The third Nordic Conference on South Asian Studies for Young Scholars was held 16–18 August 2011 at Falsterbo kursgård in Höllviken, 20 km south of Malmö.
As usual, it was organised by SASNET but from this year in collaboration with the Copenhagen based Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS). Julia Velkova from SASNET was the main coordinator.
The conference became a grand success, gathering graduate students and postdocs, along with other junior scholars affiliated with universities in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, who are focusing on South Asia in their work. This year a few students from other European countries (Scotland and Germany) were also invited.
Besides altogether 27 young scholars, the conference also included 15 senior scholars working with South Asia related research in different fields, giving lectures and acting as respondents in the four panel sessions. The keynote speaker, Professor Patricia Jeffery (photo) from the Dept. of Sociology, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, UK, was one of them. Her presentation was entitled ”Daughter Aversion, Dowry and Demographic Change”. Prof. Jeffery also participated as a champion in a challengers-champions session on Gender, as well as being a group leader in the thematic group on Gender.
The conference was interdisciplinary and had separate panels on – Gender Issues; – Climate Change/Water Issues; – Mapping the Mental Landscape of Eurasia; and – Alternative Career Paths beyond the Academia. Invited speakers included Professor Ummu Salma Bava, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India; Professor Jussi Kauhanen, Director for Nordic Centre in India(NCI); Professor Abul Mandal, Skövde University; Mr. Kyrre Lind, President, Doctors Without Borders Norway; and Ms. Christina Nilsson, International Workgroup for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), Copenhagen.
The conference also included an appreciated cultural programme, consisting of a poetic reading by Pireeni Sundaralingam. She read out excerpts from the recently published volume Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry, co-edited by Pireeni. Born in Sri Lanka and raised both there and in the UK, Sundaralingam currently lives in San Francisco, California, USA.
More information about the 2011 conference.
See the conference folder (as a pdf-file)
See a photo gallery from the conference.
On Thursday 15 September 2011, SASNET holds its first Brown bag lunch seminar during the fall semester 2011. The aim of SASNET’s Brown Bag seminars, introduced in January 2011, is to present and disseminate the eminent South Asia related research that is carried out in so many departments at Lund University. The seminars are open to the public, and during the fall 2011 they will be held once a month at Thursdays at Murbeckssalen, Gula Villan (inside the Botanical Gardens), Östra Vallgatan 14, Lund.
More information about the seminar series. Seminar series poster.
– The first SASNET Brown Bag 2011 Fall seminar will be held on 15th September 2011, 12.00–13.00. Dr. Malin Gregersen (photo) from the Department of History will give a presentation entitled ”Fostering Obligations: Swedish Medical Missionary Narratives from South India”. Even though Sweden was not participating in the run for colonies during the era of the new imperialism in late 19th and early 20th century, Swedes often took a close interest in African and Asian countries through the work of Christian missionaries. Thus, Christian missionaries played an important role in forming early 20th century Swedish world views. But their depictions of everyday life in foreign countries were formulated on the basis of an aspiration not only to convert people to Christianity, but also to educate, shape and change people according to Swedish and Christian
ideals. Such missionary narratives, originating from a South Indian hospital, will be the focus of her lecture. Malin defended her doctoral dissertation on this issue as recently as a year ago. Read an abstract.
– The second Brown Bag seminar will be held on Thursday 13 October, with Associate Professor Åsa Ljungh from the Section of Medical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine.
– The third Brown Bag seminar will be held on Thursday 10 November, with Dr. Olle Frödin from the Department of Sociology.
More information will follow about these seminars.
SASNET again organises a Rabindranath Tagore 150th birth anniversary celebration week in Sweden and Denmark 19–23 September 2011. The celebration includes academic seminars in Copenhagen (19th), Lund (21st), Stockholm (22nd) and Uppsala (23rd). They will be organised in collaboration with the Indian embassies in Copenhagen and Stockholm, and with support from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
Invited scholars include Professor William Radice, SOAS, University of London; Dr. Reba Som, Director, ICCR Rabindranath Tagore Centre in Kolkata; and Professor Asoke Bhattacharya, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. The seminar at Lund University will be held on Wednesday 21 September, 09.00–13.00, at Stadshallen in central Lund. See the full Lund University seminar programme.
On the night before, Tuesday 20 September at 19.00, a cultural evening will also be organised at Teater Sagohuset. The programme includes William Radice reading out his brand new English translations of poems from the Gitanjali volume. Reba Som and Bubu Munshi Eklund will sing Rabindrasangheet songs. The event will be attended by the Ambassadors from both Bangladesh and India, Mr. Gousal Azam Sarker and Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar respectively.See the poster for the Cultural Evening at Sagohuset.
Dr. Bidyut Mohanty, Head, Women’s Studies Department at the Institute of Social Sciences (ISS), New Delhi, India holds a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Monday 19 September 2011, 16.15–18.00. During the lecture, co-organised by the Department of History of Religion, she will talk about ”Nuances of Rice Culture, Goddess Lakshmi and the Status of Women in India”. The lecture is based on her forthcoming book entitled ”Rice Culture and Status of Women: A Comparative Study of Laksmi Puranas”. Read an article written by Dr. Mohanty on the same issue.
Bidyut Mohanty has been a Visiting Professor in the Global and International Studies program at the University of California, Santa Barbara and is the coordinator of an ISS and UNDP project on capacity building of elected women leaders in local government in India, and as well as of a project sponsored by the National Commission on the protection of child rights.
She has also coordinated several UNIFEM funded projects on HIV and AIDS and role of panchayats, trafficking and local government’s new role. Besides, Dr. Mohanty is also a specialist on famine, agrarian history and decentralization. She combines grassroots activism with participatory research. Her publications include several research papers and edited books, among them: Urbanization in Developing Countries: Access to Basic Services and Community Participation(1993) Women and Political Empowerment (annual volumes from 1995 till 2006) and Local Governance in Search for New Path (2011).
Venue for the seminar: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (CTR), room 438, Allhelgona Kyrkogata 8, Lund. More information.
Manoranjan Mohanty, Durgabai Deshmukh Professor of Social Development at the Council for Social Development in New Delhi, India holds a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Tuesday 20 September 2011, 15.15–17.00. During the seminar, co-organised by the departments of Sociology and Political Science, he will talk about ”India and China: Competing Hegemonies or Forces of Democratization”. Prof. Mohantry is a China scholar with many publications on theoretical and empirical dimensions of social movements, human rights, development experience and regional role of India and China. Currently he is also the Chairperson, Institute of Chinese Studies in Delhi, and President, Development Research Institute, Bhubaneshwar. Besides, he is a Visiting Professor in Global Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara since 2007 where he teaches every Spring.
Prof. Mohanty retired in 2004 as the Director, Developing Countries Research Centre and Professor of Political Science at the University of Delhi, where he taught since 1969. He is a former Director of ICS and a former Editor of China Report. His earlier academic assignments abroad included Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Moscow (1973), UC, Berkeley (1974), Peking University (1979), Oxford (1987) and Copenhagen (1990) and Lagos (2005). He is also active in the human rights and peace movement. His recent publications include Contemporary Indian Political Theory (2000), Class, Caste, Gender (Ed.2004) and Grass-roots Democracy in India and China (Co-ed. 2007), India: Social Development Report 2010 (Ed. 2010), Weapon of the oppressed: An Inventory of People’s Rights in India ( Co-author, 2011) and China’s Success Trap: Lessons for World Development ( Forthcoming).
Venue for the seminar: Conference room 1, Dept. of Sociology, Paradisgatan 5, Lund. More information.
Professor Venkatesh Athreya from the Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, India holds a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Tuesday 27 September 2011, 15.15–17.00. During the seminar, organised in collaboration with the Dept. of Sociology, he will talk about ”Political Economy of Indian Development since 1991”.
Professor Athreya has been co-operating for many years with Prof. Göran Djurfeldt and Prof. Emeritus Staffan Lindberg at Lund University. Among his most well-known publications are“Literacy and Empowerment” (Sage 1996) and “Barriers Broken” (with Djurfeldt and Lindberg, Sage 1990). Currently he is co-operating with Djurfeldt and Lindberg at Lund University in a restudy after 25 years of 213 agricultural households in the Cauvery delta in Tamilnadu. Venue for the seminar: Conference room 1, Dept. of Sociology, Paradisgatan 5, Lund. More information.
During the academic year 2011/12, G K Karanth, Professor of Sociology at the Centre for Study of Social Change and Development, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bangalore, will be the Visiting ICCR Professor at Lund University. He is supposed to arrive in mid-September 2011, and be will hosted by the Department of Sociology.
Prof. Karanth has a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, and his main research fields are Peasant Economy and Society; Caste and Social Stratification; Rural-Urban Linkages; and Sociology of Development. He will be second Visiting ICCR Professor at Lund University, after Prof. Lipi Ghosh who spent five months in Lund till March 2011.
The ICCR professorships at Lund University are an outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Lund University, that was signed on 22 June 2010 by Mr. Balkrishna Shetty, former Indian Ambassador to Sweden, and Prof. Per Eriksson, Vice-Chancellor, Lund University. The agreement is valid for four years, with a new Indian Professor to be selected each year. SASNET was actively involved in finalizing the ICCR professorship at Lund University, with strong support from the Embassy of India in Stockholm.
An inaugural seminar with Professor Karanth will be held on Thuursday 6th October 2011, at 15.00. The theme for his lecture wil be ”Changing Rural India: Caste and Social Mobility”. After the lecture, a cultural programme will be organised with the Tabla player Subrata Manna, singer Sudokshina Manna, and Kathak dancer Sohini Debnath, all from Kolkata.
Venue for the seminar: Edens hörsal (auditorium), Lund University’s Department of Political Science, Paradisgatan 5, Lund. All are most welcome to the event that includes free Indian food and continues up to 7 P.M.
Professor Mizanur Rahman from the Dept. of Accounting & Information Systems, Dhaka University, Bangladesh (and also the Treasurer of Dhaka University), held a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Thursday 26 May 2011. He spoke about ”Social Marketing: Lessons from Bangladesh”. The seminar was organized in collaboration with the Dept. of Sociology. Prof. Rahman has a research interest in Global payment imbalance and the current global economic crisis; and Infrastructure, trade and economic growth in Asia, Venue: Dept. of Sociology, conference room 1, Paradisgatan 5, Lund. More information.
On Thursday 19 May 2011, SASNET held its second Brown bag lunch seminar. The aim of which is to present and disseminate the eminent South Asia related research that is carried out in so many departments at Lund University.
Professor Rajni Hatti-Kaul from the Department of Biotechnology, talked about ”Biotechnology and sustainable development”. She informed about the eminent environmental research that is carried out at Lund University. A major part of is has been directed towards the use of biotechnology for environmental bioremediation and for producing bioenergy and biodegradable chemicals and materials from renewable resources. Several projects have focussed on India, including a project on treatment of textile dyes using biological and physiochemical techniques in the city of Tirupur in Tamil Nadu (more information). Venue: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (CTR), conference room 438, 4th floor, Allhelgona Kyrkogata 8, Lund.
More information about the seminar.
Partha N. Mukherjee, Professor Emeritus, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, came to Lund University in the first week of May 2011, to be a member of an international team to evaluate the university. The week-long evaluation was part of the EQ 11 project initiated at Lund University in 2009 in order to improve education quality. More information on EQ11.
Partha Mukherji has been the holder of a Ford Professorship at the Institute of Social Sciences (ISS), New Delhi. He was formerly Vice Chancellor of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, and President of the Indian Sociological Society.
While in Lund, Prof. Mukherjee held a SASNET Guest Lecture, organised in collaboration with the Departments of Sociology and Political Science, Lund University, on ”Land Acquisition for Industrialisation in West Bengal: the Case of Nano and Tata Motors” on Wednesday 11 May 2011, 10.15–12.00.
The well-attended seminar drew an audience consisting of students, teachers and researchers also from other departments such as Human Ecology, Development Studies, Sociology of Law, and from Albins Folkhögskola in Malmö.
The lecture focused on the social transformation necessary in order to develop rural areas and agriculture so that unemployed and underemployed people can find work in a growing industrial and service economy. A tight labour market will result in higher wage levels for non-farm jobs, thus giving rural households income which they can invest in agriculture.
However, establishing industries in rural areas often result in ‘primitive accumulation’, whereby land is appropriated from farmers and little or compensation paid. This may lead to strong counter movements, as in the case that Prof. Mukherji spoke about, focusing on the tumultous events around controversial industrialisation projects in Singur and Nandigram from 2006 and onwards.
West Bengal is currently of political interest because of the State elections that had just taken place. The Communist Party of India (CPM) has been in power since 1977, and has instituted land reforms, etc., and yet was, at the time of the SASNET lecture, in danger of being voted out of office. The results from the West Bengal assembly elections were to be published two days later, on 13th May 2011. Venue for the seminar: Lecture Hall No. 3, Dept. of Sociology, Paradisgatan 5, Lund. Poster for the seminar.
The Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET) at Lund University; Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS); and The Swallows India Bangladesh jointly organised a seminar on ”Forest Rights in India” on Wednesday 4 may 2011, 13.00–17.00. The seminar, that drew an audience of about 30 people, was organised because 2011 has been selected to be the United Nation’s International Year of Forests. Issues related to forests and deforestation in India were discussed, as well as the problems that the tribal people who live there face. More information about the seminar.
The first speaker was Dr. Beppe Karlsson, Dept. of Social Antropology, Stockholm University, who talked about ”The Wet Desert and the Sacred Grove: Environmental Narratives in Northeast India“, focusing on the situation in the state of Meghalaya. Dr. Pernille Gooch, Human Ecology Division, Lund University, came next and talked about “Victims of Conservation or Rights as Forest Dwellers: Van Gujjar Pastoralists between Contesting Codes of Law“, and PhD candidate Nabikanta Jha, from the same department, made complimentary observations about the forest rights situation for the nomadic communities in the state of Uttarakhand.
Finally, Mr. Praveen Kaushal Manto from SOPHIA organisation in India, talked about ”Forest Rights – examples from The Himalayas & The Van Gujjars stategies for survival”. The seminar was moderated by Dr. Monica Erwér from the Swallows India Bangladesh.
Venue: Geocentrum I, room Världen, Sölvegatan 10, Lund.
Links to all three presentations.