Newsletter 128 – 28 October 2011




• SASNET hosted meeting on joint Swedish masters programme in South Asian studies

On Tuesday 18 October 2011, SASNET hosted a meeting at Lund University between representatives of South Asia oriented research within Humanities and Social Sciences at the universities of Stockholm, Uppsala, Gothenburg and Lund. The constructive meeting aimed to discuss increased collaboration on South Asian studies between these four major Swedish universities, and possibilities for launching a joint Swedish Masters programme in South Asian studies.

At Uppsala University a Forum for South Asian Studies was formed recently (more information), and at Stockholm University a Forum for Asian Studies was formed in 2010 (more information). At University of Gothenburg the researchers are involved in the Go:India project launched in May 2011 (more information); and at Lund University SASNET is the driving force in connecting researchers working on South Asia related projects in all disciplines. 

On the photo from left to right: Lars Eklund, SASNET/Lund University; Henrik Berglund, Stockholm University; Åke Sander, University of Gothenburg; Julia Velkova, SASNET/Lund University; Kristina Myrvold, Lund University; Anna Lindberg, SASNET/Lund University; Gunnel Cederlöf, Uppsala University; Pernille Gooch, Lund University; Jan Magnusson, Lund University; and Sigridur Beck, University of Gothenburg.

• SASNET co-organised Fifth European PhD workshop in South Asia Studies in Paris

The Fifth European PhD workshop in South Asia Studies was held in Paris at the Centre d’Etudes de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (CEIAS) from 22 to 24 September 2011. Previous PhD workshops have been jointly organised by Heidelberg University, Germany; Ghent University, Belgium; University of Edinburgh; UK: and Le Centre d’Études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (CEIAS), Paris, France, but from 2011, SASNET is also being a co-organiser. 
Read a report from the Paris workshop.

• SASNET/Swallows seminar on Violence, Caste Discrimination and Resistance

A seminar on ”Violence, Caste Discrimination and Resistance –  The situation of Dalits in India” will be held at Lund University on Thursday 3 November 2011, 13.15–16.00. It is jointly organised by SASNET, Lund University and the Swallows India Bangladesh, an organisation based in Lund.  
Dr. Aase Mygind Madsen will give a presentation on ”Dalits in the caste system”, focusing on the social and economic discrimination they face in India, and the prospects of change. 

Aase works as Associate Professor at the Department of Social Work, VIA University College in Aarhus, Denmark. Her main field of research interest is on processes of social exclusion and integration. In 1996, she defended her doctoral dissertation entitled ”Untouchables: Stuck at the Bottom or Moving Upward? A Study of Changing Conditions for the Scheduled Castes in five Villages in Karnataka, South India”.
Over a period of 30 years she has been engaged in activities related to social problems in the 3rd world as well as taken part in Danish, Nordic and European Development Researchers’ network. She has also worked on gender issues in Denmark and the Third World. 

Kathir and Thilagam from the Indian non-governmental organisation Evidence will talk about their work to support victims of caste based violence and discrimination and how they advocate for change. Evidence is a Madurai based organisation working in the state of Tamil Nadu, and involved in collaboration with the Swallows India Bangladesh. Its aim is to create a society that ensures equality and justice to all. Activities include undertaking fact finding missions  following incidents of atrocities against Dalits and Tribals in order to establish the facts of an incident and compile the necessary documentary evidence enabling the victims/survivors to access formal justice through the law. More information.

Venue for the seminar: Edebalksalen, School of Social Work (Socialhögskolan), Bredgatan 26, Lund. See SASNET’s poster for the seminar.

• Afghanistan Evening at Doc Lounge Lund on 8th November

In 1989, Swedish journalist, Khazar Fatemi fled the war torn country of Afghanistan with her life. Twenty years later, the former refugee returned to the place that has always remained in her heart. She has now produced the documentary ”Where My Heart Beats”.

This film follows Khazar’s dangerous, painful, and inspirational journey back home to reconnect with the amazing people of this broken nation. Behind the shadow of war and devastation, Khazar shows us a window into Afghanistan life that most people never see in the media… A window into the lives of a nation with unimaginable struggles, and an unwavering will to survive.

On Tuesday 8 November 2011, at 19.00, a Doc Lounge event focusing on Afghanistan will be held at Mejeriet, Stora Södergatan 64 in Lund. It is co-organised by SASNET. To this event, ”Where My Heart Beats” will be screened, and the director Khazar Fatemi (photo) will participate in a discussion with Anders Fänge, representing the local section of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA). Fänge was for 20 years SCA’s head of office in Kabul until he retired last year and settled in Skåne.

The poet and singer/songwriter Thomas Wiehe will also perform during the evening. Entrance fee for the programme is SEK 60. 
More information about the Afghanistan Evening at Doc Lounge.
See SASNET’s poster for the Doc Lounge event.

• SASNET Brown Bag seminar on Indian Food System Transformation with Olle Frödin on November 10th

OlleOn Thursday 10 November 2011, at 12.00, SASNET holds its third Brown bag lunch seminar during the fall semester 2011. Dr. Olle Frödin from the Department of Sociology will talk about ”Modernization, Neoliberal Globalization or Variegated Development: the Indian Food System Transformation in Comparative Perspective”. The lecture reviews three theoretical approaches to agro-food system change, placed at different levels on the ladder of generality. It then considers these approaches in relation to Indiaâs changing agro-food system. Finally, it examines the general and the particularistic features of the Indian case, and discusses their implications for theories relating to global governance and international political economy.
See the seminar poster.

The aim of SASNET’s Brown Bag seminars, introduced in January 2011, is to present and disseminate the eminent South Asia related research that is carried out in so many departments at Lund University. 
The seminars are open to the public, and during the fall 2011 they are held once a month at Thursdays at Murbeckssalen, Gula Villan (inside the Botanical Gardens), Östra Vallgatan 14, Lund.

More information about the seminar series.

• SASNET seminar on Pakistani History, Politics and Society

Dr Henrik Chetan Aspengren holds a seminar at Lund University on ”Pakistan – History, Politics, Society” on Thursday 17 November 2011, 13.15 – 15.00. The seminar is jointly organised by SASNET, the Lund University Master in International Development and Management programme (LUMID) and ABF Lund. Venue: Geocentrum, Flygeln, Sölvegatan 10, Lund. 
See the seminar poster.

Pakistan is a country of paradoxes. It is a country rich in culture and human and natural resources, where poverty and illiteracy is rising. Democracy is shallow and easily manipulated, military power is entrenched and religious and political violence is commonplace. Pakistan was born out of an idea of safeguarding Muslim interests in a decolonised South Asia, but many of its citizens now feel let down. Yet all around the country there are social movements and committed individuals working for positive change. Dr Aspengren, author of the book “Pakistan – Upprorens land” (Norstedts, 2011), will in this lecture put developments in Pakistan in their broader social, political and historical context.
In his book, Aspengren mixes writings on South Asian history with travel writing. Through detailed descriptions on life in, for example, a Sufi-shrine in Sindh, or a village of land less peasants in Malakand close to the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Aspengren discusses a wide range of topics: the Pakistani military’s role in politics; struggles for women’s rights, democracy, or land rights; religious tolerance and extremism. As such, the book provides social and historic context to events reported in the news. More information on the book.

In January 2010, Henrik Chetan Aspengren was awarded a PhD from the Dept. of Politics and International Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK for a thesis entitled ”Social Imperialism – And how it was applied in the Bombay Presidency, 1895–1925. Since then he has been living in Geneva , Switzerland, but has now returned to Sweden, where he is to some extent connected to the Dept. of History, Uppsala University. 
More information about his research.

• SASNET/Lund University visit to Ambassador of Nepal

On Thursday 20 October 2011, Anna Lindberg and Lars Eklund from SASNET were invited to visit the Ambassador of Nepal to Sweden and Denmark, Mr. Vijaykant L. Karna, in his Hellerup residence. The Ambassador has a close relation to SASNET, having participated in a number of important seminars at Lund University in recent years.

Ms. Elisabeth Axell from Lund University’s division of International Relations was also invited to the Ambassador, since she is the coordinator of an Erasmus Mundus Asia regional mobility programme involving Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu (more information).

• Professor Karanth lectured on the social transformation of Indian society

KaranthG K Karanth, ICCR Guest Professor at the Department of  Sociology, Lund University, held an open lecture entitled ”Pigeonholing Oneself: Emerging Identies in Contemporary India” on Wednesday 19 October 2011, 15.15–17.00. The seminar focused on the general consensus that Indian society has been witnessing a new wave of rapid social transformation. It is meant to initiate a discussion to assess these transformations and to locate them in the wider debate on the feasability of social susainability – even as the concept is undergoing a refinement. 

Prof. Karanth states that, even though one is eager to anticipate many radical changes, in regard to the identies of persons, it is useful to bear in mind Arjun Appadurai’s summing up of Ashis Nandy’s offering of lessons in any discussion of self-making in contemporary India: ”Do not fall prey to the temptation of electing one or the other kind of Indian to be the authentic one over the others dismissed as kinds of geographical, temporal or social borders” (Appadurai: ‘Is Homo Hierarchicus? 1986). What then are the identies and what are the social processes involved in their emergence? There are claims that some identities – especially that of caste, are fading, and new ones emerging, some of which are sponsored by the state itself, while the others are a result of the political processes. There is suspicion and opposition on behalf of one section, while there are those clamouring for the state’s endorsement of the new identities.
See the seminar poster.

• More information about SASNET and its activities 

See SASNET’s page,

Research Community News

• European Spallation Source (ESS) in close contact with Indian research institutes

Even though the coming European Spallation Source (ESS) based at Lund, Sweden, is a European project (at present 17 partner countries are represented in the ESS Steering Committee), frequent contacts exist with eminent researchers and research institutions worldwide, not the least in Asia where the competence in the field is high. These collaborative efforts may at a later stage result in formal agreements. 
Dr. Mats Lindroos (photo), Head of the Accelerator Division at ESS, has travelled several times to Asian countries during the recent years to discuss various forms of collaboration on an equal basis for mutual benefits.
In India, he has established good contacts at the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT) in Indore;  the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai, and especially with  the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) in Kolkata, a premier R & D unit of the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India. 
More information about ESS India contacts.

• Lund University co-organised 4th Indian National Training Program on Youth Friendly Health Services

The 4th National Training Program (NTP), India on Youth Friendly Health Services was held over a period of 3 weeks from 19th September, 2011 to 7th October, 2011, part of it in India, and the rest in Sweden.

The aim of the NTP is to orient the Indian doctors and program managers towards providing youth friendly health services and cater to the needs of the young people, with a special focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights. The NTP programs are conducted by the Division of Social medicine and Global Health, Lund University in Sweden, and the National Institute of Health and Family welfare (NIHFW), the Indian Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW) and MAMTA – Health Institute for Mother and Child (an Indian NGO based in Delhi).

The programme is funded by a SEK 3.5 m partership cooperation grant from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) for the perod 2010–2013. The overall objective of the NTP is to strengthen participants’ capacity on delivering youth friendly health services mainly through the public health facilities that address the sexual and reproductive health concerns of young people in the age group of 10-24 years. The areas of work are the Indian states of Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi. 
Read a detailed report from the 4th NTP on Youth Friendly Health Services.

• New five-year strategy for SPIDER network at Stockholm University

SPIDER, a Swedish resource center for ICT for Development (ICT4D) established in 2004 and based at Stockholm University, has launched its 2.0. Strategy and Roadmap 2011-2015. The aim of SPIDER is to support the use of ICT for development and poverty reduction, and it is to a large extent (90 %) funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Previously, many projects focused on Sri Lanka, but during the coming years the only country in South Asia involved in SPIDER projects is Bangladesh. 
When Spider was established in 2004, it was hosted by the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), but in 2010, the Spider host university was shifted to the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV) at Stockholm University.
The new strategy outlines an overall aim to become an internationally recognized ICT4D broker, serving as a central node in a network of actors from academia, civil society, government and business. More information on the new strategy 2011-2015.

• Karlstad University contact person in Varanasi passed away

Mr Om Prakash Sharma, the key person in establishing and running the Karlstad University Centre for Indian Studies (Ganga Mahal) in Varanasi, passed away on 25 October 2011. (Seen with Karlstad University students on Lars Eklund’s photo from 2002).
Known as  “Om-Ji” for a large number of students, teachers and researchers from Karlstad University coming for shorter and longer stays in Varanasi, died at his native place near Shimla where he had gone only a few days earlier.
Since 1995 Karlstad University has had its study centre, Ganga Mahal, in a mansion facing the Ganga at Assi Ghat, rented from the Maharaja of Varanasi. Here students can live, and the study centre is also open to students from other programmes than the above mentioned. Researchers and doctoral students even from other universities in Sweden, e g Linköping, Umeå, Lund, Uppsala and KTH, have stayed at the centre and made it a base for their field studies. Ganga Mahal has also welcomed guests from Swedish folk high schools, and groups of teachers, artists and writers. 
More information about Karlstad University‘s Varanasi connection.

Om Prakash Sharma was employed part time by Karlstad University to work as a co-ordinator at the Study centre. He was also working as a language teacher (Hindi) at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Omji previously worked for the American Peace Corps in the 1970’s and later on for the Sociology department of London University (from which he has got a Masters degree), the Himachal Pradesh state government, and the American Wisconsin programme. He was in touch with Karlstad University ever since 1986-87, when he first organised a study tour to Nepal for Karlstad University teachers training students led by P O Fjällsby. Dr. Marc Katz had at that time already good connections in Varanasi after spending a long time there, working on his thesis. This resulted in a formal agreement on co-operation between Karlstad University and Banaras Hindu University, BHU, in 1988, and later on the establishment of the Study Centre.

• Report from SCAS workshop on Modern India Political Thought
Sunil Khilnani. Sudipta Kaviraj.

On 16-17 September, 2011, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) hosted a workshop entitled ”The Identity of Modern India Political Thought: Power, Politics and the Political” in Uppsala. The workshop was organized on behalf of the Indian-European Advanced Research Network (IEARN), and was a work meeting of its Intellectual History-Political Thought Group.

The aim of the Uppsala workshop, which was the fourth meeting of the group, was to continue the work towards the publication of a collaborative volume, with the working title The Identity of Modern India Political Thought: Power, Politics and the Political. Workshop participants included Sudipta Kaviraj (Columbia University, New York), Sunil Khilnani (King’s College, London), Karuna Mantena (Yale University, New Haven, CT), and Dilip Menon (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg). 
Read a report from the Uppsala SCAS workshop.

• Fellowships offered at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi

The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) in New Delhi, India, offers fellowships to scholars to pursue research in (i) Modern Indian History and Contemporary Studies (ii) Perspectives in Indian Development (social economic and cultural) and (iii) India and Changing Trends in World Economy and Polity.
The fellowships are only open to Indian nationals. They are offered at three levels: Junior Fellow, Fellow and Senior Fellow.  The emoluments, including allowances, will correspond to that of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor of Central Universities, respectively. CPF/GPF facilities will be extended only to scholars having permanent jobs who take up the fellowship after taking leave without pay from their parent departments.  Fellowships offered are for a duration of two years only.  Fellows will be based in Delhi except for a maximum of five fellows who may be permitted by the Selection Committee to be based outside Delhi.
Applications for the current round of fellowship should reach the NMML on or before October 30, 2011.  More information.

• Announcement for PhD position in Indology at Uppsala University

Uppsala University invites applications for a PhD position in Indology, to be based at the Department of Linguistics and Philology from January 1, 2012. The department especially encourages applicants with project descriptions relating to modern South Asia. Deadline for applications is Monday 14 November 2011. More information.

• Neelambar Hatti interviewed on India’s missing girls

In an 24th October 2011 article published by the Allianz Knowledge Site, Neelambar Hatti (photo) of the Department of Economic History at Lund University, is interviewed about the child sex ratios in India, where increasingly wealthy, well-educated and ‘modernized’ Indians are choosing not to have girl children. In the article, entitled ”Gendercide: India’s Missing Girls”, Hatti characterizes the development a demographic timebomb. Read the article.

Allianz Knowledge is a corporate responsibility platform focused on climatic and demographic change, energy, microfinance, mobility, and health. It is financed by Allianz, a global financial services company headquartered in Munich, Germany.
In another article in the same issue, Indian demographer K.S. James from the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bangalore speaks about another aspect of the  Demographic Profile India theme, on how there is a stark north-south divide in the Indian population that could have far-reaching consequences for the stability of the country. 
Read this article, entitled ”Poles Apart: India’s Demographic Divide”.

• Fellowship Opportunity: Research Field Fellowships on Village Dynamics in South Asia

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) invites research and development institutes to respond to this Request for Proposals (RFP), either from individual researchers or in collaboration with PhD students from Asia who wish to undertake field research in an ICRISAT-NCAP-IRRI project on Village Dynamics Studies in India and Bangladesh.
The researcher can make use of the data collected under the VDSA project (micro and meso level), undertake field trips to collect additional data or for ground truthing the data to address her/his research topic. Research fellowships funded through this RFP will contribute to policies, practices and innovations that alleviate rural poverty by analyzing and disseminating knowledge on rural livelihoods, poverty dynamics and development pathways of the poor in the semi-arid tropics and humid tropics of India and Bangladesh as well as on issues related to efficiency, equity and sustainability of agriculture. 
The Research Field Proposals aim at:
• Funding innovative projects with high potential for impact at research, institutional and policy levels;
• Promoting the development of new research partnerships between IARCs, National Agricultural Research Institutions, Advance Research Institutes and Universities; and
• Providing Asian research scholars with funding to undertake research on rural livelihoods, poverty dynamics and development pathways in India and Bangladesh.
 More information.

• New book on Sikhs in Europe. Migration, Identities and Representations

In November 2011, Ashgate publishes a volume on ”Sikhs in Europe. Migration, Identities and Representations”, edited by renowned Scandinavian researchers Knut Jacobsen, Professor of History of Religion, University of Bergen, Norway; and Dr. Kristina Myrvold, Dept. of History and Anthropology of Religion, Lund University, Sweden.

Sikhs in Europe are neglected in the study of religions and migrant groups: previous studies have focused on the history, culture and religious practices of Sikhs in North America and the UK, but few have focused on Sikhs in continental Europe. This book fills this gap, presenting new data and analyses of Sikhs in eleven European countries; examining the broader European presence of Sikhs in new and old host countries. Focusing on patterns of migration, transmission of traditions, identity construction and cultural representations from the perspective of local Sikh communities, this book explores important patterns of settlement, institution building and cultural transmission among European Sikhs.
The book includes articles by (among others) Laura Hirvi; Kathryn Lum; Eleanor Nesbitt; and Satwinder Singh. 
Full information about the book.

• David Lewis writes on Bangladesh. Politics, Economy and Civil Society

David Lewis, Professor of social policy and development at the London School of Economics & Political Science, has written a book on Bangladeshi society with a new perspective. The book entitled ”Bangladesh. Politics, Economy and Civil Society” will be published in December 2011 by Cambridge University Press in UK.

40 years on from its independence, and as the country in South Asia to which people pay least attention, this is a good moment to take stock of the impressive transformations made since its ‘basket case’ status of the 1970s/1980s, and to consider the many lessons the country may now offer the rest of the world: in relation to its growing role in addressing climate change, its success with maintaining a stable democracy in a Muslim majority country, and its role as a global laboratory for a range of innovations in development and poverty reduction. More information about the book.

Professor Lewis has a Swedish connection, in being an adviser to the Bangladesh Reality Check Approach initiative set up by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Swedish Embassy in Dhaka in 2007. The Reality Check Approach is an effort to find out how policymakers know what effect their policies are having on the people they serve.  Field teams visit and spend quality time with ordinary households living in poverty in different parts of the country, listen to their stories, and document their experiences. These are written up into an annual report for policy-makers and widely circulated (see the report from 2009). The overall objective is to listen to the voices of the poor and understand people’s perspectives on primary healthcare and primary education, which are supported through two large sector programmes. It is a qualitative study which gathers grassroots experiences, opinions and insights which complements monitoring and evaluation mechanisms within these programmes. This Reality Check Approach is an opportunity to put faces and voices to the numbers as well as provision of answers to ‘how’ and ‘why’. It will deliberately explore the range of poor people’s experiences and consciously embraces context specific differences.
Prof. Lewis has written an article about the Reality Check Approach in the Guardian 10 March 2011. 
Read the article entitled ”Closing the gap between development policymakers and people”.

• V Subramanian writes on the linking issue of South Asian rivers

A year ago in 2010, Professor Emeritus Vaidyanatha Subramanian from the School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, India, published a most interesting book entitled ”Rivers of South Asia. To link or not to link” at Capital Publishing Company, New Delhi. The book addresses key issues related to linking various rivers in South Asia. The primary question that is being addressed is: ”Do we want a large number of individual and might river basins or a single SAARC river basin?” 
More about the book.
Subramanian is Professor in Biogeochemistry, and has a connection to Sweden. Between 2002 and 2007 he was associated to Uppsala University in a collaborative program in teaching and research, being a Palme Fellow. 
More information about Prof. Subramanian

• More information about South Asia related research at Swedish and Nordic universities

See SASNET’s page,

Educational News

• Swedish universities coordinate two Erasmus Mundus Asia Regional lots 2011

Erasmus New

In July 2011, the European Commission, through its Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) decided upon the 2011 Erasmus Mundus Action 2 – Strand 1 – Partnership programmes for its Asia Regional lots. They are one-way (Asia to Europe) scholarship programmes for students on undergraduate, master, doctoral and post-doctoral level as well as for university staff in academic or administrative positions, financed by the European Commission.

Swedish universities – Lund and Mälardalen – coordinate two of the lots focusing on South Asia, and another two Swedish universities – Uppsala and KTH Royal Institute of Technology – are partners in Asia Regional lots.
Applications for the lots coordinated by Lund and Mälardalen can be delivered from 15th October till 1 December 2011.

Just like in 2010, ten European-Asian university consortiums were  selected for the two Asia Regional lots (in 2011 named lots 12 and 13) to begin during the academic year 2012/13.

Lund University

– Lund University, that already successfully coordinates one of the existing Indo-European Erasmus Mundus Action 2 programmes (more information), was re-selected to coordinate its Asia Regional lot, named EMEA – Erasmus Mundus Europe Asia, that it was first awarded in 2010.
The South Asian consortium members are: Delhi University; Jadavpur University, Kolkata; Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK); Tata Instititute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; Karachi University; Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu; and Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Bangladesh. Full information is available on the EMEA web site.   

Four other Asia Regional lot 12 projects were selected on 15th July 2011. Two of them were re-selected from last year:

– The EXPERTS consortium coordinated by Karl August University, Göttingen, Germany, with nine South Asian partner universities in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India. Uppsala University is a partner university in this lot.
– The EMMA West consortium coordinated by University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France, with seven South Asian partner universities in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and India.
Deadlines for new applications for these two programmes have not been published yet.

Besides them, two new consortia were selected:

– One of them being coordinated by Mälardalen University in Västerås, Sweden. The consortium has been named IDEAS (Innovation and Design for Euro-Asian Scholars). An on-line application is open between 15th October and 1st December 2011.
The South Asian consortium members are: Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India; Lahore University of Management (LUMS), Pakistan; Royal University of Bhutan; and Tribhuvan University, Nepal. 
Full information is available on the IDEAS web site

– Finally, another new Asia Regional lot 12 is coordinated by City University London, UK. It is named STRONG-TIES (Strengthening Training and Research Through Networking and Globalization of Teaching in Engineering Studies), and has eight South Asian partner universities in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Bhutan and Afghanistan.
University of Southern Denmark in Odense is a Nordic partner.

Besides, KTH Royal Institute of Technology is a Swedish partner in the Lot 13 AREAS (Academic Relations between Europe and Asia) consortium, coordinated  by Politecnico di Torino, Italy (with one South Asian partner university). 

Read more about the South Asia oriented 2011 Erasmus Mundus Action 2 Asia Regional lots.

• University of Turku course on Food in Indian History

During the Fall semester 2011, the Department of Social Research at University of Turku (Åbo), Finland, offers a 3 credits course on ”Food in Indian History. Production, Consumption and Culture from the Colonial Times to the Present”.
The lecturer is Dr. Naresh Chandra Sourabh. In 2008, Dr. Sourabh defended his doctoral dissertation entitled ”The Culture of Women’s Housework. A Case Study of Bihar, India” at University of Helsinki.
The course at University of Turku aims to analyse how food, especially its production and consumption, has shaped Indian history. Although in all civilizations food customs and religion are closely connected, in India this relationship is exceptionally strong. More information about the new course.

• Apply for MSc programme in South Asia and International Development at Edinburgh

From September 2011, the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh introduced a new MSc programme in South Asia and International Development. It is the only UK postgraduate international development programme with an explicit South Asia focus. This programme is linked to the University of Edinburgh’s Global Development Academy, which fosters a dynamic interdisciplinary community of scholars who are working in partnership throughout the world to tackle the most important issues facing international development. Courses provide analytical skills to help students to understand the processes that have shaped poverty and underdevelopment with particular reference to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The programme is interdisciplinary, combining rigorous training in analytical and qualitative methods with an emphasis on policy and practice as they relate to international development. It has two compulsory, core courses. They are ”Politics and Theories of International Development” and ”South Asia: the Roots of Poverty and Development”.
Applications can be submitted now for entry in September 2012. The closing date for applications will be July 15th 2012.

Please note that it is in your interest to apply well before the closing date: Scholarship and funding schemes have different closing dates for application and generally require applicants to have a firm offer of a place at Edinburgh. The paperwork connected with visas and immigration also takes time to process. For any queries about the MSc programme, please contact the Programme Director, Dr Jeevan Sharma, Lecturer in South Asia and International Development School of Social and Political Science. More information on the program web page,

• Lund University students to do field work at CREST in Kerala
Lizzie Sagrelius and Emelie Rohne.

With active support from SASNET, Emelie Rohne and Lizzie Sagrelius, third year students at the Bachelor of Science Programme in Development Studies (BIDS) at Lund University, have been accepted to do field work for their BA thesis at the Centre for Research and Education for Social Transformation (CREST) in Kozhikode, Kerala, India. At CREST, they will be supervised by Dr. Vinod Krishnan.

CREST is an autonomous institution under Government of Kerala, India. It has been conceived as a national institute of humanities, science and professional studies, addressing the needs of the Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalized communities of India while integrating with the informational society. Since 2008, CREST is an associated partner in an Indo-European mobility programme initiated by SASNET and coordinated by Lund University – the Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window programme lot 15/13 (more information).  

Lizzie Sagrelius will work on a project entitled ”Access and benefits sharing”, where she will study the patent process of certain tropical plants in Kerala, and the effects of access and benefits sharing. 
Emelie Rohne will study about the role of farmers in the Kerala experience (formerly called the Kerala model of the development) – whether they were included or not in the process of creation of the Kerala experience of high social development with economic growth. 
While in Kerala, Lizzie and Emelie wil also spend some time at the Centre for Development Research (CDS) in Thiruvananthapuram.

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

Conferences and workshops

• Amritsar conference on Water Security and Climate Change

The Guru Arjan Dev Institute of Development Studies in Amritsar, India, holds its 3rd annual seminar on ”Water Security and Climate Change: Challenges and Strategies”, 4–6 November 2011. The conference is hosted by the Guru Nanak Dev University. Invited speakers include  Sheikh Md. Monzurul Huq, Dept. of Geography and Environment, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh, who will speak about ”Challenges and Opportunities for Water Security”; Rais Ahmad, Dept. of Agricultural Economics & Business Management, Aligarh Muslim University, India, who will speak about ”Water and Food Security”; and Neelambar Hatti, Dept. of Economic History, Lund University, Sweden, who will speak about ”Policy, Governance and Regulatory Framework”.
Full information about the conference.

• Ascona conference on Pilgrimages and Sanctuaries

The Centro Incontri Umani Ascona in Switzerland, organises a conference entitled ”Pilgrimages and Sanctuaries: Art, Music and Rituals” on 11–12 November 2011, with several South Asia related presentations. The conference conveners are P. Khosronejad, Department of Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews, Scotland; T. Zarcone, CNRS – GSRL/EPHE, Paris; and A. Hobart, University College, London.
Among papers to be presented could be mentioned one by Richard Blurton, Dept. of Asia, British Museum, London, UK, on ”Pilgrimage to Banggajang: lake-dwelling goddesses and their devotees in the eastern Himalayas”; one by Michel Boivin, CNRS – CEIAS/EHESS, Paris, France, on ”Building a local culture in a Sufi centre: the kishti and other artefacts in Sehwan Sharif, Pakistan”; and one by Sanjay Garg, SAARC Cultural Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka, on ”Pilgrims’ memorabilia in the social landscape of India”. More information

• Kolkata researcher gives two guest lectures at Copenhagen University

Dr. Manabi Majumdar, Fellow in Political Science at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences (CSSS) in Kolkata, gives two public guest lectures at University of Copenhagen 16–17 November 2011. The seminars are organised by the Centre of Global South Asian Studies, with support from the Copenhagen University. Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies (ToRS), Asian Dynamics Initiative (ADI) and Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS).

On Wednesday 16th November, 13.15–15.00, Dr. Majumdar will speak about ”Politics of Human Development in an Indian State”. The paper focuses on the Indian state of West Bengal. This state has the distinction of having a 34-year long tenure of Left rule which has suffered a setback in early 2011. Set within a theoretical debate on policies being a means for either social justice activism or governmentalism, this paper argues that despite the stated pro-poor stance of the left political regime, its human development planning efforts have remained quite inadequate. 
Venue: History of Religions Section, Room 0.34, Artillerivej 86, Copenhagen. More information about the seminar.

On Thursday 17th November, 13.15–14.30, Dr. Majumdar will speak about ”Health Inequity and Democratic Deficit: Learning by India from India”. This paper focuses on a host of social conditions that produce poor health as well as health inequity, and on the lack of adequate social and policy action to combat these social causes of ill health.
Venue: NIAS, Leifsgade 33, 3rd floor, 2300 Copenhagen. More information about the seminar.

• International Indo-Swedish Seminar on ”Practice-based Knowledge in the 21st Century” in Varanasi


An International Indo-Swedish Seminar on ”Practice-based Knowledge in the 21st Century” will be held in Varanasi, India, 14–16 November 2011. It is being organized by the Dept. of Philosophy & Religion, Faculty of Arts at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), under the auspices of the BHU-Gothenburg University collaboration within the GO:India programme. The aim of this conference is to see and reflect on new sides of the social worlds and the social and humanistic sciences in India and Sweden using the perspectives of practice based knowledge developed within social work, religious work, health care as well as in the arts and philosophy, in order to identify and generate new interesting platforms for academic cooperation. More information

• Comparative Education Society of India annual International Conference 2011

 The Comparative Education Society of India (CESI) organises its Annual International Conference 2011 in Hyderabad, India 16–18 November 2011. It is being organised under the auspices of the Dept. of Sociology, University of Hyderabad. Scholars of South Asia who are working on the issues related to education are encouraged to send their abstracts. The theme of the 2011 conference is ‘Rethinking Education Policy’. An attempt will be made to discuss and debate education policy in its entirety from a comparative perspective. The Conference is expected to bring educationists, social scientists, policy makers and practitioners together to deliberate various aspects of the dynamics of education policy and its making and processes. More information.

• Stockholm conference on Political regimes, growth politics and conflict in Asia

The Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University, and the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen jointly arrange the 5th Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference & PhD Course in Stockholm on 21–25 November 2011. The theme for the 2011 event is ”Political regimes, growth politics and conflict in Asia. Responses to changing environmental, economic and socio-cultural conditions in Asia”. The primary focus of the conference is the responses to these ongoing socio-economic, cultural, economic and environmental changes in Asia. In what ways are changes being interpreted by actors in Asian societies? What are the nature and implications of the encounters produced by these recent changes? Conference participation is open to all scholars and graduate students. As this is an interdisciplinary conference we especially encourage contributions from all social science disciplines as well as interdisciplinary perspectives. 

The conference will be combined with workshop activities where doctoral candidates may present and discuss their research projects with senior researchers as well as other fellow doctoral candidates. The first two days will be devoted to panels and keynote speakers while the last two days will focus on workshops for doctoral students. The conference/workshop can be taken as a 7.5 ECTS credit course. More information.

• Copenhagen conference on ‘Future of Development Research: Exploring the Nordic perspective(s)?’ 

Conference 2011A Nordic conference on A Nordic conference on ‘Future of Development Research: Exploring the Nordic perspective(s)?’ is held in Copenhagen, Denmark, 24–25 November 2011. It is jointly organised by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in Uppsala; the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, the Finnish Society for Development Research (FSDR), the Norwegian Association of Development Researchers (NFU), and the Association of Development Researchers in Denmark (FAU). A number of Nordic institutions working in the field of development research are also involved, in Sweden the School of Global Studies & Gothenburg Centre for Globalization and Development, both at Gothenburg University. Venue for the conference: Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Dalgas Have, Copenhagen. 
Conference information by FAU, or by NFU
South AsiaThe theme of the conference’s workshop no. 9 is ”Nordic Perspectives on South Asian Development”.The workshop is organised by Kenneth Bo Nielsen, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo; Dayabati Roy, Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen; and Annika Wetlesen, Dept. of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo. University of Oslo has decided to merge its annual contemporary India seminar this year with the joint Nordic conference on development research in Copenhagen and its workshop no. 9. At the same time broadening the focus for the seminar somewhat, opening up for contributions that focus on other parts of South Asia as well. 

• Oxford Sociology conference on “South Asia in Transition”

Oxford Sociology Conference

The Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford organises a conference on South Asia in Transition to be held 25-26 November 2011. Its aim is to explore and capture the social, political, economic and cultural transformations that have taken place in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Maldives in the past twenty years. The primary panels will encompass the following themes: – Political Participation: Democracy, Dictatorship and Beyond; – Transformations in Political Economy: State, Capital and Changing Labour Relations; – Politics of Resistance: Social Movement and Violent Conflicts; – Social Exclusion and the Minority Question; – The South Asian Diaspora: The Politics of Conflict, Identity and Change; – Reaching ‘the poor’: Towards Multidimensional Poverty Eradication Throughout South Asia. More information

• Kolkata seminar on ”Conflict, Terrorism and Resolution: The South Asian Scenario” 

The Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Calcutta in Kolkata, India organizes an International seminar on ”Conflict, Terrorism and Resolution: The South Asian Scenario” on 26 November 2011. The event will be attended by foreign delegates from SAARC and Southeast Asian countries, including, scholars, experts and academicians from India. The Seminar is aimed at providing an interactive platform for sharing of expertise and experience between India and other South Asian countries which are severely affected by the scourge of terrorism and militancy. Keeping the annihilation of founder-figures of terrorist organization, the al-Qaeda and the LTTE in mind, the deliberations of the seminar is an attempt to examine the security situation of the region, the law enforcement mechanisms and cooperation amongst global/regional organizations to fight the scourge of terrorism in the most volatile region of the world.

Among the sessions, one focuses on ”Future of Terrorism in South Asia”, chaired by Prof. Purusottam Bhattacharya, Jadavpur University; another on ”The Internal Dynamics of Militancy, Conflict and Separatism in South Asia”, chaired by Prof. Rajagopal Dhar Chakraborti, Calcutta University; and a third on ”Counter-Terrorism Cooperation in Fighting the Malaise of Terrorism in South Asia”, chaired by Prof. Swapna Bhattacharya Chakraborti, Calcutta University.

• Islamabad Colloquium on ”Public Action in Pakistan: Vacillating between Apathy and Anger”

ISAPSThe Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) in Islamabad, Pakistan invites papers for the first annual Colloquium on ”Public Action in Pakistan: Vacillating between Apathy and Anger” to be held 27–28 November 2011. The Colloquium is first in the series of annual multi-disciplinary colloquia which will allow different social sciences perspectives leverage and enrich each other. Beyond its scholarly goals, the organisers hope that the Colloquium would inform the debates on public policy and development agenda in Pakistan. I-SAPS is inviting scholars in local as well as international academia to discuss the difficulties in dealing with social change especially in developing and Muslim societies like Pakistan from multi-disciplinary aspects, with special reference to individual’s personal behavior and its relation to societal changes. More information.

• Sixth NORASIA conference in Oslo focuses on 21st Century Asia Research

The Norwegian Network for Asian Studies invites for its 6th NORASIA conference, to be held at the University of Oslo 12–14 December 2011. The theme for the conference will be “Asias århundre: Hvor går Asia-forskningen?” (Asia’s Century: Where is Asia Research heading for?). It focuses on which trends that are dominant in current Norwegian Asia research, and which priorities that will be set during coming years. Issues of high relevance for students and prospective researchers but also to representatives of business and civil society. Participants should register before 1 November 2011.
Venue for the conference: University of Oslo, Helga Engs hus, Blindern. More information.
One of the workshops at the NORASIA VI conference in Oslo focuses on ”Asian Migration to Scandinavia”. It is being organised by Kenneth Bo Nielsen, Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo, and Karina Dalgas, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen. In this workshop the aim is to explore the vast field of Asian migration to Scandinavia by engaging in an exploratory and ambitious comparative exercise. What can we learn by comparing vastly different patterns of migration originating in Asia, and passing through or terminating in Scandinavia? Which cultural, national and regional differences make a difference, and how do changing legislative frameworks enable or constrain migrant practices? MA and PhD students with recent field experience are particularly invited to present their work. Abstract should be delivered to the organisers no later than 15 November. Full information

• Australia symposium on India and the Age of Crisis

The University of Western Australia in Crawley organises a symposium on the local politics of global economic and ecological fragility, 2–3 February 2012. The purpose of this symposium, entitled ”India And The Age Of Crisis” is to consider how politics in India are likely to be shaped by global economic and ecological crises. In particular, the organisers seek contributions that address one or more of the following sub-themes on the intersections between global crisis and the specificity of politics and society in India:
– Historical perspectives on crisis; – Crisis and Governance; – Economy and Crisis; – Labour and crisis; – Crisis and society; and – Business and Crisis.
The symposium is being convened by Michael Gillan, Associate Professor, The University of Western Australia Business School. Deadline for submission of abstracts is 1 December 2011.
A selection of papers from the symposium will be published in a special issue of South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies in 2013. To register for this event please download and return a registration form
More information about the symposium.

• Allahabad conference on Civil Society in the Era of Globalization

A two-day Indian National Seminar on ”Civil Society in the Era of Globalization” will be held at Allahabad, India, 24–25 February 2012. It is organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Chair in Contemporary Studies at University of Allahabad (the Chair being established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
The seminar will focus on the following areas: • Theoretical Concept of Civil Society; • Historiography of the Institutional Evolution of Civil Society; • Civil Society in the era of Globalization; • Rise and Growth of Civil Society in India; • Evaluation of Different Civil Society movements in India; • Challenges of Civil Society; • Civil Society, Democracy and Public Policy; • State and Civil Society; and • Market and Civil Society

The list of areas mentioned above may be treated as illustrative rather than exhaustive. Paper-presenters are free to choose an area of their interest which broadly falls within the theme of the seminar i.e. Civil Society in the Era of Globalization. Papers will be reviewed by a committee formed for this purpose. Needless to mention that besides hospitality the Rajiv Gandhi Chair will bear travel expenses by Indian participants as per university rules. Deadline for the submission of abstracts is 15th January 2012. Full information.

• Copenhagen 2012 conference on Rising Asia – Anxious Europe

The Asian Dynamics Initiative (ADI) at University of Copenhagen, Denmark, invites participants to an international conference entitled ”Rising Asia – Anxious Europe” to be held at the University of Copenhagen on 2–3 May 2012.

The conference features distinguished keynote speakers including Professor Peter van der Veer (photo), Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity at Göttingen, Germany, and paper presentations from an inter-disciplinary group of scholars, focusing on Europe’s ‘new’ relationship with Asia or the changes in Europe and Asia against the backdrop of such changing relationships.

Rising Asia – Anxious Europe is the fourth in a series of annual conferences initiated by ADI in 2008. ADI is a cross-faculty and interdisciplinary effort to meet the current challenges and demands for better knowledge of and deeper insights into Asian matters. Abstracts (no more than 250 words) should be submitted by 15 January 2012. Full information about the ADI 2012 conference.

• Ghent conference on Knowledge Transfer, Product Exchange and Human Movement in the Indian Ocean

Ghent University organises an interdisciplinary conference on “Crossroads between Empires and Peripheries – Knowledge Transfer, Product Exchange and Human Movement in the Indian Ocean World” to take place between 21–23 June 2012 in Ghent, Belgium. The main focus of the conference will be to explore the dichotomy between legal and illegal (contraband), private and official exchange, anchored in the following five topics: – Private and official commercial exchange; – Exchange of knowledge, technology, and ideology; – Human movement and migration (including slave trade); – Controversy or parallelism of tribute and trade; – Indirect impacts of IOW global exchange (e.g. diseases, espionage, creolization, etc.). 
Abstracts of papers exploring these issues should be submitted by 15 November 2011. Full papers are due by 15 April 2012. Full information.

• Other conferences connected to South Asian studies all over the World

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Important lectures and seminars in Scandinavia

• Lund University organises Stockholm seminar on Global Development of Sexual and Reproductive Health

Lund University arranges a seminar entitled ”Towards a more healthy world – change is possible. Important investments in the Global Development of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” in Stockholm on Friday 11 November 2011. The half-day seminar will be organised in collaboration with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and 120 colleagues from 22 participating countries.
Between 2005 and 2010 Sida has invested in eight international training programmes in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. In these programmes, conducted by the Division of Social Medicine and Global Health at Lund University, 200 obstetricians and midwives from 30 African, Asian and Eastern European countries have participated and a total of 70 pilot projects in the respective countries have been implemented.
The Stockholm conference is held to show the excellent results, in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which this Swedish funded International Training Programme has achieved. Notable results the groups have achieved are: Reductions in maternal mortality, improvement of access to reproductive health services, improvement of antenatal care, introduction of youth friendly health services, improved family planning services and increased awareness of HIV prevention.
The results will be presented by the programme leaders Anette Agardh and Karen Odberg Pettersson, Lund University. Venue: Sida Headquarters, Valhallavägen 199, Stockholm. 
See the invitation to the Stockholm seminar.

• Copenhagen seminar on Evolution of Productive Sectors in Bangladesh

The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) invites to a Bangladesh related seminar in the fall 2011 seminar series on Elites, Production and Poverty (EPP) on Wednesday, 16 November 2011, 14.00-16.00. Venue: DIIS, Main Auditorium, Strandgade 71, ground floor, Copenhagen. 

The seminar is entitled ”The Evolution of the Political Settlement and Productive Sectors in Bangladesh”, and will deal with the evolution of the productive sector in Bangladesh from a country that was almost devoid of any industry in the 1970s to one with the world’s third biggest garments exporting industry today. Specific features of its political settlement allowed this transition to happen in the context of lucky international conditions. But the evolving political settlement also hampers the development of policy to promote new sectors and in particular hampers the development of infrastructure like power and roads that are seriously constraining contemporary development.

Speakers include Mushtaq Khan, Professor of Economics at SOAS, University of London, and Lindsay Whitfield, Associate Professor in Global Studies at Roskilde University.
Participation is free of charge, but registration is required. This should be done no later than Tuesday 15 November 2011. More information

• Hina Jilani holds the 2011 Anna Lindh Lecture at Lund University

The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI), an independent academic institution working in close cooperation with Lund University, organizes its yearly Anna Lindh Lecture on Wednesday 16 November 2011, at 17.15.

This year’s invited speaker is Hina Jilani, lawyer practicing at the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and is the Director of AGHS Legal Aid Cell, a legal aid and human rights NGO in Pakistan. She will hold a lecture entitled ”Protection of Human Rights in Situations of Crises: A Defender’s Perspective”. Ms. Jilani established Pakistan’s first all-women’s law firm in 1980, and cases she has conducted have on numerous occasions become landmarks for setting standards for human rights in Pakistan. In 1992 she was appointed Advocate of the Supreme Court in Pakistan. Special areas of concern in her work have been the rights of women, minorities, children and prisoners, including political prisoners.

Ms. Jilani served as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders from 2000 to 2008. She was appointed as a member of the UN Fact Finding Mission on Gaza in April 2009, and was also a member of the UN established International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur in October 2004.

The lecture is organized in collaboration with the Association of Foreign Affairs at Lund University (UPF). Venue: Lund University Hall (Universitetsaulan), Universitetsplatsen.
More information

• Stockholm conference on Education and the Future of Afghanistan

The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) invites to two events to be held in Stockholm on 21–22 November 2011.
In the evening of the 21st of November, a public seminar about education in Afghanistan is organised. It is being hosted by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), in collaboration with the European Network of NGOs in Afghanistan (ENNA) and the Embassy of Canada in Stockholm. It is a public seminar where senior experts will discuss the future of education with the Afghan Minister of Education Farooq Wardak. Venue: The Canadian Embassy, Klarabergsgatan 23, 6th floor, Stockholm.
The second event is SCA’s annual International Conference on Tuesday 22 November. The title of the 2011 conference is ”The future of Afghanistan”, where the focus of the disscussion will be on what challenges the Afghan youth are facing today. It is a full day event being hosted by SCA and the Museum of Ethnography. Participants include Afghan Minister of Education, Mr. Farooq Wardak, and Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation, Ms. Gunilla Carlsson. Number of seats are limited, please register before November 4th. Venue: Etnografiska museet, Djurgårdsbrunnsvägen 34, Stockholm. 
More information.

• Knut Jacobsen lectures at Lund University on December 9th

Professor Knut A. Jacobsen, University of Bergen, will give a public lecture on ”Doctrines of Salvific Space: Some Unique Characteristics of Hindu Pilgrimage Mythology” at Lund University on Friday 9 December 2011, 10.15-12.00.
The lecture is based on his forthcoming book titled “Pilgrimage in the Hindu Tradition: Salvific Space” (Routledge, 2012). More information is available at:
Venue: Room 438, Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Allhelgona Kyrkogata 8, Lund.
See the lecture poster.

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars

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Business and Politics

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South Asia related culture in Scandinavia

• Eminent Bharatanatyam and Kathak dancers perform at Södra Teatern in Stockholm

A spectacular evening of Indian classical dances by internationally renowned Bharatanatyam and Kathak dancers will take place at Södra Teatern in Stockholm on Thursday 3 November 2011, at 19.00. The dance troupe consists of performers from the dance school of the eminent Bharatanatyam exponent Ms. Saroja Vaidyanathan of Ganesa Natyalaya in New Delhi, and of the world renowned Kathak performer Ms. Shovana Narayan. The dance performance comes true because of the Embassy of India in Stockholm. It will showcase exquisite themes traditionally associated with Bharatanatyam and Kathak dance forms.
Tickets (SEK 180) for the event are available at Södra Teatern Box Office, Mosebacke Torg 1-3, phone number 08-53199490. See the concert poster.

• Copenhagen concert with Subhankar Chatterjee

The Indian classical singer Subhankar Chatterjee from Kolkata performs in Copenhagen on Friday 28th October 2011, at 20.00. Chatterjee was trained in Atrauli gharana, and has performed all over India and in Europe (Haag, Tübingen, München, London, Vienna). The concert is organised by Dansk Musikforening. Venue: Ansgarkirken, Mågevej 33, Copenhagen. 
More information

• London universities organise Indian documentary film festival

A documentary film festival entitled ”Persistence Resistance 2011: Documentary Practices in India” will be held 1–8 November 2011. The festival , held for the fourth year, is premised on the belief that documentary practices in any place actively participate in the shaping of our times. The strong history of documentary filmmaking in India and the continued explorations and experimentations with documentary form offer an extensive intellectual and creative platform to think through and debate current urgencies in South Asia as well as in the UK, Europe and elsewhere internationally.
The festival is jointly organised by School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and Goldsmiths, University of London; London School of Economics (LSE); University of Westminster; and Brunel University. 

The focus lies on in-depth conversations between and amongst filmmakers and theorists, linked to screenings, round-tables and with plenty of time for open discussions with the audience.
Filmmakers Arun Khopkar, Deepa Dhanraj, Rahul Roy, Rajula Shah and Saba Dewan, from India, Yasmine Kabir from Bangladesh, as well as UK based filmmakers John Wyver, Mairead McClean, Mao Mollona, Margaret Dickinson and Simon Chambers will be joined by, and be in conversations with, Alisa Lebow, Alpa Shah, Guilia Battaglia, Laura Bear, Lotte Hoek, Lucia King, Nicole Wolf, Partha Mitter, Radha D’Souza, Ravi Vasudevan, Ros Gray, Rosie Thomas, Stephen Hughes, Stewart Motha and Ziba Mir Hosseini. All welcome and all events are free.
Full information about the documentary festival.

• Indian concerts and workshops at Planeta Festival in Gothenburg

The eighth Planeta Festival will be held in Gothenburg and nearby places on the Swedish west coast 2–6 November 2011. Planeta is a unique festival, organised by a network of 23 organizations and associations keen to endeavour exciting encounters between people from all over the world.

The 2011 Planeta Festival includes a classical Indian concert performance by the Anubhab group (photo) from Kolkata, consisting of Preetam Bannerjee (Sitar), Debashish Bhattacharjee (Tablas), and Subho Bhattacharya (Vocals).  Their concert will be held on Thursday 3 November at 19.00. Venue: Kulturhuset Kåken, Kålltorpsgatan 2, Gothenburg.
On Saturday 5 November at 11.00, Odissi dancer Anette Pooja will lead a beginners course in Bollywood dance. Venue: Kulturhuset Oceanen, Stigbergstorget 8, Gothenburg.
Finally on Sunday 6 November at 12.00, a workshop will be held on Indian music, rhytms and Tabla playing. The workshop is led by the Tabla musician Rahul Pophali, Venue: Kulturhuset Kåken, Kålltorpsgatan 2, Gothenburg.
More information about the 2011 Planeta Festival.

• Iqbal Academy Scandinavia events in November 2011

Iqbal Academy Scandinavia commemorates the birthday of the great poet and philosopher Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal with two events in Copenhagen in November 2011. On 12th November, an Iqbal Seminar will be held at the Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen, and on the 19th November 2011, Iqbal Day will be celebrated with a cultural programme exclusively relating to the poetry of Dr. Iqbal. Renowned Ghazal singer Najma Akthar will present a musical programme with selected ghazals of Allama Iqbal and songs/ghazals written by other famous poets of the subcontinent. 
More information.

• Initiative Asia invites to cultural programme in Stockholm

Initiative Asia (iA) is a Stockholm based organization dedicated to friendship and cooperation among Swedes, particularly Swedes with South Asian origins. iA now invites to its South Asia Friendship Event 2011, that will be held on Sunday 20 November, 15.30–19.00 at Åsö Gymnasium, Skanstull, Stockholm. The programme includes Bengali songs, Kathak and Bollywood dance, Ghazals, and Dandia stick dance. The Ambassadors of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh will all participate.

See the poster for the South Asia Friendship Event 2011.

iA is a network, working for cultural, intellectual and social interaction between peoples and countries. In ideological, religious, political and economic matters iA shall be neutral and unbound. The work is coordinated through a Coordinating group and an iA-Council, consisting of committed citizens, coordinators and contact persons from different cooperating organizations. More information

• 11th edition of River to River Florence Indian Film Festival

The 11th edition of River to River Florence Indian Film Festival will be held 2–8 December 2011 in Florence, Italy. The River to River festival, under the Patronage of the Embassy of India in Rome, is the first festival in the world entirely devoted to films from and about India.  
For more information visit the official Festival website

• Information about South Asia related culture in Sweden/ Scandinavia 

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New and updated items on SASNET web site

• 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 280 departments, with detailed descriptions of the South Asia related research and education taking place! Go to

‡ Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Health and Environment, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Karlstad University. Involved in a collaborative initiative with three renowned Bangladeshi institutions – Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, BSMMU; Institute of Child and Mother Health, ICMH; and Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh, CIPRB. Includes Linnaeus Palme collaboration project.

• 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/webmaster
SASNET/Swedish South Asian Studies Network

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

Postal address: SASNET – Swedish South Asian Studies Network, Scheelevägen 15 D, SE-223 70 Lund, Sweden 
Visiting address: Ideon Research Park, House Alpha 1 (first floor, room no. 2040), in the premises of the Centre for East and South East Asian Studies at Lund University (ACE).