Newsletter 178 – 2 September 2015


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• Malmö symposium on Cardiometabolic Disease Risk for people from the Middle East and South Asia
Venkat Narayan, Louise Bennet, Naveed Sattar and Jason Gill.

The Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Unit at the Department of Clinical Sciences (CRC), Lund University, organises a mini-Symposium on ”Cardiometabolic Disease Risk for people from the Middle-East and South Asia” on 3 September 2015, 10.00–12.00, in Malmö. The symposium is sponsored in part by SASNET. It aims to offer a comprehensive update on the cardiometabolic risk in South Asians and immigrants from the Middle East. Four distinguished national and international faculty will give lectures. Professor K.M. Venkat Narayan from Emory University Atlanta, Georgia, USA, will speak about ”Type 2 Diabetes risk and South Asians”. Narayanan is professor of epidemiology & medicine, at Emory, and currently Visiting professor in Global Diabetes at the University of Copenhagen. Associate Professor Louise Bennet from the Center for Primary Heath Care Research at Lund University will speak about ”Cardiometabolic risk profiles in immigrants from the Middle East”; and Professor Naveed Sattar from the Institute of Cardiovascular & Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK, will speak about ”Cardiovascular disease risk in South Asians”. Finally,  Dr Jason Gill, also from University of Glasgow, will speak about ”Why South Asians have more Type 2 Diabetes disease risk?”. Venue: Lecture Hall at CRC (CRC-aula), Jan Waldenströms gata 35, Skåne University Hospital in Malmö. More information

• SASNET South Asia Media Project organizes explorative workshops in Lund and Delhi

SASNET is currently launching its South Asia Media Project. The purpose of the project is to create a forum for exchange of ideas, perspectives and future outlooks on the South Asian and Swedish media landscape, and to build up a network of Indian and Swedish journalists, as well as media researchers, to discuss and exchange ideas about work methods, trends within the media industry and business models. It is being planned by Andreas Mattsson, lecturer in journalism at the Department of Communication and Media, Lund University, and currently working as project coordinator at SASNET. More information about the background.
During 2015, the South Asia Media Project focuses on Indian media. Two explorative workshops will be held, the first one at Lund University, Sweden, on 19–20 October; and the second in New Delhi, India, to be held 7–9 December. The aim is to highlight the future media landscapes in India and Sweden. The workshops will also link Indian and Swedish media researchers and journalists together to seek new ways of working with future challenges and also to highlight possible projects.
The two-day explorative workshop in Lund will bring up questions related to the following topics: • Working Condition of Journalists; • Political Influence on Media; • Online Ethics; • Gender in Media; and • Innovation in Media. Indian media researchers and journalists will present their experiences and outlooks on the future media landscape during panel talks, presentations and seminars. 

Parthasarathi, Monteiro, Jayasankar and Devika.

Confirmed academic speakers include Associate Professor Vibodh Parthasarathi from the Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi; Professor Anjali Monteiro and Professor K P Jayasankar from Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) in Mumbai; and Dr. Devika Jayakumari from Centre for Development Studies (CDS) in Thiruvanantapuram.
Four Indian journalists are also scheduled to give presentations. They are Hindol Sengupta, Editor-at-Large for Fortune India; Shweta Punj, Senior Associate Editor for the Business Today magazine; Divya Rajagopal, Financial reporter at Economic Times newspaper; and Priyanka Borpujari, Reporting on human rights and social subjects, based in Guwahati.
Students, researchers, journalists and other interested are welcome to participate in the discussions and to mingle with future colleagues at the Lund workshop. Venue: AF Borgen, Sandgatan 2, Lund. More information including link to registration.
The three-day Delhi workshop in December is being planned in collaboration with Lund University Commissioned Education (LUCE), and the Swedish Embassy in Delhi that has committed itself to cooperate with the project. More information will follow soon. Go for the web page of the South Asia Media Project.

• SASA/SASNET field work travel grants to two Lund University students

Tullia Axel

In May 2015, the South Asian Students Association (SASA)  at Lund University, in collaboration with SASNET, decided upon the announced student travel grants to do fieldwork in South Asia during the fall semester of 2015. The grants will cover travel expenses for airline tickets to the country of fieldwork for up to a maximum of SEK 8,000 per grant. The two successful candidates are Tullia Jack, PhD candidate at the Dept. of Sociology; and Axel Vikström, bachelors student of Journalism at the Dept. of Media and Communication. Tullia Jack is supposed to visit Mysore in India, to study Conventions, cleanliness and resource consumption in everyday life, whereas Axel Vikström is going to Maldives in the beginning of September 2015 to do reporting on the Crisis for Democracy.
Students enrolled at Lund University planning to do fieldwork in South Asia were encouraged to apply. SASA and SASNET expect to announce a new round of fieldwork grants during the fall 2015. Like our Facebook page “South Asian Students Association at Lund University” and follow our page on the SASNET website at, to stay updated on new grant announcements.

• SASNET South Asian short-term fellowship holders spend time at Lund University
Anindita Majumdar, Shveta Soam, P R Nisha, Mashiur Rahman and Kanica Rakhra.

In early 2015, SASNET announced the results of applications for short-term (1-2 months) PhD or post-doc fellowship stays at Lund University, financed by SASNET, during the academic year 2015­­–2016. The results were made public on 16 March 2015. Five researchers were accepted:
• Dr. Anindita Majumdar, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, India, to be hosted by the Dept. of Gender Studies, Lund University
• PhD candidate Shveta Soam, Centre for Advanced Bioenergy Research, Faridabad, India, to be hosted by the Division of Environmental and Energy Systems Studies at the Dept. of Technology and Society, Lund University
• Dr. P. R. Nisha, Department of History, University of Delhi, India, to be hosted by the Dept. of Human Geography, Lund University
• Dr. Mashiur Rahman, Dept. of Sociology, Dhaka University, Bangladesh, to be hosted by the Dept.of Sociology, Lund University
• PhD candidate Kanica Rakhra, Center for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi, India, to be hosted by the Dept. of Political Science, Lund University
The first researcher to arrive in Lund is Mashiur Rahman (photo) from Dhaka University. He arrived on 15h May and stayed for two months, and during this period participated in the SASNET May conference and lectured at the Dept.of Sociology.
Shveta Soam and P R Nisha will both arrive at Lund on 31 August 2015, whereas the remaining two researchers are expected to come to Lund in the winter 2015-16.
The positions were open to PhD candidates in their final year, recent PhDs, and post-docs who have been students at universities in South Asia (i.e. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka). Applicants should also have a research topic concerning the geographical area of South Asia or be doing a comparative study including South Asia. It wass also stated that candidates should arrange their own affiliation with a Lund University department or research center before submitting ther applications, since it is the department that provides them with working space and include them in departmental activities. Further, SASNET expects that candidates will present their research projects at a public event during their stay in Sweden.

• Full SASNET seminars available on Youtube

Talat Bhat is a film maker residing in Lund. He is regularly engaged by SASNET to do recordings of our SASNET seminars at Lund University. We now present links to all seminars being posted on Youtube. They include seminars by Thomas Blom Hansen, Stanford University; Susan Visvanathan, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU); Subrata Mitra, University of Heidelberg; Brent E Huffman, Northwestern University, USA; Doug Miller, University of Northumbria in Newcastle; and many others.
We also link up to the keynote presentations from SASNET’s  April 2013 high-profile one-day South Asia Symposium at Lund University, seminars focusing on five countries of the region: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, by Dina Siddiqi, BRAC University, Dhaka; Surinder Jodhka, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; Michael Hutt, SOAS, University of London; Ayesha Siddiqa, previously Visiting Scholar at Johns Hopkins University; and Jonathan Spencer, University of Edinburgh, plus a final panel discussion with South Asia ambassadors to Sweden (photo). Go for SASNET’s recorded seminars, with youtube links.

• SASNET hosted Devika as an Erasmus Mundus scholarship holder

Professor Jayakumari Devika from the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) in Thiruvananthapuram, India, spent five weeks as a Erasmus Mundus scholarship holder at Lund University during May-June 2015. Officially she was hosted by SASNET as an academic staff, but she was provided a workplace at the Department of Gender Studies. Devika was selected for this exchange programme as a candidate for the India lot No. 13 in the 2013 round of the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 – Strand 1 – Partnership programme, EU’s flagship programme aimed at promoting the attractiveness of the European Higher Education system and third country cooperation and partnerships. The India lot was coordinated by Lund University and the consortium was entitled EMINTE (Erasmus Mundus India To Europe), in which also Uppsala University has been a partner, with SASNET being an Associate partner. The consortium has consisted of 10 European and 10 Indian partners. The other European partner universities were University of Leuven, Belgium; Freie University of Berlin, Germany; University College Dublin, Ireland; University of Trieste, Italy; University of Warsaw, Poland; University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; University of Deusto, Spain; and University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The South Asian partner universities are Gandhigram Rural Institute Deemed University, Dindigul; Indian Institute of Technology Bombay; Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur; Jadavpur University, Kolkata; Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; North Orissa University, Baripada; Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences Deemed University, Loni; Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram; and University of Pune. More information about the Erasmus Mundus India lot 2013.
Prof. Devika described her stay at Lund University a remarkably exciting intellectual break.
”The opportunity to engage with the work of others, from senior academics to young students, in a range of forums, was a centerpiece of sorts, not to mention the considerable progress I was able to make in my writing based on fieldwork recently completed. I loved Lund: no disrespect to Lund is intended, but it is indeed dream-academic-Europe – as pretty as Cambridge, and with solid socialist public values on top!”
While in Lund, Devika was also engaged as a keynote speaker at the EASAS workshop in Höllviken and a panel chairperson in the SASNET international conference on Structural Transformation of South Asia.

• SLU researcher on courtesy visit to SASNET

Associate Professor Sadhna Alström from the Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology at BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Uppsala made a courtesy visit to SASNET office at Lund University on Thursday 27 August 2015. Sadhna, with 30 years of experience in different aspects of plant/microbe interactions in presence and absence of plant pathogens and biological control in agriculture and horticulture, met with her long-time friend deputy director Lars Eklund to update information about the South Asia related research at SLU, and especially the two projects that received SASNET planning grants in 2008 and 2009, in which she has been involved.
The first project dealt with developing collaborative research between Indian and Swedish researchers towards sustainable Hillberry production for small farm holders in the Himalayas. The project was planned for in collaboration with her SLU colleague Dr. Leslie Paul, and Dr. Alok Adholeya, Director of Biotechnology and Bioresources Division at TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) in New Delhi. The networking grant from SASNET made it possible to identify potential sites for trials of the proposed project and meet with local growers. Preliminary samplings were conducted for the development of arbuscular mycorrhizal-bacterial propagation and speciation with seabuckthorn.
After the planning process was over, applications for research funding were sent to different agencies, and in 2010 the project was awarded SEK 1.29 m as a research grant for three years (2011-13) from Sida/SAREC. It was coordinated by Professor Paresh Dutta at the collaborating Department of Food Science at BioCenter, SLU, Uppsala, and the project was now entitled ”Development of Seabuckthorn as an effective crop for ecological and economic sustainability of marginal farmers in sub-Himalaya, India”. The project collaboration partners on the Indian side also included Dr. Shashi Tripathi at TERI.
The second research project, for which SASNET gave seed money, was also planned for by Sadhna Alström and Leslie Paul. It also focused on developing collaborative research between Indian and Swedish researchers, but this time dealing with sustainable production of Cocos nucifera (coconuts). The project was supposed to be developed in collaboration with the Indian Council for Agriculture (ICAR), an institution that has played a pioneering role in ushering Green Revolution and subsequent developments in agriculture in India through its research and technology development.
However, due to unforeseen problems, the project was not possible to realize in India. Instead, new possibilities were explored to collaborate with soil scientists at Cantho University in Vietnam, a university that collaborates with SLU. The idea was that the results and experiences from Vietnam will be highly relevant also to Indian environment. This change of collaborative country was approved by SASNET, and the planning has developed into a research application. It is still waiting for funding, since some more data on background information related to coconut production in Vietnam is needed in order to complete the application. More information about the South Asia related research at the Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, SLU.

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

Research Community News

• Lund university extends collaboration agreement with DBT-IOC Bioenergy Center, Faridabad

The collaboration agreement on short term exchanges of researchers between Lund university and the Indian Bioenergy Center in Faridabad was extended with two years starting June 1, 2015. The Bioenergy center is located at the central research site of Indian Oil corporation in Faridabad, but is  jointly financed by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, and Indian Oil corporation. Both parties were highly positive to a continuation, and the extension agreement was signed by the Vice Chancellor at Lund university in the end of May.  The research of common interest relates to renewable energy. The agreement is financially support by the Swedish Energy Agency for the costs occuring on the Swedish side and IOC for the costs on the Indian side.  More information on SASNET’s page on the Dept. of Chemical Engineering.

• Outlier Indian Economic Research Forum assisting researchers

Outlier Research, based in New Delhi, India, is an amazing economic research forum that assists researchers, academicians and policymakers in impeccable data handling; ensuring congenial solutions to intricate data & analysis problems and making research an insightful propitious experience. The company providse assistance on data sets such as the National Living Standard Survey, the Population Census, and RAND Database. Outlier also serves students of Economics pursuing their Bachelors. A team of experts from renowned universities across India provide students not only with the notes of all the chapters but also solutions of important back questions. Besides, a knowledge base has been created with links to scholarships, internments and interesting workshops/seminars/conferences. Go for the web page.

• Aarhus University announces position as assistant professor in Indian/South Asian Studies

The Department of Global Studies within the School of Culture and Society at Aarhus University, Denmark, invites applications for a position as assistant professor in Indian/South Asian Studies with a special focus on contemporary socio-economic trends in India/South Asia. The assistant professorship is a full-time, three-year training position, and subject to appropriate funding a subsequent associate professorship will be announced in open competition. The position is available from 1 January 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful applicant must have strong academic competences within the field of socio-economic trends and developments in India and South Asia. Socio-economic trends in India/South Asia should be understood in broad terms and may encompass political and cultural aspects related to possible sub-fields (such as development, the environment, urbanisation, health etc.). Applicants must be willing to participate in consolidating and expanding the field in terms of both teaching and research. We expect sufficient language proficiency in Hindi and/or a major Indian/South Asian language required to work in a language-based area programme. Applicants must have a PhD degree or equivalent qualifications in political science, anthropology, sociology or related fields. Deadline for submitting applications is 16 September 2015. Full information

• IT University Punjab seeks faculty IT University of the Punjab seeks faculty for Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.

IT University of the Punjab, based at the state of the art Arfa Software Technology Park in Lahore, Pakistan, seeks faculty in its newly established Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. The Department aims to not only complement the IT focus of the university but also develop a strong faculty with dynamic teaching skills (especially using IT resources) and a robust research profile. The Department works closely with the Centre for Governance and Policy which spearheads the university's intervention in the policy arena, and faculty members will be expected to participate in its activities.
The course load is 2-2, (mainly undergraduate, but a postgraduate programme will soon commence) and a generous research and travel allowance is given to facilitate research. Salary is also very competitive. The Department hopes to hire in all disciplines in the humanities and social sciences but is keen to hire in Anthropology/Sociology, Economics, Governance and Public Policy, History, South Asian literature, English Literature and Linguistics. Recent PhD's with an active research profile are encouraged to apply. Appointments will be at the Assistant Professor level, though higher appointments can be considered.
For further information please contact Dr Yaqoob Khan Bangash, Head of Department, Humanities & Director, Centre for Governance and Policy, IT University of the Punjab.

• Copenhagen discussion event on New Subaltern Politics in South Asia

On Friday 11 September, 10–12, the Centre of Global South Asian Studies within the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studie (ToRS)s, University of Copenhagen, organises a dscussion event on New Subaltern Politics. Researchers from Copenhagen along with colleagues in Norway and South Africa written a book on this theme, a volume being edited by Alf Gunvald Nielsen, University of Bergen, and Srila Roy, Witswatersrand University. The book has been published by Oxford University Press. More information about the book.
New Subaltern Politics presents a critical dialogue between the conceptual and analytical legacies of Subaltern Studies and the evolving forms of hegemony and resistance in contemporary India. From the struggles of the urban poor in Gujarat to the activism of sexual subalterns in eastern India and the mobilization of artisanal fishing communities in Tamil Nadu, the essays in this volume cover a diverse range of ongoing struggles against dispossession, disenfranchisement, and stigma that are unfolding in neoliberal India. The volume analyses the forms of collective agency that subaltern groups develop to negotiate with the workings of power from above. Foregrounding the imaginative, affective, and secular dimensions of subaltern agency, New Subaltern Politics interrogates the current relevance of Gramscian concepts of hegemony, subalternity, and the integral state in the contemporary Indian context. Bringing together path-breaking methodological and conceptual interventions in the study of subaltern politics, this volume will be invaluable to all those engaged as academics or as activists—in the struggle against unjust societies and unequal developmental trajectories.
Besides Nielsen and Roy, participants at the event are Luisa Steur, Rina Agarwala, and Dan Hirslund, all from University of Copenhagen. Venue: University of Copenhagen, 4th Floor seminar room, ToRS, Building 10, Karen Blixens Vej 4. More information.

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

Educational News

• Large number of South Asia related courses at Uppsala University

The Department of Linguistics and Philology at Uppsala University is the leading institution of South Asia related courses within the field of Humanities in Sweden. Its Indology section, headed by Professor Heinz Werner Wessler, runs several interesting courses on both Bachelors and Masters level, and also a mix of in-house full-time courses in Uppsala with evening part-time, and online courses.
During the fall semester 2015, 30 credits courses in Sanskrit A and B, and Indology courses on A, B, C and D level are held, besides shorter 15 credits Introduction courses in Sanskrit and Hindi. Students on an advanced level are also offered a 15 credits internship in Hindi, to be carried out at an organisation, department or company linked to India or Pakistan, that has been accepted by the department. 
Besides, a 7.5 credits introduction course to Indian Philosophy is given, and a similar 7.5 credits course entitled ”Modern History of South Asia”, offering a basic introduction to South Asia's modern history with special emphasis on India and Pakistan. Areas covered include politics, economics, domestic and international political events, women's status, language policy and minority issues. The course also provides an insight into the importance of media, especially film and music, as opinion-makers from the early 1900s and onwards.
The department also offers a 7.5 credits evening course entitled ”The Dancing Elephant: India as Superpower and Nation with Rich Cultural Heritage”; and a 7.5 credits online course entitled ”The Religions, History and Cultural History of India”. The course reading for this course includes Arthur Basham Llewellyn’s ”The wonder that was India: A survey of the history and culture of the Indian sub-continent before the coming of the Muslims”; S A A Rizvi’s ”The wonder that was India: A survey of the history and culture of the Indian sub-continent from the coming of the Muslims to the British conquest, 1200-1700”; and Barbara Metcalfe’s ”A concise history of modern India”.
A number of Masters level courses are also provided during the fall semester 2015. They include a 15 credits course on South Asian languages with focus on Hindi, and another text course on ”Modern History and Culture in South Asia”, giving an introduction to South Asia's modern history and culture from the British colonial period to the 21st century. During the course non-fiction and literary texts in Hindi are read as a base for discourse analysis. A second text course focuses on Literature and Religion in South Asia, offering a detailed study of the history of Hindi literature with a focus on Modern Standard Hindi. It also follows up religious discourses, and how the intellectual history of modern South Asia relates to discourses on religion. Full information about the Indology courses at Uppsala University.
Besides these courses, it should also be mentioned the 180 credits Bachelor Programme in Oriental Studies (Orientalistikprogrammet) run by Uppsala University since many years. It is a programme focusing on linguistic and cultural conditions in the Middle East, North Africa, Central and South Asia, where the students have to choose to focus on either Arabic, Hindi, Persian or Turkic language studies. Full information about the Oriental Studies programme (only in Swedish).

• Two journalism students from Lund University spend the fall semester in Kerala

Two students from the Department for Communication and Media at Lund University will spend the fall semester 2015 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. Their stay is part of an ongoing Linnaeus-Palme exchange programme with the Department of Communication and Journalism at University of Kerala. Josefin Wennang and Oscar Schau (photos) are supposed to write journalistic reports and their Bachelors theses in Journalism, based on field work in Kerala.
During the spring semester 2016, two students from Kerala University will come to Lund to study editorial work, print- and online journalism and video reporting.
In early March 2015, the Swedish International Programme Office for Education and Training decided upon the fifteenth round of Linnaeus Palme Exchange Programme grants, for the period 1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016. A total amount of SEK 41.5 Million was distributed to 212 projects at Swedish universities. The grants are funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Out of 212 projects given grants, 3 are with Bangladesh, 22 with India, 2 with Nepal, and 3 with Sri Lanka. Go for SASNET’s list of South Asia related projects.

• The Sweden India Nobel Memorial Quiz 2015 now launched

Indore hosted the first Qualifying Round of The Sweden India Nobel Memorial Quiz 2015, at Indian Institute of Management (IIM) on 12 August 2015. The 10-city Inter-Collegiate quiz competition is a part of the annual Sweden –India Nobel Memorial Week, organised by the Embassy of Sweden and leading Swedish companies to enhance the positive image of Sweden in India. The Week 11–15 October also celebrates the spirit and contribution of the Swedish innovator, entrepreneur & philanthropist Alfred Nobel. The Sweden India Nobel Memorial Quiz will be bringing together quizzers from across reputed colleges & institutes of the city. Participation to this prestigious Quiz will be open to all Under Graduate & Post Graduate students in teams of three, representing a college.
Apart from Indore, the regional qualifiers are also be held in Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Ahmedabad and New Delhi. National winners will get an all-expense paid trip to Sweden, where they will get to visit head quarters of partner companies, universities and the Nobel Museum. More information.

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

See SASNET’s page,

Seminars and Conferences in Scandinavia

• Uppsala seminar on Transboundary Water Cooperation in South Asia

The Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University organised a guest lecture by Paula Hanasz, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University (ANU) on Monday 31 August 2015. Dr. Hanasz lectured about ”The World Bank and Transboundary Water Cooperation in South Asia”. Venue: ”Russian Library”, Gamla torget 3, Uppsala. 
The seminar focued on the deliberative governance of transboundary rivers in the Indus and Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basins is the objective of the WorldBank-led South Asia Water Initiative (SAWI). The primary task of SAWI is to facilitate workshops and roundtable dialogues between the riparians of these basins, as well as ‘Track II’ dialogue between governments and civil society actors. In practice, however, Track II dialogue does not address the political context, historical grievances, or the lack of political will within the basins to act on transboundary water resource issues. Track II dialogue also does not account for the power asymmetries in the basins, especially India’s hydro-hegemony. Water cooperation, moreover, takes decades to build, especially in a region that has had water related tensions festering for generations. Furthermore, the resentment from in-basin actors towards the World Bank and SAWI undermines its efficacy. More information.

• Oslo seminar on Pakistan's controversial blasphemy legislation

Asad Ali Ahmed, Associate Professor at the Department of Social Anthropology at Harvard Unviversity, USA, holds a guest lecture in Oslo on Wednesday 2 September 2015, 14.15–16.00.  He will speak about ”Disparate Genealogies, Pragmatic Histories and the Universalization of Blasphemy”. Ahmed is a leading scholar of the history of Pakistan's controversial blasphemy legislation, and in his presentation he will focus on how a project of secular governance in colonial India – the laws regulating offences against religion – could establish the conditions for the emergence of affective religious publics. He presents a genealogy of Pakistan’s laws against “blasphemy” in order to track configurations of colonial and post-colonial governance in South Asia. This will be done by  examining utilitarian theories of law, language and government, that is, Jeremy Bentham’s jurisprudential theory, that was crucial to the conceptualization and formulation of the Indian Penal Code of 1860. 
Asad Ali Ahmed visits the University of Oslo during September 2015 as part of the Morgenstierne lecture series at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages. Venue: Lecture room 2, Georg Sverdrups Hus, Blindern, Oslo. More information.

• KTH seminar on ‘Jugar’ as architectural knowledge in present day India

The Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm organises a Higher Seminar with Associate Professor Jaideep Chatterjee from the Department of Art, Design and Performing Arts and Department of Sociology at Shiv Nadar University (SMU) in India on Tuesday 8 September 2015, 13.15–14.45. Venue: KTH, Teknikringen 74 D. Dr. Chatterjee will lecture about “Environing the world: ‘Jugar’ as architectural knowledge in present day India”. He has a PhD from Cornell University in USA, and is focusing on Visual Culture in his research. Among his publications could be mentioned “Architectonic Improvisations: Modernity and Design(s) in Postcolonial India,” in Modern Makeovers: The Oxford Handbook of Modernity in South Asia (Oxford University Press, 2011). In addition to his academic pursuits, Jaideep also actively collaborates with designers, architects, artists and filmmakers. More information.

• Oslo seminar on Public Space and Moral Policing in Urban India

Christiane Brosius, Professor of Visual and Media Anthropology at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies, Germany, holds an open lecture on ”The Battlefields of Love: Public Space and Moral Policing in Urban India” on Thursday 10 September 2015, 14.15–16.00. It focuses on what makes love so controversial in India?, and why does the celebration of Valentine's Day trigger so violent reactions toward the idea of choice, pleasure and consumption? This will be the second Morgenstierne lecture at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, Universty of Oslo. Venue: Lecture room 3, Georg Sverdrups Hus, Blindern, Oslo. The seminar is based on ethnographic fieldwork in Delhi between 2009 and 2012. The talk deals with several practices that track the relay between romantic love, sexuality and cultures of urban modernity in northern India. Visuality and material culture, place-making and place-restricting tactics, as well as the making of ”new” social relations and ”new emotions” will be explored in the case of greeting cards made for the celebration of Valentine’s Day, an event that has stirred not only romance, but most of all, violence, rejection and turbulent reactions towards the idea of choice, pleasure and consumption.
In her research, Christiane Brosius is focuses on social spatialisation in the context of the middleclassness in Delhi, on contemporary art production and mega-events in Delhi and Kathmandu (Nepal) as well as ageing in urban environs. Brosius is founding member of Tasveerghar – The House of Images, which is a digital database for visual popular culture in India. With the other founder, Sumathi Ramaswamy and Yousuf Saeed, Brosius has just edited‚Visual Homes. Image Worlds (Yoda Press, Delhi 2015). More information.

• Växjö seminar on Rape Culture and Sexism in Globalizing India

Radhika Krishnan, currently guest researcher at Linnaeus University in Växjö/Kalmar, holds a public lecture on ”Rape Culture and Sexism in Globalizing India” on Wednesday 16 September 2015, at 18.00. The lecture takes its starting point in the the horrific and gruesome gang-rape of a 23 year-old woman in Delhi in December 2012, which was followed by massive protests in different parts of India. Venue Stadsbiblioteket, Västra Esplanaden 7, Växjö. At Linnaeus University, she is connected to the Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies.
Radhika Krishnan has a PhD from the Centre for Studies in Science Policy at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi. Her doctoral research attempted to explore the trade unionist Shankar Guha Niyogi’s varied reflections and interventions under the broad rubrics of environment, development and technology. An electrical engineer by training, Radhika has worked with the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) for several years. Her research has essentially looked at the interactions between technological regimes, communities and local ecologies. Her research interests also include the new social movements of the 1970s and 1980s, which articulated the complex response of peasants, labourers and adivasis (India’s indigenous people) to the ‘development’ project presented to them. More information.

• The Swallows invites to Glocal Development Talks! in Lund

The Swedish NGO The Swallows India Bangladesh, based in Lund, organises what they call Glocal Development Talks! on 20–24 September 2015. In an effort to influence the decisions made under the umbrella of different development goals, the organisation aims to provide a platform for voices from the Global South, whose inequality, the goals are meant to address. The effect of the global politics in local voices will come from partner organisations in India and Bangladesh who will share their views informed by their experiences. The invited speakers are people who represent mobilisation and the struggle for resistance and at the same time, people who are linked to a greater global discourse. The forum will stimulate debate around issues such as how Sweden support and relate to the BRICS countries and the upcoming Next Eleven (N 11), with the background of growing inequalities; and how Sweden’s new and unique feminist foreign policy influence the development agenda.
The Glocal Development Talks! aims to attract development practitioners, researchers, politicians, civil society organisations as well as the general public. Through seminars, panel debates and interactive methods, these talks will encourage and mediate direct communication between different stakeholders in Sweden and the Global South. It also gives an opportunity for civil organisations and the general public in the southern regions of Sweden to participate in an event that it located in Lund.

Khushi Kabir, P V Satheesh and Shobha Raghuram, some of the participants to the Lund conference.

Participants include Khushi Kabir, leader for the civil society organisation Nijera Kori in Bangladesh; P.V Satheesh, internationally well-known founding member of Deccan Development Society (DDS) in Hyderabad and the national convenor of the Millet Network of India; Sukanta Sen, civil society leader with more than twenty years experience of action research and program facilitation on natural resources management. Founder of Bangladesh Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (BARCIK); Sheelu Francis, leader for 60 000­‐strong Women´s Collective in Chennai, India; Mathew John, co‐founders of Keystone and also the Managing Director of Last Forest Enterprises, a social enterprise incubated by Keystone Foundation; Thilagam Ramalingam, leader of Evidence, an organisation monitoring the violations of Dalit rights and promoting social justice in Tamil Nadu; Shahidul Islam, Director of Unnayan Dhara (UD) an organisation mobilising farmers to claim their rights in remote villages in north-­western Bangladesh; and Shobha Raghuram, development writer working extensively with civil society organisations, founding member of the South Asia Alliance for the Eradication of Poverty (SAAPE) in Kathmandu, and visiting fellow at the Centre for Population and Development Studies at Harvard University, USA. Full information about the 2015 Glocal Development Talks!

• Örebro conference on Virtual Learning Sites as Languaging Spaces

The School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (HumEs) at Örebro University hosts an international conference entitled ”Virtual Learning Sites as Languaging Spaces” (ViLS-2) on 22–24 September 2015. The conference is being organized by the research group CCD, (Communication, Culture & Diversity) at HumES, within the framework of project CINLE (Communication and Identity processes in Netbased Learning Environments). It is being chaired by Professor Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta.
The main objective of the ViLS-2 international conference is to establish a forum for dialogue on the study of interaction, learning and identity formation in virtual environments. The themes and issues raised two years ago will be re-focused again, this time with special attention on the languaging and construction of time and space in virtual sites. The 2015 ViLS-2 conference will include presentations by invited plenary speakers as well as provide opportunities for panel discussions led by internationally acclaimed researchers in the conference areas of interest. Confirmed international featured speakers include three Indian professors, Biswajit Das (photo) from Jamia Milla Islamia University in New Delhi, who will speak about ”Virtual Learning sites in a cross-cultural context Experiences from global South”; Mathew Martin from AYJ National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped in Mumbai, who will speak about ”Social Media Networks Among Persons with Disabilities and Demographic Outcomes in the Virtual Learning Spaces”; and Panchanan Mohanty from University of Hyderabad, who will speak about ”Home and school, language issues and the virtual: language learning spaces in multiligual India”. Full information about the conference.

• 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.

• Oslo PhD course on Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development in China and India

Oslo Academy of Global Governance, and SUM Research School, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, invite applicants for a PhD course entitled 'Governing the Asian Giants: Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development in China and India' to be held 21 – ­ 23 October 2015. Venue: SUM, University of Oslo, Sognsveien 68, Oslo. The course will enable doctoral students to better understand key concepts, debates and perspectives. Lecturers include Dan Banik, Professor of Political Science at SUM; Erik Jensen, Professor of the Practice of Law, Stanford Law School, USA; Amit Prakash, Professor and Chairperson, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India; and Robert Wade, Professor of Political Economy and Development, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. Applications are accepted until 21 August 2015. More information.

• Jyväskylä conference on Poverty's Consequences in the Urban Developing World

The University of Jyväskylä in Finland invites participants to a conference entitled ”Poverty's Causes and Consequences in the Urban Developing World”, which will be held 4–6 August 2016. Anthropologists, ethnologists, sociologists, socio-economists, political scientists and development researchers among others are invited to submit session proposals for this conference. Session proposals should be submitted before 30 August 2015.
Keynote speakers will be Harjit Anand, Bipasha Baruah and James Ferguson. This three-day conference will be aimed at both exploring new empirically based findings and developing theories on the causes of poverty, especially urban poverty or poverty at the interface between the urban and rural. We welcome critical perspectives which pay attention to the intersection between micro and macro levels of analysis, including ethnographic methods and local case studies with relevance for larger issues as well as larger-scale studies with theoretical implications for micro-level research. Full information.

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• First African-Asian Studies conference to be held in Ghana

On 24–26 September 2015, the Association of Asian Studies in Africa (A-Asia) organses its inaugural conference in Accra, Ghana. The conference will be held in cooperation with the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS), and the theme will be ”Asian Studies in Africa: Challenges and Prospects of a New Axis of Intellectual Interactions”. It will be the first conference held in Africa that will bring together a multidisciplinary ensemble of scholars and institutions from the continent and the rest of the world with a shared focus on Asia and Asia-Africa intellectual interactions. Through panels and roundtables, the conference will seek to assess the prospects for Asian studies in Africa in a global context by addressing a number of theoretical and empirical questions that such  enterprise will raise: How should Asian studies be framed in Africa? Is Asian studies relevant for Africa? What is the current state of capacity (institutional, intellectual, personnel, and so on) for Asian studies in Africa and can this be improved and how? How does (and must it?) Asian studies dovetail into the broader field of ‘Area studies’ as it has been developed, mainly in Western institutions? Are new narratives required for understanding the very visible contemporary presence of Asia in Africa and Africa in Asia? What is the current state of research on Africa-Asia (transnational) linkages? Venue: University of Ghana at Legon, Accra. More information about the conference.

• 28th Annual Conference of Japanese Association for South Asian Studies

The Japanese Association for South Asian Studies (JASAS) invites paper and panel proposals for its 28th Annual Conference to be held 26-27 September 2015 at University of Tokyo, Komaba Campus. The proposals from abroad are open to non-members of JASAS. No registration fee is required. Unfortunately, JASAS is not able to offer any financial support or accommodation to the participants. Deadline for submitting proposals is 31 March 2015. More information.
JASAS was founded in 1988. As a nation-wide academic body, it holds annual sessions and publishes Journal of the Japanese Association for South Asian Studies (JJASAS) (from 1989) and International Journal of South Asian Studies (IJSAS) (from 2008). JASAS helps maintain scholarly communication among its members, as well as contacts between Japanese researchers and research organizations and their foreign counterparts. Sometimes JASAS organizes also seminars, research projects, etc.

• Delhi conference on Global Environmental Change in the Himalayas

Heidelberg University organises an international conference on ”Global Environmental Change in the Himalayas: Controversies, Impacts, Futures” to be held in New Delhi, India 6–8 November 2015.
A prediction by the IPCC that glaciers would disappear from the Himalayas by 2035 produced considerable public concern, followed by controversy over its accuracy and finally it was shown to be erroneous. This perceived crisis followed in the line of several previous narratives such as “Himalayan environmental degradation”. On the one hand, such controversies point to the importance of the Himalayan region in the context of Global environmental change; but they also show how these controversies are exacerbated by insufficient understanding of the Himalayas. To develop such an understanding we require scientific collaboration, research methods that complement each other and an explicit integration of the human dimension in any discussion of environmental change in the South Asian mountain belt. Further, it is important to identify ongoing and potential impacts of these changes in terms of human-environmental interactions, natural hazards, non-equilibrium ecology and socio hydrology. Building on an identification of potential impacts, it is important to examine future scenarios that include a discussion of response pathways and possible adaptation strategies.
The conference will start with a unique exhibition on “repeat terrestrial photography” that identifies changes of glaciers, vegetation, land use and urban development in the Himalayas. This conference aims to bring together scholars, researchers and practitioners from diverse disciplines to share their findings and to intensively exchange on the multifaceted topic.
The conference has received generous financial support from the German House for Research and Innovation (DWIH) in New Delhi. There is no conference fee for confirmed participants. Presentations are invited on themes such as, but not limited to: Historical records of climate change; Remote sensing of environmental change; Direct and indirect impacts of climate change; Human development in the Himalayas; Socio-hydrolog; and Changes in the cryosphere. Abstracts should be submitted before 31August 2015. Full information.

• Baltimore conference on Human and Physical Environment in Asia

The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), USA, organises a one-day conference in Asian History/Asian Studies on Saturday 7 November 2015, 09.00–15.00. The theme is ”Asia in Context: The Human and Physical Environment”, and the conference aims to brings together scholars doing exciting work in “reading” Asia beyond textual sources, exploring bodies, objects, and environments to build a more nuanced understanding of the Asian past and present. In the process, it also presents new approaches and methodologies for the study of Asian history and society. Invited speakers  include Preminda Jacob from the Department of Visual Arts at UMBC who will lecture about “The Painted Walls of Chennai. Street Semiotics in an Indian City”. Attendance is free, but registration is required. 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 has been extended till 15 August 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.

• Twelth International workshop on Tamil Epigraphy in Thanjavur

The twelth International workshop on Tamil Epigraphy will be held 1 – 11 December 2015. It is jointly organised by the research group Iranian and Indian Worlds at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE), University of Paris 3 (Sorbonne Nouvelle); Tamil University, Thanjavur; and Pondicherry University, Puducherry, India.
The workshop will be held in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, India. It is coordinated by Dr. Appasamy Murugaiyan from Paris; Dr. K. Rajan from Pondicherry; and S Rajavelan & V Selvakumar from Thanjavur.
This workshop is meant for doctoral students and advanced researchers who desire to gain advanced skills in Tamil epigraphy. The sessions will be presented in English. The workshop will focus on how to interpret inscriptions along with providing exposure to available tools to analyse and synthesize them. The major aim of this workshop is to lay emphasis on the techniques of compiling and using Tamil epigraphic database as well as techniques to be used in corpus based text analysis and information retrieval in a variety of complimentary disciplines.
No registration fee is required, but each participant has to bear the cost of practical works and travelling to different sites. Interested students and research scholars should register before 15th November 2015. More information.

• 16th International Conference on Maharashtra: Culture and Society in Aurangabad

The 16th International Conference on Maharashtra: Culture and Society (ICMCS) will be held at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad, India, 8–10 January 2016. The theme of the conference will be the formation, practices, and delineation of Places and Spaces in Maharashtra. The multidimensional approach required to study spaces and places provides a very broad scope for the conference. It is convened by Dr. Bina Sengar from the university’s Department of History and Ancient Indian Culture, School of Social Sciences.
The conference will encourage the use of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches from the social sciences, the humanities, and the natural sciences. The space/place dynamics in the region of Maharashtra provide an array of historical and contemporary themes for our conference. Within the five major sub-regions of Maharashtra (Konkan, Western Maharashtra, Khandesh, Marathwada and Vidarbha), migrant cultures have been silent users of dominant spaces, and have created niche cultural spaces within them, by asserting local, global, transnational, migratory, religious, semiotic, connected, public or private identities. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 October 2015. Full information

• Fifth Young South Asia Scholars Meet Workshop to be held in Göttingen

The fifth annual Young South Asia Scholars Meet (Y-SASM) Workshop will be held from 24–25 June 2015 in Göttingen, Germany. The theme of the workshop is ”Transformations of ‘the Political’” and the themes discussed will be: - State and Governance; - Politics of knowledge production, - Political performance, - Development and Dissent; - Labouring Lives and the Politics of Labour; and - Contested cultures. It is organised by the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS) at Georg-August University. Since 2010, Y-SASM has aimed to provide a platform for interdisciplinary exchange among junior scholars in the field of South Asian Studies, including PhD students, advanced MA/MPhil students, early career Post-Docs and non-tenured faculty staff. While contributions from other places are welcome the main idea is to strengthen the South Asia network within Europe. Abstracts should be submitted before 30 September 2015. Full information.
Last year, the Y-SASM Workshop was held in Zurich, Switzerland. ”Rethinking Inequality in South Asia”. The workshop was organized jointly by the chair for the History of the Modern World (GMW) at ETH and the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS), University of Göttingen. 17 participants from European universities and from South Asia joined the workshop. SASNET was represented at the workshop by Ms. Hawwa Lubna. Read her detailed report from the 2014 Y-SASM.

• 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

• Gothenburg photo exhibition part of India Unlimited 2015 festival

As part of the India Unlimited Festival, organised by the Embassy of India in Stockholm and Gothenburg, a photo exhibition entitled “The Indian Tiger: A Close-up Through The Lens Of Babi Nobis” was inaugurated at the Municipal Library of Gothenburg on Monday 31 August 2015. More information.
India Unlimited 2015 has been consisted of many events. Here are the Highlights, summarized by the project coordinator Sanjoo Malhotra:
• Year began with 300+ attendance of Seminar on Swedish Technologies & Make in India: New Opportunities” at Stockholm School of Economics with Mr. Amitabh Kant, State Secretary, Indian Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion,
• In May, Indian food, yoga, travel, fashion and culture Mega festival NAMASTE STOCKHOLM drew over 12,000 participants – inaugurated by Minister Maneka Gandhi – presenting Karnataka as focus state; second Cinema Indien presented eight films showcasing Gender and Diversity; Past Forward Design exhibition at Millesgården receive dover 2,500 visitors.
• In June, largest Indian business delegation with representatives of CII, FICCI and many companies arrived to Sweden along with President Pranab Mukherjee, the first Indian president to visit Sweden. Business seminars in Stockholm and Gothenburg with the broad theme ”Make in India: Grow with India”, covering among others Smart Cities, Space, Life Sciences, and Innovation, attended by over 1,200 people.
• President Mukherjee gave keynote address at main seminar at Uppsala University, attended by Swedish royal family.
• Sparkling speakers like Mathematician Simon Singh held seminar at Nobel Museum, and RBI Governor Dr. Raghuram Rajan lectured at Stockholm School of Economics.
• Bollywood Culture Evening at World Culture Museum in Gothenburg attended by over 500 people.
• In August, Deepa Naira Rasiya charmed Stockholmers with her crossover music during the Stockholm Cultural Festival on India’s Independence Day.

• 15th River to River Florence Indian Film Festival

The 15th edition of River to River Florence Indian Film Festival is held 5 – 10 December 2015 in Florence, Italy, and 29 November – 1 December in Rome. The festival focuses on 2012 and 2013 features, shorts and documentaries from and about India. The River to River festival, under the Patronage of the Embassy of India in Rome, is the first festival in the world entirely devoted to films from and about India. Deadline for entries is 15 September 2015. The film chosen by the Festival audience will win the River to River Bitebay Audience Award. The prize – one for each category within the feature films, the shorts, and the documentaries – consists in the free online distribution of the film. Full information on the festival website.

• Heritage Commons develops cultural spaces within India and worldwide

Heritage Commons is an Indian not for profit organisation with an aim to transform the current state of the cultural spaces within India, as well as those beyond its borders. As a socio-cultural initiative, the organisation promotes varied aspects of the national heritage consisting of monuments, artworks, art traditions, artifacts, and especially museums – so that the cultural experience becomes mainstream and is more easily accessible by the public, especially by younger audiences. The main objective for Heritage Commons is building delightful & educative museum experiences through innovative techniques such as interactive technology modules, touch screen signage’s, augmented reality modules, project mapping on heritage or modern buildings, museum outreach applications etc. Its key members are Neeraj Bhasin (Founder, Film Maker & Artist) – recipient of Art Think South Asia fellowship 2015-16; and Anil Ahuja (co-founder, Technologist, Interdisciplinary Design & Project Management).
During 2015, the organisation plans to launch Heritage Commons Worldwide – a global online platform, on which people from across the world can showcase personal collections and artifacts in their possession. This platform will allow people to upload images of antique art as well as everyday objects from a bygone era. Photographs of objects such as old radio sets, wall clocks, furniture items, paintings, decorative pieces, and so on, will be part of Heritage Commons Worldwide. Go for the Heritage Commons webpage.

• Interesting books from Oxford University Press Pakistan

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford University Press Pakistan publishes quality books on academic and general subjects as well as textbooks and children’s books. It is committed to the enhancement of knowledge and improvement in the intellectual content of life in Pakistan. OUPP has published a catalogue listing current general, academic and reference books which have been published/reprinted locally or have been made especially available from abroad at reduced prices for Pakistan by Oxford University Press Pakistan. The catalogue includes many interesting books, such as ”A History of Pakistani Literature in English 1947–1988” by Tariq Rahman; ”Gender, Politics, and Performance in South Asia”, edited by Sheema Kermani, Asif Farrukhi, and Kamran Asdar Ali; and ‘A Princely Affair: The Accession and Integration of the Princely States of Pakistan, 1947-1955′ by Yaqoob Bangash. Go for the catalogue.
Dr. Yaqoob Bangash from the Dept. of History at Forman Christian College in Lahore has written a book that breaks hitherto virgin ground as he delves deep into the processes which resulted in the accession of a number of princely states to Pakistan, and later their integration into the Pakistani political mainstream. The states which were integrated with Pakistan included Bahawalpur, Khairpur, Kalat and a number of Frontier States: Chitral, Dir, Amb, Swat, Hunza and Nagar. All these states had a different historical trajectory from the conventional princely states patronized by Great Britain, the paramount power in the subcontinent. These were Muslim-majority states ruled by Muslim princes and located within or contiguously to Pakistan. Read a review by Prof. Ishtiaq Ahmed, Stockholm University in Friday Times 7 August 2015.

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

New and updated items on SASNET web site

• 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

• Edited volume on Young Sikhs in Europe

Young Sikhs in a Global World: Negotiating Traditions, Identities and Authorities edited by Prof. Knut A. Jacobsen, University of Bergen, and Dr. Kristina Myrvold, Linnaeus University, Växjö. Ashgate, 2015. In attempting to carve out a place for themselves in local and global contexts, young Sikhs mobilize efforts to construct, choose, and emphasize different aspects of religious and cultural identification depending on their social setting and context. Young Sikhs in a Global World presents current research on young Sikhs with multicultural and transnational life-styles and considers how they interpret, shape and negotiate religious identities, traditions, and authority on an individual and collective level.
With a particular focus on the experiences of second generation Sikhs as they interact with various people in different social fields and cultural contexts, the book is constructed around three parts: 'family and home', 'public display and gender', and 'reflexivity and translations'. New scholarly voices and established academics present qualitative research and ethnographic fieldwork and analyse how young Sikhs try to solve social, intellectual and psychological tensions between the family and the expectations of the majority society, between Punjabi culture and religious values.
Includes articles by Jasjit Singh on Family and Home: Family values: the impact of family background on the religious lives of young British Sikhs; Meenakshi Thapan on Punjabi youth in northern Italy; Nicola Mooney on The impossible hybridity of hair: Kesh, gender and the third space; and  Doris R Jacobs on Marking the female Sikh body: reformulating and legitimating Sikh women’s turbaned identity on the World Wide Web.

• Excellent fresh political history of Pakistan by Christophe Jaffrelot

The Pakistan Paradox. Instability and Resilience. By Dr Christophe Jaffrelot, Research Director at CNRS and teaching South Asian politics and history at Sciences Po (Paris). Random House, June 2015. An excellent fresh political history of Pakistan that explains the resilience of the state and its people and how both persevere against the odds. Pakistan was born as the creation of elite Urdu-speaking Muslims who sought to govern a state that would maintain their dominance. After rallying non-Urdu speaking leaders around him, Jinnah imposed a unitary definition of the new nation state that obliterated linguistic diversity. This centralisation — ‘justified’ by the Indian threat — fostered centrifugal forces that resulted in Bengali secessionism in 1971 and Baloch, as well as Mohajir, separatisms today. Concentration of power in the hands of the establishment remained the norm, and while authoritarianism peaked under military rule, democracy failed to usher in reform, and the rule of law remained fragile at best under Zulfikar Bhutto and later Nawaz Sharif. While Jinnah and Ayub Khan regarded religion as a cultural marker, since their time theIslamists have gradually prevailed. They benefited from the support of General Zia, while others, including sectarian groups, cashed in on their struggle against the establishment to woo the disenfranchised. Today, Pakistan faces existential challenges ranging from ethnic strife to Islamism, two sources of instability which hark back to elite domination.

• 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
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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