Newsletter 153 – 2 October 2013


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• SASNET seminar on Health and Safety in the Bangladesh Ready Made Garment industry

SASNET invites to a seminar with Professor Emeritus Doug Miller from the School of Design at University of Northumbria in Newcastle on Tyne, UK, on Thursday 3 October 2013, at 15.15. His presentation is entitled  ”Forcing Workers to Die – the State of Health and Safety in the Bangladesh Ready Made Garment industry”. The seminar is organised in collaboration with the Dept. of Sociology and the School of Social Work at Lund University. Venue: Edebalksalen, School of Social Work, Bredgatan 13, Lund. See the poster.
The textile and clothing industries provide the single most important source of economic growth in Bangladesh's rapidly developing economy. Today, about 4 million people, mostly women, work in Bangladesh's export-oriented ready-made garment industry, and exports of textiles and garments are the principal source of foreign exchange earnings. The backside is super-exploitation and repression of the workers who receive minimal wages, and an alarming lack of occupational health and safety due to corruption. Deadly fires and other incidents occur regularly, and the Rana Plaza garment factory complex collapse on April 24, 2013, when more than 1 000 textile workers were killed is the worst disaster ever in manufacturing (photo). 
Doug Miller (photo to the left) is a leading expert on workers rights in the fashion business. Between 2000 and 2008 he was Research Director at the International Textile Garments and Leather Workers Federation (ITGLWF), the global union for the sector. He has also authored a book, ”Last Night in Savar”, published in 2012, on the 2005 Spectrum Sweater Factory Collapse in Bangladesh (more information), and has an ongoing interest in mechanisms for costing and delivering a living wage in the global fashion industry.
Swedish writer Helena Thorfinn (photo to the right), now working as Communications Manager for the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) at Lund University, will act as moderator. She has previously worked as a journalist and as a social analyst for Save the Children and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) in Bangladesh. Last year she presented a novel ”Innan floden tar oss/Sisters by the River” based on her work experiences. The book is a fascinating story on life in Bangladesh, including so many true-to-life experiences such as criminally dilapidated textile factories, corruption, etc. More information about the book.

• Lund University ICCR Professor Kalyan Mandal holds installation seminar on Regional Diversities in India

Professor Kalyan Sankar Mandal from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C) in Kolkata holds his installation lecture as Visiting Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) chair professor at Lund University, on Wednesday 9th October 2013, 13.00 –15.00. Venue: Kulturens Hörsal, Tegnérplatsen, Lund.
The title of his presentation is ”Regional  Diversities in Indian Society”, and focuses on regional variations in the status of women in India and the social development situation in India. 
Indian Ambassador Banashri Bose Harrisson is the guest of honour, and she will hold an introductory speech. Welcome addresses wil also be delivered by Professor Sven Strömqvist, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Lund University; Associate Professor Ann-Katrin Bäcklund, Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences at Lund University; and Dr. Anna Lindberg, Director at SASNET. See the seminar poster. 

Abstract: The status of women varies in a broad North and South Indian context, primarily due to the prevalence of different kinship rules and marriage patterns that distinguishes North from South of India. Additionally, the divergent social development situation in Indian states plays an important role. For instance, it could be argued that the largest state in India, Uttar Pradesh, if taken as a separate country, would have been one of the most socially deprived countries of the world. But at the same time, in terms of some indicators of social development, the state of Kerala would be comparable to Europe and north America. Realizing these regional variations is necessary for a better understanding of the Indian society.  

Prof. Mandal is the fourth ICCR Professor at Lund University, and he will stay for the full academic year 2013/14. He joined the position on 11th September, and he is being hosted by the Department of SociologyThe ICCR professorships at Lund University are an outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding between ICCR and Lund University, that was signed in 2010. SASNET was actively involved in finalizing the agreement with strong support from the Embassy of India in Stockholm (more information). 
Kalyan Sankar Mandal is Professor of Sociology within the Public Policy and Management Group at IIM-C. He defended his PhD at IIT Bombay in 1982 with a thesis entitled ”Inequality and Development in India: Study of an Equity-Oriented Rural Development Programme”, and later worked at Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics in Pune, and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai. His research interest has primarily been Sociology of rural development, agriculture and food, education, poverty, social welfare and social policy.
Currently his research is focused on Business Solutions for Poverty. Prof. Mandal is shaping up of the idea of „social business‟ (unlike profit maximizing business, social business aims at achieving a social objective in a financial sustainable way) by an NGO with which he is closely associated. As one main cause of child malnutrition in India is unavailability of supplementary food for the children of the low income families, this NGO has set up a social business of a low cost nutritious supplementary food that it has developed. This food will be sold for the children of low income families at affordable prices for the poor for reducing malnutrition in a financially self-sustained manner through social business. This social business has been initiated with an award grant by the World Bank (more information).

• SASNET concert with eminent artists from Kolkata at Sagohuset

The extraordinary talented North Indian classical singer Sudokshina Chatterjee Manna from Kolkata again visits Lund for a concert along with her Tabla player husband Subrata Manna, and the Kathak dancer Sohini Debnath, on Sunday 13 October 2013, at 19.00. Venue: Theatre Sagohuset, Revingegatan 8, Lund. See the poster.
The artists are all trained in North Indian musical traditions. Subrata was a student of Tabla maestro Pandit Shankar Ghosh and has learnt all the most important musical styles (gharanas). Both Subrata and Sudokshina also have academic degrees from Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata. Sohini Debnath dances Kathak, the Indian original behind the Spanish Flamenco dance. They come to Sweden as part of a European tour, being invited to Lund by SASNET. The Lund concert, organised in collaboration with Theatre Sagohuset and Sensus, will be the only one in Scandinavia. Tickets cost SEK 150 and can be pre-booked from SASNET, phone 0731-50 88 44, or Sagohuset, 046-12 21 41. Leftover tickets are sold at the entrance (by cash only).

• SASNET lunch seminar on common human dependence on living soil

 Professor Håkan Wallander from the Division of Microbial Ecology, Department of Biology, Lund University, holds the second SASNET/ABF Thursday lunch seminar talk for the fall semester 2013 on Thursday 17 October 2013, 12.30–13.30, at Lunds konsthall. The presentation is entitled Soil – the basis of our existence. Examples from Nepal, America and Amazonas”. With examples from three different places on earth, two in America and one in Asia (Nepal), Håkan Wallander demonstrates how dependent we are on a living soil, and give us a glimpse of the immense diversity we are stepping on every day. See the poster.  
Prof. Wallander is a professor in soil biology and environmental sciences. He works mainly with ectomycorrhizal fungi that form symbiotic relationships with trees. They produce several hundreds of kilogram of mycelia per hectare every year in most forest ecosystems. This is important for nutrient uptake of the trees, but also for carbon sequestration and N retention in the soil. His main research interest is to understand how this flux of carbon belowground is regulated, and how important the composition of the ectomycorrhizal community is for carbon sequestration and nutrient uptake. Part of his research has been carried out in Nepal, in areas where the soil is prone to erosion and salinization.
The lunch seminar presentation is based on his recent book ”Jord – Funderingar kring grunden för vår tillvaro” (Soil – Reflections on the Basis of our Existence), published by Atlantis, 2013. This book has been widely praised and at the 2013 Göteborg Book Fair, it was given the award ”Årets Trädgårdsbok 2013” by Gartnersällskapet. In the motivation, it is said that Prof. Wallander in a personal way presents global and local aspects of soil and cultivation in an ambitious holistic manner. 

SASNET’s Thursday lunch (brownbag) seminar series, aimed at presenting and disseminating the eminent South Asia related research carried out at Lund University, was launched in 2011. Since last year the seminar series is organised in collaboration with Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF) Lund, and Lunds Konsthall. The seminars, open for all interested, are held once a month on Thursdays at 12.30 inside the public art gallery (Lunds konsthall) at Mårtenstorget 3 in central Lund. More information on the SASNET/ABF Thursday Lunch Seminars

• SASNET Seminar on Fragile Peace in Kashmir

SASNET organises a seminar entitled ”Fragile Peace in Kashmir. Is there any way forward?” on Thursday 14 November 2013, 15.15–17.00. It is again arranged in collaboration with the Dept. of Sociology and the School of Social Work at Lund University. The main speaker willl be Professor Sten Widmalm from the Dept. of Government, Uppsala University, who will talk about ”How to build peace in the world’s most dangerous place”. The second invited speaker is PhD Candidate Muhammad Farooq Sulehri from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK. Venue for the seminar: Department of Sociology, Conference room 1, Paradisgatan 5, Lund.
The seminar is immediately followed by the screening of a three hours long documentary film on Kashmir in Pahari language (with English subtitles). It is entitled ”Lakeer” (The Divided Line) and is produced by film maker Ali Daalat (photo), a British Kashmiri who is also a fiction writer and local councillor in Rochdale, UK. The film will be shown at Kino cinema at 17.30. Full information about the film.
In his presentation, Prof. Sten Widmalm (photo to the right) will focus on the issue that peace in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to a large extent depends on whether confidence in democracy can be revived on the ground. However, stability is also decided by the development in other parts of India. It hinges on how the ruling Congress (I) government manages to handle issues relating to governance and communalism. It also depends on what advances Hindu nationalists will be making in the near future. Finally, the prospects for peace are also conditioned by the political stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Widmalm’s presentation will focus on how all these factors interconnect, and how the paths towards sustainable peace must begin by building support for political tolerance.

• SASNET film seminar on Chinese mining exploitation in Afghanistan

On Wednesday 4 December 2013, 19–21, US-based journalist and documentary filmmaker Brent E. Huffman (photo) participates in a seminar on Chinese mining companies involvement in the Mes Aynak project in Afghanistan, that threatens to destroy ancient Buddhist cultural artifacts located on top of the copper deposits, the largest untapped copper reserve in the world. Huffman’s film ”The Buddhas of Mes Aynak” will be shown at the seminar that is jointly organised by SASNET, UPF (Association of Foreign Affairs at Lund University) and the Swedish Committeee for Afghanistan in Lund. Venue: Café Athen, Akademiska Föreningen (AF), Sandgatan 2, Lund.
Brent E Huffman is working as Assistant Professor at the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University in Illinois state, USA. After following China's international development in Africa for the last few years, he became interested in China's Mes Aynak project in 2011, and began documenting in volatile Taliban country the beginnings of the largest private investment in Afghanistan's history. Huffman later discovered that as a result of the Chinese copper mine, the entire region would be completed destroyed by open-pit mining. This cost-effective method would force local Afghans to relocate out of the area, as well as demolish their homes and the ancient Buddhist artifacts. The fate of Mes Aynak hangs in the balance as the Chinese company begins creating their destructive open-pit copper mine.
Earlier the same day – 4th December 2013 – the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University (CME) organises an academic seminar with Dr. Huffman. The seminar will be held 13.15–15.00, in the seminar room at CME, Finngatan 16, Lund. More information will follow.

• Organisational changes are to be announced at SASNET board meeting

SASNET’s new board (appointed for a period of three years up till 31 December 2015) will have its second meeting on Tuesday 8th October 2013, 13.15–16.30, in Lund. Among the many issues to be discussed, plans for conferences and other activities during the coming year will be decided upon, and some important organisational changes are to be announced. The board consists of three Lund University representatives, two external representatives, 1-3 student representatives, plus the SASNET Director being the chairperson. Full information about the SASNET board 2013-15.

• Successful seventh European PhD workshop in South Asia Studies in Amsterdam

The Seventh European PhD workshop in South Asia Studies has been held  on 26–27 September 2013. This year it was hosted by the University of Amsterdam. SASNET was represented by Assistant Director Olle Frödin, and Lund University sent two participants – PhD Candidates Maria Tonini, Centre for Gender Studies, and Srilata Sircar, Dept. of Cultural Geography. 
These European workshops are jointly co-organised by the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS); Heidelberg University, Germany; Ghent University, Belgium; University of Edinburgh, UK; Le Centre d'Études de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud (CEIAS), Paris, France; University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and SASNET/Lund University, Sweden. Each university nominates a couple of PhD candidates and a senior Professor. The workshop's format gives each PhD candidate the responsibility of introducing the paper of another participant and raising some preliminary questions. Thanks to the format of the workshop, doctoral candidates and senior scholars have the opportunity to interact and engage in fruitful discussions within and beyond their respective fields. Read more...

• Lars Eklund reports from networking tour to London universities

During the week 9-13 September 2013, SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund visited universities in London, networking with researchers working on South Asia related projects. He first attended an international conference entitled ‘Communicating Soft Power: Contrasting Perspectives from India and China’ at  Westminster University, on 9-10 September.
On 11th September, Lars then visited London School of Economics (LSE), a vibrant research institution with many researchers working on South Asia projects. He as hosted by Professor David Lewis from the Department of Social Policy, and Dr. Mukulika Bannerjee at the Department of Anthropology. Dr. Bannerjee is the key person behind an initiative to launch a South Asia Centre at LSE from January 2014, and she had an interest to discuss networking experiences with Lars Eklund. Lars was also introduced to Dr. Shakuntala Banaji, Dept. of Media and Communications, and Dr. Rajesh Venugopal, Dept. of International Development.
On 12th September, Lars visited the British Library and the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP), a programme being  funded by Arcadia (formerly known as the Lisbet Rausing Charitable Fund), that contributes to the preservation of archival material worldwide that is in danger of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration, not the least in South Asia. Lars was hosted by Cathy Collins, Grants Administrator for EAP.
Finally, Lars visited the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at University of London, one of most important research environments when it comes to South Asia related research in Europe. Lars was hosted by Professor Michael Hutt, Professor  of Nepali and Himalayan Studies, and Chair for the Centre of South Asian Studies at SOAS, and Jane Savory, Office Manager for the Centres & Programmes Office, that oversees the administration of the seven Regional Centres within SOAS – the Centre of South Asian Studies being one of them. They now informed about the decision convert the Centre into an Institute of South Asian Studies from January 2014. 
Finally, Lars met SOAS PhD candidate Najia Mukhtar, representative of the recently formed Muslim South Asia Research Forum (MUSA), a new cross-disciplinary initiative focused on bringing together PhD students and early career researchers working on any aspect of Muslim societies in the countries of South Asia. 
Read Lars’ full report from his London university visits.

• Kickoff for Indo-European mobility programme coordinated by Lund University


The new Indo-European Erasmus Mundus Action 2 mobility programme EMINTE, coordinated by Lund University, is being launched at a kick-off meeting in Lund 25–26 September 2013. 
EMINTE is a consortium consisting of 20 universities – 10 European and 10 Indian. 
SASNET is an Associate partner in the consortium. 
The programme is open to Indian nationals who want to study or work at one of the ten European partner universities. It involves students on undergraduate, master, doctoral and post-doctoral level as well as for university staff in academic or administrative positions. The call for scholarship applications is between 15 October and 1 December 2013. More information on the EMINTE web page.

Participants at the kick-off conference: Kalyan Mandal, IIM Kolkata & Visiting Indian ICCR Professor at Lund University; Subhasis Chaudhuri, Profesor of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay; and Samaresh Bhattacharya, Professor of Chemistry, Jadavpur University.

Indian Ambassador to Sweden, Banashri Bose Harrisson attended the kick-off meeting and held an inspired introductory speech. The Ambassador also strongly emphasized the importance that the mobility programme between India and Europe should be running in both directions, not only one-way bringing scholarship holders from India to Europe. Her view was supported by several of the Indian univertity representatives present. 
Mr. Clivio Casali, Programme Manager at the European Commission’s Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), was also present. He presented statistics on the impressive number of scholarship holders that have benefited from the India lots since 2008 and onwards (including Asia regional lots with Indian universities involved), and he also presented the outline for the Erasmus + programme that will be introduced in 2014, replacing current Erasmus Mundus and other programmes.
Read more about EMINTE and the kick-off conference.

• Helsingborg workshop with Sheba Saeed on her film ”Beggars in Lahore”

SASNET and the School of Social Work, Lund University is jointly arranging a workshop with Dr Sheba Saeed, as a part of the conference ”Social Work in an International Context” on the 28 November 2013. Venue: Lund University’s Campus Helsingborg, Universitetsplatsen 2, Helsingborg. 
Dr Saeed’s workshop, to be held from 14.30 to 15.45, will be based on her documentary film about beggars in the streets of Lahore, Pakistan. What compels the beggars to beg and what measures have been taken by the government and non–governmental organisations to assist the beggars? The documentary examines the political, social, religious and economic reasons for begging as well as the growth of the beggar’s mafia. In order to participate in the workshop, registration is needed. Contact Teres Hjärpe, International Coordinator at School of Social Work. More information about the Helsingborg conference and workshop.
Dr Sheba Saeed, a solicitor by profession, holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham, UK. For her doctoral research she provided a critique on the regulation of begging in Mumbai using religious and secular laws in an audio-visual format with a written thesis. For her MPhil in History, Film and Television she produced and directed her debut documentary “Beggars of Lahore” as part of an audio-visual dissertation. The film has been screened at International Conferences and Film Festivals. More information about the film.

• Nepalese Erasmus Mundus programme scholarship holder visited SASNET

Anju Giri, Professor of English Education at the Central Department of Education,
Tribhuvan University
in Kathmandu, Nepal, visited SASNET’s office in Lund on Friday 20 September 2013. Prof. Giri has come to Sweden on a scholarship under the Erasmus Mundus Asia Regional mobility programme EMEA, administered by Lund University, as an academic staff to spend one month at the Department of Educational Sciences at Lund University Campus Helsingborg. Her contact person in Helsingborg is Dr. Sinikka Neuhaus.
Anju Giri has taught English Education at Tribhuvan University for 33 years. In 2008 she became the first person from this field to defend a PhD, with a thesis entitled ”Grammatical Errors and their Gravity”. She is currently searching for possibilities to continue with post-doc research in Europe.

• SASNET Networking Partner 9: Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE),
                                                Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg

Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), IT University; Chalmers University of Technology. Contact person: Professor Devdatt Dubhashi. The department is strongly international, with 70 faculty and 55 PhD students from 30 countries. Professor Dubhashi (photo to the right) and Associate Professor K. V. S. Prasad have both strong Indian connections since long time back, with an extensive network of contacts in major institutions, universities and industry research centres in India. 
In April 2007, the Division of Computing Science received an Institutional Grant from STINT for ”long term collaboration” with the Kanwal Rekhi Institute for Information Technology (KRESIT) and the Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai. The persons in charge at Chalmers are Prof. Dubhashi and Dr. Prasad, while at IIT Mumbai it is Prof. Pushpak Bhattacharyya.
In 2011, Prof. Bhattacharyya spent a full year at Chalmers as Visiting Professor. The collaboration has focused on Linguistics and Computation‬, and the project has involved several faculty members, PhD and Masters students at Chalmers as well as at IIT Bombay. Shafqat Mumtaz Virk defended his doctoral thesis in this field entitled ”Computational Linguistics Resources for Indo-Iranian Languages” on 3 June 2013. 
Dr. Chien-Chung Huang joined the department in 2013. He has many active collaborations in India, especially with Associate Professor Kavitha Telikepalli at the School of Technology & Computer Science, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai. Dr. Huang as also collaborated with researchers at the Indian Institutes of Technology in Delhi, Mumbai and Kanpur. In 2012 Professor Christopher L. Barret from Virginia Tech, USA was given a special Jubilee Professorship in celebration of Chalmers 150th year anniversary. Through Chris Barrett and Madhav Marathe from Virginia Tech, the department is involved in a research collaboration with Professors Dinesh Mohan and Geetam Tiwari at the Transportation Research and Injury Prevention Programme (TRIPP) at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi for transport and traffic modelling. 

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

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

Research Community News

• Doctoral dissertation on small Swedish IT firms in India

Kristina Westermark from the Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University will defend her dissertation ”Proximity and Learning in Internationalisation: Small Swedish IT firms in India” on the 10 October 2013, at 13:00. Faculty opponent is Prof. Andrew Jones,School of Arts and Social Sciences, City University London. Venue: Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm. Professor Brita Hermelinhas been the main supervisor, with Prof. Charlotta Hedberg as a co-supervisor.
The four IT service firms of this thesis set out to interact and collaborate between their offices in Sweden and in India, some more intensely and frequently than others. In the process of their internationalisation, these small service firms find ways, or go through a process of learning how to collaborate in an international setting.The qualitative exploration of the process of learning is inspired by ‘communities of practice’, and in this thesis the focus is on ways in which individuals of firms through social participation learn to collaborate across distance, and develop a common way of working together in an international setting. More information.

• Uppsala editor for new Journal of South Asian Languages and Linguistics

Anju Saxena, from the Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University is the new Editor–in–chief of the fortcoming Journal of South Asian Languages and Linguistics. The journal provides a peer-reviewed forum for publishing original research articles and reviews in the field of South Asian languages and linguistics, with a focus on descriptive, functional and typological investigations.
Descriptive analyses are encouraged to the extent that they present analyses of lesser-known languages, based on original fieldwork. Other areas covered by the journal include language change (including contact-induced change) and sociolinguistics. The journal also publishes occasional special issues on focused themes relating to South Asian languages and linguistics for which it welcomes proposals. More information.

• Doctoral dissertation on Climate Change and Management of Urban Flooding in Mumbai

Arun Rana from the Division of Water Resources Engineering, Lund University, defended his dissertation ”Climate Change Effects on Rainfall and Management of Urban Flooding” on Friday 27 September 2013, at 10:15. Faculty opponent was Prof. Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen, Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark. Professor Lars Bengtsson has been the main supervisor. Co-supervisors have been Prof. Ronny Berndtsson and Prof. Arun Kansal.
 thesis presents how the effects of climate change and high-intensive rainfall on the urban drainage system and management of flooding in urban areas of were studied in Mumbai, India and Southern Sweden, including Skåne and Gothenburg. Various analytical systems were applied, and the analysis revealed a high degree of variability in rainfall over Mumbai. A significant decreasing trend for long-term southwest monsoon rainfall was found. Also, a decrease in average maximum daily rainfall was indicated. The southwest monsoon rainfall over Mumbai was found to be inversely related to the Indian Ocean dipole, the El Ninõ-Southern Oscillation, and the East Atlantic Pattern. In Southern Sweden, however, annual precipitation has increased significantly due to increasing winter precipitation. Link to more information. 

• Bangladeshi medical professors visit Karlstad University

The Department of Public Health Sciences and the Department of Risk Management at Karlstad University (KaU) have two visitors from Bangladesh during 3-9 October. Dr Saidur Rahman Mashreky (photo), Director of the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh (CIPRB) and Dr Atiqul Haque, Assistant professor, Department of Public Health and Informatics, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, are involved in a research project in collaboration with Karlstad University on child maltreatment in Bangladesh. The project is partly supported by the Swedish Research Links Program. More information.
Dr Mashreky is going to present his work on Childhood burn prevention program in Bangladesh on Friday 4 October 2013 at Public Health Sciences.

• Doctoral dissertation on Arsenic Exposure Risk from Rice in Rural Bengal

Dipti Halder from the Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering; School of Architecture and the Built Environment, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, defended her dissertation ”Arsenic Exposure Risk from Rice and other Dietary Components in Rural Bengal” on the 25th September 2013, at 13:00. Faculty opponent was Prof. Dr. M. Alauddin, Department of Chemistry, Wagner College, Staten Island, NY, USA. Venue: Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, (entréplan), KTH, Stockholm, Sweden. Professor Prosun Bhattacharya has been her main supervisor.
The thesis investigates the risk of arsenic (As) exposure from staple diet to the communities in rural Bengal, even when they have been supplied with As safe drinking water. The results indicate that average accumulation of As in rice grain increases with decrease of grain size, however people living in the rural villages mostly prefer brown colored SB type of rice because of its lower cost. Among the vegetables generally consumed in rural villages, the accumulation of As is highest in the leafy type of vegetables, compared to non-leafy and root vegetables. The study suggests that any effort to mitigate the As exposure of the villagers in Bengal must consider the risk of As exposure from rice consumption together with drinking water. 
Link to the full dissertation.

• Doctoral dissertation on Arsenic geochemistry in the alluvial aquifers of West Bengal

Ashis Biswas from the Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering; School of Architecture and the Built Environment, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, defended his dissertation entitled ”Arsenic geochemistry in the alluvial aquifers of West Bengal, India: Implications for targeting safe aquifers for sustainable drinking water supply” on the 23 September at 13:00. Faculty opponent was Prof. Dr. Laurent Charlet, CNRS, University of Grenoble, Grenoble, France. Venue: Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Professor Prosun Bhattacharya has been his main supervisor.
The thesis describes the natural occurrences of high dissolved arsenic (As) in groundwater of Bengal Basin that has put millions of people under the threat of chronic As exposure through drinking water. Present study has examined the processes that regulate As mobilization and its distribution in shallow aquifers and the potentiality of finding safe aquifers within shallow depth (<50 m) for drinking water supply. This study concludes that the reductive dissolution of Fe oxyhydroxides followed by competitive sorption reactions with the aquifer sediment is the process conducive for As enrichment in groundwater of Bengal Basin.
Link to full dissertation.

• Unique scholarly archives resource on Balochistan

The Balochistan Archives (Pakistan) is now available online on its web page and via its Facebook Page /balochistanarchives.
The website is an information portal on documents of historical significance for scholars, civil servants, and citizens interested in the history, culture, and politics of Balochistan Province, Pakistan. Currently Balochistan Archives hold more than 27,000 original files, 5,000 rare books and manuscripts, and 300 rare maps pertaining to Balochistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and the Persian Gulf. These collections reveal the policies and practices of tribal management and frontier governance on the North West Frontier of India. In addition, the records of Balochistan Archives shed light on the conduct of British relations with Afghanistan, Iran, and the Persian Gulf and drawing of regional boundaries such as the Goldsmid Line (1872), Durand Line (1893), and Baloch-Afghan Boundary (1896). The website has several features of interest to scholars including a searchable catalogue of its holdings, finding aids to the collections, and a digital collection of select books, manuscripts, maps, and genealogies. 

• Time to apply for funds from Endangered Archives Programme

The Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library is now accepting applications for the next round of funding. Detailed information on the timetable, criteria, eligibility and procedures for applying for a grant is available on the Programme’s website, Applications will be accepted in English or in French. The deadline for receipt of preliminary grant applications is 1 November 2013. 
Since it was established nine years ago, the Programme has so far funded 214 projects worldwide with grants totalling £5.3 million. The Programme is funded by Arcadia (formerly known as the Lisbet Rausing Charitable Fund), in pursuit of one of its charitable aims to preserve and disseminate cultural knowledge and to promote education and research. The aim of the Programme is to contribute to the preservation of archival material worldwide that is in danger of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration. In South Asia, approximately 30 projects in Bhutan, India and Nepal are currently supported by the Endangered Archives Programme. They include projects on digital documentation of manuscripts at Drametse and Ogyen Choling monasteries in Bhutan (photo from Drametse); a project on Locating and surveying early religious and related records in Mizoram; a project on Archiving texts in the Sylhet Nagri script; and a project to Retrieve two major and endangered newspapers: Jugantar and Amrita Bazar Patrika in Kolkata. More information about the South Asian projects
The Endangered Archives Programme is pleased to announce the addition of a new catalogue to its web pages. The catalogue gives details of material copied by the project EAP310: The digital documentation of manuscripts in Thadrak, Tshamdrak and Nyephug temples in Bhutan, holding significant collections of ancient manuscripts such as Buddhist canonical texts, religious and philosophical writings, historical and biographical literatures, which have hitherto remained unknown and inaccessible to scholars. More information about the project.

• Gender in focus at Lund University Development Research Day 2013
 Professor Naila Kabeer to the right along with Professor Helle
 Rydström, Dept of Gender Studies at the Lund University
 Development Research Day 2013.

Lund University Development Research Day 2013 was held on Thursday 19 September 2013. The title for the one-day conference is ”Gendered Developments – Imaginings, Politics and Practices”. The Development Research Day is an annual event intended to bring together those interested in development issues from a wide variety of disciplines. This year it was hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences.
The keynote speakers this year were Professor Naila Kabeer from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and Margot Wallström. Their presentations in the morning drew a massive crowd of students and faculty, interested in gender and development. Wallström is a former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, and gave an engaged presentation about her  work in Africa; and Naila Kabeer spoke about ”Empowerment, Citizenship and Gender Justice: Contributions to Locally Grounded Theories of Social Change”, with examples from Bangladesh and Afghanistan. See the programme.
In the afternoon, parallell sessions with many interesting presentations were held. They include a presentation by Mattias Larsen (University of Gothenburg, photo to the left) on ”Sex Selection in Northern India: Patriarchy and Women’s Education”; by Roshni Kapoor (Lund University) on ”Deconstructing masculinity in Nepal’s peace process”, by Richard Palmer-Jones (University of East Anglia) on ”The Microfinance of Reproduction and the Reproduction of Microfinance: Understanding the Connections between Microfinance, Empowerment, Contraception and Fertility in Bangladesh in the 1990s”; and by Mina O`Dowd (Lund University) on ”Development through education in India? Public-Private Partnerships and Gender”See the detailed programme for these sessions
The 2013 Håkan Hydén Award for the best student thesis in development studies was also awarded during the day. The winner was Cecilia Fåhraeus who has written a Masters thesis exploring the connection between slum upgrading and gentrification in an improved settlement in Metro Manila, Philippines.

• Postdoctoral positions in Entrepreneurial Citizenship focusing on China, India and Europe

The University of Goettingen, Germany has annonunced two Postdoctoral Research Positions on ”Entrepreneurial Citizenship in China, India and Europe”. The University has launched a transregional research network (CETREN) under the broad thematic rubric of The Politics of the New. Funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), CETREN promotes collaborations between disciplines and area studies, contributing to the production of innovative place-based knowledge in the social sciences and humanities. CETREN now seeks to fill 2 Postdoctoral Research positions. Beginning in April 2014, they will be offered as two-year fixed-term contracts on a full-time basis. Last date for applicatiosn is 31 October 2013. More information.

• Post-doctoral positions in South Asian Studies available at Yale

The South Asian Studies Council (SASC) at the MacMillan Center invites applications for post- doctoral positions at Yale University for AY 2014-2015. The Council expects to make one or two appointments. Candidates must have research and teaching experience relevant to modern and contemporary South Asia, in the humanities or social sciences.
All applicants should have in-depth knowledge of at least one SA-related language and fluency in English; and must have completed the PhD by the time of appointment. The post-doctoral fellow will teach one course in each of two terms related to his/her interests, pursue his/her own research, and participate in the activities of the South Asian Studies Council. Applicants should submit a cover letter, one-page description of research plans; a draft of a course syllabus and a title and brief summary of a second course; a CV; names and contact information of two references. Compensation includes an annual salary of $55,000 - $60,000, depending on rank and seniority of the selected individual, and health coverage. Applications are accepted immediately with review beginning on January 10, 2014 and continuing until the selections are final. More information with application forms.

• University of Waterloo announces position in South Asian Politics

Applications are being accepted for a tenure-track position at the level of Assistant Professor in the field of South Asian politics within the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo beginning July 1, 2014. Candidates must have completed a PhD in Political Science or a related field. The successful candidate must be able to teach in the field of South Asian politics and must have demonstrated research expertise in this area. The successful candidate should also be able to contribute to teaching needs in one or more of the department's three core streams: global governance, politics and business, and public policy and administration. Excellence in teaching is expected and candidates must supply with their application a teaching dossier, including teaching philosophy, peer and/or student evaluations, and course syllabi. In addition to teaching and service for the Department of Political Science, the successful candidate will be expected to develop an active, externally-funded research program and to collaborate in the academic life of the department. Reviewing of applications will begin on November 15, 2013, and will continue until the position is filled. More information.

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

Educational News

• Berlin graduate School admits PhD candidates to programme on Muslim Cultures and Societies

The Berlin Graduate School's three-year doctoral programme Muslim Cultures and Societies begins in October 2014. Up to Fifteen doctoral students are admitted annually, ten of whom will receive full funding for three years, depending on satisfactory progress. The deadline for submitting complete applications is 15 November 2013. 
The Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS) investigates the plurality, changeability, and global connectedness of Muslim cultures and societies. The area of study includes Muslim societies in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, as well as Muslim communities in Europe and North America. The Graduate School examines, in a systematic and comparative way, concepts, practices, and institutions variously understood as Islamic. Special attention is given to relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, as well as forms of inter- and intra-cultural communication.
In close cooperation with its partner institutions in Germany and abroad, the Graduate School offers doctoral candidates a broad educational programme of exceptional quality coupled with intensive mentoring for individual dissertation projects, training that will qualify graduates to hold leading positions in academia, the media, and politics.
Find details and application forms on the website

• Academic Hindi Intensive course offered in Wardha

The Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies, University of Hamburg, Germany, offers a language trip to India in cooperation with the Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University in Wardha, India, from February 10th – 28th February 2014 for students and non-students of Intermediate and advanced level Hindi who are interested in improving and enhancing their proficiency in Hindi. Students will be accomodated in the guest home in Wardha. The last date of registration for the courses is 30 November 2013. More information.

• Sri Lanka Presidential Scholarships for Foreign Students

The Government of Sri Lanka is inviting applications from eligible students for the award of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships offered by the Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka under the Government of Sri Lanka Presidential Scholarships for Foreign Students programme for the academic year 2013/14. The courses are to commence in December 2013. Since this is a government to government scholarship programme, candidates should apply for this scholarship with the recommendation of the government scholarship nominating agency (Ministry / Institution) of the respective country. The scolarship will include tuition fees, Visa charges, Flight fares and an monthly living allowance. Last date for submitting applications is on the 15 October 2013. 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 Indian Classical Dance with dancer from Lithuania

The Department of Linguistics and Philology, and the Forum for South Asian Studies at Uppsala University invited Kristina Luna of Vilnius University, Lithuania for a presentation entitled ”Indian Classical Dance and its Modern Image in Theory and Practice”. The presentation was held on Wednesday 18 September 2013 at Uppsala University. The presentation focused on the renaissance of Indian classical dance and its recreation as a ”national” tradition in the 20th century. It included practical performance after the presentation. Kristina Luna Dolinina first came to India for a course in Hindi in 1997. She did her MA in Hindi at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi) in 2003. She has studied Kathak dance under Guru Shovana Narayan and Teerath Ajmani, and Odisi dance under Sharon Lowen. She joined the Sri Ram Bharatiya kala Kendra under Priamvada Pattnayak (Odisi), where she completed a three year certificate course. Kristina Luna teaches Hindi language and literature at Vilnius University, Lithuania.

• Stockholm workshop on Migration and displacement in and from Afghanistan

The Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University organised an international workshop entitled ”Migration and displacement in and from Afghanistan” 20–21 September 2013. The workshop was supported by the Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University. Venue: Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens Hus, Stockholm University, Frescati.
Displacement within and from Afghanistan is complex, having various causes and forms. People are forced into displacement because of poverty, drought, armed conflict, or a combination of these factors. For many Afghans, displacement has become protracted. The aim of the conference was to bring together researchers with an interest in Afghanistan and its diaspora for exchanging ideas and networking. Invited speakers included Khalid Koser, The Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Switzerland; Azita Bathaie, LESC, UPO, Paris; Kristian Berg Harpviken, PRIO, Oslo; Giulia Scalettaris, EHESS, Paris; Alessandro Monsutti, Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva; Chona R. Echavez, AREU, Kabul; Christoph Wenzel, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Esra Kaytaz, University of Oxford; and Wenona Giles, York University, UK. More information.

• Oslo Buddhist Studies Forum lecture series with Janice Leoshko

The Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, Oslo University has hosted a series of lectures on Buddhist Art, given by their Guest Professor Janice Leoshko (photo), from the Department of Art and Art History, University of Texas at Austin (and also Associate Director of the university’s Center for Asian Studies). Her publications include various articles on Indian sculpture as well as a chapter for ”Romance of the Taj Mahal”, the volume that accompanied a major exhibition for which she was co-curator.
On Thursday 26 September, 14.15–16.00, she lectured about ”Mathura and Gandhāra art, Buddhist art of North West India”.
On Friday 27 September, 08.15–10.00, she lectured about ”Gupta Buddhist Art”.
On Monday 1 October, 12.15–14.00, she lectured about ”The significance of Bodhgaya”.
On Tuesday 2 October, 12.15–14.00, she lectures about ”Buddhist art and European Modernism”.
More information about the seminar series.

• Stockholm seminar on peace and conflict
      research in the 21st century

The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) organised a seminar entitled ”Local Dimensions in Peacebuilding – Lessons for peace and conflict research in the 21st century” on Monday 30 September 2013. Roger Mac Ginty, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Manchester University (photo to the right), was the keynote speaker. Prof. Mac Ginty is a leading international authority in critical peace and conflict research. His work concerns peace processes, political violence and local responses to international peace-support interventions. He is also editor of the journal Peacebuilding.
In the panel discussion Docent Annika Björkdahl, Lund University, and Docent Anna Jarstad, Uppsala University, were supposed to bring forth lessons learnt from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Afghanistan, concerning the quality of peace and the conflictual encounter between local and international peacebuilding. Moderator: Dr Johanna Mannergren Selimovic, the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. More information. 

• Stockholm University workshop on Neoliberal Development and Indian Democracy

The Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University organises a three-day international workshop on ”Neoliberal Development and Indian Democracy: The Politics of Rights, Rebellions and Reforms” on 10–12 October 2013. The conference with invited speakers will bring together analysts whose research throws light on aspects of India’s encounter with neo-liberalism. There will be political-economic, sociological and ethnographic explorations of the following themes of rights, rebellion, dispossession and the reconceptualization of the state. Except for the first open morning session (programme posted below) it is necessary to pre-register with the organisers – by mail – in order to participate in the workshop. Venue: Aula Magna, Stockholm University, Frescati.

 Kanchan Chandra, John Echeverri-Gent and Alpa Shah.

The open session is held on Thursday 10 October, 10.00–12.30, and features presentations by Kanchan Chandra, New York University, USA, on “The New Indian State”; by John Echeverri-Gent, University of Virginia, USA, on “India's Neoliberal Turn: Do the costs outweigh the benefits?”; and Alpa Shah, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK, on “The Rise and Fall of the Maoist Movement in India”. They will be introduced by Professor Sanjib Baruah, Bard College, USA,  & currently at the Dept. of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University.
During the following two and a half days of workshop, several other invited scholars from Sweden, Norway, Germany, India, Australia and the US give highly interesting presentations on issues such as India's Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Indian Forest Rights Act, Vernacular Rights Culture in Northeast India, Indian anti-mining activism, and (Neo)liberal Peacebuilding in India. Speakers include Olle Törnquist, University of Oslo; Shylashri Shankar, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi; Duncan McDuie-Ra, University of New South Wales, Australia; and Uday Chandra, Max Planck Institute, Göttingen, Germany.
The workshop is convened by Dr. Henrik Berglund, Dept. of Political Science, Stockholm University, and Dr. Beppe Karlsson, Dept. of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University. See the full workshop programme.

• Three seminars by Rila Mukherjee in Uppsala and Stockholm

Professor Rila Mukherjee, Director of the Institut de Chandernagor in the state of West Bengal, India, visits Sweden in October 2013, and holds three seminars at Uppsala University and the Vasa Museum in Stockholm.
Prof. Mukherjee has written ”Strange Riches: Bengal in the Mercantile Map of South Asia” (2006), ”Merchants and Companies in Bengal: Kasimbazar and Jugdia in the Eighteenth Century” (2007), and recently ”Oceans Connect” (2013) – photo from book release of the latter book in Kolkata.
On Monday 14 October, 13.15–15.00, she will hold a lecture entitled “Writing a Water History: New directions for historical research”, a seminar organised by the Dept. of History, Uppsala University, and the research node Mind and Nature. This presentation will chart the shifts in studies on the Indian Ocean: from maritime studies to oceanic studies and water based studies. Venue: University main building, room VII.
On Wednesday 16 October, 13.15–15.00, Prof. Mukherjee will speak about “The Eastern Indian Ocean Trading World”, in a seminar organised by the Forum for South Asia Studies at Uppsala University. This lecture will elaborate the global flows across the eastern Indian Ocean world until c. 1600. This part of the ocean includes the vast water-body stretching from Sri Lanka (central Indian Ocean) through the Bay of Bengal, the Java seas, the Melaka and Sunda Straits, and into the China seas. Venue: English Park Campus, room 2-1024.
On Friday 18 October, 13.00–15.00, she will speak about “Writing a Water History: New directions for historical research”, in a seminar organised by Maritime Studies at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. This presentation will chart the shifts in studies on the Indian Ocean: from maritime studies to oceanic studies and water based studies.
Full information about Prof. Mukherjee’s seminars.

• Helsinki symposium focusing on sex and gender in Asian art and performance

The Asian Art and Performance Consortium (AAPC) of the Academy of Fine Arts (Kuva) and the Finnish Theatre Academy Helsinki (Teak) will host a symposium focusing on manifestations of sex and gender in Asian art and performance: "Shifting Dialogues II: Objects of Desire: Sexual Artifice in Asian Art and Performance", to be held during October 17-19, 2013 at the University of the Arts, Helsinki, Finland. This is the second symposium organised under the ongoing research project, Shifting Dialogues – Asian Performance and Fine Arts. The project is funded by the Academy of Finland in 2011-2014.
This time the focus of the symposium will be on sexual practices and gender roles in Asian art, film, video art, installation, live art, and dialogical work. The organisers are looking for new framings of sexuality and gender, beyond orientalism, the tattered dualisms of "East vs West", and into the specificity of the fetish object and its social context. How are various social practices, from religion to bureaucracy to economics to politics and terror sexualised and fetishised? 
The symposium will be small, intimate and dialog-based, rather than formalized panel presentations. Presentations can be in the form of papers or well-researched interventions and provocations. There are no parallel sessions, so the number of presentations will be small. Presentations reflecting practice-based artistic research relevant to the symposium topic are strongly encouraged. More information.

• Oslo Military Power Seminar: Afghanistan Experiences

The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) is arranging the 15th Military Power Seminar, entitled Afghanistan Experiences - Lessons Learned or Lessons Lost? on the 30 November 2013, at 09:00. Venue: The Henri Dunant Hall, the Norwegian Red Cross Conference Centre , Hausmannsgate 7, Oslo.
At a critical moment in Afghanistan, this year’s Military Power Seminar aims to bring together a broad range of contributors and participants to discuss experiences from Afghanistan and their impact. Is the Afghanistan experience just another speed bump with no major influence for the future of Alliance operations? Or has ISAF altered NATO force planning and capability development? Are we seeing adjusted perspectives in the Alliance and its member states? Has the involvement in Afghanistan led to significant changes in Norwegian security and defence policy? What have the Norwegian Armed Forces learnt and which lessons are most relevant? What are possible implications of these lessons for future engagements abroad and the structure and tasks of the Armed Forces at home? These are some of the questions that will be addressed at the Military Power Seminar 2013. More information and registration.

• Uppsala/Guwahati joint conference on Understanding functional materials

A conference entitled ”Asia Sweden meeting on Understanding functional materials from Lattice Dynamics” will be held at the Indian Intitute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, India, during 9-11 Januari 2014. The conference is part of an ongoing Swedish Research Links programme between the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University and IIT Guwahati in Assam. 
With the increasing need of smart technology in various needs of human life, the research in materials science has gained huge momentum in recent times. Subsequently, the importance of lattice dynamics in solids has drawn considerable attraction. This meeting aims at bringing together the practitioners in India and abroad to discuss the recent trends in understanding the properties of state of the art functional materials from the point of view of lattice dynamics. The meeting would be focused on various different aspects of lattice dynamics starting from new methodological developments to the effects of coupling between different degrees of freedom. The programme would consist of 15 invited talks by top rank scientists from India and abroad and short talks and poster presentations by young researchers. A discussion session on the future work plan and collaborations would also be organized in the meeting to make the outcome fruitful. Deadline to submit paper abstracts is 20 October 2013. More information.

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• Illinois conference on Law, Culture and Morality: East and West

An international and interdisciplinary conference on ”Law, Culture and Morality: East and West” will be held at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, 4–5 October 2013. Subtopics include Laws of Manu & Other Hindu Lawgivers; Islam & Law; and Buddhist Ethics. Papers from the conference will be published subject to editorial review in the Journal of International and Interdisciplinary Studies / Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion. More information.

• Amsterdam conference on Regional Towns and Migration in South Asia

A two-day nternational Conference on ”Regional Towns and Migration:
Interrogating Transnationalism and Development in South Asia
” is being held 10–11 October 2013 at the University of Amsterdam. It is being organised by the Provincial Globalisation Programme, a joint collaborative research programme by by the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) in the Netherlands, and the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) in Bangalore. Conference conveners are Prof. Carol Upadhya, NIAS; and Prof. Mario Rutten, AISSR.
ProGlob explores transnational flows of migrant resources into India through a series of regional-level studies centred on ‘provincial’ towns and their rural hinterlands. its aim is to develop a fresh perspective on questions of migration and development in contemporary India. The aim is to develop a fresh perspective on questions of migration and development in contemporary India and the conference will gather scholars from a range of disciplines and interdisciplinary areas who are working in different regions of South Asia on topics that fall within the 6 broad thematic areas of the conference: 1. Region-specific patterns and histories of international migration and the local impacts of remittances and investments by migrants or diasporic groups; 2. Regional diaspora philanthropy; 3. Transnational politics of development and/ or the environment; 4. Transnationalism and regional identity politics; 5. Formation of regional transnational networks / communities; and 6. Conceptual / theoretical papers on rethinking the region in South Asia in the context of globalisation and transnational flows
The selected authors will be invited to develop original papers for presentation at the conference and possible inclusion in a planned conference volume or special journal issue. Invited participants will be provided accommodation during the conference and limited funds for travel are available for those who may require support. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 April 2013. More information

• Seoul conference on Meanings & Aesthetics in Asian Cultural Landscapes

The Asian Cultural Landscape Association (ACLA), at Seoul National University, and the SNU Urban Greening Institute invites to an International Symposium on ”Meanings & Aesthetics in Asian Cultural Landscape”, to be held 12–15 October 2013 at the International Conference Hall, Seoul National University, South Korea.
The dominant ideology behind landscape aesthetics in Western tradition mostly deals with formalist scenic landscapes to ecological and phenomenological aesthetics; however in the Asian tradition in addition to these notions emphasis is laid upon the experiences in everyday lifeways and the deeper interpretation of the symbolic meanings manifested in landscapes. This results into the understanding of interconnectedness between Man and Nature, and exposed through interpreting the inherent and imposed meanings and contextuality that changes in varying space, time, function and cultural notions and symbols. In the Western tradition aesthetics tend to concentrate on the context of physical landscape and visual quality, but in Asian tradition more emphasis is laid on the experiential and sacred aesthetic expression, what could be referred to as "ecospirituality" or sublimation of landscape.
Prospective participants are invited to submit abstracts related to, but not limited to, the three following themes: ”Heterogeneity vs. Homogeneity in Cultural Landscape Aesthetics”,Exposing the Meanings and Spirit of Place”, and ”Making Harmonious Path through Integrity and Co-sharedness”. Deadline for submission of abstracts is April 30, 2013. More information.

• Preconferences in conjunction with 42nd Annual Madison Conference on South Asia

In conjunction with the 42nd Annual Conference on South Asia, to be held 17–20 October 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, a number of interesting preconferences will as usual be arranged.
– The Partition Narratives and South Asian Diasporas preconference deals with the issue on how the memory and trauma of Partition get passed on from generation to generation within India, Pakistan, or elsewhere, then from those at home to the diaspora, and to what effect? How do partition narratives circulate in diasporic communities? How do they shape the narratives of home, community, nation, alienhood, and citizenship? What role do cultural texts (literature, film, television, theatre, digital media, etc.) play in circulating and/ or distorting partition narratives?
– The Kashmir Studies Pre-Conference foregrounds exciting new scholarship from the humanities and social sciences that challenges conventional models of writing and thinking about Kashmir. This shift marks a transformative period in Kashmir Valley, calling out for fresh engagement. The turbulent cycle of insurgency and counter-insurgency conflict, prevalent throughout the 1990s, has transformed, and new phases of the longstanding struggle for azaadi, or freedom, have emerged. For Kashmiri communities on both sides of the LoC, these dynamics are opening some spaces for the emergence of new forms of identity and imagination, memory and aspiration, homeland and belonging, and protest and resistance.
– In the Feminist Scholarship: Genealogies and New Directions preconference participants are asked to present their current research to reflect the latest scholarship in "Feminist Studies" (broadly conceived) and, at the same time, examine the intellectual threads that have influenced it. What scholarly trajectories does this new work advance and which ones does it challenge, reject, or re-imagine? 
– In the Forty Two Years of Bangladesh: Identity, Culture, Economy and Politics preconference, the processes of social transformation occurring in Bangladesh over and beyond the timeline and landscape of Shahbagh 2013 will be studied. The presentations will focus on identity of Bangladesh in the world map; its history, language and motion; and the socio-political and economic issues the country is trying to reconfigure.
There are also a number of other preconferences. More information on all 2013 Madison preconferences.

• The Ghadar Centennial Conference 1913-2013 to be held in Canada

The "Ghadar Centennial Conference 1913 – Interpreting Ghadar: Echoes of Voices Past", will be held at the Centre for Indo Canadian Studies, University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada on October 17, 2013.
Research papers are welcome that explore the area of literature created and dedicated to the nationalist revolutionary movement of the Ghadar in Canada and the US at the turn of the last century. Papers that analyze both the propaganda machine of the colonial powers specific to Ghadar, and/or the revolutionary voices of the Ghadarite aspirations of a free India are welcome. Studies of pro-Indian independence materials include newspapers, pamphlets, correspondence, photographs, and transcripts of interviews, posters, letters, handbills, magazine articles, lectures, theses, bibliographies, court documents and revolutionary poems are welcome. Papers are also welcome that explore the support given to the Ghadar revolutionary movement in the west (e.g. by the Irish and Germans) and in the east (e.g., in Japan, China, Singapore, etc.) and the impact of this support on the British raj in India, as well as papers on the historiographies of transnational movements related to the Ghadar outside India and North America (e.g., Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila, Berlin, Panama, etc.). Many local and global sites of resistance against the colonists (e.g. in Abbotsford, Astoria, San Francisco, Punjab, Hong Kong, Vancouver, etc.) informed the development of this transnational movement’s genesis in exile, yet it impacted India until partition. Deadline for paper proposals is 15 June 2013. More information.

• 42nd Annual Madison Conference on South Asia

MadisonThe 42nd Annual Madison Conference on South Asia will be held 17–20 October 2013. The conference, that is sponsored by the Center for South Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, attracts over 650 scholars and specialists on South Asia, who travel from countries all over the world and much of the United States. It is a great venue for intellectual, professional, and social exchange. Panels, roundtables, and individual papers on all topics pertaining to South Asian studies are welcome.
This year a plenary session will be organized around the theme of ”Work”.  The organisers especially welcome panels that similarly address questions of work – including waged labor, informal economies, new forms of entrepreneurship, and the work of social reproduction – from a variety of disciplinary and evidentiary perspectives. The conference features nearly 100 academic panels and roundtables, as well as association meetings and special events ranging from performances to film screenings. The registration deadline for all individuals listed on proposal submissions was April 1, 2013. For general conference attendees, early bird registration will be available through October 1, 2013. Venue: Madison Concourse Hotel, 1 West Dayton St., Madison, Wisconsin, USA. More information

• Chandigarh conference on the making of modern Punjab

A Seminar on ”The Making of Modern Punjab: Education, Science and Social Change in Punjab c. 1850- c. 2000” will be held at Panjab University in Chandigarh, India, 24 – 26 October 2013. The Seminar is dedicated to the memory of Prof. Ruchi Ram Sahni (1863 – 1948), born barely 14 years after the annexation of the Punjab Kingdom by the British and lived to see India become independent. His life thus covers an important part of Punjab’s and India’s history. The social and religious ferment caused by the British rule and the political responses to it that emerged in Punjab were not autonomous but influenced by developments elsewhere.
The Seminar comprising invited lectures and contributed papers (oral and poster) will focus on all aspects that are related to or an extension of Ruchi Ram’s life and times.  All including University and College teachers, research scholars and independent researchers are cordially invited to present their original research at the Seminar. Scholars from and of  the Indian sub-continent working abroad are particularly encouraged to participate. All paper proposals will be reviewed by the Programme Committee and the proceedings published.
On-line pre-registration is necessary so that the event can be organized in an economical and efficient manner. Those desirous of attending as audience or as authors of papers should send the following information bye-mail. More information.

• London symposium on South Asian Murals and Floor-Drawings

The South Asian Arts Group (SAAG) based in the UK, and the Centre for Research and Education in Art & Media (CREAM), University of Westminster in London, are joining forces to run a symposium entitled ”From Floor to Ceiling: South Asian Murals and Floor-Drawings”, to be held in London 25 - 26 October 2013. The purpose of this event is to spark debate and encourage collaboration and exchange on the vast but, thus far, under-researched area of South Asian mural and floor-drawing traditions and their contemporary manifestations.
In order to accommodate a wide range of papers, the organisers apply a broad definition of the term South Asia, to include the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet. This area of research lends itself to diverse approaches, including anthropological and ethnographic perspectives, art historical interpretations, aesthetic views, practitioner-based narratives that may focus on the creative process, gendered accounts and material culture studies. Full information about the symposium.
The Centre for Research and Education in Art & Media (CREAM) has a portfolio of research across the disciplines of visual arts, ceramics, photography, film, experimental media, music and fashion. CREAM has been a key participant in debates on practice-based research in audio-visual media. The South Asian Arts Group (SAAG) is an informal network of academics, curators, artists and arts professionals, who share an interest in the arts and visual/material cultures of South Asia and the diaspora. SAAG provides a space for interaction, conversation and exchange for people interested in South Asian arts in the UK. 

• First Annual Muslim South Asia Graduate Conference at SOAS

The 1st Annual Muslim South Asia Graduate Conference will be held at SOAS, University of London, UK, on 28 October 2013. It is organised by the Muslim South Asia Research Forum (MUSA) – launched at SOAS in May 2013, in collaboration with SOAS Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS); and the Centre for the Study of Pakistan (CSP). In line with MUSA’s broad objectives, the conference aims to connect scholars and academics researching any aspect of Muslim societies in South Asia, across disciplines. The goal is to provide a platform for connecting emerging scholars on this region and theme and to showcase new and innovative thinking in the field. All papers will be published on the MUSA website in Edited Proceedings. Selected papers may be taken forward for publication in an academic journal.
PhD students and early career researchers from any discipline are invited to apply and present any part of their research. The organisers are interested in identifying the most pertinent themes of current research on Muslim South Asia based on the submissions. Panels will be developed accordingly. Paper proposals from researchers who are basing their findings on primary research are especially encouraged. Abstracts should be submitted by Monday 15 Juy 2013. Full information.

• Second Toronto Graduate Student Conference on South Asian Religions

The 2nd Biennial University of Toronto Graduate Student Conference on South Asian Religions will be held 1–2 November 2013 in Toronto, Canada. The theme for the conference will be ”The Methods of Memory”. Graduate students engaged in original research in any field related to the study of South Asian religious traditions (e.g. Religion, Philosophy, Anthropology, History, Art History, Sociology, South Asian Studies, Diaspora and Transnational Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Linguistics, etc.) are invited. This conference will offer a congenial platform for graduate students to present, discuss, and receive feedback on  their work from both their peers and faculty in related disciplines. The keynote address will be delivered by Vasudha Dalmia, Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon Professor of Hindu Studies at Yale University.
This conference seeks to continue and expand ongoing conversation on memory with respect to a wide range of South Asian religious phenomena including, but not limited to, the engagement with sacred texts, the creation and veneration of sacred figures and places, the design and performance of rituals, and the projection and transmission of visualized and embodied aesthetic forms. Proposals of no more than 300 words should be submitted by 1 September 2013. More information.

• New Delhi conference on Violence in Indian History

The Archive India Institute in New Delhi, India, hosts its Second Annual International Conference on "Violence in Indian History" on 1 November 2013. The conference themes will be Political Authority and Violence; Violence in Religion and Religion in Violence; Violence in Caste and Caste in Violence; Violence in Gender and Gender in Violence; Representation of Violence in Literature and Performance; and Nationalism, Modernity and Violence. Deadline to submit abstract proposals is 15 March 2013. More information.

• Assam Conference on Classical and Contemporary Debates in Vedanta

The international conference entitled ”The Nature of Consciousness: Classical and Contemporary Debates in Vedanta Philosophy” will take place at the Assam University in Silchar, Assam, India, on the 21-24 November 2013. 
The distinctive voices of Vedanta philosophy brought in energy, excitement, creativity and originality  into the conversations on philosophical issues in India from the classical times to the present. The classical Indian tradition and contemporary argumentative minds were both equally influenced by the  Vedantic ideas. There is no denying the fact that Vedanta forged a new Indian philosophical idiom to  which both contemporary Indian and global philosophy are indebted.
Vedanta philosophy coupled with Sanskrit language challenge the slavery brought forth by blindly adhering to methodologies of doing philosophy on a western model. The voice and tongue being  borrowed, the subjugation of the soul is complete in all aspects.
Though the name of the conference suggests that the problematic of the conference is set in the context of Vedanta Philosophy, the conference also welcomes research papers on Consciousness from classical and contemporary western perspectives. People working in the field of Phenomenology and Analytic  Philosophy are equally welcome. More information.

• Swedish keynote speaker at Colombo conference on Advances in ICT

The International Conference on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions (ICTer) is the successor to the seminal International Information Technology Conference held in Sri Lanka since 1998, the IITC. It provides a platform where research done in ICT is presented by both local and foreign Computer Scientists and IT Professionals. 
This year the conference will take place at BMICH, Committee Rooms, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka on the 12th and 13th December 2013. In addition to the presentation of selected papers, several Keynote Addresses and Invited Speeches by leading personalities in the IT world will be made. One of the keynote speakers is Professor Robert Ramberg, (photo), PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Professor at the Department of Computer- and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University. Ramberg's presentation is entitled ”Design-based Mobile Learning Research: Results and reflections on communication and sustainability”. 

• CSDS workshop on Children's Labour and Schooling in Delhi

The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in Delhi is arranging a workshop entitled ”Childrens Labour and Schooling: Ideologies, Histories, Everyday Lives” on 13-14 December 2013. The proposed workshop is an effort to bring together a range of scholars to explore the interface of childrens work and schooling from the nineteenth century onwards. Quite unlike earlier local, and less publicized attempts to end children's labour through schooling in India, the Right to Education Act (2009) is being viewed as a historic opportunity to finally realize this crucial milestone. Current discussions on this Right are dominated by concerns relating to school access and quality. Though important, these discussions leave little room to explore the complex intersections between child labor and schooling in colonial and postcolonial India: intersections that draw attention to issues not necessarily exhausted by ensuring school access for laboring children. The workshop also welcomes intellectually creative, non-disciplinary reflections on the issue of Dalit and other marginalised communities experience of schooling and work. More information.

• Dhaka conference on Globalization and Trade Challenges for South Asia

The Department of Economics and Social Sciences at BRAC University is hosting an international conference on "Globalization and Trade: Prospects and Challenges for South Asia" to be held 20–21 December 2013 at BRAC University Dhaka.
The aim of the conference is to bring academics, researchers, and policy makers to brainstorm issues in globalization and trade in the context of South Asia and produce peer-reviewed research outputs. The conference invite research papers that are broadly related to the following themes: – Trade liberalization in South Asia; – WTO & Regional Trade Agreements; – Agriculture, trade & environment; – Global Financial Crisis; – Trade & Food Security; – Trade in Services & IPRs; – Globalization & Labor Market Dynamics; – Investment; – Remittance; – Gender gap & Poverty alleviation; and – Transit. Deadline for submission of abstracts/papers is 10 October 2013. Please submit your paper by email to

• Mumbai Conference on Technology, Accountability and Democracy in South Asia

The Stanford University is hosting an conference entitled ”Technology, accountability and democracy in South Asia and beyond” on the 17-18 January 2014. Location: University of Mumbai, India. The conference is organised by the Center for South Asia, and the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) – both at Stanford University, in partnership with Department of Civics and Politics, University of Mumbai, and the Stanford Alumni Association of India.
Over the last few years, there has been unprecedented focus on corruption and accountability across South Asia.  Accountability movements have resulted in a variety of initiatives including special monitoring bodies, transparency laws, monitoring mechanisms, judicial reforms and refining government processes.  These initiatives bring different understandings of problems and approaches, with varied strengths and weaknesses. Despite these differences, they are increasingly converging on the use of technology to augment a growing set of accountability strategies. This conference proposes to bring together people who are engaged in these questions as activists, officials, academics and innovators to examine how technology is currently being used for accountability projects and to build meaningful platforms for the future. We specifically seek to bring together people with experience in accountability movements (with or without the use of technology), young innovators and researchers in order to promote rich multidisciplinary conversation and to build new collaborations. More information and registration. 
The Conference invites papers on relevant themes, see the the call for papers.

• New Delhi Conference on State and Society in North East India

The North East India Studies Programme at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India, is organising an international conference on the theme, ”State and Society in North East India,” from 26 – 28 February 2014. Academic and everyday debates on North East India have generally been dominated by
themes on ethnicity, tribe and nation. While one may consider this as the reflection of embeddedness of the people around such categories, the role of the state with regard to these categories of tribe, ethnicity, nation, civic institutions and everyday civil society spaces has been less explored. One such area of exploration could be the relationship between the state and society. A state-society analytical framework may help to understand historically the location of state as a political unit and practices in North East India. This also opens the scope to investigate state representing society as its integral part or the society as resisting or autonomous spaces to the state.
The conference invites papers on a number of broad themes, with an abstract deadline on the 25 November 2013. More information.

• Cambridge Conference on Economic Development in South Asia

The Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Cabridge (CRASSH), is hosting a conference entitled ”Institutions and their Discontents: Rethinking Economic Development in South Asia” on the  17-18 March 2014. Venue: CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT - SG1&2. Participating convenors are Atiyab Sultan, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, Tayyab Safdar, POLIS, University of Cambridge, Shan Aman Rana, Economics, London School of Economics, Mahreen Mahmud, Economics, University of Kent. 
The conference aims to bring together leading economists, political scientists and historians to debate a key tenet of modern development theory: the crucial link between the development of strong institutions and sustained economic growth. The primacy accorded to institutions by eminent scholars like Dani Rodrik and Daron Acemoglu has been challenged by academics like Ha-joon Chang, but the debate has remained closeted among economists. This conference aims to enrich and expand the dialogue by engaging experts from other disciplines like sociology, politics and history to contextualise the emergence of institutions in their historical and socio-political context. The geographical focus on South Asia will enable the discussion to be grounded and targeted at understanding one of the poorest regions of the world, often castigated for its weak and corrupt institutions. The diversity in the fortunes of India and other regional players like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, will allow a critical appreciation of other factors helping or hindering economic growth with or without strong institutions. Paper proposals must be received by 20 November 2013. More information.

• Berlin workshop on Transregional Crossroads of Social Interaction

A workshop entitled ”Transregional Crossroads of Social Interaction: the Shifting Meaning of Regional Belonging in South and Central Asia” is organized on 21 March 2014 by Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) in Berlin, Germany. The workshop at ZMO within the Crossroads Asia programme seeks to explore the shifting meaning of regional belonging across the neighbouring regions of South and Central Asia. It proposes to read the transregional interaction here in terms of social, economic, cultural and religious interaction. The organisers invite papers that analyse and discuss contemporary and modern historical representations of such interaction in the regions stretching from West Asia to South and Central Asia across conventional regional divides. Abstracts should be submitted by 15 October 2013, together with a current cv/resume. More information.

• 10th International Conference on Labour History in Noida

The Association of Indian Labour Historians invites proposals for its Tenth International Conference on Labour History 22–24 
March 2014 at V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, Noida/New Delhi, India. The theme for the conference is Labour History: A Return to Politics? The conference is organized by the association 
of Indian Labour Historians and v.v. Giri National Labour Institute. 
Why is a consideration of a political turn important today? Since the end of the 1970s there have been massive changes in the structure and form of labour. These changes were marked by the marginalization of organized industry, a shift of manufacturing industries from the West to the East; expansions in the service sector, especially in the information industry. As informalisation spread across the globe precarious employment outstripped stable standard jobs. Trajectories of working lives and careers were drastically altered. Work shifted to the home, blurring the distinction between private and working space. New forms of feminization emerged across the globe affecting the developed and developing world alike. Abstracts should be submitted before 15 November 2013. More information. 

• Nineteenth International Euro-Asia Research Conference to be held in Yokohama

Following a number of conferences held in Italy, France, Ireland, Norway, Japan, China, Spain, Indonesia and India since 1994, the Nineteenth International Euro-Asia Research Conference will take place in Yokohama, Japan (pictured right) on 30 May – 1 June 2014. The research conference is a joint undertaking between Yokohama National University, Japan, the School of Asian Studies and Business Management Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, the IAE of The University of Poitiers, France, The University of Pau (Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour), France, TELECOM Ecole de Management, France, The School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield, The U.K., and The University of Limerick, Ireland.
The Conference is intended to bring together researchers engaged in Management, Economics and related fields from Europe, Asia and other parts of the World. Research contributions addressing any aspect of ”The impact of economic change on Asian business management” are welcome. This topic may cover among others the following sub-topics: Dealing with the aftermath of the global financial crisis; Relocation abroad and relocation back home: European and Asian experiences; Developed versus developing countries MNCs in Asia: comparison of international strategies; SMEs internationalisation strategies – European and Asian perspectives; Information systems development and control evolution within MNCs. Doctoral students are also strongly encouraged to submit papers for consideration. The first deadline for a one page proposal is 30 November 2013. More information.

• Fourth Borderlands Research Conference to be held in Hong Kong

The 4rd Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network will be held in Hong Kong 8-10 December 2014. The theme for the 2014 conference will be ”Activated Borders: Re-openings, Ruptures and Relationships”. The conference is organized by the Southeast Asia Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong; International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), the Netherlands and the the Asian Borderlands Research Network.  It is convened by  Prof. Mark R. Thompson, City University of Hong Kong, Dr. Yuk Wah Chan, City University of Hong Kong, Dr. Tina Harris, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Prof. Willem van Schendel, University of Amsterdam and Dr. Erik de Maaker, Leiden University, the Netherlands. 
Venue: Southeast Asia Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong. 
All over Asia, international borders condition encounters between diverse ethnic, linguistic, economic, religious, and political groups. Recently, many formerly disregarded borders have been ”activated”. Some have become more permeable for people, goods and ideas. By contrast, elsewhere in Asia borders have actively hardened. Such border dynamics (which have a history of centuries) shape cross-border linkages and are shaped by them. During the 4th Asian Borderlands Research Conference in Hong Kong, submissions are invited that address continuities and transformations along routes and borders in Asia, broadly related to the theme ”Re-openings, Ruptures and Relationships.” The deadline to send in panel, roundtable and paper proposals is 1 February 2014. More information.

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

Business and Politics

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

South Asia related culture in Scandinavia

• Uppsala Seminar on Modern Bangladeshi Literature

Uppsala University organised a Literature Panel Modern Asian Culture Unknown - Uncovering South Asian Life on Monday 30 September 2013. The panel featured the following speakers:  Nirmalendu Goon (Bangladesh), Ruby Rahman (Bangladesh), Muhammad Samad (Bangladesh), John Y. Jones (Norway) and Anisur Rahman (Bangladesh). The event was organized by the Forum for South Asian Studies at Uppsala University in collaboration with the Dag Hammarskjöld Program-Voksenåsen, Oslo, Litteraturcentrum Uppsala, Studiefrämjandet i Uppsala län and Networkers SouthNorth. The writers also appeared at the 2013 Göteborg Book Fair (more information).
Dr. Ferdinando Sardella, Director, Forum for South Asian Studies, Uppsala University, moderated the Uppsala Literature Panel. Read more about the event and the writers.

• Lund India Choir performance at Cultural Night on 21 September

Lund India Choir, and the children’s choir Saregama, performed before an enthusiastic audience at the 2013 Cultural Night in Lund on Saturday 21 September 2013 in Allhelgonakyrkan, Lund. The church was half-full during the 45 minutes concert. See the complete programme.
Listen to some of the songs.
The choir was formed in 2012 and is led by Bubu Munshi Eklund, the only professional Rabindrasangheet singer in Sweden. The choirs are specialized in singing the songs by Indian/Bengali Nobel Laureate poet and composer Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). Even though the choir members are almost entirely Swedish, they sing in the original Bengali language.
The repertoire also includes some Indian spiritual bhajans. This part of the choir’s activities is led by Thomas Wiehe.
Lund India Choir has performed frequently at concerts in Lund, but in end-October 2013 it will go on a tour to Kolkata and Shantiniketan in connection with the comemmoration of the 100th jubilee year of Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize in 1913. The main concert will be held at classical Star Theatre in Kolkata on Saturday 26th October, in a programme together with Mamata Shankar Ballett Troupe.

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

New and updated items on SASNET web site

• New book about Mahatma Gandhi and Allama Mashriqi

”Mahatma Gandhi & My Grandfather, Allama Mashriqi” is a new book authored by the historian and scholar Nasim Yousaf, who also is the grandson of Allama Mashriqi. 
Allama Mashriqi and Mahatma Gandhi shared many similarities — both men left their professions behind and dedicated their lives to liberating India from British rule. Both adopted a life of simplicity and began their grassroots campaigns in the streets and villages of the country. Both were nominated for the Nobel Prize (Mashriqi for his monumental work, Tazkirah, and Gandhi for his non-violence) and shared a common objective of achieving independence for the nation. Yet despite all their similarities, they could not reach agreement on Mashriqi’s The Constitution of Free India, 1946 A.C. nor were they able to work together to achieve a united, independent India. Why? The answers are contained in this book. In Mahatma Gandhi and My Grandfather, Allama Mashriqi, Mr. Yousaf brings together nearly 17 years of exhaustive research of historical documents as well as firsthand knowledge and insights gained from Allama Mashriqi’s wife, sons, daughters, and the Khaksars, who were part of the freedom movement and witnessed the division of India. 
More information.

• 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 nearly 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

Research Communicator/Dy. 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, Scheelevägen 15 D, SE-223 70 Lund, Sweden 
Visiting address: Ideon Research Park, House Alpha 1 (first floor, room no. 2040), in the premises of the Centre for East and South East Asian Studies at Lund University (ACE).
Phone: + 46 46 222 73 40 
Web site:

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