Newsletter 157 – 24 January 2014


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• High time to apply for participation in SASNET’s Inter-disciplinary Research Workshop

Friday 31 January 2014 is the deadline for sending paper abstracts to the inter-disciplinary research workshop on ”South Asia: Culture, Technology, and Development”, that will be organised 13–15 June 2014 in Falsterbo. Young scholars and researchers interested in presenting their papers are encouraged to apply for this workshop bridging the gap between Nordic researchers in various disciplines working on South Asia. Three eminent South Asia researchers will give keynote speeches at the workshop, namely Prof. Kirin Narayan and Dr. Assa Doron, both from the Australian National University (ANU); and Prof. Dhruv Raina from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. 
The workshop is organized by SASNET in collaboration with the Nordic Centre in India (NCI) and the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen, and will be divided into three main thematic sessions: 
Session A: Methods, Fieldwork and Ethics in the South Asian context; Session B: Culture , Religion and Technology in South Asia; and Session C: Theory, Practice and Development in South Asia. 
A clear goal of the workshop discussions is to create strong academic cooperation on South Asia between different disciplines in the form of joint publications or new research projects. 
Full information about the 2014 Falsterbo conference.

• Kalyan Mandal lectured on Indian experiences of Anti-poverty Programmes
Professor Kalyan Mandal to the right along with the seminar organiser Barbara Schulte, Staffan Lindberg and Alia Ahmad.

Professor Kalyan Sankar Mandal from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C) in Kolkata, and currently Visiting Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) Chair professor at Lund University, held a lecture on ”Reaching Benefits of Anti-poverty Programmes to the Poor: The Indian Experience” at Lund University on Tuesday 21 January 2014 at 12.00. It was held at the Dept. of Sociology, Paradisgatan 5 G, which is now the new location of SASNET.
Marginalised sections of the society often remain deprived of the fruits of development. This fact necessitates governments to design special development programmes aiming at benefiting the poor. In his presentation, Prof. Mandal reviewed Indian experiences in this regard, and traced the origins, evolution and shaping of pro-poor programmes in India. He analysed how and why these programmes often fail to benefit the poor, by focusing on the outcome of one specific programme, the Small Farmers Development Agency programme (SFDA), and how this functioned in Hooghly district of West Bengal. However, Prof. Mandal also pointed out under what type of circumstances the poor really get benefitted from such programmes, and mentioned the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) programme and the Midday Meal scheme, both successfully run by the Government of India, as positive examples.
Prof. Mandal is the fourth ICCR Professor at Lund University, and he will stay for the full academic year 2013/14, being hosted by the Department of Sociology. His research is focused on Business Solutions for Poverty, 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. More information about Prof. Mandal.

• Hectic year reflected in SASNET’s Annual Report for 2013

SASNET’s Annual Report for 2013 has now been published. This was another hectic year, full of seminars, conferences, interaction with embassies, universities in Sweden, Scandinavia and South Asia, etc. The web site was further developed, and the SASNET newsletters reached more than 2,800 addressees in Scandinavia and throughout the world. Even more important was the fact that Lund University decided to give full support to SASNET for the period 2013–2015, and a new board could be formed after 2,5 years without such provisions. It was also possible to expand labourwise, and let young researchers in to vitalize the network’s main work at Lund University. Go for the 2013 SASNET Annual Report (as a pdf-file).
All administrative reports regarding SASNET’s work and activities from the first planning process in 1999 till today are available at SASNET’s web site. Go for the annual reports.

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

Research Community News

• Funding for Indo-Swedish research projects on Health and Disease Prevention

Five Indo-Swedish projects in the field of Health and Disease prevention have been selected to receive funding from the Strategic Indo-Swedish Cooperative Innovation Programme for the period 2014-16, jointly administered by The Department of Biotechnology, Government of India (DBT); the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA); and the Swedish Research Council (SRC). The goal of the programme is to support long-term Indo-Swedish research and innovation collaboration in the field of Health. Indian and Swedish industry and researchers in both private and public sectors were invited to submit joint project applications for collaborative research and innovation projects.

Three of the approved projects have a Swedish academic institution as the coordinating partner, and two are coordinated by companies in the bioscience business. 
KTH School of Electrical Engineering (EES) receives SEK 5 m. for a project to develop ”Seamless Affordable Assistive Technology for Health (SAATH)”. Partner institutions include University of Gävle; Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore; and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur. 
The School of Computing, Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH), Karlskrona, also receives SEK 5 m. for a project entitled ”Transforming Healthcare Delivery – Innovative mHealth Technologies for Health Promotion and Better Health Outcome”. The Indian partner institution is Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M), Chennai.
The Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKE), Linköping University, receives SEK 4.7 m. for a project on ”Regenerative Implants as an Alternative to Transplantation of Donated Corneas for Treating Blindness”.
– Spiber Technologies AB in Uppsala receives SEK 5 m. for a project entitled ”Silk2Heal – Developing an Antimicrobial Wound Patch with Wound-healing Ability for Diabetic Foot Ulcers”. Indian partner institution is Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati.
– Olink Bioscience AB, Uppsala, receives SEK 285 000 for a project to develop ”Multiplex Diagnostic Test for XDR TB (multi-resistent Tubercolosis)”. 
More information about the Strategic Indo-Swedish Cooperative Innovation Programme funding.

• NCI secretariat moved to Umeå University

From 1 January 2014 the secretariat of the Nordic Centre in India (NCI) university consortium is located at Umeå University in Sweden. The new Chairperson of the NCI is Dr. Rupali Bhalerao (photo), analyst at Umeå University's Planning Office – and a SASNET networking partner. Dr. Sirpa Tenhunen from University of Helsinki, Finland, continues to be the NCI director in charge of the daily work. She joined the position in September 2013 (more information).

Since 2004, NCI also keeps a liaison office in Delhi that offer assistance to researchers, students and visiting Nordic delegations and groups. Services include help in arranging meetings, organising lectures, seminars and conferences, following-up on research applications and establishing contacts with Indian universities and government offices. Scholars and representatives from our member universities can also stay at the Director's residence in Delhi for both shorter and longer periods of stay. The residence at Nizamuddin East has become a popular meeting place for Nordic researchers. In India, Ms. Christabel Royan is the programme manager in charge of collaborating with Indian counterparts in organising a wide range of programmes for Nordic students. More information. 

• University of Oslo develops collaboration with University of Texas in Austin

The Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS) at University of Oslo has signed an agreement on formal collaboration with the College of Liberal Arts at University of Austin in Texas, USA. This collaboration aims at intensifying and expanding the already well established connections between IKOS and Austin, and will be launched from the fall semester 2014. It encompasses teaching (co-teaching, faculty exchange, developing remote teaching through video conferencing and internet courses etc., developing co-taught courses, developing common programmes and degrees, student mobility), student supervision (co-supervision of MA and PhD students), and research (establishing specialized and broad interdisciplinary research projects that include graduate students). The collaboration includes South Asian Studies, but also many other disciplines  such as Chinese studies, Japanese studies, Cultural Studies and History, and Religious studies.
There will be a special focus on education and opening up new possibilities for students through increased student mobility, the active involvement of students in the activities and decision making processes, and by involving them actively in the research projects. This will be done on both the MA and on the PhD level, combining the two sets of students, which then corresponds to the American idea of ”graduate studies”. Applications should be delivered before 15  February and 15 September for the coming semester respectively. More information about the Oslo-Austin collaboration.

• New coordinators for the Forum for South Asian Studies at Uppsala University


The Forum for South Asia Studies at Uppsala University (FSAS) has got a new leadership from 1 January 2014. FSAS is working to strenghten South Asia research and education, and increase Uppsala University’s collaboration with South Asia. 
Two persons have been selected to coordinate the Forum, namely Florian Krampe (photo), PhD Candidate in the Dept. of Peace and Conflict Research, and Johan Heldt, PhD Candidate in the Department of Linguistics and Philology. They succeed Dr. Ferdinando Sardella.
The FSAS Has also changed positions in the board. New chairperson is 
Associate Professor Ranjula Bali Swain, Dept. of Economics – succeeding Prof. Gunnel Cederlöf, and deputy chairperson is Prof. Heinz-Werner Wessler, also from Department of Linguistics and Philology. More information about FSAS and its work at Uppsala University.

• Time to apply for Aarhus University‘s Indo-European mobility programme

The second call for scholarships for the Indo-European Erasmus Mundus Action 2 mobility programme IBIES is now open. The Interdisciplinary Bridges for Indo-European Studies (IBIES) Consortium is led by Aarhus University in  Denmark. The call includes many fully funded PhD scholarships for Indian students interested in pursuing a PhD at Aarhus University or at any of the other 5 European universities in the IBIES consortium (Hochschule Bremen University of Applied Sciences, Leiden University, Reutlingen University, University of Milan, and University of Warsaw). The application is open until 31 January 2014. Read the Call for applications.
The aim of IBIES is the promotion of Indo-European higher education, to support the improvement and enhancement of scholars' career prospects as well as the promotion of intercultural communication and understanding through cooperation with the partner countries. IBIES supports mobility at all level of higher education, including both mobility for students (undergraduate, master, doctoral and post-doctoral) and for staff (academic and administrative).
The IBIES network in the frame of the Erasmus Mundus programme will see to the further enhancement of the individual student, researcher or teacher in order to improve not only their knowledge, qualifications and skills but also to strengthen the cooperation between India and EU and contribute to the development of theses societies. The Interdisciplinary Bridges for Indo-European Studies (IBIES) consortium has been selected for funding under the Erasmus Mundus Programme Action 2 Strand 1 and External Cooperation Window. More information.

• PhD programme at World Maritime University in Malmö

The World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö runs a PhD program offering students the opportunity to carry out research across the maritime field, but with an emphasis on issues related to the International Maritime Organization's mission of maritime safety, security, and environmental protection. The flexible program allows for full or part-time study over a three to six year period. 
Mr. Syed Raza Ali Mehdi from Pakistan joined WMU on 1 September 2013 as a Research Assistant in the Maritime Risk and Safety (MaRiSa) research group. His current research area is Maritime Risk and System Safety. He has a background in Aerospace Engineering and holds a B.Eng. (Hons.) in Aerospace Engineering and a M.Sc. in Engineering Dynamics and Control, both from the University of Bath, UK. Mr. Mehdi is one out of 19 newly enrolled PhD students at WMU. 
From 2–13 December 2013, nine of the students participated in courses offered by Associate Professor Michael Manuel, who is a 2009 graduate of WMU's PhD and joined WMU in 2013 as a faculty member. Over the two-week period, the students participated in a two-day course on Technical and Commercial Maritime Knowledge to provide a holistic view of the maritime industry and the technical management of ships and shipping.
A successive eight-day course on Social Research Methods provided an introduction to research methods with particular emphasis on social science research. The WMU Ph.D. in Maritime Affairs offers many technical subject areas. Despite the specialist and technical knowledge underpinning most WMU research work at the Doctoral level, the course explored invariable connections to different social contexts and related management, administrative, and policy issues. More information about the PhD programme at WMU.

• Lund University promotes South Asian digital innovation projects

Social Innovation in a Digital Context (SIDC) is a one year academic scholarship programme for social and digital innovators from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. The programme was launched in 2012 and is carried out by Lund University on behalf of the Swedish Institute. SIDC focuses on the relationship between digital technology and socio-political change, and how change makers can harness this relationship to build better societies. It contains both practical and theoretical components and is designed to support social and digital innovators to pursue work in the fields of digital technology, new media, and social and political change. More information about SIDC.
Out of the 12 participants, six are South Asian nationals coming from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. They work on developing projects aimed at creating sociopolitical change through digital technology. The projects focus on a broad range of issues including human rights, gender-based violence, radicalism and youth empowerment. Read more about the projects of the South Asian participants. 

• Membership open for e-group on Kerala Studies

The Kerala Scholars eGroup is a new independent, non-partisan, and voluntary electronic mailing list to share information globally on Kerala Studies and facilitate collaboration among scholars studying Kerala. It is modelled on H-Asia. The network is targeted for academics, researchers, NGO professionals, journalists, students, or publishers interested in studying Kerala, or reading scholarly works on Kerala. Membership is free and all content will be made available to members. More information. 

• Swiss journal seeks article submissions in the study of Islam in South Asia

Academc articles related to the study of Islam in South Asia are now invited by the editors of the peer-reviewed journal Asiatische Studien/Etudes Asiatiques. This is a Swiss forum for the publication of scientific research contributions to the cultures and societies of Asia in the present and past. The journal addresses not only the academic public, but a public generally interested in Asian studies. It has been produced by the Swiss Asia Society, with the support of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences, but from 2014 is is published by De Gruyter publishing houseThe quarterly published magazine is presented in regional numbers with contributions to China, the Islamic world, Japan, South or Central Asia as well as general numbers and thematic special issues. The regional numbers are supervised by professional editors. All posts are subject to a rigorous peer-review process. The languages of publication are German, English and French. More information. 

• Heidelberg scholarships for Asia and Europe in a Global Context studies

The Graduate Programme for Transcultural Studies of the Cluster of Excellence ”Asia and Europe in a Global Context” at Heidelberg University in Germany is now accepting applications for eight doctoral scholarships beginning in the winter semester 2014/15. The programme offers a monthly scholarship of 1.200 Euro. It further supports scholarship holders in framing their research through advanced courses and individual supervision and mentoring. Half of the scholarships are reserved for young scholars from Asia. The deadline for applications is March 15, 2014. More information about the Graduate Programme for Transcultural Studies and the scholarships.

• Time to register for 23rd ECSAS Conference in Zurich 2014

The 23rd European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS) will take place 23 – 26 July 2014 at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. It consists of 51 accepted panels, focusing on diverse issues ranging from ”Video varieté: the cultures and forms of new visual media in South Asia”, to ”'Mafia(s)' and politics in South Asia”, ”Understanding rural Pakistan: the political economy of power and agrarian relations”, ”Conspiracy, terrorism and counterterrorism in late colonial India (c.1900-1947)”, ”Lost in transition? Negotiating power, legitimacy and authority in post-war Nepal and Sri Lanka”, and ”India in the eyes of the others: world perspectives on India's global role”. Go for the full list of panels.
There is no separate call for papers as this is a convenors' conference: all papers must be part of an approved panel. All decisions about paper proposals are in the hands of the panel convenors. It is possible to register for the conference from 16 December 2013.
Please note that panel convenors and paper presenters at the 23rd ECSAS must be members of EASAS through 2013 and 2014. Non-members cannot attend the conference. It is easy to join EASAS through the following link:
The ECSAS has met regularly since 1968, and has provided an important opportunity to discuss current research and scholarship on topics relating to South Asia within the humanities and social sciences. The ECSAS conferences now operate under the auspices of the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS), a charitable, academic association engaged in the support of research and teaching concerning South Asia with regard to all periods and fields of study. The hosts for the 23rd ECSAS are the Department of Geography and the University Research Priority Program (URPP) Asia and Europe, both at the University of Zurich. Conference convenors are Prof. Dr. Ulrike Müller-Böker, Department of Geography, University of Zurich (CH); and Prof. Dr. Angelika Malinar, Department of Indology; Academic Director University Research Priority Program Asia and Europe, University of Zurich (CH). Full information about the 2014 EASAS conference.

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

Educational News

• Nordic Centre in India offers three summer programmes 2014

The Nordic Centre in India university consortium organises three short term (four weeks) summer courses for Nordic students in India during the summer 2014, one based at Hyderabad and the other two at Bangalore. All three courses are available in the 7.5 ECTS variant and the 10 ECTS variant. The course structure remains the same with the exception of additional coursework for students opting for the 10 ECTS variant. The last date for receipt of applications is 31 March 2014. Please contact the international office of your home university (if a member of the NCI consortium) for more information about the application process or write to the Programme Manager, Ms. Christabel Royan for more information. The courses are as follows:

Contemporary India. An Interdisciplinary Introduction Course. This course is being held for the 12th year at the University of Hyderabad during the period 29 June – 26 July 2014. The course focuses on the diversities in India, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, economy, society, religion, and development. Students will learn and discuss various socio-cultural stratifications typical of India from a historical vantage point in order to understand their critical interplay in contemporary India. Located in the cosmopolitan city of Hyderabad, the intensive course includes daily lectures, field visits, assignments, preparatory readings, and the writing of a term paper. The course, open to students from all disciplines at the member universities of NCI, is organized by the Study in India Program at the campus of University of Hyderabad. Full information.
Approaching the Environment in India. Issues and Methods in the Study of the Nature-Economy-Society Interface. This course is being held for the 8th year at the  Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bangalore during the period 6 July – 2 August 2014. India has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and this, among other things, put tremendous pressures on the country’s natural resources. One can read about increasing pollution in urban areas, water shortage, shrinking forests and depletion of biodiversity, as well as about conflicts relating to mining, big dams and other energy projects. But what is actually the present state of India’s environment? What are the main environmental problems today, how have these come about and who are the main sufferers? How can the environmental costs of economic development be mitigated? What would “sustainable development” entail in India? During the summer course the students will address questions like these. Full information.
Human Rights in India: An Introduction. A new course, to be run for the first time at the National Law School of India University in Bangalore during the period 6 July – 2 August 2014. With India in context, this programme aims to deliberate and provide an intensive immersion in Human Rights Law and Practice. It will acquaint the participants with the Law and Institutional Arrangements, concerning the promotion, protection and securing human rights, in domestic context. Full information.

• Swedish coffee table gathering fits for discussion on Bangladesh's democratic struggle

Participants of the ”Social Innovation in a Digital Context (SIDC)” programme, currently run by Lund University (more information about the programme), have started a project called Fika Without Borders, and the upcoming event will focus on the topic of ”Bangladesh:Quest for Democracy”. Venue: Södra Esplanaden Kreativ Studio, Kungsgatan 4, Lund, on 29 January 2014, 15.00–17.00. 
Between Bangladesh's independence in 1971 till now, the country has faced several hurdles in the path to democracy. For a decade, the country was trapped in a military dictatorship and this episode was repeated between 2006-2008 as the country entered a state of emergency on the 11th of January, a date infamously remembered as 1/11. While the power has been shifting back and forth between the two main political parties, the citizens have become the victims suffering from high prices of food essentials, threats to their security and so on. The situation has taken a turn for the worse with the recently held elections on 5 January 2014, where the main opposition refused to participate as questions of credibility arose. This have rise to countrywide protests and loss of innocent lives.
Participants from Bangladesh at the SIDC program will share local insights into the ongoing political struggle in their homeland. More information about the event.
The concept Fika Without Borders comes from the belief that a coffee table gathering can bring together people from all over the world. Fika (pronounced “fee-ka”) is a social institution in Sweden; it means having a coffee break with one’s colleagues, friends, date or family. These simple egalitarian social interactions can help break barriers and change the world one fika at a time. Read more.

• Time to apply for Swedish Institute Study Scholarships for Autumn 2014

The Swedish Institute has opened the call for applications to the Study Scholarships for the academic year of 2014/15. The application period is 3–11 February 2014. 
The Swedish Institute Study Scholarships target highly-qualified students and are awarded for academic studies in Sweden starting in an autumn semester. The scholarships are intended for full-time master's level studies in Sweden and cover both living costs and tuition fees. 
Nationals of all South Asian countries are eligible to apply under the Category 2 programme. See if your country is eligible for a Swedish Institute Scholarship
For more information about how to apply for the scholarships please visit the Swedish Institute website
To qualify for a scholarship, applicant must first get a placement at a Swedish University to study a programme listed under the scholarship guidelines. See the full list of eligible programmes.
Deadline for applications for bachelor's and master's programmes starting in autumn 2014 was 15 January 2014. The Swedish Institute degree programme database contains nearly 700 master's programmes and 40 bachelor's programmes taught in English in Sweden. Go for the database.

• Time to apply also for Swedish Institute post-doctoral research scholarship

The Swedish Institute Guest Scholarship Programme for post-doctoral research in Sweden is now also accepting applications for academic year 2014/2015. The programme aims at strengthening and developing research relevant to capacity building and fighting poverty in the selected programme countries. The programme is targeted at candidates from the following countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. An estimated 20 scholarships will be offered for the academic year 2014/2015. The application deadline is Sunday 2 February 2014. More information.

• Nordic Hindi language students spend full semester at INLANSO in Varanasi

Since 2012, the full semester Hindi Study Programme for Nordic students in Varanasi, previously offered by the Nordic Centre in India (NCI)  in collaboration with the Gandhian Institute of Studies in Varanasi, is successfully run by the independent Centre for the Study of Indian Languages and Society (INLANSO). This is a public trust set up to organize Hindi studies, with a tailor-made programme meant for advanced Hindi language students from the Nordic countries. It has been developed by former NCI Director Mirja Juntunen, now affiliated to the University of Aarhus in Denmark. She is also the Academic Coordinator of the course and Senior Lecturer in Hindi.
During the fall semester 2013, more than 20 students from Denmark, Norway and Sweden participated in the Hindi Study Programme. They came from Aarhus University, University of Oslo, and Uppsala University. They experienced a varied programme, which can be followed at the INLANSO web blog. Go for it.
On 13th January 2014, a new batch of students,
a group of 4th semester advanced Hindi students from Uppsala University arrived in Varanas. They will spend four months studying Hindi at INLANSO, and were welcomed by the academic and teaching staff of INLANSO at today's inaugural function at the Programme House. (Photo of the group, including teachers, among them Binit Kumar Mishra and Dipak Malik). More information via e-mail:
SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund visited the Centre for the Study of Indian Languages and Society in 2012 and met teachers and students, learning about the background of the Hindi Studies Centre in Varanasi. Read his report.

• Göttingen University Summer School on Cityscapes and New Religiosities in Asia

Applications are now open for Summer School Spirit 2014 of Göttingen University in Germany. This year's summer school will be held 10–17 August 2014 and the theme is ”Cityscapes and New Religiosities in Asia” which aims to bring the contexts of 'religion' and 'urbanity' in Asia to the centre stage. The summer school is organised by DORISEA (Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia) and CETREN (CeMIS CeMEAS Transregional Research Network), which are two key platforms building research, network and outreach at Göttingen Research campus (GRC).
It will engage with urban spaces and religiosities through case studies especially in India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines. While paying attention to the specific contexts and ethnographic details of the case studies, we will also make visible their transnational and transurban connections, as urban spiritual lives and spirit worlds have been informed by the changing cultural maps of migration, adaptation, and transformation across Asia. Metropolitan centers are particular receptacles and laboratories for such global encounters, as they interweave with middle-class consumer power and diasporic identities.
Participants will engage with, and develop, their own work through an exploration of three key thematic intersections, including (1) transformations of religious sites in contexts like architecture, city planning, heritage, urban place-making and re-habitation; (2) religious communities,in which different classes, castes, generations, ethnicities and genders intersect; and (3) religion and media, exploring how spirituality is visualised, sensed, communicated, staged or experienced across urban landscapes
Interested doctoral and research-based masters' students of all cultural-studies disciplines, whose work relates to East, South and/or Southeast Asia are inivited to submit abstract of research papers before February 28. More information on the Summer School.

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

See SASNET’s page,

Seminars and Conferences in Scandinavia

• Uppsala seminar on time poverty and prosperity for Indian urban middle class

The Department of Linguistics and Philology of Uppsala University  hosted a seminar entitled ”What is Time Poverty and Time Prosperity for Urban Indian Middle Class of Delhi?” on Thursday 23 January 2014. The seminar talk was delivered by Professor Divyaraj Amiya, a Reader for Hindi at the Dept. of Indology and Comparative Religion at University of Tübingen in Germany.
The seminar focused on the question what time poverty means in the context of urban Indian middle class of Delhi in 21st century. In the 1950s, one male member with an 8-to-10-hours day job was somehow able to provide for a family of four or five children and extended family members. In 2013, both spouses work 12 hours, which equals a combined 22 to 24 hours each day. Add to that the share contributed by ageing but ‘economically active’ parents i.e. 3-4 working hours, wherever possible. In total, the shrunken domestic units spend 26 to 34 hours working every day at the workplace. They have to work three to four times more at the workplace. Additionally, compared to 1950s or 60s they are far more productive at the workplace. Still, the dominant ideology never tires of telling them how much more hard-working, focussed and motivated they should be.
Basing itself on recent anthropological resarches and classical works of political economy on the notion of time and work, talk and the first version of the film ”Delhi : After 20 Years” will try to raise some fundamental questions about what is accepted as normal daily life in Delhi. The broad consensus around production of well-educated urban middle class as solution to the ills of social and economic crises will be questioned in the documentary report. More information.

• Stockholm seminar on Water Cooperation for a Secure World

The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) invites to a discussion on water cooperation with experts from the Indian think tank Strategic Foresight Group (SFG), Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The seminar, entitled ”Can Water Make Peace?”, will be held in Stockholm on Friday 31 January 2014, 14.30–16.00. Venue: UI, Drottning Kristinas väg 37, Stockholm. Preregistration is necessary (more information).
The speakers are Dr. Sundeep Waslekar (photo), President of the Strategic Foresight Group; Dr. Therese Sjömander Magnusson, Director, Transboundary Water Management, SIWI; and Esse Nilsson, Senior Programme Manager, Regional Water Programmes, Unit for MENA at Sida. The seminar will be moderated by Anna Wieslander, Head of Information at UI.
According to a recent report by Strategic Foresight Group, ”Water Cooperation for a Secure World: Focus on the Middle East”, water cooperation between countries sharing trans-boundary water resources is directly linked to the security of those, and peace in the continent where they are situated. By the same token, absence of water cooperation is linked to risk of war between countries sharing trans-boundary water resources. SFG's report states that out of 148 countries having trans-boundary water resources, 37 are in risk of war. Despite of this, many countries do not include the question of water when discussing security. As an example, the Middle East is the region with highest risk of war in the future, due to the fact that most countries in this area have rejected trans-boundary cooperation in water. How does water cooperation relate to peace and security? How can it be a part of peace strategy? More information.

• Uppsala seminar on India’s North-Eastern Frontiers 1790-1840

The Forum for South Asia Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences at Uppsala University (FSASinvites to a seminar with Prof. Gunnel Cederlöf on Founding an Empire on India’s North-Eastern Frontiers 1790-1840” on Monday 3 February 2014, 15-17. The seminar is connected to the launch of her new book with the same title, and the seminar will be immediately followed by a formal book launch after 17. The seminar is held as a Mind & Nature open lecture. Venue: Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Engelska parken room 9-3036, Thunbergs väg, Uppsala.

The book  is a richly detailed historical work of the unsettled half-century from the 1790s to the 1830s when the British East India Company strove to establish control of the colonial north-eastern frontiers spanning the River Brahmaputra to the Burmese border. It offers a much-needed reframing of regional histories of South Asia away from the subcontinental Indian mainland to the varied social ecologies of Sylhet, Cachar, Manipur, Jaintia, and Khasi hills.
Prof. Cederlöf is currently on leave from the Dept. of History, Uppsala University, and instead connected to the Mind & Nature at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, and also working as a Guest professor both at the Division of History of Science and Technology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, and at Linnaeus university in Växjö/Kalmar.

• Wardha conference on Evidence Based Practice in Nursing

An International conference on ”Evidence Based Practice in Nursing” will be held at Wardha in Maharashtra state, India, 6–7 Februay 2014. It is jointly organised by Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University) – DMIMS; Smt. Radhikabai Meghe Memorial College of Nursing, Sawangi (Meghe); and the Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, Science, and Technology, Karlstad University, Sweden. The purpose of this conference, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), is to share research findings and experiences of evidence based practice in nursing, and heed to nurse researchers, nurse teachers, clinical nurses, and nursing leaders and administrators all around the globe. It marks the end of a three year long Partner driven Swedish-Asian collaboration project on evidence-based practice in India and Sweden.
Professor Elsy Athlin from Karlstad University will hold one of the keynote presentations, entitled ”Collaboration between academy and clinical practice to promote EBP in Indian and Swedish health care contexts- similarities and differences”.  Read the Conference information.

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• International HIV Symposium in Chennai

The International Science Symposium on HIV & Infectious Diseases, HIV SCIENCE 2014, will be held in Chennai, India, 30th January to 1st February, 2014. This 5th National and 2nd International Science Symposium will cover various topics encompassing HIV epidemiology, pathogenesis, host-virus interactions, immune responses to infection, disease progression, opportunistic infections, co-infections, current treatment strategy, natural history, vaccines and other infectious diseases not limited to STDs, TB and viral hepatitis. The variety of scientific sessions planned for this symposium would meet the needs of participants from various disciplines.
Venue: Vigyan Auditorium, CSIR - SERC Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Campus, Taramani, Chennai - 600113, India. Landmark: Opposite to Ascendas IT Park. More information.

• Varanasi seminar on Culture, Tourism and Development in the sacred city

The Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India organises an International seminar on "Banaras, the Heritage City of India: Culture, Tourism and Development", 7–9 February 2014. 
Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Banaras and one of the oldest living cities in the world, is located on the left bank of the holy river Ganga. Besides being a heritage, cultural and religious centre of India, it has remained from ancient times a great seat of learning. In Varanasi there are over 3,600 Hindu shrines and temples, 1,388 Muslim shrines and mosques, 42 Sikh temples (Gurudvaras), 12 churches, 3 Jain temples, 9 Buddhist temples, and several other sacred sites and places. But there is also another city beyond this sacredscape, a sprawling city with an increasing population and housing shortage, looming water crisis, traffic congestion, sanitation issues, environmental hazards and extreme economic polarizations; an urbanscape of temples, mosques, markets, malls, universities, slums, suburban dreams, Master Plans and Floor Space Index (FSI) regulations.  
This seminar will be the 6th one in a chain of seminars on Banaras/Varanasi and is intended to offer an opportunity to discuss, debate and analyse the problems plaguing the emerging issues of the heritage city of Banaras and to work out potentiality for the more rational, applicable and acceptable future prospect. It is open to scholars of any discipline who can contribute on the related themes/sub-themes: 1) Images, cultural history and representation; 2) Land uses and Land use Planning; 3) Urban Ecology and Landscapes; 4)  Environmental Health and Diseases; 5) Environmental status and Scenarios; 6) Social Oppression, and role of NGOs; 7) Water bodies, kunds, water supply; 8) HR Development and Quality of Life; 9) Religious Landscapes and festivities; 10) Socio-economics and Population dynamics; 11) Pilgrimages: Routes, emergence, planning; 12) The Riverfront (Ghats) developments; 13) Tangible and Intangible Heritagescapes; 14) Tourism: cultural and eco-tourism; 15) Heritage sites and Urban Development; 16) Transport Network & Express ways; 17) Surrounding Rural landscapes; 18) Master Plan and Future Development. More information

• Brussels conference on Indo-European cultural differences

An interdisciplinary conference on cultural differences entitled ”Mind the Gap – Europe and India” will be held in Brussels, Belgium, 7–8 February 2014. It is jointly organised by Vrije Universiteit Brussel; the University of Louvain; and the India Platform at Ghent University, and aims at exploring what role is played by cultural
differences in the relations between Europe and India. Contributions from researchers in any relevant domain of the humanities and social sciences are invited. These should address the themes and problems stated in the concept note.
At the conference, a typical session will look as follows: first, the hypotheses, ideas and arguments of a paper will be briefly presented by one of the organisers. Next, a discussant appointed for each paper will closely analyse and assess its hypotheses, ideas and arguments. Then the author will have the opportunity to respond to the comments of the discussant. Finally, the floor will be opened to the other speakers present and to the audience. Full information about the conference.

• AJEI Young Researchers's Workshop on Labour, Mobility and Mobilization

The Association Jeunes Études Indiennes (AJEI) in collaboration with Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi is hosting the AJEI's 16th Young Researchers' Workshop entitled ”Labour, Mobility and Mobilization” in New Delhi from 11 – 14 February, 2014. 
The Association Jeunes Études Indiennes (AJEI) gathers students from different disciplinary fields of social sciences, from MA to post-doctorate level, who are undertaking fieldwork in South Asia. The AJEI organizes every year a seminar in France and a one-week workshop in India for young and senior researchers to present and discuss their work. 
The 2014 Workshop of the AJEI on Labour, mobility and mobilization aims at giving an encompassing view of the most recent research works being conducted on labour in India, in order to understand both conceptual evolutions and the most recent and pregnant issues related to labour in contemporary India. By focusing on the issues of political and social mobilizations and mobility, the objective of the workshop is to place the workers and their daily challenges at the centre of the discussion.
The AJEI is now accepting papers on the following themes and topics : 1) International Labour Migrations from and to India, 2) Seasonal and circular Migrations of Labour 3) Workers' Mobilizations, Trade Unions and Labour regulations, 4) Employment trends in contemporary India and Ethnographies of Labour. The field of study remains however open to include original approaches, not integrated in the present proposal. More information about the workshop.

• Sikholars 2014 conference on Sikh and Punjab studies to be held at Stanford

The Sikholars Conference on Sikh and Punjab Studies 2014 will be held at Stanford University in California, USA, 15–16 February 2014. The conference is sponsored by the Center for South Asia at Stanford University and the Jakara Movement. For the past five years, the Jakara Movement has created a forum for budding scholars and researchers, working on various projects Sikh, to come together, share, and challenge each one another.
The previous Sikholars conferences has attracted young scholars from over three continents and twenty–five universities. With topics ranging from Khalistani nationalism to Unix Coding for Gurmukhi, from sex-selective abortion to diasporic literature analysis, from the history of Nihangs in the court of Ranjit Singh to the North American bhangra circuit, from Sikh sculpture and architecture to representations of masculinity in Punjabi films, he organisers encourage the widest possible range of those pursuing graduate studies on Sikh and Punjab Studies. Researchers from all disciplines are welcomed. While all topics are welcomed and panels will be formed around their various themes, there will be two panels for special consideration.  
1/ Theeja Ghallughara: Justice, Memory, & Transmission. As 2014 marks the 30th year memorial since the attack at Darbar Sahib by Indian Armed forces in June 1984, this year we will hold a special panel discussing the battle, its aftermath, and its effects. We seek special papers for this panel that explore topics related to the theme. From ethnography to sociology, from internet studies to musicology, from history to anthropology, the organisers welcome any number of approaches. 2/ Technology and Entrepreneurship Panel. Due to the widespread interest and demand from attendees and the vicinity to the hub of technological innovation, Sikholars 2014 again will have a special panel devoted to technological entrepreneurship. The panel will be limited to three panelists. More information.

• Ahmedabad conference on Law, Society and Sustainable Development

The Institute of Law at Nirma University in Ahmedabad, India, organises an international conference entitled ”Law, Society and Sustainable Development: Problems and Prospects", on 17–18 February 2014. The themes of the conference include: – Environmental Management and Sustainable Development; – Sustainable Development and Green Technology; – Socio-Political and Economic Dimensions of Sustainable Development; – Legal Structures and National/International Framework for Sustainable Development; and – Globalisation, Development and Sustainable Development. The conference convener is Dr. Ravi Saxena. More information.

• Australia conference on Bollywood and the globalized culture industry

The School of Design, Communication and IT at University of Newcastle in Australia is organising an international conference on ”Bollywood and Its Other(s)" on 20–21 February 2014. It will be held at ICT TV Studio, University of Newcastle.
This conference focuses on tracing the various other(s) of Bollywood, the globalized culture industry that has successfully transcended the confines of India, urging scholars to discuss its global histories. While the history of the industry before the widely debated economic liberalization was that of an ongoing confrontation with the state, it has become a part of Indian states cultural diplomacy after the liberalization. Our conference will challenge this normative mode, bringing out the ruptures prevalent in the mainstream history, of cinema as well as of the state. 
Discussions will also concern itself with the possibility of writing alternative histories of the industry. Critical examination of the alternative histories of the national popular industry would help us to look critically at the alternative histories of the nation as well.The aim and objective of the conference is to re-evaluate the standard received versions of cinematic history, the developmentalist narrative situated in a linear historical time and to re-think various formations in the industry which have achieved normative status. More information.

• Varanasi conference on Multiple Modernities and Social Inclusion

An International Seminar on ”Multiple Modernities and Social Inclusion” will be held at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, India, 25–27 February 2014. It is being organized by the university’s Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP). The conference will deliberate upon the following themes, which will have technical sessions also depending on the nature of abstracts: - Democracy, Pluralism and Development; - Globalization and Lived Religion; and - Post Colonial narratives and Comparative Methodologies. There will also be an Open session.
The convener is Professor Ashok Kumar Kaul, CSSEIP coordinator, and ICCR Visiting Guest Professor at University of Gothenburg during the Spring 2013. Professor Sanjay Srivastava is the co-convener. Full information.

• Dhaka conference on Democracy, Citizenship and Urban Violence

The 2nd Annual Conference of Urban Research and Development Society will be held at University of Dhaka, Bangladesh on 12–13 March 2014. Please note the conference has been rescheduled from December 2013.
The theme for the conference will be ”Democracy, Citizenship and Urban Violence”. Based on Bangladeshi experiences where inequality and social polarization has led to new forms of urban violence, and with disjunctions between democracy and modernity – producing fragmented urban spaces, the conference aims to address urban violence under neoliberal democracy and insurgent form of citizenship. 
Today's Dhaka is a city of shopping malls, restaurants, cafes, beauty parlours and glamorous gymnasiums. Dhaka in a short space of time has transformed, the landscape now dominated by new developments and an array of real-estate advertisements offering lucrative land and housing deals across the city. Alongside these new developments a new wave of service privatization, of universities, hospitals and schools is sweeping across the city, pricing out the vast majority from access to basic services. Millions of poor people moved to the city’s peripheries with the hope and prosperity where they were again entrapped into the new urban poverty. It is thus in this context in which the peripheries, where new manufacturing and garments factories are fast developing, which become centers for poverty, violence and exploitation. In fact, urban poverty, widespread violence, and massive population movements to Dhaka have contributed to the peripheralization of poverty and violence during the period of market democracy. This new forms of urban violence has produced citizen insecurity.
The conference organisers are Prof. Shahadat Hossain, and Dr. Samina Luthfa, both from the Dept. of Sociology, University of Dhaka. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 25 January 2014. More information

• Second Karachi seminar on Sindh Through the Centuries

Sindh Madressatul Islam University (SMIU) in Karachi, Pakistan is organizing the Second International Seminar on “Sindh Through the Centuries” 24–26 March 2014. The seminar will focus on history, culture, language, archeology, anthropology, cuisine, arts and crafts of the province of Sindh, which has the distinction of being the seat of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. The seminar is convened by eminent historian Dr Hamida Khuhro. Deadline for submitting papers is 31 January 2014.
The objective of the Seminar is to share the latest research on history, culture, language and other aspects of the region, which has the distinction of being the seat of ancient Indus Valley Civilization. In addition to the scholarly proceedings of the Seminar, various exhibitions are to be held during the duration of the Seminar, highlighting Sindh’s richness in arts, crafts and literature. Exhibitions of photographs, books and documentaries depicting Sindh are also part of the elaborate program. Further, Sindh has very rich traditions in music, particularly in its mystic music. Live performances of traditional Sindhi music have been made a part of the cultural activities during the evenings of the Seminar days.
In a nutshell, the Seminar is to rediscover this ancient and mysterious land of Indus, highlighting the latest discoveries and research on various aspects of life in Sindh from pre-historic times to the present.  
Here it may be noted that the first International Seminar on “Sindh through the Centuries” was held at Karachi in March 1975 wherein scholars from all over the world had shared their research on various aspects of Sindh. Sindh Madressatul Islam is one of the oldest modern Muslim educational institutions in South Asia.
More information about the seminar

• Indian Social Policy Association holds inaugural workshop at Jindal Global University

Jindal Global University in Sonepat, Haryana, India, will host the inaugural workshop of the Indian Social Policy Association entitled “Comparative and International Social Policy Theories & Methods: Lessons for Research and Practice in India”, 24 – 25 March 2014. The workshop is jointly organised by the Development Studies Association in UK, the Social Policy Association, also in UK, and the O.P. Jindal Global University in India.
This training workshop will bring together academics, practitioners and government officials who are working on emerging social policy issues in India and the United Kingdom. Its primary aim is to provide participants with an answer to the question ‘What is Social Policy?’ by providing an overview of its key theoretical and methodological approaches. In particular, the workshop aims to discuss the relevance and applicability of social policy research across the Social Science disciplines to lower middle income economies – specifically India.
The training workshop will form the inaugural event of the newly constituted Indian Social Policy Association, which aims to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration in teaching and research between India and the United Kingdom as well as exchanges between the academe, policy and practice within and across both of these countries. 
Applications is now open for those interested in joining the workshop. More information. 

• Hangzhou conference on Asian experiences of education and equality

The 9th Biennial Conference on ”Education, Equality and Social Harmony: Asian Experiences in Comparative Perspective” will be held 16–18 May 2014 in Hangzhou, China. The conference is organised by the Comparative Education Society of Asia in China, and be hosted by the School of Education at Hangzhou Normal University. The conference invites participants to consider what we can learn from the experiences of developed and developing societies, within Asia and beyond, regarding the relationship between education, equality and stability or ‘harmony’ – both within particular societies, and in their relations with each other. This theme is intended to stimulate debate over what different societies can teach us regarding the balance to be struck between education’s role in promoting economically-relevant ‘skills’, and the other vital roles that it performs – in terms of political socialization, the distribution of opportunity, and the fostering of those capabilities necessary to the pursuit of a fulfilling life. Call for papers is now open and the deadline for early and late submission is February 28th and April 11th, respectively. More information. 

• Oxford workshop on Christianity in South Asia: Cultural and Historical Interactions

An inter-disciplinary workshop on ”Christianity in South Asia: Cultural and Historical Interactions” will be held in Oxford, UK, on 17 May 2014. It is organised with the generous support of the South Asia Research Cluster at Wolfson College, University of Oxford. The workshop will create an opportunity for post-fieldwork PhD students and early-career researchers working on Christianity in South Asia to come together in a shared platform and discuss their ideas and research. The workshop aims to foster inter-disciplinary research collaborations between workshop participants as well as increase public awareness of the growing relevance of Christianity-related studies to contemporary South Asian scholarship. Deadline for submission of paper proposals is 20 February 2014. Papers can be focused on any discipline in the social sciences and humanities, particularly, but not exclusively, from the disciplines of social anthropology, history, South Asian studies, development studies and religious studies. More information. 

• Toronto conference on study of Pakistan beyond tremors & terror

Three Canadian universities – University of Toronto, Ryerson University and York University – all in Toronto, jointly hold a conference on the theme ”Pakistan beyond tremors and terror: critical engagements with political, economic and cultural change” on 29 – 30 May 2014. 
As host to a daily onslaught of bomb-blasts, ”honour killings”, and ”mob” violence, Pakistan regularly populates the pages of the international mainstream press. But these popular journalistic accounts often leave the impression that the country is embroiled in a spate of irrationality, violence and Islamic fundamentalism. Alternatively, liberal Pakistanis, if they make an appearance in the drama, are celebrated as carriers of the torch of progress, challenging the dominance of religious conservatism with their unrivalled "toleration", their capitalist ”development”, and their support for the Pakistani state's military offensives and the broader ”War on Terror”. This is the narrative typically delivered to the world. Much of recent scholarly work on Pakistan too has been guilty of reproducing a crude and overly-narrow analysis of the country and its people, an analysis (if one could call it that) which seems to be more committed to promoting US foreign policy objectives than to stimulating any serious academic inquiry. The purpose of this conference is to challenge these views and bring together scholars and students whose research moves beyond these prevailing ways to a more complex understanding of Pakistan and its people. Call for papers is now open and deadline is 16 February 2014. More information available on Pakistan Conference website. 

• Osaka conference on Belonging and Sharing Borderlands

The Fourth Asian Conference on Asian Studies (ACAS) will be held 29 May – 1 June 2014 in Osaka, Japan. The conference is organised by the International Academic Forum in conjunction with its global partners including the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia.
The theme of this year's conference is ”Borderlands of Becoming, Belonging and Sharing”. The aim of the conference theme is to open up discussion, critical reflection and analysis about emerging social, political and cultural identities that are formed at the intersection of multiple and multi-sited belongings and their expression and about the possibility of making them shared across differences.
Local, national and global cultures have been transformed by an intensification of human migration, mobility and multi-culture with multiple and complex claims of home, identity and belonging. Gloria Anzaldua's idea of the borderland has become a critical conceptual rubric used by cultural researchers as a way of understanding, explaining and articulating the in-determined, vague, ambiguous nature of everyday life and the cultural politics of border-knowledge, border crossings, transgression, living in-between and multiple belongings. Borderlands is also about a social space where people of diverse backgrounds and identities meet and share a space in which the politics of co-presence and co-existence are experienced and enacted in mundane ways. This conference, which focuses on the borderlands of becoming, belonging and sharing, is therefore about examining how the culture of everyday life is regulated and contested across diverse political, economic and social contexts, and whether and how it creates spaces of belonging with others. Deadline for submitting papers is 1 February 2014. More information on ACAS website. 

• 2014 Conference on the Study of Religions of India (CSRI) at Butler University

The Conference on the Study of Religions of India (CSRI) invites proposals for its upcoming Annual Meeting to be held at Butler University in Indianapolis, USA, on 26 – 29 June 2014. The conference theme is ”Urban and Rural, Real and Imagined.” Proposals are invited that focus on rural and urban environments, including the social, political, natural and/or spiritual ecologies that differentiate them or define their mutual relation. Possible approaches could include explorations of how religious texts, symbols, stories, and practices convey the lifestyles, terrain, desirablity, and/or danger of remote rural or urban settings or of migration and movement between the two. Papers could also investigate the ways in which rural landscapes and lifestyles or cityscapes and urbanization create, challenge, or transform religious ideologies, practices, and traditions. Deadline to submit abstracts is 1 March 2014.
CSRI is a forum of exchange for scholars engaged in the academic study of the religious traditions of India in both native and diasporic contexts. It provides scholars a leisurely, collegial environment in which to present their work. Emphasis will be placed on informality among peers. Committed to critical and creative inquiry, the conference is not an advocacy forum for the religions of India and does not endorse or proscribe a particular point of view. Only scholars with terminal degrees in religious studies or related academic disciplines (like Anthropology, Art, Ethnomusicology, History, Philosophy, Theology, Women Studies) researching and/or teaching in the area of religions of India are eligible to present, attend, and participate in the conference. Graduate students in advanced standing in any of these disciplines are also welcome to participate in the conference. More information.

• Japanese Association for South Asian Studies invites to 27th Annual Conference

The Japanese Association for South Asian Studies (JASAS) invites participants to its 27th Annual Conference, to be held at Ito Bunka University, Higashimatsuyama Campus in Saitama-ken on 27 – 28 September 2014. Deadline for panel proposals and Individual paper proposals is 31 March 2014. The proposals from abroad are open to non-members of JASAS. No registration fee is required. More information to be provided by the Takako Inoue at JASAS Annual Conference Office.
JASAS was founded in 1988. As a nation-wide academic body, JASAS holds annual sessions and publishes Journal of the Japanese Association for South Asian Studies (JJASAS) (from 1989) and International Journal of South Asian Studies (IJSAS) (from 2008). JASAS helps maintain scholarly communication among its members, as well as contacts between Japanese researchers and research organizations and their foreign counterparts. 

• Fourth Conference on Asian Borderlands Research to be held in Hong Kong

The fourth Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network focusing on the theme ”Activated Borders: Re-openings, Ruptures and Relationships” will be held from 8-10 December 2014. Venue: Southest Asia Researc Center,  City University of Hong Kong.
The conference is organized by the Southeast Asia Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong, in collaboration with International Institute for Asian Studies in Netherlands and Asian Borderlands Research Network.
One of the main goals of this conference is to spur collaboration and conversation across diverse fields in the hope of building up a more nuanced picture of the intersections and relationships across Asian borderlands, submissions are invited from scholars, writers, policy studies researchers, artists, filmmakers, activists, the media, and others from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds. 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.  Call for papers is now open and deadline 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

• Indian films at 37th Göteborg Film Festival

A number of Indian movies will be shown at the 37th Göteborg International Film Festival (GIFF), this year held from 24 January till 3 February 2014. Amitabh Bachchan appears as a hero in in Prakash Jha’s new film ”Satyagraha” (The Protest). Besides, there will also be shown a joint US-Nepalese experimental documentary film entitled ”Manakamana”. Go for the film programme.
Another interesting Indian feature film is Janaki Vishwanathan’s film ”Yeh Hai Bakrapur” (The Goat Vote); and Batul Mukhtiar’s film ”Kaphal” (Wild Berries). Documentaries include ”Katiyabaaz” (Powerless) on the lack of electricity in the city of Kanpur, made by Fahad Mustafa and Deepti Kakkar; ”Fandry”, a documentary about Dalits by Marathi film maker Nagraj Manjule; and ”Quarter no. 4/11” on the resistance of people in a Kolkata neighbourhood to vacate their houses to give way for a shopping complex, made by Bengali film maker Ranu Ghosh.

• Mahabharata published in Swedish translation

Excerpts from the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata was recently translated into Swedish by Rolf Jonsson, former student of Sanskrit and Tibetan languages at Stockholm University, and with a degree in Indology. The book has been published by the publishing house Text & Kultur, that also published two of Rolf Jonsson’s previous translations works, translated from Tibetan – “Snölejoninnans mjölk” (2009); and Nagarjuna’s “Brev till en vän” (2011).
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana. Besides its epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pandava princes, the Mahabharata contains much philosophical and devotional material. Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahabharata is attributed to Vyasa. The title may be translated as "the great tale of the Bhārata dynasty". The Mahabharata is the longest epic poem in the world and many a times described as "longest poem ever written". Its longest version consists of over 100,000 shloka or over 200,000 individual verse lines (each shloka is a couplet), and long prose passages. About 1.8 million words in total, the Mahabharata is roughly ten times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined, or about four times the length of the Ramayana. More information about Mahabharata in Swedish translation.

• Information about South Asia related culture in Sweden/ Scandinavia
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New and updated items on SASNET web site

• Report on annual Copenhagen Iqbal Seminar 2013

The yearly seminar in Copenhagen to celebrate the birth anniversary of Allama Iqbal, the renowned national poet and philosopher of Pakistan was held at Skt. Johannesgården, Copenhagen on 9th November 2013. It was arranged jointly by Iqbal Academy Scandinavia and the Islamic-Christian Study Centre.
The theme of the day was ‘Iqbal and Democracy.’ The main organizer of the event was the highly learned and well known Lady Dr. theol. Lissi Rasmussen. She has been personally organizing all yearly Iqbal Day functions of November for the past several years in consultation with Dr. Safet Bectovic and Dr. Jørgen S. Nielsen. The whole day event was divided into two sessions.
The first part started at 10.30, moderated by Lissi Rasmussen. Ghulam Sabir opened the seminar and gave the welcome speech. The main guest speaker was Professor M. Sharif Baqa from London. In his highly learned way of addressing a mix gathering of audience including intellectuals and common people Prof Baqa made an interesting speech on “Introduction to Iqbal’s view of society”. This was followed by a warm discussion in which the audience put up so many questions which were replied by Prof. Baqa elaborately. This followed with a coffee break of fifteen minutes.
The theme of the next sitting was “Moral, ethical and spiritual aspects”. The speakers were Dr. Iram Khawaja, Postdoc at the Department of Education (DPU), University of Copenhagen, and Uzma Rehman from Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, who spoke on the meaning of religiosity in the everyday life of Muslims. After the two speeches the lunch was offered to all the speakers and guests. The second part started at 1.30 pm, which was conducted by Dr. Safet Bectovic. The subject for this part was “Iqbal and Democracy today” (The relevance of Iqbal’s ideals today). After that a panel consisting of Tarek Hussein, Law student and Bashy Qureshi, Secretary General Emico (European Muslim Initiative for social cohesion expressed their respective views on the topic. Then the coffee break was announced by Dr. Safet Bectovic. After the coffee break there was another warm discussion among the audience and the speakers till the end of the function declared by the Moderator Dr. Safet Bectovic. 
Read SASNET report on Iqbal Seminar held in 2011. 

• New book on Political Stratification and Governance in West Bengal

Dr. Dayabati Roy has published a book entitled ”Rural Politics in India: Political Stratification and Governance in West Bengal” (Cambridge Press 2013), discussing the forms and dynamics of political processes in rural India with a special emphasis on West Bengal, the nation's fourth-most populous state. Dayabati Roy is an independent researcher based in Denmark. She completed her postdoctoral study at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen. Her research interests include rural politics, postcolonial theories, social movements and governmentality.
West Bengal's political distinction stems from its long legacy of a Left-led coalition government for more than thirty years and its land reform initiatives. The book closely looks at how people from different castes, religions, and genders represent themselves in local governments, political parties, and in the social movements in West Bengal. At the same time it addresses some important questions: Is there any new pattern of politics emerging at the margins? How does this pattern of politics correspond with the current discourse of governance? Using ethnographic techniques, it claims to chart new territories by not only examining how rural people see the state, but also conceiving the context by comparing the available theoretical frameworks put forward to explain the political dynamics of rural India. More information about the book.

• AREU publishes three reports on valuing the role of women in Afghanistan

Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) has launched three reports focusing on the role and value of women in Afghanistan. The three publications includes; 1) Women's Economic Empowerment in Afghanistan 2002-2012 'Information Mapping', 2) Women’s Economic Empowerment in Afghanistan, 2002-2012: Information Mapping and Situation Analysis and 3) Women’s Economic Empowerment in Afghanistan, 2002 - 2012 'Situational Analysis'. 
The reports surrounding the theme ”From reproduction to production: Valuing the role of women in Afghanistan” juxtapose the many international agreements, laws and strategies effected by the government, with women’s current human rights and economic status. The report then goes on to explore community contexts and gender norms in order to assess how economic opportunities impact upon empowerment, agency, decision-making and status. For systemic change to occur, there needs to be recognition that women’s economic empowerment not only forms the basis of a just and equal society, but also leads to stability and growth, as a country in which half the population are excluded from the workforce is destined to flounder amid competitive market forces. This paper recognises a number of means through which this can be achieved. Download the reports.

• New book on neo-liberal reforms and its impacts on Indian economy

A new book entitled ”Two Decades of Market Reform in India: Some Dissenting Views” edited by Sudipta Bhattacharyya, Professor of Economics at Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, West Bengal, India, focuses on the neo liberal reforms in India and its impacts on the economy. Prof. Bhattacharyya has previously been ICCR guest professor at  Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. Anthem Press, December 2013.
Book Abstract: Have neoliberal policies truly yielded beneficial effects for India? ‘Two Decades of Market Reform in India’ presents a collection of essays that challenge the conventional wisdom of Indian market reforms, examining the effects of neoliberal policies enacted by the Indian government and exploding the myths that surround them. The volume addresses three key areas. Firstly, it investigates how the high growth rate of the Indian economy has made it uneven, vulnerable and liable to poor employment generation and agrarian crises. The text refutes the hypothesis that growth in India has been driven by domestic factors, and argues against the notion that the Indian economy has remained unaffected by the global economic meltdown. The volume also investigates the reduced demand for food grain during the reform period, questioning whether it was indeed a result of increased income, as suggested by the government, or rather a consequence of increasing poverty and agrarian crisis. Secondly, the text counters the neoliberal myth that a fiscal deficit is essentially bad, and examines how the government’s focus on preventing a deficit caused a large-scale decline in development expenditures, which in turn had a negative impact on the well-being of the poor. Finally, the volume also argues that there is no evidence that supports denationalization as an effective way to reduce fiscal deficit, as the public sector, it argues, is not necessarily less efficient than the private sector. Striving to hold India’s market reforms – and those responsible for their implementation – to account, ‘Two Decades of Market Reform in India’ bravely shines a light on the true implications of India’s neoliberal governmental policies. With its rich and insightful analysis, it provides a revealing indication of how policy reform since 1991 has, at times, detrimentally affected the Indian populace, and will serve as an invaluable resource for students, professionals, activists and policymakers interested in the socioeconomic future of the country. More information about the book.

• Interesting collection of essays on the history and society of Mumbai

A new collection of essays on the history and society of the Indian ity of Mumbai (Bombay) is published in a new book entitled ”Mumbai – Socio-Cultural Perspectives: Contribution of Ethnic Groups and Communities” (2014). It has been edited by researchers Rashna Poncha, Anila Verghese, and Swarupa Kamat (on photo) at the Dept. of History, Sophia College for Women in Mumbai. It is actually an outcome of a conference held at the Sophia College in January 2011 on the same theme. The book includes a large number of interesting essays, such as one focusing on ”The Konkanis, Bohras, Khojas, Memons: Early Muslim Settlers and their Influence on Mumbai”, written by Sameera Khan, and another one on ”The Jewish Presence in Mumbai: their Contribution to the City's Economic, Social and Cultural Political Fabric”, by Sifra Lentin. Professor Frank Conlon, otherwise known as the H-Asia discusion group moderator, writes about ”Housing and Community in Mumbai: The Chitrapur Saraswat Brahman Experience”; Dhvani Doshi and Madhuri Dhariwal writes about ”Udupi Restaurants in Mumbai”; and Sanjay Ranade writes about early inhabitants of the city, ”Reconstructing the Mumbai Koli Profile”.  More information about the book.

• 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

Deputy Director/Research Communicator
SASNET/Swedish South Asian Studies Network

SASNET is a national network for research, education, and information about South Asia and is based at Lund University. Its aim is to promote a dynamic networking process in which Swedish researchers cooperate with their counterparts in South Asia and around the globe.
The SASNET network is open to all branches of the natural and social sciences. Priority is given to interdisciplinary cooperation across faculties, and more particularly to institutions in the Nordic countries and South Asia. SASNET believes that South Asian studies will be most fruitfully pursued as a cooperative endeavour among researchers in different institutions who have a solid base in their mother disciplines.
The network is financed by Lund University.

Postal address: SASNET – Swedish South Asian Studies Network, Box 114, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden 
Visiting address: Paradisgatan 5 G (first floor, room no. 201), in the premises of the Department of Sociology, Lund University.
Phone: + 46 46 222 73 40 
Web site:

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