelons of the Bengali middle-classes, and highlights how food mediates the strategic and ambivalent negotiations they all engage in. In the process, it renders visible the dynamics of (dis)trust, risk, and uncertainty in which these contextual culinary engagements are entangled. In doing so, it illuminates the manner in which food-ways in a state of flux are reconfiguring forms of domesticity and belonging in a South Asian city caught in the throes of redefining itself. More information about the seminar.

• SASNET report from AICS – India’s oldest research institution

Jadavpur University, located in the southern part of Kolkata is surrounded by a number of research institutes of high reputation. Among these, The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) stands out being not only the oldest research institute in India – founded in 1876 – but also one of its most renowned, of world class standard. It is an autonomous institute funded by the central government and devoted to the pursuit of fundamental  research in the frontier areas of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Energy, Polymer and Materials. In each field, IACS nurtures young and innovative research fellows in their doctoral programmes.
SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund visited the extremely well-kept and beautiful IACS campus in mid-March 2015, to meet researchers at the Dept. of Inorganic Chemistry, involved in research collaboration with Professor Ebbe Nordlander at the Dept. of  Chemical Physics at Lund University. Lars was hosted by Dr. Reena Singh who has spent time at Lund University as a post-doc scholarship holder.
The IACS has a proud history, with the 1930 Nobel Prize Laureate C V Raman being its most famous scientist so far. Raman who worked at IACS during 1907 to 1933 made a discovery of the celebrated effect on scattering of light in 1928, later to be known as the Raman effect. Another famous researcher was Dr. Meghnad Saha, that led the institute during the 1940s and was the man behind moving the IACS premises to its present Jadavpur location. (Photo: Reena Singh beside statue of Saha).
Lars also visted Jadavpur University meeting the persons who have been in charge of the Erasmus Mundus programme, Associate Professor Mridul Bose at the Department of Physics, and Professor Samaresh Bhattacharya at the Department of Chemistry. Read Lars Eklund’s report from AICS and Jadavpur University.

• Performing arts thrive at Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata

While in Kolkata, Lars Eklund visited Rabindra Bharati University, founded in 1962 to mark the birth centenary of Rabindranath Tagore, and with the specific task to work for the advancement of learning and culture particularly in the branches of music, dance and drama. There he met the Vice Chancellor Professor Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury both at the university’s original Jorasanko campus in central Kolkata, and at its main BT Road campus in north Kolkata. The university has three faculties, the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Performing Arts and the Faculty of Visual Arts, and 29 departments on both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. 120 foreign exchange students are registered at the university, most of them coming to Kolkata through MoUs with universites in primarily Italy China, Japan, Canada, and Germany. They discussed possibilities to establish collaboration with Swedish universities, and especially the home university of SASNET, Lund University. Besides the obvious choice to focus on the key areas within performing arts – instrumental music, sculpture, and painting – other disciplines taught at Rabindra Bharati University with a profile that easily could involve international collaboration are Polititical Science, Philosophy, Literature, and History. Read more...

• Lars Eklund revisited Viswa Bharati University in Shantiniketan

For the money Indian/Bengali Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore received as Nobel Prize award in 1913, he was able to launch a university different from others, following his pedagogical ideas. This was to become Viswa Bharati University in Shantiniketan, not far from Kolkata, actually only 1,5 hours away with new Express trains. In March 2015, Lars visited Shantiniketan with a purpose to see whether there is scope for closer collaboration between Swedish universities and Viswa Bharati. Besides, he had a special invitation from Professor Asha Mukherjee who was a guest professor at University of Gothenburg in 2014. Prof. Mukherjee is involved in several research projects including one fascinating project dealing with the weaving training at Viswa Bharati University introduced by three Swedish ladies in the 1930s. 
Lars focused on visiting Sriniketan, the Viswa Bharati University centres for Adult, Continuing Education and Rural Extension. These centres are involved in manifold ventures related to Social Work and Rural Development, areas for which Swedish universities might be interested for collaboration. (Photo from meeting at Sriniketan). Besides, Lars met Dr- Sujit Paul, Vice President for the Association for World Education with a Scandinavian connectioin. Read Lars’ report from Shantiniketan.

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

Research Community News

• Time to apply for 2015 Swedish Research Links grants

The Swedish Research Council now invites applications for the 2015 round of Swedish Research Links grants. The purpose of the programme is to support the development of long-term research partnerships between Swedish researchers and researchers within low income and lower middle-income countries. The long-term aim of the programme is to contribute to mutual scientific and socioeconomic development of the countries involved. The programme aims to support knowledge exchange between the partners and long-term collaboration through high quality projects. The programme is open to researchers from all academic disciplines, covering theoretical as well as empirical, basic as well as applied fields of research.
In South Asia, all countries except the Maldives belong to the groups of low income countries, and lower-middle income countries on the OECD/DAC list, and are therefore eligible for this form of collaborative research. The grant may be used for joint activities, such as research visits between the partners, workshops and seminars (but not for salaries or scholarships). The grant is awarded for a maximum of three years, beginning with the 2016 calendar year, and can be applied for jointly by researchers in at least two countries participating in the programme; one of the researchers must have his/her principal place of work at a Swedish university/college. However, it can only be applied for by graduate researchers. Please note! Everyone who applies for a grant from the Swedish Research Council must create a Prisma account. This condition also applies to international applicants and to all participants in the Swedish Research Links programme. Remember to create an account well in advance! Deadline for applications is Tuesday 21 April 2015. More information.

The Swedish Research Council also provides Project Research Grants within the field of Development Research (a follow-up programme to the U-forsk grants that used to be provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Grants to be given to high quality research that is relevant to the overall goals of Swedish development cooperation, and the goals for global development policy. This means that the research should help creating conditions that will enable poor people to improve their lives, and/or contribute to an equitable and sustainable development. This programme with applications for 2016 and following years had its deadline on 26 March 2015.  Full information about Development Research grants 2015 (in Swedish only).

• Rajendra Singh becomes 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate

Rajendra Singh of India is named the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate, for his innovative water restoration efforts, improving water security in rural India, and for showing extraordinary courage and determination in his quest to improve the living conditions for those most in need. Mr Singh, born 1959, lives and works in the arid Indian state of Rajasthan, where he for several decades dedicated himself to defeating drought and empowering communities. The results of his tireless work are without equal: in close cooperation with local residents, he and his organization have revived several rivers, brought water, and life, back to a thousand villages and given hope to countless people. On receiving news about the prize, Mr Singh said “this is very encouraging, energizing and inspiring news. Through the Indian wisdom of rainwater harvesting, we have made helpless, abandoned, destitute and impoverished villages prosperous and healthy again.
Rajendra Singh was informed about the award at the official World Water Day celebration held in India on 20 March 2015.  H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize, will present the prize to Rajendra Singh at a Royal Award Ceremony during 2015 World Water Week in Stockholm on 26 August. More information.

• IIT Kharagpur commemorated the infamous 1915 Komagata Maru Episode

100 years ago, SS Komagata Maru, a Japanese-owned freighter sailed from Kolkata, India to Vancouver, Canada with 376 Punjabis, mostly Sikhs, on board. However, when it arrived at Vancouver on 23 May 1914, most of the passengers were detained on board. They waited for two months before the ship was forced to return to Calcutta, where it was met by police suspicious of the organizers' politics. On disembarkation on 26 September 2014, 20 passengers were killed in a shooting exchange. The affair strengthened Indian nationalist feeling through the Ghadar movement, but only few peoplle in India today are aware of this incident that is known as the Komagata Maru Episode.
In commemoation of this dark chapter in global immigration history, the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur therefore organised a high-profile conference on the Komagatu Maru Episode on 15–17 February 2015. The conference also included screening of an award-winning documentary on the incident, and the three-day series of events were part of the centenary celebrations of the Komagata Maru planned by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. On the first day, a simple commemorative ceremony was held at the Komagata Maru Memorial in Budge Budge, located near the jetty where the SS Komagata Maru had originally docked, and the participants paid their homage to the martyrs of the infamous Budge Budge shootings. Read an extensive conference report prepared for SASNET by Rony Patra.

• Heinz Werner Wessler keynote speaker at Lahore conference

The Gurmani Centre for Languages and Literature (GCLL) at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan organised the third International Conference on South Asian Literary Traditions on 10 – 11 April 2015. Professor Heinz Werner Wessler from the Department of Linguistics and Philology at Uppsala University was the keynote speaker. The title of his keynote address was ‘The Secular and the Religious: Patterns in Modern South Asian Literature seen from a Firangi Perspective’. Delivering the address, Wessler said his presentation was a kind of workshop report from a project concerning the interrelation between religion and modern literature in India. He said a critical attitude towards religion became a common feature in modern Indian writing in regional languages, particularly from 1920 onwards. He said with the rise of progressivism in the 1930s, statements on cultural and religious decline often turned into criticism of religious institutions and religion in general, which were portrayed as the core corruption and human disregard in society.
The Gurmani Foundation was launched in 2010, for the advancement of Arabic, Persian, Urdu and other Pakistani languages. It is part of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) at LUMS. The conference has four sessions, on History & Culture; Sufi Thought and Literature; Female Voices; and Society and Politics. Venue: Sayeed Saigol Auditorium, Academic Block, LUMS, Lahore. More information about the conference.

• Doctoral thesis on education among Indian and Pakistani immigrants in Norway

Monica Five Aarset from the Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo will defend her doctoral dissertation entitled ”Hearts and roofs. Family, belonging, and (un)settledness among descendants of immigrants in Norway” on Wednesday 15 April 2015, 12.15–15.00. The first opponent is Dr. Alison Shaw, Senior Research Fellow in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford, UK; and the second opponent is Dr. Mikkel Rytter, Associate Professor at the Section for Anthropology and Ethnography at the Department of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark.
The thesis is concerned with exploring how understandings and practices of family and belonging unfold in an emerging middle-class segment of descendants of immigrants from India and Pakistan. This generation is now entering the labour market, marrying, and having children of their own. In this process, they have to negotiate and maneuver contradicting understandings and practices of family and everyday life in the intersections between the parental generation, Norwegian society, and transnational social fields. Taking descendants of immigrants as a vantage point the thesis examines questions of social transformation, gender, generation, and belonging. It is based on fieldwork among couples of Pakistani and Indian background with higher education, living in Oslo and neighbouring municipalities. The data material includes ‘local couples’ where both spouses were born in Norway or came to Norway as children, and ‘transnational couples’ where one spouse grew up in Norway and the other in Pakistan or India. Investigating in what ways these different family constellations shape or influence the understandings and practices of family is a central part of this study. Read more.
Monica will hold her trial lecture on the same day at 10.15. It is entitled ”How can anthropological perspectives contribute to understanding the differential socio-economic success of South Asians in European countries?". Venue: Auditorium 4, Eilert Sundts Hus, Blindern, Oslo. More information.

• Extensive documentation of Rajasthani folk culture by Uppsala researcher

Dr. Styrbjörn Alström defended his doctoral dissertation on "Weed management in tropical agriculture with emphasis on India” at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, in 1991. Since then he has changed focus of his research work to the study of on farm life changes, and the history and culture of western Rajasthan, where he has lived for several years. He has been connected to the Department of Linguistics and Philology at Uppsala University, and in 2005 he received a SASNET planning grant for a project on ”The 20th Century Indian agriculture as perceived in the oral literary tradition of a drought-prone semi-desert region with a unique ancient folklore culture – an interdisciplinary approach” (more information about his research). 
Under the pen name Son Lal, he now presents the material he has collected on rural life in western Rajasthan during many years on the Internet. It includes extensive photo galleries, Marwari poems and narrations, and links to the e-books produced by Dr. Alström. Altogether six ebooks have been published in English and four in Swedish. The books have been published by Smashwords.
The two latest ones in Swedish are entitled ”Indien Underifrån” (India from below), and ”Delhi Underifrån” (Delhi from below). They deal with his experiences from living with Dalits in northern and western India during the period 2012 – 2014. It also describes the Lok Sabha election campaign in 2014, and the rise and fall and again rise of the anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party. The third recent book is entiled ”The Land of the Rulers” and portraits life in western Rajasthan under the feudal era. It is to a large extent based on true stories by Styrbjörn’s friend Ton Dan about his native village. Go for Smashword and links to all Sturbjörn Alström’s (Son Lal’s) books.

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

Educational News

• Apply for Heidelberg’s master's programme on Health and Society in South Asia

Masters programme

Since 2008, the South Asia Institute at University of Heidelberg, Germany, runs an interdisciplinary Master's programme entitled ”Health and Society in South Asia” (MAHASSA). The programme is a taught, two-year interdisciplinary degree with a focus on Medical Anthropology and South Asian Studies. 
 It is integrated with the curriculum of Heidelberg University’s South Asia Institute, allowing students to integrate South Asian languages, geography, politics, etc. into their plan of study. Most students base their Masters Thesis on field research conducted in South Asia. The language of instruction is English. The programme is intended for students who plan to work (or already work) in health-related fields but also for those who wish to pursue an academic career. The programme is administered by the Dept. of Anthropology at the South Asia Institute, specializing in Medical Anthropology, with various staff members conducting research on ritual healing, folk medicine, South Indian medicine, health and environment, Ayurveda, Tibetan Medicine, gender and health, women's reproductive health and Islam, and other topics.
The programme combines Medical Anthropology with South Asian Studies. Medical Anthropology is the study of healing systems, not primarily in terms of scientific theories or health policies, but also focusing on and analyzing how they are practiced in concrete, socio-cultural contexts. Admissions for the next program starting in October 2015 is now open and applications should have reached the University before 15 June 2015. More information about MAHASSA

• Third SIDC programme ongoing at Lund University

On behalf of the Swedish Institute, Lund University Internet Institute (LUii) and Lund University Commissioned Education (LUCE) have organised a Social Innovation in a Digital Context (SIDC) academic programme since 2012. The ongoing programme 2014-15  – the third – will give 60 credits combining digital technology, new media and socio-political change. The participants are social and digital innovators from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Photo of the group. Full information about the SIDC programme 2014/15.
Among the projects in this years programme could be mentionoed ”The Right to Privacy in Bangladesh”, developed by Rezaur Rahman Lenin. More information about this project.
Due to temporary budget, no new SIDC programme will be launched during 2015. The organisers are striving for the next round of the SIDC programme to be launched during 2016!

• INLANSO offers Hindi language training for European students in Varanasi

On 14 March 2015, Professor Dipak Malik and Dr. Miriya Malik visited SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund at his Kolkata office. Dipak and Miriya, both well-known SASNET networking partners, are residents of the city of Varanasi where they run the Centre for the Study of Indian Languages and Society (INLANSO). Since 2012, INLANSO organises quailified tailor-made Hindi Study Programmes for European students. A number of Nordic universities have signed agreements with the centre, among them Uppsala, Oslo, and Aarhus, to send students to Varanasi for periods from a few weeks up to four months. INLANSO also collaborate with the universities of Würzburg and Göttingen in Germany. The unique concept of INLANSO is to combine the classroom knowledge with outdoor practice, paying special attention to Varanasi’s multireligious, multicultural and multiethnic anatomy.
Dipak and Miriya (previously known as Mirja Juntunen) informed Lars about the exciting development of INLANSO, that started as a follow-up venture building on experiences from a Hindi studies programme previously offered by the Nordic Centre in India (NCI) in collaboration with the Gandhian Institute of Studies in Varanasi. Lars actually visited the Centre for the Study of Indian Languages and Society in 2012 and met teachers and students, learning about the background of the Hindi Studies Centre in Varanasi. Read his report.
Now INLANSO is in a phase of expansion, with setting up language training centres for European students also elsewhere in India. Tamil is taught in Puducherry in the south of India, Urdu in Lucknow and Nepali in Kathmandu. Bengali should be the next language to introduce... More information in the INLANSO pamphlet.

• CSE summer school on Environmental Management in the Developing World

The Centre for Science and Environment (SCE) in New Delhi, India, organizes an interesting summer school programme entitled ”Challenge of the Balance: A Course on Policies, Politics & Practices of Environmental Management in the Developing World” to be held 13 July – 14 August 2015. This is an orientation programme to give international participants a first-hand experience of Southern perspectives concerning the environment-development debate. The interdisciplinary coursework will allow participants to understand and critically evaluate issues concerning developmental challenges the region faces today. It accepts about 25 participants from various international institutions of learning. For this summer school CSE collaborates with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) United Kingdom, and EWB chapters in South Asia as well. The programme modules include Governance imperatives; Poverty and the biomass economy; Environmental conflicts; and Urban growth challenges: water, waste, pollution, mobility. The highlight of the programme is the opportunity for participants to interact with rural communities during a week long field visit. Participants from developed and developing countries will see practical, technical and sustainable solutions that benefit the grassroot community (solutions to water management, decentralised solid and liquid waste management, meeting a community’s energy needs, etc.). Participants will publish a magazine of their own with help and guidelines from CSE - shoot pictures, write and edit, choose their editors, design team. Full 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 Policy Making in India

The Asia Research Centre at Copenhagen Business School (CBS) organises a seminar with Professor Shubhashis Gangopadhyay,  Director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Shiv Nadar University in India, on Friday 17 April 2015, 14.00–15.30. He will talk about ”Policy Making in India”, focusing on the fact that for the first time in three decades, one party has gone past the half-way mark in India’s 2014 Parliamentary elections (281 seats out of 542) and the coalition it heads has 336 seats. Its largest opposition group, the UPA, has only 59 seats. The 2014 election was held against a backdrop of various corruption scams and a general feeling of a lack of leadership in the outgoing government. The current government came up with the slogan of ‘better days ahead’ should they win. However, in the Rajya Sabha (or Upper House), the NDA is well short of a majority and since all bills must be passed by both houses, this may be a problem for the ruling coalition. Against this backdrop, it is interesting to look at how the major policy thrusts of the government match with the aspirations of the people, what needs to be done and the ability of the current ruling coalition to implement them.
Professor Gangopadhyay is currently the Research Director of India Development Foundation and the Director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Shiv Nadar University. He has formerly served as advisor to the Finance Minister in the Government of India. He holds a PhD in Economics from Cornell University and has published widely on development economics. Please sign up for the lecture at Venue: CBS, Kilen, room Ks54, Kilevej 14, Frederiksberg, Copenhagen. 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.
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. Go to the conference website.
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.

• Copenhagen seminar on SEZs and Industrialisation: The Indian Experience

Professor Aradhna Aggarwal will hold her inaugural lecture as new Professor of Indian Studies at the Asia Research Centre, Copenhagen Business School (CBS) on Friday 24 April 2015, 13.00 – 15.00. She will lecture about ”SEZs and Industrialisation: The Indian Experience”.  Prof. Aggarwal obtained her PhD in Industrial Economics from Delhi School of Economics. She is keenly interested in industry, trade and investment related issues and has published widely in these areas including two singly authored monographs. A reception will be held following the inaugural lecture. Sign up for the inaugural by sending an e-mail to no later than 21 April. Venue: CBS, Kilen, Kilevej 14, Room: Ks43, Frederiksberg, Copenhagen.
Soon after independence in 1947, India embarked on an ambitious industrialisation programme with import substitution and heavy industrialisation as two strategic pillars. As part of this strategy, it set up a SEZ in 1965 and became the first Asian country to have it. By the turn of the 1970s, however, the industrial strategy hit the bottlenecks. The contribution of two operational SEZs to growth remained minuscule. In an attempt to replicate the success of South East Asian countries with SEZs, the government set up more of them in the 1980s but with little success. In 1991, the economy transitioned from import-substituting to an export-oriented regime. The GDP growth rate accelerated, but this acceleration was driven essentially by services. In order to give a major thrust to industrialisation, the government once again turned to SEZs and launched a new SEZ policy. But, soon it came under heavy criticism. Read more...
On 19 March 2015, Prof Aggarwal held a SASNET/SASA seminar in Lund, and gave a highly appreciated presentation entitled ”From SAFTA to South Asian Economic Union: Prospects and Challenges”. This is now available on SASNET,  go for the presentation (as a pdf-file)

• Uppsala seminar on Technical Education, Swadeshi and Development in Bengal

Professor Arun Bandopadhyay from Universitry of Calcutta in Kolkata, India, holds a guest lecture at Uppsala University on Monday 27 April 2015, at 13.15. He will speak about ”Technical Education, Swadeshi and Development in Bengal in the early twentieth century”. The seminar is organised by the Forum for South Asian Studies (FSAS). Technical education had been a contested domain in Bengal ever since the late nineteenth century, but in the early twentieth century, the discourses went on in some new directions. Although the colonial rule was not fully supportive, some Indians made remarkable and fast strides. The Swadeshi movement should be considered a watershed as far as education, including technical education, was concerned. In his presentation, Prof. Bandopadhyay analyses the origins of changes that came in the industrial development of India after the 1930s, finding them in wider debates on technical education and development in the early twentieth century.
Arun Bandopadhyay is former Nurul Hasan Professor of History and Dean of the Post-graduate Faculty of Arts at the University of Calcutta, and now continues as a Visiting Professor of History after retirement. His research interest covers a wide range of areas: agrarian history, social history, business history and the history of science and the environment. More information about he seminar.

• High-profile Copenhagen workshop on New India’s World

The Centre of Global South Asian Studies; and the Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies at University of Copenhagen organizes a high-profile international workshop entitled ”New India's World” on 28 – 29 April 2015. The workshop is sponsored by the Danish Council for Independent Research – Social Sciences (DFS).
A large number of renowned scholars within the field of Indian studies will participate, among them Rina Agarwala, Johns Hopkins University, USA; Nandini Gooptu, Oxford University, UK; Thomas Blom Hansen, Stanford University, USA; David Ludden, New York University, USA; Srirupa Roy, Göttingen University, Germany; and Nandini Sundar, Delhi University, India. Venue: Fiolstræde 4-6, Building 704, Metro Annexe, Copenhagen. The local organisers are Ravinder Kaur and Luisa Steur from University of Copenhagen.
The idea of ‘new India’ has by now become shorthand for the forward march of a nation long deemed to be ‘held back’ by the tide of history. The suffix ‘new’ representing awe and excitement of novelty in our times is now firmly entwined with the process of economic reforms initiated more than two decades ago. The nation’s shift towards free markets and global capital, and its ascent as a prominent and desirable ‘emerging market’, is now central not only to the ongoing dramatic reconfiguration inside the social-political landscape, but also to the ways in which India presents itself and is perceived on the outside. The very idea of India, we are now told, is in a state of flux where the fundamentals are being questioned, challenged and revised. The crux of these arguments is that the Nehruvian era is finally over. Or put differently, the Nehruvian edifice that was steadily chipped away at since the economic reforms is now thought to be in an ultimate state of decay. What is less clear in this discourse however is the form of the new ideological scaffolding being put in its place. What is the shape and aesthetics of this new? And what forms of the past are effaced, and what are revived in the making of this new India? This workshop is an invitation to rethink the question of novelty shaped around the dynamics of old/new, ancient/modern, authentic/inauthentic and vernacular/foreign from a location like post-reform India that is both unsettling and unsettled.
The list of invited speakers also include Sushil Aaron, Hindustan Times; Paula Chakravartty, New York University; Faisal Devji, Oxford University; Shruti Kapila, Cambridge University; Sanjay Srivastava and Varun Sahni, Jawaharlal Nehru University; and Siddharth Varadarajan, Shiv Nadar University. Registration is required. Please write to Therese Mortensen to announce your participation. See the full programme.

• 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. More information.

• Aarhus University workshop on Cultural Elites in Contemporary India

The Contemporary India Study Centre Aarhus (CISCA) at Aarhus University, Denmark, organises a workshop on ”Cultural Elites in Contemporary India: Constructions and Deconstructions” on 5 – 6 May 2015. The conveners are Jyotirmaya Tripathy, Sudarsan Padmanabhan, and Uwe Skoda.  
Contemporary India is a site of many new era elite identities in the arenas of technology and media, neo-religious movements, indigenous and subaltern groups, new social movements, films and sports to name a few. In the intellectual and cultural spheres, a new community is emerging as avant-garde or thought leaders, wielding immense clout as well as celebrity capital. This new pattern is replacing the old binary of elite and mass leading to a new idea of political community and citizenship. Similarly lower caste leaders have created an aura around themselves as champions of justice, though often compromise their subversive politics by allowing themselves to be coopted by the mainstream political parties. Activists and intellectuals too exercise immense influence in terms of their capability in building public opinions on the people they represent by offering new visions of politics and development.
This workshop attempts to broaden the critical discourse on the social processes through which elites are constructed and create frameworks through which such performativity can be deconstructed. The social, political and economic understanding of elites would be interwoven through the fabric of culture, which we hope would encourage a more nuanced and mediated theorizing not limited to the typical tropes. Deadline for submitting abstractsis 15 April 2015. More information.

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• Montreal conference on Currencies of Commerce in the Greater Indian Ocean World

An International Conference on ”Currencies of Commerce in the Greater Indian Ocean World” will be held at the Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC), McGill University, Montreal, Canada, on 23–24 April 2015. It is being organised by Dr. Steven Serels from Harvard University, USA. Until the second half of the twentieth century, there were a number of widely-used, competing currencies circulating throughout the greater Indian Ocean world (IOW), including in the western IOW, for example, the Indian rupee, the Maria Theresa thaler, the British pound, the French franc, the East African shilling, the Italian lira, the Turkish lira, the Egyptian pound, the Ethiopian dollar and the Iranian rial. In addition, there were a number of commodity currencies, including salt bars, cloth squares, grain, beads and shells, as well as paper money, promissory notes, bills of exchange and other drafts. Both buyers and sellers had flexibility in terms of determining the currencies used in market transactions. This conference seeks to interrogate the social, political and economic implications of this multi-currency economic system. Papers are welcome on any region of the greater IOW, which is taken to include Eastern Africa, the Red Sea, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, South Asia, East Asia, and the western Pacific Ocean. 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.  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.

• 15th International Conference on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions

The 15th International Conference on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions (ICTer2015) will be held 24 – 26 August at the  Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo, Sri Lanka. ICTer2015 is technically co-sponsored by IEEE Sri Lanka Section and is the successor to the seminal International Information Technology Conference (IITC) held in Sri Lanka since 1998. It provides an ideal platform to the researchers and practitioners alike to showcase research and development activities carried out in Computer Science and Information Communication Technology domains. Proceedings of ICTer2015 will be published in both book form and on IEEE Explore. Selected papers will be invited for publication in the special issue of ICTer Journal ( The main conference will take place on 24th Monday and 25th Tuesday August 2015 at BMICH, Colombo in conjunction with the 8th International Conference on Ubi-Media Computing (UMEDIA2015). In addition to the presentation of the selected papers, several keynote addresses by leading personalities in the IT world will be made. The conference will also include post-conference high quality tutorials/workshops on 26th Wednesday August 2015 in areas of current interest in Information and Communication Technology. ICTer2015 conference will focus on important problems and potential solutions in areas of ICT. More information

• Guadeloupe conference on Indian Languages in Diaspora.

An International conference on ”Indian Languages in Diaspora. Strategies of Retention and Modes of Transmission” will be held 29 – 31 October 2015 in the French overseas département of Guadeloupe in the Carribean. Venue: Mémorial ACTe, Pointe-à-Pitre. The cnference committee is chaired by Appasamy Murugaiyan from EPHE-UMR 7528 Mondes iranien et indien in Paris.  
For more than three decades, the Indian diaspora has been the subject of many discussions and studies among researchers interested in the historical and economic aspects as well as the anthropological, social and political dimensions of migration. However, the presence of Indian languages and their role ​​within these diaspora populations have so far attracted very limited interest than expected. Of all the elements of identity (re)construction, language retention and transmission is the most problematic. Retention and transmission of the diasporic Indian languages may be mapped along a continuum ranging from disappearance or extreme marginalization to recovery, preservation and promotion through socio-cultural organizations or, in the ideal situation, by the State. The conference focuses on the languages of origin (LO) of the Indian diaspora societies, immigrated during the historical period of indenture that is from 1834 to 1920, known as the historical or old diaspora. They are settled in the following countries and areas: Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles, South Africa, Fiji, Guyana, Suriname, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Trinidad and Tobago. They belong to the two main linguistic groups of the sub-continent: The Indo-Aryan group: Hindi (Awadhi & Bhojpuri), Urdu, Marathi, Gujarati, Sindhi, Punjabi and Konkani; and the Dravidian group: Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.
The objective of the Conference is to provide a forum for discussion and interaction among researchers and educators on theoretical language retention and transmission issues in diasporic contexts, enhanced by relevant country-based case studies. Being hosted in Guadeloupe, the conference will pay particular attention to the Indian diaspora people settled in the French overseas departments (DOM): La Réunion, Guadeloupe and Martinique. It is important to highlight that most of them are of South Indian origin and claim Tamil as their language and culture. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 30 April 2015. More information.  

• Durban conference on 155 years of Indian presence in South Africa

An international conference entitled ”Celebrating 155 years of Indians in South Africa: Ethnicity, Race and Citizenship: Place of Indians in the New South Africa” will be held in Durban, South Africa, 11 – 15 November 2015. It is being organised by the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics at Howard College Campus, University of KwaZulu Natal, Although the focus is on South Africa, the organisers also invite scholars working on Indian diaspora in other countries to offer papers and participate in the conference proceedings. The participation of scholars beyond South Africa will enable researchers in the field of diaspora studies to reflect on broader theoretical issues in conceptualising the Indian diaspora. Deadline for sumitting abstracts is 31 July 2015.
The arrival of Indians since 1860 some as indentured workers and others as independent passengers with an intention to trade has fundamentally changed not only the demographic landscape of South Africa, but also had a deeper impact culturally, socially and religiously. On 16 November 2015 it will be 155 years of their presence in the country. Their experience extends from the colonial history to apartheid and finally culminating in the new South African dispensation. As such, their memories, their social history, their cultural and religious outlook has been shaped by these three key phases of history. In as much as they have shaped the memories of other cultural groups, they have been profoundly affected by their interactions with the rest of the South African population groups. This conference seeks to understand and appreciate as well as to conceptualise their presence in South Africa and also to assess and take stock of their contributions to the South African way of life as a whole, their troubles and anxieties not only of the past but also of the present.  The conference aims to bring together researchers and academics to engage in critical discussion on a range of themes and topics that relate to South African Indians. More information.

• Third International Conference on Global Public Health in Colombo

The Umeå Centre for Global Health Research, Umeå University, Sweden and  International Center for Research & Development, Sri Lanka, jointly organise the Third International Conference on Global Public Health 2015 (GPH 2015) to be held 10 – 11 December 2015 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Venue: Taj Samudra Hotel. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 May 2015.
Keynote speakers are Newell W Johnson, Emeritus Professor of Dental Research, Griffith Health Institute, Australia; Seema Yasmin, Professor of Public Health, University of Texas at Dallas, USA; Dr. Raman Preet from the Umeå Centre for Global Health Research; and Dr. Prabhath Patabendi from the International Center for Research & Development (ICRD), Sri Lanka. The first GPH conference was held in 2012, and the second in 2014. More information about the conference.

• 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

• Indian poet Meena Alexander visits Stockholm

Indian poet Meena Alexander will participate in a poetry reading event in Stockholm on Thursday 16 April 2015, at 19.00. She has been invited by the Karavan literary magazine. The programme is entitled ”To cross the Indian Ocean”. Meena Alexander, born 1951 in Allahabad into a Syrian Christian family from Kerala, is an internationally acclaimed poet, scholar, and writer. Raised in India and Sudan, Alexander now lives and works in New York City, where she is Distinguished Professor of English at Hunter College and at the CUNY Graduate Center in the PhD program in English.
Besides reading her poems, Meena Alexander will also take part in a conversation with Tomas Löfström who has translated some of her poems into Swedish, and the editor of Karavan, Birgitta Wallin, who has published them. Free entrance. Venue: Kafé Klaver, Rutger Fuchsgatan 5, Stockholm (T-bana Skanstull). More information.

• Swedish television highlighted situation for Indian women

The Swedish Television Broadcasting SVT highlighted the situation for women in India by showing several programmes and news items on the issue for a full day on Tuesday 14 April 2015. The journalist Malin Mendel Westberg had put the schedule together. The programmes ranged from Sport News coverage of the Indian woman wrestler Soniya; a programme featuring a young lawyer Nayantara fightng against gender oppression; and a follow-up on the 2014 brutal gang rape in Delhi and Leslee Udwin’s documentary film ”India’s Daughter” (photo from film) on the case. See the full programme schedule (in Swedish only)

• Tenth Annual Day celebration for Saraswathy Kalakendra in Huddinge

Rasa dans Association and Saraswathy Kalakendra Institution of Fine Arts in Huddinge invites for its tenth Annual Day celebration on Saturday 25 April 2015 from 17.00. The Bharata Natyam dance school was started in 2004 by Usha Balasundaram, originally from Kerala and trained at the famous dance institution Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts in Chennai, India. Performances have been frequent during the past years in the Stockholm region, most recently for example at functions organised by the Hindu temple Association in Stockholm, by Karolinska Institutet, and the Indo-Swedish Association. This year's programme will feature traditional and folk dances from various Indian states, a dance drama depicting Indian cultural narratives, and colorful Bollywood dance. Venue: Saraswathy Kalakendra Institution of Fine Arts, Gymnasietorget 1, Huddinge. More information on Saraswathy Kalakendra Institution of Fine Arts and the Annual day celebration.

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

New and updated items on SASNET web site

• University of Denver report on Identity Politics in Nepal

Nepal: Identity Politics in a Turbulent Transition. University of Denver Case Study Overview, 2015. This report presents case study findings from a two-year research and policy-dialogue initiative that explores how international peacemakers and development aid providers affect social cohesion in conflict-affected countries. Principal case study specialists for Nepal include Subindra Bogati, Fletcher Cox, Sachchi Ghmire Karki, and Timothy D. Sisk. Following the departure of the UNMIN that facilitated the initial steps of transition from war-to-peace, in early 2011, Nepal is a case of mostly endogenous development after civil war, with an essentially locally led peace process. This context leaves the UN Resident Representative to coordinate UN efforts. Nepal has received significant and longstanding attention from international development partners, some of whom come with an agenda based on the premise that remediation of Nepal’s historically deep “horizontal inequalities” is an essential step for the consolidation of peace. Overall, the case has three key findings:
• Analysis of social cohesion in contemporary Nepal charts the rise of ethnic awareness and the politicization of identity, often attributed to the Maoist ideological mobilization.
• Rising ethnic awareness generated resentment towards the deeply entrenched caste system and the political system that consolidated power structures within the caste system and propagated norms of superiority or inferiority by birth with a complete absence of social mobility.
• The promotion of social cohesion in Nepal has created a dilemma for international development partners, between fostering a locally-owned process while advocating for international norms and conducting projects that have a more transformation or interventionist orientation associated with the goals of empowerment of historically disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. Go for the report.

• ISDP report on Tamil Women in Post-Confllict Sri Lanka

EmpowerIng Tamil Women: Recovery in Post-Confllict Sri Lanka. The Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP) Brief 2015. Report by Dr. Martina Klimesova, Associate Fellow at ISDP; and Bimsara Premaratne, Assistant Manager for Programme Support and Coordination at the Initiative for Political and Conflict Transformation (Inpact), in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It has been more than five years since the Sri Lankan government’s military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a conflict which spanned over twenty-five years, ravaged the north-east of the island, and led to over 100,000 deaths. While billions of dollars have been invested since May 2009 in speedy physical infrastructure development projects, the previously LTTE-dominated conflict-affected districts of the north are in desperate need of socio-cultural reconstruction assistance directed towards community capacity development, particularly the empowerment of women-headed households. Go for the report.

• Essays on Joseph Needham and the history of science in India

Needham's Indian Network: The Search for a Home for the History of Science in India. Yoda Press 2015. By Dhruv Raina, Associate Professor of Philosophy of Science, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi. The essays appearing in this book attempt to create a space for the disciplinary history of science in India in the first few decades following the achievement of independence from colonial rule. The 1950s were marked by a number of efforts in nation building, in a variety of spheres, and in the present volume, Dhruv Raina looks at the role envisaged for the history of science, as it was ensconced within the science academies that played a fundamental role in the institutionalisation of science in independent India. In doing so, he effectively analyses the conditions of production of the disciplinary history of science in India. More information.
Dhruv Raina defended his PhD at the Dept. of Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg, in 1999. The thesis was entitled ”Nationalism, Institutional Science and the Politics of Knowledge: Ancient Indian Astronomy and Mathematics in the Landscape of French Enlightenment Historiography” (more information).  

• PIPS study on Development of a Jihadi character in Pakistan

The Militant: Development of a Jihadi character in Pakistan, by Muhammad Amir Rana, Director,  Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) in Islamabad. This book mainly focuses on the development of the militant’s character in recent years. The phases of militant discourse have completely changed his personality. The militant of the 1990s and the militants in the making today have huge differences. The first generation of militants was adventurous, but the new militant has clarity of ideology and objectives. A lot of work has been done to understand militancy and terrorism, but very few attempts have been made to comprehend the characteristics of militants. This can provide better understanding of the phenomenon as a militant experiences all the challenges and consequences of transformation. More information.

• Pioneer work on the Media Landscape in BRICS countries

Mapping BRICS Media. Routledge 2015. Edited by Kaarle Nordenstreng, Professor Emeritus of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Tampere, Finland, and Daya Kishan Thussu, Professor of International Communication at the University of Westminster in London. This is the first comprehensive and comparative study of the emerging media landscape in the world’s most dynamic markets. This pioneering collection focuses on one of the key topics in contemporary international relations – the emergence of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). The volume brings together distinguished scholars from the BRICS nations to assess the effects of the exponential growth in media in some of the world’s fastest growing major economies and examine how the emergence will impact on global media and communication. Transnational in scope, the book focuses on significant and yet hitherto largely ignored developments in the globalization of media. By interrogating the relationship between the inter-BRICS media and media practices and perceptions, this volume provides an accessible and critical guide to the complex debates about the impact of the ‘rise of the rest’ on the media globe. Read more.

• Edited volume on the global reception of RabindranathTagore

Rabindranath Tagore: One Hundred Years of Global Reception. Edited volume by Martin Kämpchen, Imre Bangha and Uma Das Gupta. Orient Black Swan 2014. When Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 for his own English translation of Gitanjali (Song Offerings), he became the first non-European to do so, achieving immediate fame.Translations in other languages of this and other works followed. Reams were written on his writings, and his personality. As a world citizen, Tagore aimed at bringing the ‘East’ and the ‘West’ together for an inclusive humanism. His was assumed to be the Voice of India – indeed of Asia and the colonised world. The Nobel Prize gave him the authority to speak, and the intellectual elite of many countries listened. The editors of this excellent book asked Tagore experts worldwide to narrate how the Bengali author was received from 1913 until our time. Their thirty-five essays arranged by region or language group inform us about translations, the impact of Tagore’s visits, and his subsequent standing in the world of letters. The well-informed chapter on the response in Scandinavia is written by Dr. Mirja Juntunen (Miriya Malik), previously connected to the universities of Stockholm, Uppsala and Aarhus. More information.

• Swedish departments where research on South Asia is going on

This month there were 3 new departments added to SASNET's list: 
         ‡ Department of Medicine and Optometry, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Linnaeus University, Växjö/Kalmar
         ‡ Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology, Faculty of Technology, Linnaeus University, Växjö/Kalmar
         ‡ Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS), Umeå University

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
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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