Newsletter 186 – 13 April 2016


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• SASNET launches Lund University based web site and new format for newsletters

Soon after the inception of SASNET in January 2001, we launched our web site and introduced our monthly newsletters, that gradually has become richer and richer on information about South Asia related research not only at the hosting university of Lund and other Swedish universities, but also in the rest of Scandinavia, Europe and even in South Asia itself. We now have more than 3,300 subscribers worldwide. The person in charge of SASNET’s extensive web site and producing a total number of 186 Newsletters has been Lars Eklund.

Since 2011, SASNET has also had a fruitful technical collaboration with the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen, sharing the same web solution – drupal. This agreement however lapsed on 31 December 2015, and it is now time for SASNET to integrate our extensive web data into Lund University’s (LU) web system, and adjust to the graphic profile that all LU units are obliged to follow. 
Currently, this work is going on, launching a new SASNET site (photo), focusing on Lund University, whereas most of the content from the old web site will be stored at an exterior web hotel, while deciding what to do with it. The new site will be launched on Friday 15 April. 
It should also be mentioned that from 3 March 2016, a new staff member – Elina Vidarsson – has joined SASNET as an assistant communications officer. She works with the new web site, besides being a contact person with the student organisation SASA, taking over this role from Jacco Visser who is returning to his native city of Amsterdam. More information about SASNET staff.
The coming Newsletters will also reflect the changed circumstances, focus more on Lund University news and events, and follow the standard layout for other newsletters produced by LU departments.

• SASNET Networking Day on Nordic South Asian Studies

More than 50 Nordic researchers and academics from 17 universities in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland have registered to participate in the Networking Day on South Asian Studies, that SASNET organizes in Lund on Monday 25 April 2016. They are all working on South Asia-related issues, and have been invited to discuss ways to expand collaboration on education and researchs. The meeting will address the question: How we can strengthen a South Asian perspective across all faculties at Nordic universities? The objectives could include a commitment to hold collaborative workshops and other joint events; circulate information about visiting scholars for the benefit of Nordic partner institutions who may wish to invite them; and creating a  common Nordic newsletter on South Asian Studies and a  joint website focusing on South Asia.
The Networking Day is organised in collaboration with researchers at University of Copenhagen, and it will open with an introductory address by David Ludden (photo), Professor of History at New York University and former President of the Association for Asian Studies. Professor Ludden is well-known for his extensive writings on South Asia. His talk is entitled ” Why do we need South Asian Studies? What are the Challenges? ”, and will be followed by short presentations by representatives of Nordic universities on their current South Asian activities.
The afternoon will then be devoted to formal and informal discussions on how to strenghten collaboration. 
The planning committee for this event consists of Lars Eklund and Anna Lindberg of SASNET at Lund University, and Ravinder Kaur and Peter B. Andersen at the University of Copenhagen. See the full programme with a list of participants.

• SASNET invites to Indian dance and song performance at Theatre Sagohuset

SASNET invites to a fascinating Indian dance and song performance at Theatre Sagohuset in Lund on Tuesday 19 April 2016, at 18.00.
The two artists Parvathy Vijayan Roshini (photo) and Anju Jacob will give a traditional Keralite performance, through song and dance. Snacks and soft drinks will be served after the performance. The event is jointly organised by SASNET and Theatre Sagohuset. No entrance fee. Venue: Teater Sagohuset Revingegatan 8, Lund. Register your participation in advance to
The dance which performed by Parvathy is “Mohiniyattam”, the classical dance form of Kerala, which was taught to her by the “guru” (teacher) Aswathy Nair, who herself is an exponent of Mohiniyattam. Parvathy describes dance to be like a prayer to God which gives peace and pleasure to my mind.
Mohiniyattam is a very graceful form of dance with gentle and swaying body movements meant to be performed by women. The name itself says it as ‘the dance by beautiful women’, ‘Mohini’ means beautiful women and ‘aatam’ means dance movements.
Anju and Pavathy are students of Journalism at Kerala University in Thiruvananthapuram, currently being exchange students at the Dept. of  Communication and Media (KOM) at Lund University through a Linnaeus Palme collaboration project with their department at University of Kerala. SASNET has been instrumental in this ongoing Linnaeus Palme programme.

• Papers invited for SASNET 2016 conference on Modernity in South Asia

Faisal Devji, Dipesh Chakrabarty and Sumi Madhok.

SASNET organizes a conference entitled ”Modern Matters: Negotiating the Future in Everyday Life in South Asia” from 20 – 22 September 2016 at Lund University. The conference will explore what it means to consider oneself modern or outside the limits of modernity, in an extremely diverse region. It will also examine how the notion of modernity is experienced, contested, and negotiated in South Asia within the broader promise and hope of the 'Asian century'.
The three keynote speakers will be Faisal Devji, University of Oxford, UK; Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago, USA; and Sumi Madhok, London School of Economics, UK. SASNET now invites papers for the eight panels being accepted:
Panel 1. Religion and Modernity in South Asia (chaired by Clemens Cavalin); Panel 2. Mapping Subaltern Modernities in Neoliberal India (chaired by Alf Gunvald Nilsen & Kenneth Bo Nielsen); Panel 3. Beyond the Desirable: Critical Perspectives on Media-Modernity (chaired by Britta Ohm, Per Ståhlberg, and Vibodh Parthasarathi); Panel 4. Staging Marriage and Modernity among the Middle classes in South Asia (chaired by Ajay Bailey, and Anindita Datta); Panel 5. The Transformation of Caste (chaired by Winnie Bothe and Staffan Lindberg); Panel 6. Youthful modernities: negotiating with the past, the present and the future (chaired by Ravinder Kaur, Sanolde Desai, and Rajni Palriwala); Panel 7. Women and Gender in South Asian Modernity: Vulnerabilities and Violence (chaired by Ulrika Andersson); and Panel 8. Open panel – for papers that do not fit any of the other panels but make an orginal contribution to understandings of modernity in South Asia.
Abstracts should be between 200-300 words and include a short biography including institutional affiliation not exceeding 100 words. Paper submissions should be received no later than Saturday 30 April 2016 at Information about limited travel grants for exceptional contributions will be announced shortly. Full information about the conference, themes and fees.

• SASNET offers one month position to prepare research application at Lund University

For the second year, SASNET invited researchers at Lund University to apply for a one month position (”ansökningsmånad”) at SASNET in which to prepare a research application with a South Asian focus. The purpose is to promote more South Asia-related research at Lund University. Members of all faculties and disciplines at the University were invited. The salary will range to a maximum of SEK 35 000. Applications have been especially encouraged from the faculties of Social Sciences, Humanities and Theology, Fine and Performing Arts, and Law. Deadline for applications was 31 March 2016.
The previous call for applications in 2015 received a very positive response. One of the granted applications, by Ebbe Nordlander at the Division of Chemical Physics, Department of Chemistry, later resulted in a Swedish Research Links (SRL) grant from the Swedish Research Council for a three-year project entitled “Development of Bio-inspired Catalysts for Oxidative Degradation of Organic Pollutants in Wastewater”.

• SASNET/UPF seminar on India’s and China’s roles in Tibet

SASNET and the Association of Foreign Affairs in Lund (UPF) jointly organize a seminar on “Tibet as an (Inter)National Problem” – focusing on China’s and India’s respective roles in Tibet, on Wednesday 20 April 2016, at 19.00. The speaker is Dr. Dibyesh Anand, Associate Professor in International Relations and the Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster in London, UK. Venue: Café Athen, Sandgatan 2, Lund.
In his presentation, Dr. Anand describes the failed negotiations between Beijing government and the Dalai Lama; the change of leadership in China; the advancing age of the Dalai Lama; and the democratization process in the exile. He alsopoints out the desire of foreign powers to work with China due to its growing economic might, the unresolved border dispute between India and China, and other factors adding to the acuteness of the contested question of politics and geopolitics of Tibet. The lecture will highlight the key aspects of the contested Tibet question and analyse how changing dynamics of relations between China, India and the West are relevant and how these relations in turn get affected by the internal politics of Tibet.
In 2015, Dibyesh Anand held a well-attended SASNET seminar on Kashmir. More information.

• SASNET/CMES seminar on Sufism

Professor Dennis B. McGilvray from the University of Colorado, Boulder holds a SASNET/CMES lecture at Lund University on Monday 2 May 2016, 15.00–17.00. The seminar, organised in collaboration with the Center of Middle Eastern Studies, at Lund University, is entitled ”Sufi Transnational Networks – South Asia and Middle East connection”. Venue: Center for Middle Eastern Studies, seminarie room 1, Finngatan 16, Lund.
Professor McGilvray ethnographic interests are in South Asia, with a research focus on the Tamils and Muslims of south India and Sri Lanka.  His book, Crucible of Conflict (Duke 2008), examines matrilineal Hindu and Muslim kinship, caste structure, religious ritual, and ethnic identities in the Tamil-speaking region of eastern Sri Lanka, an area that was deeply affected by the island’s civil war. He also co-edited a collection of essays resulting from a multidisciplinary NSF project on Sri Lanka’s recovery from the 2004 tsunami (McGilvray and Gamburd, eds. 2010). The fieldwork that he currently undertaking explores transnational Sufism and matrilocal marriage patterns in Sri Lanka and southern India. This seminar is a part of a joint seminar series between SASNET/CMES. View full program here.

• SASNET seminar on Governing of Sexuality: Indian Police enforcing the Anti-Sodomy Laws

On Thursday 12 May 2016, 15.00–17.00, SASNET organizes a seminar with Professor Jyoti Puri from Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, on the Criminalization of Homosexuality in India. The seminar is entitled “(Un)Making Sexual States: Antisodomy Law and Racialization in India”. It is a joint event with the Global Gender Matters network within the Department of Gender Studies, Lund University. Venue: Room M 221, Dept. of Gender Studies, Allhelgona Kyrkogata 14, Lund.
Professor Puri is an interdisciplinary scholar who writes and teaches at the crossroads of Sociology; Sexuality and Queer studies; and Postcolonial Feminist Theory. In her presentation, Prof. Puri argues that governing sexuality helps constitute states. Drawn from fieldwork among police in Delhi, she explores how enforcing the controversial anti-sodomy law is mediated by racialized discourses.

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

Research Community News

• Doctoral dissertation with Postcolonial Perspective on Indian News Media

On Thursday 17 March 2016,  Zehra Sayed at the Media Management and Transformation Centre (MMTC) within Jönköping International Business School (JIBS), Jönköping University, successfully defended her doctoral dissertation entitled ”Postcolonial Perspective on International Knowledge Transfer and Spillover to Indian News Media: From Institutional Duality to Third Space”. The faculty oponnent was Senior Lecturer Michal Frenkel from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. The chairperson at the defense and also Zehra’s main supervisor was Professor Robert G Picard from Reuters Institute at  University of Oxford, UK.
Zehra holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from University of Mumbai (India). She received her Master´s degree in Journalism Studies from Strathclyde University (Glasgow). She also has a diploma in Journalism Techniques from City and Guild (London). Besides, Zehra has also worked as a reporter for two year with Sun Publication (India).
In her thesis, Sayed examines how knowledge transfer from foreign media firms play out within the local media sphere. Field work has been carried out mostly in Mumbai and Bangalore. Zehra’s main case study is on Reuters, and how its practices and code of conducted has spilled over to the Indian news media industry. The local firms which participated in the project are Press Trust of India, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, Times of India, Afternoon, Midday, Inquilab, and Vayapar. SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund attended the dissertation. More information.

• 49 panels accepted for 24th European Conference on South Asian Studies in Warsaw

The 24th European Conference on South Asian Studies – ECSAS 2016 will take place at the University of Warsaw, Poland from 27 to 30 July 2016. The biannual conference, organised by the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS) is this time hosted by the Faculty of Oriental Studies at University of Warsaw. The chief convener is Prof. Danuta Stasik. A total number of 49 panels and 480 papers have been accepted, including interesting panels on Mediating South Asian religious traditionsPoliticizing Hunger: Famine, Food security and Political Legitimacy in South Asia (19th & 20th century)Print journalism in modern South AsiaSecurity challenges in contemporary India-Pakistan relations; and Policing the city – how public order and security are conceptualised and delivered in contemporary South Asia (see the full list).
The 24th ECSAS’ keynote speaker will be Sumit Guha, Professor of History at the University of Texas in Austin, the author of the highly acclaimed book ”Beyond Caste Identity and Power in South Asia, Past and Present”. Early registration is now open and will continue until 4 May. Please note that panel convenors and paper presenters are obliged to join EASAS for 2015 and 2016 in order to attend. Deadline for registration is 5 May 2016. Full information on thhe conference web site.
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 2004 conference was organised by SASNET in Lund, see the 2004 conference page.
The most recent ECSAS conference was held in Zurich, Switzerland, in July 2014. SASNET was represented at this conference by Lars Eklund and Hawwa Lubna. Read their reports.

• Petition against esteemed Sanskritist Sheldon Pollock

In what some fear is an escalation of demands from Hindu nationalist to control the study of India’s history and culture, thousands of academics and others in India have attacked esteemed Sankritist Sheldon Pollock, Arvind Raghunathan Professor  of South Asian Studies at Columbia University, by signing a petition that demands him to be removed as the editor of the Murty Classical Library of India (MCLI). This venture has been praised as an ambitious effort to make the classics of India available as English translations and to promote the study of these works around the world. The series publishes English translations of South Asian classics. So far, nine volumes have been published. It is funded by Rohan Murty, junior fellow at Harvard University and son of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy.
Many academics are concerned since the reason for criticizing Pollock seems to be that he disagrees with views by Hindu nationalists while he also signed a statement of scholars that defended students and faculty members at Jawaharlal Nehru University protesting the arrest of the president of the student union. Most of the signatories of the petition demanding that Professor Sheldon Pollock be removed as editor of the Murty Classical Library of India series are professors and administrators at universities. Thirty-two of the 132 petitioners are from IITs across India, and some are former and current government officials, including N. Gopalaswami, former chief election commissioner who is now head of a new human resource development ministry committee on the promotion of Sanskrit. In the petition they claim that Pollock does not fulfil certain qualifications that should be required for the post of editor of the MCLI. More information.

• Indian Statistical Institute meeting to commemorate Ramkrishna Mukherjee

To commemorate one of Indian Sociology’s grand old men, Ramkrishna Mukherjee (RK, 1919 – 2015), prestigious Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in Kolkata organized a conference in late March 2016. Being strongly influenced by Marxist politics and with a firm ground in statistics, RK ventured a rather autonomous and independent scholarship over the years. In his work, R. Mukherjee, collaborating with P.C. Mahalanobis, laid the ground for the National Sample Surveys, which have served generations of social scientists with empirical data on transforming Indian since the early 1950s.
Professor Staffan Lindberg from Lund University was one of the invited speakers. Read his report.

• Australia offers 10 post-doc positions with focus on India

The Australia India Institute (AII) announces a new network, entitled New Generation Network (NGN), of three-year post-doctoral positions across Australia for scholars focusing on contemporary India. So far ten post-doc positions across five Australian universities have been launched and more are planned. Some of the fields include: arts and social sciences, law, smart cities and sport management. Deadline to submit application is May 11, 2016. More information.

• Sunniva Engh writes about India-Myanmar relations

The magazine Asian Affairs publishes in its volume number 47 an interesting article by Dr. Sunniva Engh entitled “India’s Myanmar Policy and the ‘Sino-Indian Great Game’”. The article describes the historical legacy of India's relationship with Myanmar (Burma), discusses the role of China in India’s Myanmar policies, and examines the effects of Myanmar's democratization process. Sunniva Engh is a senior researcher at the Centre for Asian Security Studies, Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS) in Oslo. Read the full article in Asian Affairs 47 (1): 32–58.

• Queer Geopolitics in focus for Duke Press publication

The theme for the latest issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, published by Duke University Press, US, is “Area Impossible: The Geopolitics of Queer Studies”. It is being edited by researchers Anjali Arondekar and Geeta Patel, and brings up and discusses two often segregated fields: queer studies and area studies. The contributors to “Area Impossible” seek to imagine and broker conversations in which “area” becomes the form through which epistemologies of empire and market are critiqued. They approach a queer geopolitics through exploring topics such as debt bondage, sexuality and indentured labor, trans theater, Dalit religiosity, and queer studies in Africa.
The GLQ journal publishes scholarship, criticism, and commentary in areas as law, science studies, religion, political science, and literary studies. Its aim is to offer queer perspectives on all issues touching on sex and sexuality. It can be ordered through the Duke University Press website here.

• Anthropology Professor Mattison Mines passed away

We are very sad to report that the eminent Social Anthropologist and South Asianist Mattison Mines died in Portland, Oregon, USA, on Thursday 25 February 2016, aged 75.  He had been in hospice care for several weeks, suffering from pancreatic cancer.  Mat graduated A.B. cum laude in Anthropology at the University of Washington in 1963, and Ph.D. at Cornell University in 1969.  Supported by Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, his career-long studies in Tamilnadu and Chennai (formerly Madras) resulted in a series of vivid and illuminating accounts of the historical significance of individuality in social life, a perspective always in danger of being lost in caste-based accounts of India. This culminated in two books The Warrior Merchants: Textiles, Trade, and Territory in South India (Cambridge 1984) and Public Faces, Private Voices: Community and Individuality in South India, published by the University of California Press in 1994 and by Oxford University Press in Delhi two years later.
Mat was an Emeritus and Research Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara where, over some forty years, he received a stream of ‘outstanding faculty’ awards from his breathtakingly large introductory classes. Having taught and researched at the Universities of Washington, Cornell, New Delhi, and the London School of Economics, his interests and academic networks were truly global. Very much at home in the UK, Mat was an Honorary Fellow in the Department of Social Anthropology at Edinburgh in 2001-2003, while serving as local Director of the University of California’s Education Abroad Program.  Active to the end, he will be remembered with affection and respect by an exceptionally broad circle of students, colleagues and friends.
  – A.F. Robertson (Honorary Professorial Fellow, School of Social and Political Science, Edinburgh University, UK & Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA)

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

Educational News

• Only nine+one South Asia related Linnaeus Palme programme grants this year

Internationella Programkontoret

On 29 March 2016, the Swedish International Programme Office for Education and Training decided upon the sixteenth round of Linnaeus Palme Exchange Programme grants, for the period 1 July 2016 – 30 June 2017. A total amount of SEK 15 Million was distributed to 61 projects at Swedish universities – a sharp decrease in number compared to last year (when 212 projects were granted SEK 61 Million). The grants are funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Out of 61 projects given grants, 8 are with India and one with Sri Lanka. This year, no projects were granted involving Bangladesh or Nepal, nor the other countries in South Asia. Lund University; Mälardalens Högskola; and Uppsala University received funding for two projects each, whereas Kungl. Tekniska Högskolan, Stockholm; Linnaeus University, Växjö/Kalmar; and Skövde University received funding for one project each.  Besides, the Programme Office has decided upon specific applications for planning new Linnaeus Palme projects. Here, 14 applications were accepted out of 86, with a total amount of SEK 1.12 m being distributed. One of these accepted proposals relate to South Asia, coming from Karolinska Institutet
Read more on SASNET’s detailed information page.

• Apply for Heidelberg’s master's programme on Health and Society in South Asia

Masters programme

Since 2008, the South Asia Institute at University of Heidelberg, Germany, runs an interdisciplinary Master's programme entitled ”Health and Society in South Asia” (MAHASSA). The programme is a taught, two-year interdisciplinary degree with a focus on Medical Anthropology and South Asian Studies. 
 It is integrated with the curriculum of Heidelberg University’s South Asia Institute, allowing students to integrate South Asian languages, geography, politics, etc. into their plan of study. Most students base their Masters Thesis on field research conducted in South Asia. The language of instruction is English. The programme is intended for students who plan to work (or already work) in health-related fields but also for those who wish to pursue an academic career. The programme is administered by the Dept. of Anthropology at the South Asia Institute, specializing in Medical Anthropology, with various staff members conducting research on ritual healing, folk medicine, South Indian medicine, health and environment, Ayurveda, Tibetan Medicine, gender and health, women's reproductive health and Islam, and other topics.
The programme combines Medical Anthropology with South Asian Studies. Medical Anthropology is the study of healing systems, not primarily in terms of scientific theories or health policies, but also focusing on and analyzing how they are practiced in concrete, socio-cultural contexts. Admissions for the next program starting in October 2016 is now open and applications should have reached the University before 15 June 2016. More information about MAHASSA

• Turin Summer School on Social Change in Contemporary India

The Department of Culture, Politics and Society at University of Turin, Italy, holds its second edition of the Summer School on “Politics, Development and Social Change in Contemporary India” from 27 June – 1 July 2016. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the School provides students with an opportunity to analyze key social, political and economic issues of contemporary India. Important recent trajectories of social change – as well as continuity – will be explored, encouraging critical reflection among students. Applications are open from 7 March – 30 May (how to apply).
The TOIndia summer school is designed to suit the needs of highly motivated students and professionals who wish to engage with an intensive set of courses focusing on Politics, Development and Social Change in Contemporary India)  is eligible to apply. Any professional or student who is in possession of the required qualifications (Bachelor honours degree at 1st or 2:1 level or an equivalent European title, such as the laurea triennale for Italian students with a minimum grade of 100/110)  is eligible to apply. He/she must also have a good command of the English language. Undergraduate students (i.e. students who will not yet have a degree at the start of the School) who are enrolled in an area-studies university course focusing on India are also welcome, provided that they have completed at least one year of course.
The faculty and staff for the 2016 summer school in Turin include eminent scholars such as Jan Breman from University of Amsterdam; C P Chandrasekhar and Jayathi Ghosh ; Barbara Harriss-White from University of Oxford;  Ravinder Kaur from University of Copenhagen; and Subir Sinha from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Full information.

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

See SASNET’s page,

Seminars and Conferences in Scandinavia

• 125th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Dr. Ambedkar in Copenhagen

The Embassy of India to Denmark in collaboration with Asia House celebrate the 125 birth Anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar – the principal architect of the Indian Constitution  – at Asia House in Copenhagen on Thursday 14 April 2016 from 16.00 to 18.00. Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar born 1891 was a jurist, politician (Independent India’s first law minister), economist, professor, author, thinker and a social reformer (especially regarding caste discrimination). Venue: the Asia House, Indiakaj 16, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark. Register to:

• Oslo seminar on the World Health Organization as developed country largesse

Sanjoy Bhattacharya, professor in the History of medicine and Director of the Centre for Global Health Histories, University of York, holds an open lecture entitled: The World Health Organization as Developed Country Largesse: Historical events, metropolitan fantasies or historiographical tyranny? at University of Oslo on Tuesday 26 April, 13.00-14.30. The Oslo seminar is organized by the Centre for Global Health, University of Oslo. Venue: the auditorium at Fredrik Holsts Hus, Institute for Health and Society, University of Oslo (UiO). Full information. Sanjoy is a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator and Head of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Health Histories. He specializes in the medical, environmental, political and social history of nineteenth and twentieth century South Asia, as well as the history and contemporary workings of international and global health programmes. More information.

• PhD dissertation workshop on Power, Inequality, and Citizenship in the Global South

The Centre of Global South Asian Studies, and the PhD School at Dept. of Cross Cultural and Regional Studies, both institutions at University of Copenhagen, are organising its 5th annual collaborative workshop for doctoral students at New York University, USA, 3–4 June 2016. Last year, also Amsterdam University joined the NYU-Copenhagen initiative as well. The theme for this multi-disciplinary Dissertation Workshop will be ”Power, Inequality, and Citizenship in the Global South”. The theme has been chosen to facilitate conversations across disciplines, focused on the Global South, concerning pressing problems in our world, glaring in daily headlines. What are the inclusionary possibilities of citizenship in a world of nations riddled with inequity, ruptured by struggles to overcome and enforce inequality, and woven together ever more tightly by globalization? Do national borders and state institutions form viable territorial frames for the production of equitable citizenship? Do global or international frames hold more promise, or do their inequities further compound national problems with inclusionary citizenship? Do “empire” and “nation” remain viable units of analysis? How do gender, class, religion, race, language, and ethnicity shape power relations of inequality at various levels of spatial scale? Are there path-dependent trajectories for nations, peoples, or world regions; or do future possibilities remain open-ended? These are some of questions that could stimulate discussion during our workshop.
The aim is to bring together PhD students from various theoretical and empirical perspectives, including but not limited to fields of history, sociology, anthropology, political science, political economy and development studies. They should have completed substantial dissertation research on any aspect of urbanized inequity in the world of globalization. Applicants should send a letter describing their research and reasons for joining the workshop along with a CV and a short writing sample (drawn from their dissertation), combined in one PDF email attachment, to David Ludden (New York University),  Ravinder Kaur (University of Copenhagen), and Barak Kalir (University of Amsterdam). Deadline for applications is 15 April 2016, but later applications will be considered. 

• Karlstad conference on Women Activism and Politics in Sweden and India

Papers are invited for a conference on ‘Women Activism and Politics in Sweden and India’ to be held on 20 – 21 June 2016 at Karlstad University. It is organised by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in collaboration with the Malaviya Centre for Peace Research at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, India, as a part of a series of conferences to be held in Sweden and India. The organisers, including Patrik Larsson, Anjoo Sharan Upadhyaya, and Per-Olof Fjällsby, welcome papers focusing on the intersecting relationship between Gender, Activism and Politics in Sweden and India. Comparative papers between the two countries or in one country and another third country are welcome too. Topics may include but are not limited to the following: Peace, Development, Health, Environment, Inclusion, Equality and Social movements. Papers selected for the conference will be published in a book form, from a publisher of repute, subject to peer review. Deadline for submitting abstacts is 5 May. Full information.

• First Annual Bridge Summit in Lund to find solutions to major challenges

Rajendra Singh and Konstantin Novoselov

On 22-23 June 2016, Invest in Skåne and Medicon Village – connected to Lund University – organize for the first time a conference/summit entitled The Bridge. The aim of the summit is to enable and drive dialogue, cooperation and research within Life and Materials Science, and by these means help solve some of today’s biggest challenges in areas like energy, health, environment, water and poverty. Well-known Indian water conservationist Rajendra Singh, Stockholm Water Prize Laureate 2015 (more information), and Konstantin Novoselov, Nobel Physics Prize Laureate 2010 are two of the many interesting speakers that will join the summit. Full information.

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• Indian Ocean focus for fifth South Asia by the Bay Graduate Student Conference

The fifth South Asia by the Bay Graduate Student Conference will be held at University of California, Davis, USA, on 22 – 23 April 2016. The theme for the 2016 conference is “Indian Oceanic Topographies, Contemporary Worlds, and Situated Practices”, focusing on the emergence of Indian Ocean studies as a critical interdisciplinary field in the last decade and a half. This South Asia by the Bay graduate student conference is the fifth in the series and emerges from the collaboration between Stanford, UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley and UC Davis. This year it is hosted by the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program at UC Davis and held in conjunction with a “Reimagining Indian Ocean Worlds Mellon Research Initiative” of UC Davis faculty and graduate students (2015-2018). Although the conference is open to the public, the aim is to provide a focused platform where graduate students can meet with each other and faculty from the organizing institutions and beyond to discuss their work.
Indian Ocean studies has offered thoughtful approaches for dismantling boundaries between specific area studies as well as a way of thinking about maps, globality, relationality, pre-colonial and colonial worlds, and transregional movements. Much of the work has been historical with an emphasis on trade, migrations, diasporas, religious networks, and mobilities across the region. The geographical limits of the ocean have provided the contours for analysis resulting in an emphasis on ports, coastal sites, and islands.  Work on the contemporary period has been uneven with some examination of literary practices but dominated by macro-policy issues, concerns with cross-border violence, security, refugees, or transnational economic investments. The organisers therefore specially welcome papers that focus on contemporary Indian Ocean sites, topographies, and social practices. Full information.

• Fifth Annual Princeton South Asia Conference aimed at early career scholars

On April 29-30, 2016, the fifth annual Princeton South Asia conference will be held in Princeton, New York, USA. This year’s theme is The Natural Worlds of South Asia and aims to generate discussion about the place of the environment in South Asia. The conference seeks to bring together early career scholars (graduate and junior faculty) across disciplines that engage with South Asia. The organizers invite papers that engage with South Asia in a broad sense, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Nepal, the Maldives, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, India and transnational and diasporic spaces. Full information.

• Sri Lanka conference on Socio-cultural Dimensions of Reconciliation

On 6–7 May 2016, the Association of Sri Lankan Sociologists organizes an International Conference on ”The Socio-cultural Dimensions of Reconciliation in Sri Lanka” to be held in Colombo. The conference seeks to provide a platform to discuss reconciliation in Sri Lanka under the subthemes of education, language issues, religion, employment policies, youth identity, regional development, state structure and national reconciliation, and national policy reconciliation. More information (as a pdf-file).

• Bangalore conference on Liberal Education and the Future of the University in India

An international conference entitled Liberal Education and the Future of the University will be held in Bangalore, India, on 10 – 11 June 2016. It is jointly organised by the BMS College of Engineering, and the India Platform at the Research Centre for Comparative Science of Cultures at Ghent University, Belgium. The conference seeks to provide a platform to discuss the need of creating a holistic education for Science and Engineering students. The context of the conference is two-fold. On the one hand is the disintegration of liberal education ideals in the West in general. On the other hand, in the Indian context social sciences still operate within the confines within which they were first developed – that of colonialism. Deadline for submissions was 4 April 2016. Full information

• 10th European PhD Workshop in South Asian Studies to be held in Lisbon

The Center for International Studies (CEI) at ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal, will host the 10th European PhD Workshop in South Asian Studies in Lisbon, on 17th-19th June 2016. This is the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS) annual workshop, which aims at giving PhD students the opportunity to discuss their thesis with fellow candidates and senior scholars who work on South Asia. The students who want attend the workshop must be in their 2nd or 3rd year. The Center for International Studies and EASAS will provide accommodation and board at Inatel Oeiras, an inspiring resort by the Tagus, 20 minutes away from Lisbon by train. At the conference, the PhD researchers are to share rooms with another participant, as is usually the case at EASAS PhD workshops. More information.

• Kanpur Conference on Law and Economics

The Second International Conference on Law and Economics will be held in at IIT Kanpur, India on 3 - 4 September 2016. Indian Institute ofTechnology Kanpur (IIT-K), Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) and Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A) jointly organize the conference. The conference seeks to provide a platform where intellectuals in international and national law and economics will interact and discuss the need of efficient legal rules and norms and how institutional conditions can promote these rules and norms. Abstracts are invited and the deadline for submissions is 25 April 2016. Deadline for submissions of papers is 30 July, 2016. Full information.

• Rawalpindi conference on Peace and Security in South and Central Asia

A Call for papers has been announced for the International conference on “Peace and Security in South and Central Asia”, to be held at the Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The conference is organized by the department of Defense and Diplomatic Studies and will take place on 22-23 (tentative) September 2016. The conference seeks to provide a platform to analyze the core issues that are vital to the peace and security of South and Central Asia. The issues will be analyzed under subthemes such as “Nuclear terrorism”, “New Silk Road”, “Religion, security and peace” and “Future of Regionalism in South and Central Asia” (see full information as a pdf). The committee of organizers will select papers for presentation. Abstract must be of 250- 350 words containing the title of the paper, the name, affiliated institution and contact information of the author. Abstracts must be presented in Word format, in 1.5 line spacing and 12 point font size. Abstract must include 3-5 keywords and final paper either follow Chicago manual or APA referencing style. Deadline for the abstract submission is 11 April 2016 and the deadline for the final paper is 25 July 2016. Send your submission to:

• Coimbatore conference on Sustainable Utilization of Tropical Plant Biomass

The Fifth International Conference on Sustainable Utilization of Tropical Plant Biomass – Bioproducts, Biocatalysts, and Biorefinery (SUTB4) will be hosted by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) in Coimbatore, India, 17 – 18 November 2016. The conference organised in association with Lund University; the SASNET Fermented Foods reserach network; the Indian Biomass Association (IBA); the Phycospectrum Environmental Research Centre (PERC); and Sustainable Kerala Net.
The conference is chaired by Professor Emeritus Baboo Nair, Food for Health Science Centre, Lund University, and the scientific committee also includes Professor Richard Öste from the same Lund University Centre; Dr. Jörgen Holm, Glucanova AB, Lund;  Professor Sagarika Ekanayake from Jayawardenapura University, Sri Lanka; Professor S Achuthsankar Nair, Kerala University; Dr. J B Prajapati, Anand Agricultural University – current SASNET-Fermented Foods CEO; and many other South Asian researchers in the field.
Energy is a critical input in sustainable growth and development of both developed and developing countries. Fastest depletion of fossil fuels, ever increasing crude oil prices, burgeoning population growth, increased concern over drastic climate change and consequent global warming, has forced nations to shift from fossil fuels to renewable alternative sustainable energy resources to solve the aforementioned problems. In this context, Biomass (including agronomic residues, forestry and paper mill discards, the paper potion of municipal waste, and dedicated energy crops), are the cheapest among the candidates to be considered as an energy source. Moreover, biomass resources are locally available in plenty, requires less capital investments for conversion, reduces green house gas emissions, create employment opportunities in rural areas, helps to solve the disposal problem, any ventures in developing and refining the technology for cost effective production of transport fuel, chemicals from biomass becomes highly essential. 
Deadline for the registration to the conference is 14 October 2016. Full information.

• Philadelphia conference on Meaning-Making and South Asian Studies in the 21st Century

The 17th Annual South Asian Literary Association (SALA) Conference will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, 0n 2–4 January 2017. A Call for papers has now been announced. The theme for the conferece will be ”Beyond the Postcolonial?: Meaning-Making and South Asian Studies in the 21st Century”. It is being organized by Priya Jha, Prathim-Maya Dora-Laskey and Melanie R. Wattenbarger. The organizers invite panels and papers that approach spaces and places in the context of postcolonial studies such as: “crossing disciplinary divides in research and pedagogy”, “’travelling theories’ especially across East/West and global North/South” and “the representation and reception of hybrid and diasporic texts” etc. Deadline for submissions is 15 July 2016. Full information about the conference.

• 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

• 11th Annual Day celebration for Saraswathy Kalakendra in Huddinge

Rasa Dance Association and Saraswathy Kalakendra Institution of Fine Arts in Huddinge invites for its 11th Annual Day Celebration on 7 May 2016 from 16.00. The Bharata Natyam dance school was started in 2004 by Usha Balasundaram, originally from Kerala and trained at the famous dance institution Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts in Chennai, India. Performances have been frequent during the past years in the Stockholm region, most recently for example at functions organized by the Hindu temple Association in Stockholm, by Karolinska Institutet, and the Indo-Swedish Association. This year's programme will feature traditional and folk dances from various Indian states, a dance drama depicting Indian cultural narratives, colorful Bollywood dance and previews of Indian food will be on sale. Venue: Saraswathy Kalakendra Institution of Fine Arts, Gymnasietorget 1, Huddinge. More information. 

• Indian film festival in Stockholm within framework of India Unlimited 2016

Within the framework of the yearly India Unlimited Festivals, the Embassy of India in Sweden kicks off the third Indian film festival, Cinema Indien, running April 21–24, 2016. This festival will be held in the very centre of Stockholm at SF Biografen Sture. This is made in cooperation with SF BIO, Svenska Filminstitutet, supported by the Indian National Film Development Corporation. The film program spans across numerous genres, ranging from current blockbusters to regional Indian movies. This is due to Cinema Indien aiming to show case the vast variety of movies created in India, and give the audience a taste of both Bollywood but also what is created beyond. The selection has been made on the movies’ relation to the contemporary topics Gender and Diversity. Nirbashito (Banished) is the title of one of the movies that will be shown during the festival. The movie is a story about isolation and hope, of a writer in exile. When the writer is banished for her attack on religious fundamentalism and patriarchy, her cat is suddenly left alone. There is the administrative farce, which gets more and more complicated as friends try to send the homeless cat to the exiled woman. And there is the gloomy plight of a woman exiled to a distant land, where her new friends show, that humanity and commitment transcend all geographical and linguistic barriers. Full information. 

• Information about South Asia related culture in Sweden/ Scandinavia

See SASNET’s page,

New and updated items on SASNET web site

• Joint South Asian/Scandinavian book project on silk and sericulture

South Asian Ways of Silk. A Patchwork of Biology, Manufacture, Culture and History is a new book written by 12 researchers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Denmark, published by BOOKBELL, Guwahati, Assam, India.
The book was presented at a conference at the Agriculture & Forestry University, Chitwan, Nepal, 15th –16th November 2015. The authors have compiled the existing scattered information on sericulture and silk in region, thus trying to fill up the gaps of the knowledge of what has happened and is happening in each of the South Asian countries. One main purpose of the book is to make it easier for silk loving people to collaborate with each other across borders of the region. The contributors are Rie Koustrup, Aminuzzaman Md. Saleh Reza, Dilip K. Subba, Dilip Barooah, Neera Barooah, Moe Moe Win, Sundar Tiwari, Yubak Dhoj, Ghulam Ali Bajwa, Rizwana Ali Bajwa, Daya Ahangama and Ole Zethner.
This book stands out in the huge literature on silk and sericulture due to its comprehensive popular descriptions. It is not only centered on biological and technical aspects, which is usually the case, but covers many aspects of the subject. It also targets a broader audience, such as students and laypersons. The book will give politicians and administrators a better background for deciding whether and how to support a new silk venture and should also open the eyes for producing other silks than mulberry silks. Read more.

• Florian Krampe writes on state legitimacy in Nepal’s peace-building process

The peer reviewed Routledge journal Conflict, Security and Development publishes an interesting article by Uppsala University researcher Florian Krampe in its Volume NO. 16. The article is entitled “Empowering peace: service provision and state legitimacy in Nepal’s peace-building process”. In his presentation, Krampe has studied the relationship between service provision and state legitimacy to assess whether the provision of services like electricity to rural communities of war-torn countries through state actors contributes to the consolidation of the post-war political system. Florian Krampe is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Peace and Conflict Research and is also the Director for the university’s Forum for South Asia Studies. Read the full article.

• PhD thesis on enculturing innovation in India

In Pankaj Sakhsaria’s thesis titled “Enculturing innovation: Indian engagements with nanotechnology” he tries to understand – as the title indicates- how the nano techno-scientific knowledge and practices are implicated within and influenced by the cultural, social and political systems and logics in which the laboratories and the scientists are located. Pankaj examines the interesting but complex relationship between society and technology and the thesis shows the importance of understanding this relationship in order to achieve innovation. The thesis is available here.

• Swedish departments where research on South Asia is going on

Constantly added to the list of research environments at Swedish universities, presented by SASNET. The full list now includes more than 300 departments, with detailed descriptions of the South Asia related research and education taking place! See the full list of departments here:

• Useful travelling information

Look at our Travel Advice page. Updated travel advises from the The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office about safety aspects on travelling to the countries of South Asia.

Best regards

  Lars Eklund

Deputy Director
SASNET/Swedish South Asian Studies Network

SASNET has been a national network for research, education, and information about South Asia, based at Lund University. Its original aim was to promote a dynamic networking process in which Swedish researchers cooperate with their counterparts in South Asia and around the globe. The SASNET network has been open to all branches of the natural and social sciences. Since 2011, the network is financed solely by Lund University.

Postal address: SASNET – Swedish South Asian Studies Network, Box 201, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden 
Visiting address: Villa Norlind, Biskopsgatan 5 (first floor), in premises shared with the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), Lund University. New office from April 2016 (photo below).
Phone: + 46 46 222 73 40 
Web site: