• SASNET seminar on the 1947 Partition and Ethnic Cleansing of Punjab
On Thursday 2 February 2012, 13.15–15.00, Ishtiaq Ahmed, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, holds a SASNET lecture about the 1947 Partition of Punjab. Ishtiaq’s speech is entitled ”The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed: Unravelling the 1947 Tragedy through Secret British Reports and First Person Accounts”.
The seminar is organised in collaboration with the Lund university Master in International Development and Management programme (LUMID). Venue: Lund University, Geocentrum, Hall ”Världen”, Sölvegatan 12.
The lecture is based on Ishtiaq Ahmed’s recent book on the tragic events during and after Partition in the two Punjabs – more information. He will shed light on how and why the Punjab, a Muslim majority province of British India with large Hindu and Sikh minorities, was partitioned in 1947. Had India not been partitioned the Punjab would not be partitioned either. Once power was transferred to the provincial governments in the Indian and Pakistani Punjab, violence escalated dramatically. The end result was ethnic cleansing on both sides.
Associate Professor Catarina Kinnvall, Dept. of Political Science, Lund University, will be discussant during the seminar.
More information about the seminar.
• SASNET social evening with film show in Lund
SASNET network members in or nearby Lund are invited to participate in a social gathering with food (knytkalas) and film show on Wednesday 18th January 2012, at 6 P.M. The event is jointly organised by SASNET and the Division of External Relations, Lund University, and aims primarily at the South Asian Erasmus Mundus scholarship holders – students and researchers – currently staying at Lund University, but other interested people within or outside the university are most welcome to join if space permits.
The film to be screened is Girish Kasaravalli’s 2002 Kannada movie “Dweepa” (The Island), a film that has been shown at several international film festivals, including in Gothenburg a few years back. The film will be introduced by Professor Gopal Karanth, the honorary guest for the evening, and distinguished ICCR Professor at Lund University during the academic year 2011-12. More information about the film.
Participation is free but pre-registration is necessary, and everybody are supposed to bring some food items to share with others, in the form of a typical Swedish ”knytkalas”.
More information about the social evening.
• Spring 2012 SASNET Brown Bag seminars to be held at Konsthallen
In 2011, SASNET introduced Brown Bag lunch seminars, aimed at presenting and disseminating eminent South Asia related research at Lund University. The Brown Bag seminars were successful, and they will be continued during 2012. The format will however be slightly changed, due to the fact that SASNET now organise the seminars in collaboration with Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF) Lund, and Lunds Konsthall.
Lectures will be given by eminent Lund University researchers as a lectures series, and be held once a month on Thursdays at 12.30. The new venue for the seminars will be Konsthallen, the public art gallery at Mårtenstorget 3 in central Lund.
– The first seminar for 2012 will take place on 16 February when Professor Emeritus Neelambar Hatti from the Department of Economic History will speak on “Where have all the girls gone?” – a lecture on the ongoing gendercide in India.
– The second seminar will be held on 15 March when Assistant Professor Kristina Myrvold from the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies will present her current research, holding a lecture with the title ”I’m a Punjabi-speaking Swedish Sikh: Identity Constructions among Young Sikhs in Sweden”.
– The third lunch seminar during the spring 2012 will take place on 19 April when Professor Magnus Larson from the Department of Water Resources Engineering will come and speak on ”Sri Lanka’s vanishing beaches”. In this seminar, Prof. Larson will present to a broad audience the different projects that his department does that focus on various problems in the coastal region of Sri Lanka. The audience does not need any preliminary knowledge in the field.
– The fourth and final seminar will be given on 10 May when PhD candidate Mariam Meynert, Division of Education, Dept. of Sociology, will speak on ”Children without Childhood”. Mariam is working on a doctoral thesis entitled ”Conceptualizing Childhood, Knowledge, Pedagogy and Research into the Postmodern”.
See the Brownbag seminar 2012 poster.
More about previous SASNET Brown Bag seminars.
• SASNET visit to Malmö University departments
On Tuesday 10 January 2012, a SASNET team consisting of Julia Velkova and Lars Eklund visited Malmö University to meet some of the researchers and administrators involved in South Asian collaboration projects. They first visited the School of Arts and Communication (generally known as K3) at the Faculty of Culture and Society, located in an old factory building in Malmö’s Western Harbour, close to the Turning Torso. There they had a fruitful meeting with Oscar Hemer and Katherine Winkelhorn, strongly involved in collaboration with institutes in Bangalore, India. For eight years K3 has had a successful Linnaeus Palme exchange programme running with the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), and recently a brand new project between K3 and Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore – involving both academics and artists – has been funded by the Swedish Arts Council. This project, entitled Memories of Modernity will concentrate on seminars and workshops both in Malmö and Bangalore during the coming year. The project also includes a series of spectacular trans-disciplinary interventions in January 2013 that will be carried out in the old commercial district of Shivaji Nagar in Bangalore, conducted in collaboration by artists, academics and students.
At K3, Lars and Julia also met Micke Svedemar, who was a guest teacher at IIITB in December 2011. He informed about new contacts he established with the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ) in Chennai, a premier Indian journalism school under the aegis of the Media Development Foundation.
More information about the South Asia activities at K3.
SASNET’s Lars Eklund and Julia Velkova then proceeded to another department within Malmö University’s Faculty of Culture and Society, namely the Department of Urban Studies, located in ”ubåtshallen”, a neighbouring building that used to be part of Kockums’ submarine production. From 2011/12, this department is involved in a Linnaeus Palme exchange programme with Moratuwa University in Sri Lanka. Associate Professor Karin Grundström is coordinating the project, and she informed about the developments going on.
More information about the South Asia activities at the Dept. of Urban Studies.
• SASNET celebrated Rabindranath Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary 2011
2011 was the 150th birth anniversary year of the great myriad-minded Indian/Bengali poet, philosopher and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941). Celebrations were frequent in India and Bangladesh but also all over the world, including Scandinavia.
In Sweden, SASNET played a great role in organising a week-long Tagore celebration week in Lund already in March 2011, in collaboration with other organisations. Celebrations were then held in Gothenburg and Uppsala in May, and finally a week-long celebration tour with academic seminars and concerts, again efforts being coordinated by SASNET, were held in Copenhagen, Lund, Stockholm and Uppsala in September.
More information about the Scandinavian Tagore celebrations.
Professor William Radice, who participated both in the March and September events in Sweden, also took part in a large number of other grand Tagore celebration events held all over the world in 2011.
”Kolkata, Santiniketan, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad; Marbach, Copenhagen, Lund, Zagreb and Rijeka; London, Dartington, Cambridge, Birmingham and Hull; Stockholm, Leiden, Salamanca, Barcelona and Valladolid; Washington and Chicago; Kuala Lumpur and Singapore….Who would have thought when I started learning Bengali in 1972 that Bengali and Rabindranath Tagore would take me all over the world? The 150th anniversary of his birth has kept me and other Tagore specialists exceptionally busy in 2011, and the celebrations seem likely to continue, culminating with the centenary in 2013 of his Nobel Prize.”
In an article entitled ”Timeless Tagore”, published in the Indian magazine Frontline, 13 January 2012, he gives a broad overview of the exciting and fascinating events, and a hope that they will contribute to a new appreciation of Tagore as a thinker, and in the long run enhance the understanding of his creative achievements.
Go for William Radice’s article.
• Staffan Lindberg lectured at Indian conferences
Staffan Lindberg, Professor Emeritus at the Dept. of Sociology, Lund University, and SASNET’s former director, participated in the Indian Sociological Society’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, held 10–13 December 2011 at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. The theme for the conference, gathering 2,000 participants, was ”Sociology and the Crisis of Social Transformation in India” and Staffan gave a short speech in the first session focusing on an international perspective.
Staffan also lectured at the Young Sociologists Workshop on Doing Ethnography, held in conjunction with the Indian Sociological Society conference, at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. From Delhi he then proceeded to Udaipur in Rajasthan, where he lectured at the Indian Society of Labour Economics 53rd Annual Conference, held 17-19 December 2011.
More information about Staffan’s India lectures.
• Lawyer working on Indian biodiversity standards visited SASNET
On Tuesday 3 January 2012, Maya Thomas, a lawyer from the UK now recently settled in Lund visited SASNET’s office to meet the SASNET team, Anna Lindberg, Lars Eklund and Julia Velkova, in order to brainstorm ideas about how to bring Swedish expertise, knowledge and experience in a project about creating a biodiversity standard in India.
Anna Lindberg provided tips about research funding in Sweden, while Lars Eklund promised to link up Maya Thomas with Swedish scholars working in similar fields. They also discussed the possibility of organising seminars on the topic.
• SASNET’s Gandhi pages are now back online!
Since 2009, SASNET has maintained and catalogued a large books donation from the private library collection of the renowned Swedish historian Karl Reinhold Haellquist, who passed away in 2000 (after working for many years at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, NIAS, in Copenhagen). A large part of the collection, more than 6,000 South Asia related books, journals, videotapes and pamphlets on various aspects of South Asian studies, was later donated to SASNET/Lund University by his wife, Inger Sondén-Haellquist. The collection includes Haellquist’s unique collection of books on Mahatma Gandhi. These Gandhi books, and other works from the collection, are now on display in Lund University’s Asia Library (adjacent to the SASNET root node office in Lund. The remaining part of Karl Reinhold Haellquist Memorial Collection is still kept at SASNET’s office.
SASNET dedicates a special section of the SASNET website to this collection, featuring unique photos from Karl Reinhold Haellquist’s own notebooks on Gandhi, index of books and more. Go for this section.
• More information about SASNET and its activities
Research Community News
• Doctoral thesis on arsenic aquifers for safe drinking water supplies in Bangladesh
Mattias von Brömssen, Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, defends his doctoral dissertation entitled ”Hydrogeological and geochemical assessment of aquifer systems with geogenic arsenic in Southeastern Bangladesh – Targeting low arsenic aquifers for safe drinking water supplies in Matlab” on Friday 20 January 2012, at 14.00. The faculty opponent will be Professor David Polya, University of Manchester, United Kingdom. Venue: F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm.
The thesis covers a crucial period of the work on the arsenic problems in groundwater in Bangladesh. Especially it includes the discovery of the local drillers ́ strategy to find low iron groundwater by assessing the colour of the sediments. With the link between mobilisation of arsenic along with iron which was published by a KTH team in 1997 this gave an immediate hint on means of predicting arsenic low groundwater during well construction. The strategy was discovered by the author of the thesis when he was advising a M.Sc. thesis project. More information.
Read the full dissertation (as a pdf-file)
• Substantial EU funding for Swedish coordinated project on functional food
Professor Dag Jenssen at the Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Toxicology, Stockholm University coordinates a major India related research project funded by the European Commission. In 2009, Prof. Jenssen and his research team working in the area of cancer studies, received EUR 1,49 m (about SEK 13 m) from the 7th European Union Research Framework Programme (FP7) for a project entitled ”Impact of agents with potential use in functional foods on biomarkers for age related diseases”. The project is carried out during four years, 2010 – 2014, with an aim to investigate agents with potential use as functional food with respect to protection against cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. Indian collaboration partners include the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu; the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, and the Apollo Hospitals subcontracted by the Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, Chennai.
More information about the project.
• Horizon 2020 successor programme to EU’s seventh framework programme
EU’s Seventh framework programme for research and technological development (FP7) will run for another two years, till the end of 2013 (more information). The European Union is however already planning for a successor programme, that has been named Horizon 2020 (H2020). This is supposed to be the next EU framework programme for research and innovation. On 30 November 2011, a proposal was submitted to the European Parliament. H2020 will be launched in 2014 and go on until 2020. The proposal involves some changes compared to the current FP7.
The focus of the programme is research and innovation. New elements in the programme are the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and parts of the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) which have been moved into the Horizon 2020.
The program is built on three priorities with different programme content:
1. Excellent Science: ERC grants, the Marie Curie Mobility Program, Future and Emerging Technologies and Research Infrastructure’
2. Industrial Leadership: Key enabling technologies: ICT, nano-technology, Advanced Materials, Biotechnology, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, Space, Research for SMEs, Access to Risk Finance
3. Societal Challenges: Health, demography and well-being; Food security, sustainable agriculture and bio-economy; Secure, clean and efficient energy; Smart, green and integrated transport, climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials; Inclusive, innovative and secure societies
More information on Horizon 2020.
• Erasmus Mundus Action 2 India and Asia Regional lots announced for 2012-13
In late December 2011, the European Commission (EC) announced a new round of the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 – Strand 1 – Partnership programme, EU’s flagship programme aimed at promoting the attractiveness of the European Higher Education system and third country cooperation and partnerships. The new call for proposals are for mobility activities starting in the academic year 2012–2013.
After a break of two years, there is now again a separate India lot (nr 11) announced, designed to promote academic collaboration between EU and India. Four consortia will be selected, each involving 20 partner universities in Europe and India. Each project will have a budget of EUR 3 m, and the minimum number of individual mobility flow should be 100 fully funded students/researchers/academic staff. The flow is only from India to Europe, not the other way. At least 25 % of the Indian universities in the lot should be located in what is identified by the Government of India to be less developed districts of the country.
Just like last year, two Asia Regional lots (nr 9 and 10) have also been announced, each to be shared by four consortia. Lot 9 should consist of universities from Europe and at least three of the following countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Besides each consortium should also include universities from at least two other Asian countries presented on the optional list – that includes India, Sri Lanka and Maldives. The budget for each consortium will be EUR 2.5 m, and the mobility flow (from Asia to Europe only) to at least 100 individual partnerships.
The other Asia Regional lot, no 10, should consist of universities in Europe plus Cambodia, Myanmar, Mongolia, Laos and Vietnam, but the consortia may also include countries from the optional list, including India, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Deadline for submission of applications is 30 April 2012, and decisions will be taken by July 2012. The programme is administered by EU’s Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).
Read the 2012-13 proposals announcement.
Read SASNET’s information about previous and ongoing India and (South) Asia Regional
Erasmus Mundus Action 2 programmes.
• Rabindranath Tagore Cultural Price 2011 to Dietmar Rothermund
In October 2011, the Indo-German Society awarded its Rabindranath Tagore Culture Prize 2011 to Professor Dietmar Rothermund, the nestor of South Asian Studies in Europe and the initiator of the biannual European Conferences on South Asian Studies (ECSAS). He was honoured with the prize for his outstanding work for supporting knowledge about India in Germany. The emeritus professor for South Asian History at the Heidelberg University has influenced the image of India in Germany during his 33-years of teaching at the South Asia Institute (SAI). He has contributed in making SAI into a leading European centre for South Asian studies. Professor Rothermund also initiated the Heidelberg South Asia Talks to promote the exchange between representatives of science, economy and politics. The Rabindranath Tagore Culture Prize was introduced by the Indo-German Society in the 1986 for unique contributions for a deeper understanding of Indian cultures and ways of life in German speaking areas. The prize is named after the Poet and Nobel Prize Winner Rabindranath Tagore. More information.
• Stockholm University research project on corruption and social traps
The Centre for the study of Cultural Evolution, Stockholm University is currently involved in a research project to examine how people are influenced by living in countries with high levels of corruption. Part of the project focuses on India, where the mathematicians Dr. Pontus Strimling and PhD candidate Alexander Funcke have made experiments in collaboration with the Centre for Experiments in Social & Behavioral Sciences at Jadavpur University in Kolkata, an eminent laboratory for experimental economics. (On photo: Alexander Funcke at the Jadavpur laboratory).
More information about the project.
Seminar programme at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi
The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) in New Delhi is a premier Indian institution of research on the history, society and thought of the modern and contemporary period. NMML is housed in the historic Teen Murti Bhavan and its grounds, located south of Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
Designed by Robert Tor Russel and built in 1929-30 as part of Edwin Lutyens’ imperial capital, Teen Murti House was the official residence of the Commander-in-Chief in India. In August 1948, after the departure of the last British Commander-in-Chief, Teen Murti House became the official residence of independent India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who lived here for sixteen years until his death on May 27, 1964. Soon thereafter, the Government of India decided that Teen Murti Bhavan should be dedicated to him and house a museum and a library.
All through the year, the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library presents a rich programme with open seminars and lectures by renowned academics. Go for the 2012 programme.
NMML also 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, and they are offered are for a duration of two years only. More information about NMML fellowships.
• Bangladeshi student protest in Lund against river destruction
Bangladeshi students at Lund University made a public demonstration against what they call the Titas River Destruction, on Friday 30 December 2011. The manifestation was held in front of the Lund University Vice Chancellor’s building and Lund Tourist Office at Stortorget. It was broadcast by some of the national media of Bangladesh. Titas is a trans-boundary river of south-eastern Bangladesh. As part of an agreement on transit rights between the governments of India and Bangladesh, a road has recently been built over the river by dividing the same, though there are already one rail and road bridge over Titas river. The students demand that Bangladeshi authorities should see to it that the new built road is removed. Their goal is to sustain the destructive attitude to international organizations and remove the road from Titas by saving the ecology.
• Other conferences connected to South Asian studies all over the World
See SASNET’s page, http://www.sasnet.lu.se/conferences/conferences
Important lectures and seminars in Scandinavia
• Stockholm and Uppsala seminars with Gopal Karanth
Professor Gopal Karanth from the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bangalore, India, and ICCR India Visiting Chair Professor at Lund University during the academic year 2011-2012 (more information), holds lectures at Stockholm and Uppsala universities 24–25 January 2012.
On Tuesday 24 January, 13.00–15.00, the Department of Political Science, and the Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University organise a seminar with Prof. Karanth, where he will talk about ”Changing Caste in India: Discerning a new ´System´”. Venue: Room F702, Stockholm University, Frescati. More information.
On Wednesday 25 January, 14.15–16.00, Prof. Karanth will hold a seminar in Uppsala, organised by the Forum for South Asian Studies at Uppsala University. Here, he will speak on ”Rural Social Transformation in (South) India: Pitted Against Collective action?“. The lecture focuses on Indian rural society, that for decades had been perceived to be ”hard” to change, has begun to demonstrate it is beginning to be similar to its urban counterparts in several respects, and this process is happening much more rapidly than ever before. Historiacally, rural communities have demonstrated greater inter-dependence, and ‘everyday’ life characterised by a collective action, but now several economic and political changes undermine the potentials for it. Not only the contexts for such a participative collective action have been rapidly transforming, several institutions that facilitated them have disappeared. Political party based factionalism, and economic individualism rather than collective interests seem to be the dominant feature of rural communities as they are now transforming.
Prof. Karanth’s lecture is based on a series of studies, especially in South Indian village communities, and the seminar aims at bringing together some of the issues concerning participative development and collective action. Venue: Room IV, Main University building, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala.
• Uppsala symposium on Emergent cities and Conflicting claims
The Swedish Development Research Network on Nature, Poverty and Power (DevNet), and the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University, organise a symposium entitled ”Emergent cities. Conflicting claims and the politics of informality” on 9th March 2012. The symposium will address the various processes through which people are creating space in the city; sometimes manifesting an emergent insurgence that challenges existing hierarchies and whereby people claim new forms for urban and national membership.
Keynote lecturers include Professor Ananya Roy from the Department of City and Regional Planning Education, University of California, Berkeley, USA. Prof. Roy will speak about ”Making Postcolonial Futures: The ‘Slum-Free’ Cities of the Asian Century”.
Venue: University Building, Hall IV (bottom floor) Ö. Slottsgatan/S:t Olofsgatan, Uppsala. No pre-registration necessary. More information.
• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars
See SASNET’s page, http://www.sasnet.lu.se/lectures-in-scandinavia
Conferences and workshops
• International conference on “Asian Religions & The World” in Kolkata
The “Focus Asia Organisation” of Kolkata, India convenes an international conference ”Asian Religions & The World” on 23–25 January 2012. The objective is to provide a common platform for the exchange of ideas & views among those, who are seriously engaged in the study of religions and associated topics. The academic periphery of the upcoming conference includes the growth, evolution and changes of the religions, interactions among them and their role in the modem world particularly in the background of globalization. The “Focus Asia Organization” is a voluntary body, formerly known as “Society for Indian Culture & Heritage”. More information.
• 24th Kerala Science Congress to be held in Kottayam
The 24th Kerala Science Congress is scheduled from 29th to 31st January 2012 at the Rubber Research Institute in Kottayam. It will be jointly organisd by the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) – the umbrella organization of the research establishments in the State – and the Rubber Board.
Realising the critical role of Science and Technology in socio-economic development, Kerala has made substantial efforts to strengthen its science base through a number of research and development initiatives. In almost every key sector, whether it is agriculture, forestry, fisheries, industry, transport, environment, energy, material sciences, there are top class institutions undertaking research relevant to the needs of the State. Every sphere of science as well as the different phases of research – basic, strategic, applied and adaptive – are being addressed by the Universities and the R&D institutions in the State. Being a state with high population density and limited natural resources, wise use of the resources and building up human skills are essential. The 24th Kerala Science Congress will have a number of sessions for providing an opportunity for intense interaction and knowledge sharing. Particular thrust will be given to encourage young researchers through Young Scientist Awards and Children’s Science Congress.
More information about the 24th Kerala Science Congress.
• 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 on 2–3 February 2012. The symposium is entitled ”India And The Age Of Crisis”. The purpose of this symposium is to consider how politics in India are likely to be shaped by global economic and ecological crises.
Confirmed presenters are:
– Palagummi Sainath, popularly known is India’s most highly-awarded journalist with over 40 international and national awards for his investigative and social sector reporting in a career spanning three decades. He is currently the Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu – a 133-year-old daily with a circulation of over 1.6 million.
– Swapna Banerjee-Guha, Professor of Development Studies in the School of Social Sciences, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. From 1981 to 2006 she was the Professor of Human Geography at the University of Mumbai. – – Anjal Prakash, Senior Fellow and Director – Peri Urban Water Security Project at South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies – SaciWATERs, Hyderabad, India. More information (as a pdf-file)
• 12th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit in February 2012
The 12th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) will be held 2-4 February 2012 in New Delhi, India. DSDS is organized annually by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) since 2001, being an international undertaking that provides a platform for the exchange of knowledge on all aspects of sustainable development. Over the past ten years, DSDS has emerged as one of the most important forums on global sustainability issues, which brings together important heads of the State and Central Governments, academicians, and policy makers to deliberate over environmental issues. The theme of DSDS 2012 is Protecting the Global Commons: 20 years post Rio. The debates at this DSDS will revolve around the commons and take stock of the situation since the Rio summit of 1992. More information.
• Conference on the postcolonial city at University of Leeds, UK
The Annual Institute of Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (ICPS), University of Leeds and Postcolonial Studies Association (PSA) Postgraduate Conference will take place 2–3 February 2012 at University of Leeds, UK. The theme for the 2012 conference will be ‘Re-evaluating the Postcolonial City: Production, Reconstruction, Representation’, and is likely to have a strong Asian Studies strand running through it.
This conference re-evaluates the postcolonial city-space as a site of cultural production. The postcolonial city has reconfigured itself in literature and culture, as an urban space that incessantly explores its modernity along various, conflicting lines of identity, representation and consumption. The event brings together practicing cultural producers and their critics, early career scholars and postgraduate students working with the subject of the postcolonial city. In order to re-evaluate the impact of the postcolonial city on lives beyond the remit of the academy, the organisers seek to posit the figure of the cultural producer as a primary focus area of our conference. More information.
• Belief Narratives International Symposium at Manipur University
The Manipur University in collaboration with the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR) organize the Belief Narratives International Symposium at Manipur University, Imphal, Manipur from 6-8 February 2012. The International Society for Folk Narrative Research is an international academic body whose objective is “to develop scholarly work in the field of folk narrative research and to stimulate contacts and the exchange of views among its members”. The research interest of ISFNR members around the world includes a number of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, “covering all aspects of narrative as representing the pivotal category of human communication”. The Symposium theme will be ”Local Legends in the Global Context”. More information.
• Other conferences connected to South Asian studies all over the World
See SASNET’s page, http://www.sasnet.lu.se/news-sources/swedish-politics-and-business-related-south-asia
South Asia related culture in Scandinavia
• Bengali feature and documentary to be screened at Gothenburg film festival
The 35th Göteborg International Film Festival, from 27 January till 6 February 2012, has a rather limited stock of South Asian movies. The only feature to be screened is ”Runaway” by the Bengali-American film maker Amit Ashraf, previously working with a number of documentaries, short films, commercials and animations. ”Runaway” is his first feature film that took him back to Bangladesh to work with producer Sumon Arefin. It is a film about three men who run from their homes, searching for something better. Perhaps a better wife. Perhaps a better life. Then there is one man who is hired to find these runaways. He locks them up and brings them back home. He is constantly on the prowl for his big catch.The director Amit Ashraf will be present at the festival in Gothenburg. The film is scheduled for 4 and 5 February.
Kolkata-based film maker Nilanjan Bhattacharya will also be represented in Gothenburg with his 2011 film ”Rain In The Mirror”, a documentary about three generations of men from one family living in Sikkim near the border with Tibet in the Himalayas. Bhattacharya has been involved in film making for the last 15 years. He has worked in feature films as an assistant director to Tapan Sinha. The new film, that is scheduled for 28th and 30th January, has been produced with support including from Göteborg International Film Festival’s Film Fund.
Finally, British director Michael Winterbottom has made an adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel ”Tess of the d’Urbervilles”. The film, entitled ”Trishna”, was shot in Jaipur and Mumbai, India, and the leading stars are Freida Pinto and Riz Ahmed. More information on the 2012 Gothenburg International Film Festival.
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 nearly 300 departments, with detailed descriptions of the South Asia related research and education taking place! Newly added departments this month are:
‡ Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Health and Environment,
Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Karlstad University
‡ Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution, Stockholm University
‡ Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Toxicology, Stockholm University
‡ Department of History, Stockholm University
‡ Department of Computing Science, Umeå University
‡ Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University
See the full list of departments here: http://www.sasnet.lu.se/institutions/reserch-environments
• 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.
SASNET/Swedish South Asian Studies Network