Newsletter 136 – 22 May 2012


• Young scholars invited to propose suggestions for the fourth South Asian Falsterbo conference

In the summer 2013, the Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET), the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS),  and the Nordic Centre in India (NCI)  are planning to jointly organize the fourth Nordic Conference on South Asian Studies for Young Scholars to be held at Falsterbo kursgård in Höllviken (Sweden).
The main objective of the conference is to gather doctoral candidates, post-doctoral researchers, and other young scholars who are affliated to universities in the Nordic countries (including Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) and focus on South Asia in their research. Since 2009 the conference has been successfully organized by SASNET and in 2011 it was carried out in collaboration with NIAS.
In order to customize the 2013 conference to current research interests and needs, the organisers now invite young scholars doing research on or having interest in the South Asian region to submit suggestions on what they consider important to address during this conference. The suggestions can be freely formulated and will be used as input for the conference planners. Please send your suggestions to Julia Velkova ( by June 15, 2012, at the latest.

• Success for SASNET India Evening in Lund with seminar on Caste Identity, and Sarod/Tabla concert

On Wednesday 16 May 2012, an evening programme devoted to Indian society and culture was held in Lund. The successful event was jointly organised by SASNET/Lund University and Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF) Lund, and was free of charge. It drew a full house.
The programme started at 6 P.M. with a lecture by Professor G K Karanth on ”Caste ‘Pride’ and Caste ‘Prejudice’: Personal Reflections”. During the academic year 2011/12 Prof. Karanth has been the ICCR India Chair Professor at Lund University hosted by SASNET and the Department of Sociology. In his presentation, he discussed issues related to Indian caste identities, based on his own personal experiences as having been born and brought up in a family with a caste identity of its own.
The lecture was followed by an appreciated performance by the new India Choir of Lund (Indiska Kören i Lund), led by Bubu Munshi Eklund and Thomas Wiehe, and then came the cultural highlight of the evening – a classical North Indian music concert by young talented Sarod player Somabanti Basu from Kolkata, being accompanied by her husband Suman Sarkar on Tabla, offering a woderful concert programme, higly appreciated by the audience.

• Dipak Malik holds SASNET seminar on the Maoist Movement in India

Professor Dipak Malik, Director for the Gandhian Institute of Studies in Varanasi, India, holds a SASNET lecture on ”Indian Naxalism Today” on Tuesday 29 May 2012, 15.15–17.00. Prof. Malik is currently on a tour to Finland and Sweden (on invitation by the Nordic Centre in India consortium) and comes to visit Lund because of his close connection to SASNET, being a member of SASNET’s South Asian Reference Group. Venue for the seminar: Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, conference room, Scheelevägen 15 D, Lund.
The reenergized Maoist movement in India is often referred to as Naxalism because of its beginning in late 1960s emanating from a small hamlet of the northern part of the state of West Bengal. Naxalbari has in recent years again emerged as a potential force of course in India, though within a different context. Maoism today poses a vital question that needs a perspective from the world of social sciences.
In his presentation, Prof. Malik focuses on its strong impact even on districs near to Varanasi in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh state. Many people in India, including a section in the government are dismissive about it as being merely a law and order question. Others however show an understanding of the problems, they find deep maladies in the Indian society and the current development path, which leads to an insurrectionary mode of protest. It should be noted that these deep rooted maladies in the world of Indian peasantry were described already in the 1950s by Gandhians like Vinoba Bhave, albeit as an aftermath of the Telengana peasant revolt.

• Annika Härenstam speaker at Go:India-SASNET Brown Bag seminar in Gothenburg

0n 29 May 2012, 12.00 – 13.00 the second Go:India & SASNET Brown Bag seminar will be held in Gothenburg. Venue: The Glass House (Glashuset), Chalmersgatan 4, Göteborg (the Inner Court Yard, between the School of Photography and the Valand School of Fine Arts).
The seminar will feature Annika Härenstam, Professor in Work Science at the Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg. Prof. Härenstam will speak on ”Gender, leadership and health promotion in working life”. She will present the recent cooperation formed with researchers from India. The network – SIGN – Sweden-India Gender Network is a network which aims to link researchers and organizations in India and Sweden, in order to share knowledge on Gender, Work, OSH (Occupational Health and Safety) and Environment in both countries for long-term collaboration. The network has recently received a grant of three million SEK from SIDA and is led by Annika Härenstam and Birgitta Jordansson from the department of Sociology and Work Science.
All are welcome!

• Successful results from SASNET supported research project in Sikkim

On Tuesday 22 May 2012, Assistant Professor Anamika Barua from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, and her Swedish research partner Associate Professor Pernille Gooch, Division of Human Ecology, Lund University, made a courtesy visit to SASNET’s office in Lund (photo). They came to report on the successful results from their joint research project on ”Water, Climate Change and Rural Livelihood: Assessing Socio Economic Vulnerability and Potential Adaptive strategies in Sikkim, India”. This project was initiated by a planning grant from SASNET in 2009 (more information), but later received substantial funding from Sida/SAREC’s Developing Country Research Council for an extended project covering the whole eastern Himalayan region of India. The initial SASNET funding was however used for a preliminary pilot field study in collaboration with Sikkim University. More information about the research project.
The findings of the study will now be presented in the upcoming ISEE 2012 Conference – Ecological Economics and Rio+20: Challenges and Contributions for a Green Economy– to be held from 16th to 19th June 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. More information abot the ISEE 2012 conference.

• SASNET invited Nepalese researcher on Migration studies for Scandinavian lecture tour

The Nepalese researcher Dr. Anita Ghimire from Kathmandu University visited and gave lectures at Stockholm University, Copenhagen University, Aarhus University in Copenhagen, and Lund University from May 6 to May 19, 2012 on a trip arranged by SASNET.
SASNET director Anna Lindberg established contact with her when she was in Katmandu, Nepal, in November 2011 studying Nepalese students who go to India for higher education as part of a project entitled “Student Migration within Asia”, for which six researchers from Lund University and Gothenburg University have received a grant from the Swedish Research Council in 2011.
At Lund University, Dr. Ghimire held a well-attended open brown bag lunch seminar entitled ”Migration: The case of Nepal”. The seminar was jointly organised by SASNET and the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies (ACE), Lund university. Her presentation focused on the fact that while Nepal is largely understood as a labor sending country to countries of East Asia, Gulf and  Malaysia, it has significant number of other types of out migrants and also hosts different kinds of migrants from other countries. She discussed the trend and the present status of these different kinds of international migrants related to Nepal. The objective was to shed light on different forms of migration related to Nepal and present the real position of Nepal in the migration hub.
More information about Dr. Ghimire and her Scandinavian tour.

• SASNET co-organised successful Indian Mela at Lunds konsthall

A large crowd of people joined the Indian cultural programme/Mela that was held at Lunds konsthall on Saturday 14th April 2012. The programme was jointly organized by Konsthallen, SASNET, Lunds kommun/Kulturskolan and ABF, and was held in connection with an Indian art exhibition at Lunds konsthall, an exhibition entitled Social Fabric. The exhibition, to a large extent focusing on textile production in India, includes works by prominent Indian artists such as Archana Hande, Sudhir Patwardan, and Raqs Media Collective.
Indian Ambassador H.E. Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar participated in the 14th April event that coincided with the Indian and Bengali New Year, Baisakh. The mela programme included joyful Bollywood dance performances, and the newly launched Indian Choir of Lund, led by Bubu Munshi Eklund and Thomas Wiehe, had its premiere performance.
On invitation from SASNET, Senior Lecturer Tania Alyhr from Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, finally gave an appreciated lecture on ”Textile Life in Western India”, focusing on the mass of textile expressions and crafts, the multitude of uses of textiles, and the beauty and the variety of Indian clothing and the highly skilled, thorough and highly dedicated craftspeople who perform their work in a meticulous way.
More information about the 14th April Indian Mela in Lund.

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

Research Community News

• 22nd European Conference on South Asian Studies in Lisbon

The 22nd European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS) will be held 25-28 July 2012 at the University Institute of Lisbon (also known as ISCTE-IUL) in Portugal. A full list of the 51 accepted panels is now available – go for the list.
The 2012 conference convener is Professor Rosa Maria Perez, anthropologist, Department of Anthropology, ISCTE-IUL and researcher of CRIA-IUL. The co-convener is Professor Diogo Ramada Curto, Historian, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. The venue will be ISCTE-IUL:s campus at Avenida das Forças Armadas in Lisbon.
The programme has a strong academic profile, with plenary speakers in addition to the panels. Besides a film screening, several social events have been organised for the evenings. 18 May 2012 is the deadline for your registration if you wish your details to appear in the conference programme.
The biannual ECSAS conference is the largest gathering of South Asia oriented researchers in Europe, covering all fields from the humanities and social sciences to technology, natural sciences and medicine. The conference is held biannually under the aegis of the European Association of South Asian Studies (EASAS), a professional, non-profit organisation of scholars engaged in research and teaching concerning South Asia with regard to all periods and fields of study. (SASNET organised the 18th ECMSAS conference in Lund in 2004.)
Please note that ONLY members of EASAS can take part in the Lisbon conference. So please update your membership before 15 May 2012 (details about membership payment). At the end of April the current state of registrations for the conference was 359 papers in 49 panels, so the conference organisation team would expect about 400 registrations by the time of the conference. At the end of early-bird registration, however, the conference team had received and invoiced 200 registrations only. Full information on the conference page.

As a result of an agreement between EASAS and SAMAJ – the South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal – conveners of panels at the Lisbon conference have been offered the opportunity of submitting a proposal for a special issue in 2013 or 2014. Papers should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words, and special issues of the journal usually include 6-8 papers. The deadline for confirming an interest in a special issue is 3 August 2012. If you wish to take up this offer, please express your interest by sending a 500-word concept note, describing your panel, with an outline of the likely papers, to Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal, Margret Frenz, Nicolas Jaoul, and Roger Jeffery.

• Luleå students develop environmentally friendly auto rickshaw for Indian market
The Division of Product and Production Development within the Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics at Luleå University of Technology (LTU) is involved in developing environmentally friendly Auto Rickshaws for India. In 2011, six students from LTU’s programme on Creative Product Development – SIRIUS – worked on this project led by Associate Professor Peter Jeppsson, resulting in a model of a three-wheeled hybrid auto rickshaw for the Indian market, which has received the Sami-sounding name of SANJAS (”snow and ice-free”) – see photo. The Auto Rickshaw project was carried out in close collaboration with the Indian company TVS Motors (based in Bangalore), and the company Gestamp HardTech (with production site in Luleå).
The Hybrid Auto Rickshaw has room for a driver and four passengers, two more than in a conventional rickshaw. The mainly electric powered rickshaw has also an internal combustion engine that charges the batteries for electric drive. The body is self-supporting with merged components through the whole, which gives it strength and enhanced security. More information.
• Doctoral dissertation on relationship between a-Qaida and the Taliban

Anne Stenersen at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) defended her doctoral dissertation entitled ”Explaining the Relationship between al-Qaida and the Taliban, 1996-2001” on Friday 11 May 2012. The first opponent was Antonio Giustozzi (London School of Economics) and the second opponent Magnus Ranstorp (Försvarshögskolan, Stockholm). Venue: Arne Næss Auditorium, George Morgenstiernes hus, University of Oslo, Blindern.
Ms. Stenersen has a B.A. in Cultural and Social Sciences from the University of Bergen, and an M.Phil in Asian and African Studies from the University of Oslo, but is now connected to FFI, the prime institution responsible for defence-related research in Norway, and its Terrorism Research Group. With an academic background in Middle Eastern studies, Arabic and Russian, she has conducted research on militant Islamism, with a focus on CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) terrorism, al-Qaeda’s use of the Internet, and the Taliban insurgency. Among her recent publications could be mentioned ”Are the Afghan Taliban Involved in International Terrorism?” (September 2009); and ”The Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan: organization, leadership and worldview” (2010).

• Doctoral dissertation on Child Poverty in Bangladesh
Syeda Shahanara Begum from the Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg will defend her doctoral dissertation entitled ”About Child Poverty – A Bangladesh’s Perspective” on Friday 1 June 2012, at 09.15. The faculty opponent is Professor Tapio Salonen, Malmö University. Venue: Hörsal Sappören, Dept. of Social Work, Sprängkullsgatan 25, Gothenburg.
Taking child poverty into account as an enormous concern on the pathway to human development, the thesis aims to examine child poverty’s extent and characteristics in Bangladesh, poor children’s views on this issue and their policy recommendation to reduce it. It also discusses how child poverty differ between Bangladesh and China, what are the reasons for the differences in child poverty over time between the two countries, and which measures are needed to reduce child poverty in Bangladesh according to its principal victims.
The results show that Bangladesh’s children make up the greater share of the population, where almost half of the poor are children. Child poverty plays a vital role in the prolongation of developing, expanding, extending and transmitting poverty on to successive generations. Participants recommended a combination of policies to enhance the capability of poor children and their caregivers. Policy interventions need to give further attention to a reduction of parental poverty and income inequality, sustained economic growth, ensured access to education and health care, exposure of corruption and hidden costs of these services, and an elimination of mistrust of the recipients to speed up the extent of child poverty’s reduction in Bangladesh. More information.

• Doctoral dissertation on the Theosophical Society’s contributions to education and politics

Per-Olof Fjällsby, Department of History and Political Science, Karlstad University, will defend his doctoral dissertation entitled ”Indien som utopi och verklighet. Om den teosofiska rörelsens bidrag till indisk utbildning och politik 1879–1930” (India as Utopia and Reality. On the Contributions by the Theosophical Society to Indian Education and Politics, 1879–1930) on Friday 1 June 2012, at 14.00. The faculty opponent will be Dr. Henrik Chetan Aspengren, Department of History, Uppsala University. In the study P-O Fjällsby tries to explore the various ways in which the past was used by the Theosophist in order to construct a national identity in India. Three subjects are in focus; their national political ambitions, efforts in the field of a national education and in the women’s movement. The first attempt from the Theosophist’s to interact with the nationalist movement in India was taken already in 1879. Contact was than established with the Hindu revival movement, Arya Samaj and its leader Dayananda Saraswati. In 1885 A O Hume, at that time a theosophist, was (one of) the founder to the Indian National Congress. In 1909 more than 10 000 were members in TS, mostly people from the middle class in the Anglo-Indian society. More information about the thesis.

• FAS offers funding for organising Indo-Swedish research workshops/hearings

The Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS) has presented a Call for proposals for arranging workshops/hearings to explore future research cooperation with India. Applications can be submitted by researchers with PhDs who are working at a Swedish research institution. Deadline for submission is 19 June 2012.
Several countries in Asia are rapidly increasing investment in research and development, which have resulted in that their importance as research nations are considerable and growing strongly in several areas. This being the case, the board of FAS resolved to launch an initiative focusing on India during 2012, similar to the initiative towards China that was arranged in 2011. The objective is to have the research community identify important areas by inviting applications for funding for researchers to arrange workshops/hearings in areas where there is a need to develop contacts that have already been established. It is important to note that this is not a network grant for long-term development but is, instead, a one-off initiative to identify research areas with future bilateral potential. FAS is therefore issuing a call for proposals for funding that will enable groups of researchers to organise workshops/hearings for researchers, other stakeholders and clients in or outside academia.
FAS will provide funding to cover the costs of workshops, which can be held in Sweden or abroad. This covers organisational costs, travel expenses for Swedish delegates and funding to cover the costs relating to invited foreign delegates. A FAS grant is a contribution to the operation and does not necessarily mean full funding. The maximum grant for a workshop is SEK 400,000, including indirect costs. More information.

• Örebro University doctoral dissertation awarded academic prize

Dr. Sirajul Islam from Örebro University School of Business has been conferred the ‘Börje Langefors second best doctoral dissertation award’ (or Börje Langeforspriset in Swedish) from the Swedish Academy of Information Systems for his 2011 doctoral dissertation entitled ”Creating opportunity by connecting the unconnected: mobile phone based agriculture market information service for farmers in Bangladesh”. The thesis focuses primarily on mobile phones and how they can be used as part of an Agriculture Market Information Service (AMIS) in order to provide crucial information to farmers in Bangladesh.
The award was conferred on May 9, 2012 in a befitting manner during the annual conference of the Academy hosted by Linköping University. Börje Langefors Award is a prestigious academic honour awarded each year by SISA for the best doctoral dissertation in Sweden in the study areas Informatics, Information systems, Data and Information Science, or equivalent. The prize aims to reward as well as encourage development of high standard research in Sweden, and to demonstrate exemplary research in informatics. More information.

• Submissions for CROP International Studies in Poverty Prize 2012 now welcome

The Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) hosted at the University of Bergen, Norway, requests entries for the CROP International Studies in Poverty Prize 2012. The winner will receive NOK 50.000 and deadline is 1 August 2012.
The nominated proposals should be original, high-quality, alternative and critical academic manuscripts in all disciplines of the Social Sciences and the Humanities. Works challenging the dominant thinking and knowledge about poverty and providing sound contributions to the eradication and/or prevention of poverty in our world are especially welcomed. Poverty must be the central focus of the monograph. Participation of academics from all over the world is expected and submissions from the South are encouraged. The result will be simultaneously published on the CROP and Zed Books websites by November 2012. See the poster of the awards. Read full information.

• Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies formed at Linnaeus University

Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies is a brand new research environment at Linnaeus University (located in Växjö and Kalmar). The Centre, established in 2012, focuses on colonial and postcolonial interactions between cultures. The research team consists of eleven scientists from multiple disciplines, and projects are carried out both individually and in groups. The researchers include Professor Margareta Pettersson from the School of Humanities in Växjö. More information about the Centre for Concurrences.
The Centre organises seminars on a regular basis. On Thursday 3 May 2012, Professor Gunnel Cederlöf from the Department of History, Uppsala University, came and lectured on ”Climate, Polities and the Makingof a Citizen: Founding an Empire on India’s Northeastern Frontiers”. Venue: Lammhult Room, F-Building, Växjö. More information.

• South Asia Institute in Heidelberg celebrates 50th anniversary all through 2012

During 2012, the South Asia Institute (SAI) at Heidelberg University, Germany, celebrates its 50th anniversary. All through the year, SAI organizes and presents – both in Heidelberg and in South Asia – single events, symposia and workshops, plus a central week of celebration in May, a lecture series with renowned researchers invited, and special programmes on single topics and countries of South Asia. This is all done under the heading: The South Asia Institute: 50 Years of Looking Ahead.
For the May celebration week, Prof. Sheldon Pollock, Arvind Raghunathan Professor of South Asian Studies at Columbia University, New York, was invited to hold a gala lecture on Tuesday 8th May. He talked about ”What is South Asian Knowledge Good For?”. This is followed by an Alumni evening on May 11th to which the alumni of the South Asia Institute – visiting scholars, former staff members, graduates – have been invited.
More information about the SAI 50th Anniversary celebrations.

• Läs och Res announces position as Indian tour producer

The Swedish travel agency Läs & Res (Study Tours) with more than 30 years experience of alternative travel tours in various parts of South Asia has announced a position as tour producer for its India and China businesses. Applicants should have an academic education and have a large knowledge and experience of these countries. Deadline for applications is 15 June 2012, but early applications are preferred. More information.

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

Educational News

• Seven Nordic students accepted for 2012 Study in India programme at University of Hyderabad

The Nordic Centre in India (NCI) organises full semester programmes for Nordic students at the University of Hyderabad. The Nordic Centre has made an arrangement with the University of Hyderabad and its Study India Program (SIP) to allow 15 Nordic students to be admitted there, and to take courses on various social science and humanities subjects. The aim of the agreement is to allow Nordic students to study India in India, to give them both a sound academic knowledge of India as well as the experience you only gain by living there. In most cases, the UoH degree should count towards you final degree at your home university. Please note that applicants must come from the Nordic universities that are members of the NCI consortium. The Hyderabad semester last from third week of July to first week of December and from first week of January to first week of May every year. Deadlines for sending in your application: – Spring Semester: November 9th: – Fall Semester: March 15th. More information about the Hyderabad semester programme.
For the 2012/13 SIP programme, seven students from Sweden and Norway have been accepted for studies at Hyderabad University.
At the same time, 63 students from NCI’s member universities in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have been admitted to the NCI 2012 summer courses in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

• Internship opportunity for Swedish students at research institution for Dalits/Adivasis

The Centre for Research and Education for Social Transformation (CREST), an autonomous institution under Government of Kerala (India) in Kozhikode offers internship opportunities for Swedish students. The interns will be working with a group of 40 graduates from Dalit/Adivasi and minority communities of Kerala who are undergoing Post Graduate Certificate Course for Professional Development at CREST. International /local travel expenses should be met by the candidates. The Interns will be based in Kozhikode (Calicut), Kerala. A monthly living allowance of 150 USD will be given to the interns. During the internship, the candidates will stay for free at CREST student hostel in Kozhikode. The application deadline is Monday 15 June 2012. The internship will begin from July-August 2012. Full information.

Seminars and Conferences in Scandinavia

• Lund University seminar on Reconciliation in Post-Civil War Sri Lanka

Professor P. Sahadevan, Professor of South Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India, lecture about ”Challenges to Peace and Reconciliation in Post-Civil War Sri Lanka” at Lund University on Wednesday 23 May 2012, 15.15–17.00. The seminar is jointly organised by SASNET and the Pufendorf Institute at Lund University. Venue: Pufendorf Institute, Sölvegatan 2, Lund.
Prof. Sahadevan is also Editor-in-Chief of International Studies – a quarterly journal published by SAGE Publications. In his presentation he will discuss the dawn of a new political life and qualitatively different challenges facing both the state and nation, that connotes the end of the 26-year long ethnic war in Sri Lanka. The country has entered a ‘post-war situation’ marked by absence of manifest violence, armed resistance movements and open use of military coercion as a state policy. However, post-war Sri Lanka is yet to become a post-conflict society. This underlines the need for a permanent political solution aimed at redressing the legitimate grievances of the Sri Lankan Tamil community. Yet, a political solution is far from the reality. Where is Sri Lanka heading towards? What are the post-war realities? Does the international community have a role to play in the conflict? Prof. Sahadevan tries to identify the emerging trends and challenges to peace and reconciliation in the island.
See the conference poster.

• Lund University seminar by Ashok Kumar on Tissue Engineering

Dr. Ashok Kumar, Professor of Bioengineering at the Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, Kanpur, holds a guest lecture at Lund University on Wednesday 23 May 2012, 13.00–14.00. He will talk about ”Tissue Engineering: Where Medicine and Engineering Merge”. Venue: Dora Jacobsohn lecture hall, Biomedical Centre (BMC), entrance D 15, Klinikgatan 32, Lund.
Ashok Kumar received his Ph.D in Biotechnology in 1994 jointly from Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi and Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India. He conducted his postdoctoral research at IIT Delhi, Nagoya University, Japan and Lund University, Sweden. He worked as faculty of Biotechnology at BITS Pilani, and at the Department of Biotechnology, Lund University. He also served as a co-coordinator for the center for Bioseparation in the area of nano/microparticle separations in Sweden during the period 2001-2004.
Seminar abstract: Tissue Engineering is an interdisciplinary field that utilizes the principles of engineering and medical sciences towards the development of tissue/organ substitutes that maintain, restore, or improve their function. It is a unique subject where medicine and engineering have a real integration. Based on these merging concepts, tissue engineering has evolved today as an emerging field of medical sciences, where it has helped people achieve better health care possibilities. Some of the examples which has seen real time clinical applications, are skin tissue engineering where it has shown applications for burn injuries and wound healing. Bone tissue engineering has today changed the concept from replacement to regeneration of bone tissue. This field has grown significantly over the last decade because of the emergence of stem cell use in clinical applications. This particular seminar will highlight the developments made in the laboratory at IIT Kanpur, India with National and International co-operations. Starting from the biomaterial development to its assessment with biological molecules and different cell types, how engineering thoughts are inculcated in developing three-dimensional tissue mimicking a real organ. An overview on some of the developing technologies will include bone, cartilage, skin and neural tissue engineering and bioartificial lever support system.

• Professor Dipak Malik lectures at Gothenburg University

Professor Dipak Malik, Director for the Gandhian Institute of Studies in Varanasi, India, holds a lecture at the University of Gothenburg on ”Alternative Modernity” on Thursday 24 May 2012, 15.00–17.00. Venue: room D411, Humanisten, Renströmsgatan 6, Gothenburg.
Prof. Malik is currently on a tour to Finland and Sweden.
Abstract: Modernity is a one-way street flowing from West, industrialism and market-capital as arbiter of political economy. Large number of Indian scholars and statesmen in early period submitted to it. But Gandhi brought a paradigm shift of sort, though it was not exactly generic to Mahatma Gandhi’s praxis, it started much earlier from medieval times, from the alternative offered by the “Bhakti movement” particularly trenchant Voices like that of Kabir.
For more information please contact Sigridur Beck at All are welcome!

• Uppsala Symposium on Democracy and Development marks the closure of DevNet

The Swedish Development Research Network on Nature, Poverty and Power (DevNet), based at Uppsala University, invites  to a one-day symposium entitled ”Democracy and Development: A Disputable Pair” on Thursday 31 May 2012, 10–17. The symposium marks the probable closure of DevNet (at least in its present shape), since its funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has come to an end. It will therefore be dedicated to a retrospective as well as forward looking discussion on the central concepts of democracy, (sustainable) development, globalisation and power. Venue: Hambergssalen, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala University. Participants should register before May 28th to
The symposium addresses the meanings and realities of democracy and development and their linkages to globalisation and power. What meanings are assigned to these concepts? How do they connect? Such difficult questions and possible answers will be illuminated and debated by experienced and concerned scholars of various generations and backgrounds. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Neera Chandhoke, University of Delhi, India, who will speak about ”Globalisation and Democracy: An Equivocal Relationship”. Other invited speakers include Dr. Beppe Karlsson, Dept. of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University; Dr. Seema Arora-Jonsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala; Professor Lars Rudebeck, DevNet, Uppsala University; and Professor Olle Törnquist, University of Oslo.
In his presentation, Lars Rudebeck (photo) will sum up his thinking on the symposium theme after half a century of research, teaching and efforts to support transdisciplinarity in the field of development studies. He was one of the founders of the interdisciplinary Uppsala-Stockholm arena called the AKUT Group (Working Group for the Study of Development Strategies) based at Uppsala University, 1976-1993, as well as the subsequent Seminar for Development Studies (SDS), which in 2008 was transformed into the nation-wide research network DevNet. The continuous aim of these and related constellations has been to promote interdisciplinary exchange in the field of ‘development studies’, and Lars Rudebeck has been one of the central figures in making this possible. Thus, the present symposium is also a tribute to this life-long effort of his. More information about the DevNet symposium.

• Brahma Chellaney lectures on Asian Dam-Building Race

Brahma Chellaney, Professor of strategic studies at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, India, holds a guest lecture at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) in Norway on Monday 4 June 2012, 13.00–14.30. He will speak about ”A Dam-Building Race in Asia: How to Contain the Geopolitical Risks”. Venue: PRIO, Hausmannsgate 7, Oslo.
Prof. Chellaney has held appointments at Harvard University, the Brookings Institution, Johns Hopkins University, and Australian National University. He is the author of Water: Asia’s New Battleground (Georgetown University Press, 2011) along with five previous books, including Asian Juggernaut: The Rise of China, India, and Japan (HarperCollins, 2010). His presentation focuses on Asia’s phenomenal economic rise, that has drawn a lot of attention in policy circles. But less well publicized has been the sharpening water competition this growth has triggered. Asia is the world’s most dam-dotted continent: It has more dams than the rest of the world combined. More information.

• Indio-Swedish workshop on Power Transformers in Västerås

The Electromagnetic Engineering Lab (ETK) at the School of Electrical Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm organises a Workshop on ”Modelling, Design, and Monitoring of Power Transformers” at Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) Corporate Research in Västerås on 5th June 2012. It is co-organised by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai, with which ETK has a formal collaboration agreement. The objective of the workshop is to present and discuss current power transformer related topics. More information about the workshop.
The workshop is planned by Professor Rajeev Thottapillal at ETK and Professor S.V. Kulkarni, IIT. During his stay in Sweden, they will also discuss how to develop educational collaboration between KTH and IIT Bombay in power engineering.

• Noragric workshop on Gendered Dimensions of Human Security in Pakistan

The first workshop on ‘Gendered Dimensions of Human Security and Post-Crisis Development in Pakistan’ took place at the Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Noragric) on Tuesday 5 June 2012. Academics, policymakers, and others interested in Pakistan, gender, human security and development were invited to this one-day seminar to discuss some of Noragric’s on-going research on post-crisis development in north-western Pakistan from a human security perspective.  A particular focus was on exploring women and men’s different perspectives and experiences of insecurity and vulnerability.  More information.

• Gothenburg conference on Theorisation of Heritage Studies

The Heritage Seminar at the University of Gothenburg hosts a conference entitled ”The Re/theorisation of Heritage Studies” 5–8 June 2012. It is organised in collaboration with Association of Critical Heritage Studies, a newly formed international network of scholars and researchers working in the broad and interdisciplinary field of heritage and museum studies. Its primary aim is to promote heritage as an area of critical enquiry. To this end, the Association works to promote dialogue and networking between researchers from different fields and disciplinary backgrounds and between researchers, practitioners and activists. The Association’s web pages are currently hosted by the Australian National University.
The Gothenburg conference will be the official launch of the Association. Bosse Lagerqvist at the Dept. of Conservation, University of Gothenburg, is the main contact person for the conference. More information.

• Stockholm workshop on Dalit Writing and Socio-cultural Identity

The Department of Oriental Languages at Stockholm University and the Department of Linguistics and Philology at Uppsala University organised a workshop on ”Dalit Writing and Shaping of Socio-cultural Identity”  in Stockholm on Thursday 7 June 2012. Venue: Department of Oriental Languages, South Asian Studies, Kräftriket 4A, seminar room 136, Stockholm. The workshop was introduced by Dr. Mirja Juntunen, Senior Lecturer, Stockholm University. Other speakers included Dr. Heinz Werner Wessler, Visiting Professor, Uppsala University, who spoke about ”Dalit Literature and Cultural Identity Politics”; and Professor Dipak Malik (photo) from Gandhian Institute of Studies in Varanasi, India, who spoke about ”Tulsiram and Sangamlal: Two Writers from Margin”. More information about the workshop.

• Copenhagen seminar on why Nepal’s new Constitution could not be finalized

The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) and the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD) organizes a seminar on ”Nepal’s Brand New Constitution – The Big Challenge of Inclusion” on Friday 8 June 2012, 15.00-17.00. The Constituent Assembly was supposed to approve a new constitution by 28 May 2012. However, just a few days ago the circumstances regarding the Nepal’s new Constitution changed. The constituent assembly was dissolved, and therefore it could not be finalized as expected. The seminar will now focus on why it was not possible to obtain consensus between the political peers in Nepal and what the challenges are for the future of democracy in Nepal. Venue: DIIS, Main Auditorium, Strandgade 71, ground floor, Copenhagen. More information.

• Second Copenhagen Summer University on Decoding India

For the second year, the University of Copenhagen organises a course entitled ”Decoding India! – How to make Sense of a Paradox” as part of its Copenhagen Summer University academic programme, 13 – 17 August 2011 at the University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg Campus. Deadline for applications is 29 May 2012.
This course aims to open the theme of India’s rise as a global power and the paradoxes that underpin the phenomenon. It offers an insight into the fast transforming social-political landscape both conceptually and empirically.
The workshop sessions will focus on the structures and forms of ‘power’ and the ways in which cultural signs – social status, ‘connections’ and ‘clout’ across religion, caste and ethnic divides – of power are recognized and practiced. It is aimed at businesses, media, NGOs and foreign policymakers who interact with ‘Official India’, and seek to acquire and enhance their understanding of the cultural underpinnings of this interaction. The course director is Associate Professor Ravinder Kaur, Department of Cross-cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen. Other teachers include Professor Surinder Singh Jodhka, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Associate Professor Peter Birkelund Andersen, Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen. More information

• Papers invited for 4th Annual Copenhagen South Asia Workshop
Thomas Blom Hansen
Faisal Devji

The 4th Annual Copenhagen South Asia Workshop (CSAW) will be held at the University of Copenhagen on Monday 17 September 2012, 09.30–17.30. The theme for the 2012 CSAW workshop will be ”Worlds of South Asia”. Papers are now invited. The aim is to showcase the wide variety of worlds – social, political, cultural, financial, developmental, historical, mythical, regional and/or global assemblages – that make the idea of South Asia. The workshop welcomes ongoing scholarly projects on any South Asian locality – both within the region as well as in transnational sites – and themes pertaining to the region’s history, culture, society and politics.
The workshop will have two speakers Thomas Blom Hansen, Stanford University and Faisal Devji, University of Oxford who will give keynote lectures on their most recent works. The workshop is jointly organised by the Centre of Global South Asian Studies, the Department of Cross-cultural and Regional Studies, and the Asian Dynamics Initiative, University of Copenhagen. The workshop does not offer any travel grants. Deadline for paper proposals is 5 June 2012.
For more information contact Emilijia Zabliute.

• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars
See SASNET’s page,

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• Tufts University conference on Islam on the Indian Ocean Rim

The Tufts Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies at Medford, Massachusetts, USA, organises an international conference on the theme ”Islam on the Indian Ocean Rim” on 25–26 May 2012. Speakers include Seema Alavi, Delhi University, talking about ”Muslim Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Empire”; Iftekhar Iqbal, Dhaka University, talking about ”Indian Ocean and the Bengal Muslim: Mind and Mobility”; and Syed Akbar Hyder, University of Texas-Austin, taking about ”From Despair to Divinity: Manto’s Untold Story”. The concluding discussion will be moderated by Ayesha Jalal, Mary Richardson Professor of History, Tufts University;  and Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Harvard University.
Venue: Sophia Gordon Hall, and 51 Winthrop St., Tufts University, Medford. More information.

• Young South Asia Scholars Meet Workshop 2012 in Heidelberg

The third annual Young South Asia Scholars Meet (Y-SASM) Workshop will be held in Heidelberg, Germany, 14–16 June 2012. The theme for the 2012 Y-SASM Workshop, to be hosted by the South Asia Institute at Heidelberg University, will be ”Beyond the Metropolis. Implications of Urbanization in South Asian Towns and Small Cities”. Deadline for handing in papers is set for 31 January 2012.
In response to the positive feedback to the workshops held in Berlin in the last two years, Y-SASM has been established as an annual workshop. The Y-SASM workshops have the declared aim of providing young scholars working on South Asia with a platform for presenting their own research and interacting with scholars from various disciplines. Thereby, it offers an opportunity to establish research networks across the German-speaking region and beyond.
The 2013 Y-SASM workshop is already planned to be held the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and the 2014 workshop at University of Göttingen.
Read the Call for Papers. More information on the Y-SASN blog page

• Ghent conference on Product Exchange and Human Movement in the Indian Ocean World

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.).  Full information.

• 10th International Conference on South Asian Languages and Literatures in Moscow

The 10th International Conference on South Asian Languages and Literatures (ICOSAL 10) will be held in Moscow, Russia, on 5–6 July 2012. It is organised by the Department of Indian Philology, Institute of Asian and African Studies (IAAS), Moscow State University, and the International Centre for South Asian Studies, Russian State University for the Humanities.
Out of the nine previous ICOSALs, three were organized in Moscow by the Department of Indian Philology, IAAS, (July 1997, July 2003, June 2006). The other six ICOSALs were organized by various Indian Universities (in Hyderabad, Aligarh, Patiala and other Indian cities). More information.

• Kolkata conference on Tagore’s contribution to a Multi-Cultural Society

The International Forum for Studies in Society and Religion (IFFSR) organizes its Third International Conference on ”Universalistic Religion & Multi-Cultural Society: Tagore’s Contribution (A Tribute to Rabindranath Tagore on completion of his 150th Birth Anniversary)” at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India, 6–8 July 2012. IFSSR aims at bringing together scholars from various parts of the world to participate in this multicultural phenomenon with its universal approach. The conference convenors are Professor Piyali Palit and Professor Asoke Bhattacharya. More information.

• 19th biannual Asian Studies Association of Australia conference at Parramatta

The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) organises its 19th Biannual conference 11 – 13 July 2012 on the Parramatta Campus of the University of Western Sydney, Australia. The conference is hosted by the University’s Institute for Culture and Society, the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, and the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Muslim Societies. The main theme is ”Knowing Asia: Asian Studies in an Asian Century” through which there will be explored the shifts related to Asia’s becoming of an increasingly prominent, complex and self-confident region in the world which requires a rethinking of the concept of ”knowing Asia”. The conference will work also to encourage reflection on the implications of these shifts on the field of Asian studies in general by working with different sub-topics among which new Asian hegemonies, urban cultures and social transformation, cultural diplomacy and cultural policy. Keynote speakers include Professor Prasenjit Duara, Director of Research at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. More information. 

• Dartmouth conference on Vedic Cultures Epic and Pauranic Phase

The World Association of Vedic Studies (WAVES) organises the 10th International conference on ”Vedic Cultures Epic and Pauranic Phase” to take place 13 – 15 July 2012 at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, USA. The Conference aims at bringing together both scholars and the broader public with academic interest in diverse areas of Indian, and in particular Vedic Studies. The topics of the conference will be around the following themes: – Insider/Outsider perspectives on Vedic culture; – Origin of Vedic knowledge; Changing paradigms on Vedic knowledge. Suggestions for papers  can be from a broad set of fields that can relate to these themes, such as Archaeology & Anthropology; History & Social Sciences; Language, Literature & Linguistics; Science & Technology; Vedas; Upanishads; Smirities; Puranas; Epics – Ramayana & Mahabharat, Gita; and more. Full information.

• Wales conference on Warren Hastings and Indian Pluralism

A conference on ”Indian Pluralism and Warren Hastings’ Regime” will be held at University of Wales in Gregynog, Powys, UK, on 18–20 July 2012. Plenary speakers include Dr Natasha Eaton (King’s College, London); the author William Dalrymple; Professor Carl Ernst (North Carolina), Professor P. J. Marshall (King’s College, London), and Professor Daniel White (Toronto). The aim of this conference is to provide a more complete and multidisciplinary picture of the amateur Orientalists of the Hastings circle and the politico-cultural significance of their work. Jones sought similitude between West and East, and part of this overarching project was to stress the compatibility of Hindu and Islamic mysticism. There was an imperialist ideological dimension here; it was a means of aligning the regime’s need to appear both neo-Brahmanical and neo-Mughal. (Portrait of Warren Hastings). More information.

• Central Eurasian Studies Society Conference in Tbilisi

The Central Eurasian Studies Society’s (CESS) Third Regional Conference will be held 20–21 July 2012 at Tbilisi State University in Georgia, hosted by the Center for Social Science. CESS is a private, non-political, non-profit, North America-based organization of scholars who are interested in the study of Central Eurasia, and its history, languages, cultures, and modern states and societies. Its purpose is to promote high standards of research and teaching, and to foster communication among scholars through meetings and publications.
Panels and paper proposals relating to all aspects of humanities and social science scholarship on Central Eurasia are welcome. The geographic domain of Central Eurasia extends from the Black Sea and Iranian Plateau to Mongolia and Siberia, including Afghanistan, Tibet, and Central Asia. Practitioners and scholars in all humanities and social science disciplines with an interest in Central Eurasia are encouraged to participate. Full details about the Tbilisi conference.

• International conference on Asian Studies 2012 in Colombo, Sri Lanka

The International Centre for Research and Development in Sri Lanka organises an international conference on Asian Studies to take place on 26 – 27 July 2012. The conference five principal themes are: – East Asian study; – Southeast Asian study; – South Asian study; – Central Asian study; – West Asian study. Additional each of these themes could be seen from the perspective of the following sub topics and in comparative perspective: – Language, literature and the arts; – Media and film; – Economics; – Politics, foreign policy and international relations; – Human rights; – Women, gender; – Philosophy, history, religion; – Migration and diasporas; – Cultural studies; – Health.
Scholars who would like to participate are encouraged to submit proposals for panels, workshops and individual papers. More information on the conference website.

• SAARC conference on Archaeology of Buddhism in South Asia

The SAARC International Seminar on ‘Archaeology of Buddhism: Recent Discoveries in South Asia‘ will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 22–24 August 2012. It is supposed to focus on Buddhist sites and remains that have been worked up during the last six decades or so. It would include both kinds of papers – straightforward ones that just report archaeological finds; but will also have a second part to it that interrogates the methodological/ theoretical frameworks within which archaeological work is carried out. Venue: Buddhist Cultural Centre, Colombo.
The SAARC Cultural Centre invites all the Member States to send a minimum of four nominations (maximum 10 persons can be nominated by a member State) from amongst the experts and academicians of their country. The SAARC Cultural Centre would also accept the participation of other experts from the region (other than the nominees of the respective SAARC Member States) as well as from those residing outside the SAARC Region provided they are able to meet their travel and accommodation expenses to attend the Conference. The last date for sending the nominations is 10 June 2012. More information.

• Ananda Coomaraswamy Memorial Conference on Asian Art and Culture

The Centre for Asian Studies at University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, organises the Ananda Coomaraswamy Memorial Conference on Asian Art and Culture on 8–10 September 2012. The conference coincides with the 135th birth anniversary and 65th death anniversary of Ananda Coomaraswamy, renowned Ceylonese philosopher and metaphysician, as well as a pioneering historian and philosopher of Indian art (particularly art history and symbolism). He was an early interpreter of Indian culture to the West.
Deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 June 2012. In addition to the conference proceedings, the organisers plan to launch a commemoration volume on Ananda Coomaraswamy. Particiants interested in having their papers published in this volume, should announce this by 15 July 2012.Full information about the conference.

• Dallas conference on Muslim Cultures of South Asia

The South Asia Research and Information Institute (SARII) in Dallas, Texas, USA, organizes a one-day conference on ”Cities, Courts, and Saints: Muslim Cultures of South Asia” on Saturday 22 September 2012, 09.00–17.00. The conference is co-organised by the The Asian Studies Program at Southern Methodist University, also in Dallas. Venue for the  conference: McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall, Southern Methodist University. his conference brings together the leading historians of South Asia and specialists of Indo-Muslim cultures, and presents new research on the way Islam spread across and became part of the Indian subcontinent. Since the arrival of Islam in South Asia, Muslim communities thrived in cities, giving them a unique shape with new forms of courtly and spiritual life. A key aspect of Indo-Muslim culture was, and remains, the popularity of Sufi saints and their shrines. The papers presented by for example Richard M Eaton and Barbara Metcalfe focus on the entire range of Indo-Muslim history, from the medieval era to modern times, to shed new light on forms of social etiquette, literature, music, and architecture. More information.

• Call for Papers on Poverty and Politics in Middle Income Countries

The Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) hosted at the University of Bergen, Norway organises a workshop on ”Poverty and Politics in Middle Income Countries” on 22 – 24 November 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa. The workshop is organised in collaboration with the Institute for Social Development, University of the Western Cape, and aims at enhancing the comparative and critical views of poverty politics, as well as at consolidating the recently formed Working Group on Poverty Politics and Social Policy. Ultimately it plans to prepare the publication of an anthology based on selected contributions. The workshop will gather together a maximum of 20 participants from across all university disciplines, addressing one or several of the following questions: Is poverty reduction in MICs distinctive?; Social development: reduced extreme poverty, increased inequality?; Public policies and politics: less important than economics?; Politically vulnerable welfare regimes? Interested scholars to participate are welcome to submit abstracts by 13 August 2012.
Read the full text of the announcement.

• Asia-Europe Encounters conference in Singapore CFP

The International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS) in Leiden, the Netherlands; the Asia-Europe Foundation; the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, ISEAS,  and the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore, jointly organise an international conference on ”Asia-Europe Encounters: Intellectual and Cultural Exchanges, 1900-1950”. The conference will be held 7 – 8 December 2012 at the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore. The purpose of the conference is to explore the intellectual and cultural flows between Asia and Europe which occurred during, and in part were formative of, the political and social changes over the first half of the 20th century. Aside of post-colonialism, the conference will encourage an exploration of the intellectual and cultural currents of this age and an investigation into how the two ends of Eurasia interacted in these spheres through (new) cosmopolitanism and other novel ideologies which affected both European and Asian societies. Young scholars from Asia and Europe are encouraged to apply. Abstracts of 300 – 400 words and a short biographical sketch of the proposer are to be submitted by 30 May 2012. All participants will be provided with three nights accommodation in Singapore. Requests for assistance with airfare, especially from Asian countries, will be sympathetically considered. More information and full call for papers.

• Colombo conference on ICT for Emerging Regions

An International Conference on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions (ICTer) will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 12–15 December 2012. ICTer is the successor to the seminal International Information Technology Conference held in Sri Lanka since 1998, the IITC. It provides a platform where research done in ICT is presented by both local and foreign computer scientists and IT professionals. In order to get wider international participation and to promote computing research in the fast emerging regions of the world especially in Asia-Pacific, it was decided to broadbase the conference and links it with the related International Journal ICTer. The proceedings of ICTer2012 will be published in both book and online versions with an ISBN number and also in IEEE Explorer; Google Scholar. Selected papers will be invited for publication in the ICTer Journal. Papers and tutorial proposals are invited in the following five broad categories, but not limited to: Technology, Applications, Human Computer Interaction, Development Processes and Social, Legal and Ethical Issues. More information.

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


South Asia related culture in Scandinavia

• Bangalore artist exhibited at Wanås Konst during the summer 2012

The Indian artist Srinivasa Prasad from Bangalore is represented with one of his pieces of art at the outdoor Wanås Konst exhibition inbetween Hässleholm and Knislinge in southernmost Sweden during the summer 2012, from 20 May till 28 October. For his creative work, Prasad uses natural materials such as mud, hay, water, grains, and cow dung, sith a deep root in the tradition and culture of his native land. He also takes in the essence of performing arts to his works and emphasizes the interaction between the audiences and the work. On the green lawn at Wanås, a stretch of tall willows was recently planted, a 40-metre coiling line that would measure 500 metres if it were straight. The saplings are planted in the form of a labyrinth to form Srinivasa Prasad the artist’s signature written in Kannada, the provincial language of his Karnataka state in India. See photo.
Wanås Konst this season also opens an entirely new room dedicated to film and video art. In the film program ”But a pit stop on a long journey” loaded and imaginary landscapes passes by in films by Indian based artists, namely Neha Choksy, Rohini Devasher and Asim Waqif.
Wanås Konst is run by the Wanås Foundation, a non-profit art foundation located on an estate consisting of a medieval castle, an organic farm, and a sculpture park. Marika Wachtmeister initiated the exhibitions at Wanås in 1987 and is the Founder of the Wanås Foundation. The sculpture park holds a constantly growing number of permanent works by internationally renowned contemporary artists. The focus is on sculpture and installations, most of which are made by the artists specifically for the Wanås Foundation. More information on Wanås Konst and its 2012 exhibition.

• Kutiyattam dance troupe from Kerala performs at Sagohuset in Lund

The Kutiyattam dance troupe from the Natana Kairali Research and Performing Centre for Traditional Arts in Irinjalakuda, Thrissur District, Kerala, India, again visits Sweden in May 2012. This time the Natana Kairali dance troupe will give two public performances at Teater Sagohuset in Lund, on Friday 25 May and Sunday 27 May, at 19.00. Venue: Sagohuset, Revingegatan 8, Lund.
This is the same dance troup that visited Sweden in 2006 and also 2005, when they gave four performances based on the ancient Sanskrit drama Sakuntala at the Wooden Theatre of Järvsö in Hälsingland.
Natanakairali has been reaching out to the world of theatre and dance all over India and abroad for over three decades. Based on careful research and respect for all hereditary exponents, a vast store of classical and ritual arts is increasingly being appreciated by discerning audiences, fellow artistes and scholars alike. The foremost goal remains to preserve their authenticity and dignity at all times while exploring new horizons. More information on Natana Kairali.
More information about the Lund performances.

• Report from the 2012 Iqbal Day celebrations in Copenhagen

On 14 April 2012, the Iqbal Academy Scandinavia (IAS) based in Denmark, observed the 2012 Iqbal Day at Albertslund in Copenhagen. The guest speaker Mohammad Sharif Baqa from London presided the session, whereas Sarosh Alamgir, a learned IAS board member, delivered a speech in English, in which he explained the basic idea of Khudi and its intended literal concept, the conception of God – The ultimate Khudi and some of His fundamental traits (Independence, Creativity, Awareness, Principles). His speech was in fact a foundational exposition of Khudi derived from the Holy Qur’an. Read a complete report from the Iqbal Day event.

• Börje Almqvist exhibits his Afghanistan photos in Stockhom

The Swedish journalist Börje Almqvist, working for many years for the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan inside Afghanistan from the 1980s and onwards, shows his vast collection of photos from Afghanistan at en exhibition in Stockholm during the summer 2012. The exhibition, entitled ”Children and Youth in Afghanistan”, is shown in the Orangerie at Vintervikens Trädgård in Aspudden, in southwestern Stockholm (metro station Aspudden). Opening hours in May: 11.00–17.00, July–August: 11.00–21.00.
The photos are taken during the period 2003–2011. More photos by Börje are found at

• Indian Spring Festival celebrated at Sagohuset in Lund
Bubu Munshi Eklund
Annemette Karpen

Anna Kava

A belated Indian Spring Festival (Holi) concert was successfully held at Theatre Sagohuset in Lund on Friday 4 May 2012, at 19.00. The concert was organised jointly by Sagohuset and the Association for Indo-Swedish Cultural Exchange, and featured Bharata Natyam dance performances by Anna Kav and Annemette Karpen from Copenhagen, and Rabindrasangheet singing by Bubu Munshi Eklund. Venue: Sagohuset, Revingegatan 8, Lund.
Holi is a most popular spring festival in India, and the programme is connected to its legends and stories. Bubu Munshi Eklund will sing a number of Krishna songs composed by Rabindranath Tagore, whereas Anna Kav and Annemette Karpen will perform dances with Holi themes. Anna Kav comes from Minsk in Belarus, and has studied Bharata Natyam in Minsk and in Varanasi. Annemette is Danish, living in Copenhagen, and over the years she has given a large number of dance performances in Europe, USA, and India. More information.

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

New and updated items on SASNET web site

• Swedish departments where research on South Asia is going on

This month there were two new departments added to SASNET’s list:
‡ Electromagnetic Engineering Lab, School of Electrical Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm
Division of Product and Production Development, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics,
Luleå University of Technology (LTU)

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

• Useful travelling information

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

Best regards

  Lars Eklund

Deputy director/webmaster
SASNET/Swedish South Asian Studies Network