18th ECMSAS Conference in Lund 2004

18th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies 
held at Lund, Sweden, 6–9 July 2004

Conference impressions and expressions!

Tuesday 6 July – True Communication Established in Lund

The 18th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies held by the Lund University was inaugurated with the participation of a large number of scholars on 6th July 2004.

The inaugural session being held in the Academic Society Building followed by a speech by Professor Dipankar Gupta on the Key note address by Prof. Dipankar Gupta, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on “Democratic Potentials in Cultural Politics: Caste Based Reservations and the Issues of Citizenship”. Read Dipankar Gupta’s full paper (as a pdf-file) 

The conference was holding nine panels on the first day. The panels were enjoying various themes and all were attracting considerable number of participants. The Tuesday’s panel discussions were focused on languages, political development and democratization, religious reform movements, Cultural Heritage, crisis of state and nation, differing organization of society, industrialization, rural livelihood and social, and gender and the local state in South Asia.
The nine panels covered 85 papers with the participation of scholars from Nepal, Germany, Australia, Czech Republic, Russian Federation, Norway, Canada, France, United States of America, Sweden, United Kingdom, India, Italy, Singapore, Bangladesh, China, Denmark, Pakistan and Japan.

The communication of ideas and the existence of a critical perspective among participants made the panel discussions most interesting. Among the nine panels that were being held in the Academic society Building and Department of Sociology, one room was attracting more people. The panel on Gender and the Local State in South Asia being held in the conference room of Sociology Department was the host of many participants. The discussions of this panel were dealing with gender issues such as how male and female civilians negotiate successfully with different parts of the local state.
More people were interested to join the panel no 16 on Gender and the Local States even though there was not enough room. The theme of the discussion was gender in South Asia; however, the number of South Asian participants of this panel was small compared to the number of non-South Asian scholars. The gender-related problems of Indian women were being analyzed in the panel while this issue was receiving special attention from the western scholars. This panel could be called a ‘true communication’ of thoughts and knowledge.

Dr. Geoffrey A. Oddie, from University of Sydney, being satisfied with the panel said, “This was a very interesting discussion. We started by talking about women and gender studies and at the end some women felt guilty of not talking about men’s problems at all,” The panel was about gender and it could include men as well, “If we talk only about women and forget the men’s problems then it would be another problem”.
The first day of 18th conference was followed by a reception by Lund University at the University Main Building. The calm inspiring atmosphere outside the white building could add to the joy of exchanging views and meeting other owners of distinguished thoughts.

         Behnoosh Payvar, (text and photo)
Masters student of South Asian Studies, Lund University