Newsletter 140 – 27 September 2012


• Third ICCR Professor to be installed at Lund University

During the academic year 2012/13, Surinder S. Jodhka, Professor of Sociology and Chair, Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, will be the third Visiting Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Professor at Lund University. He joins the position on 1 October 2012, and is hosted by the Department of Political Science. The ICCR professorships at Lund University are an outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding between ICCR and Lund University, that was signed in 2010. SASNET was actively involved in finalizing the agreement with strong support from the Embassy of India in Stockholm.
An inaugural seminar with Professor Jodhka will be held on Friday 12th October 2012, 15.15–17.00. The theme for his lecture will be ”Indian Village” in the ‘Neo-Liberal’ Times: Changing Economies, Power and Identities”. The presentation is based on field work carried out in the rural areas of Haryana state in north India. His lecture will be preceded by a presentation by Ms. Banashri Bose Harrison, new Ambassador of India to Sweden and Latvia.
Introductory speeches will also be held by Professor Tomas Bergström, Dept. of Political Science, and by Dr. Anna Lindberg, Director, SASNET. The seminar will end with a short cultural programme with the Indian Choir of Lund, led by Bubu Munshi Eklund. Venue for the inaugural seminar: Conference hall, Palaestra et Odeum, Universitetsplatsen, Lund.

• Indian Ambassador meets Lund University researchers

In connection with her participation in the installation seminar of the new ICCR Professor at Lund University on Friday 12 October 2012 (information about the seminar), Indian Ambassador to Sweden Mrs. Banashri Bose Harrison will also attend a meeting with researchers working on India related projects. The meeting is organized by SASNET, and will be held at the Division of External Relations (ER), Stora Algatan 4, at 13.00.
Gunilla Carlecrantz, Head of International Relations will introduce the meeting, ER representatives Pär Svensson, Elisabeth Axell and Henrik Hofvendahl will present the India and South Asia related Erasmus Mundus Action 2 programmes that Lund University coordinates.
As a career diplomat, Ambassador Bose Harrison has dealt with a wide range of responsibilities. She assumed the post of Ambassador of India to Sweden on 9 August 2012. More information about the Ambassador.
During her stay in Lund, Mrs. Bose Harrison will also meet with Vice Chancellor Per Eriksson and representatives of the Faculty of Engineering (LTH).
On the day after, Saturday 13th October, she will participate in an evening event organised by the Indian Association in Malmö.

Finally, she will participate in a business seminar in Malmö on Monday 15th October, 10–12. This is jointly organised by the The Sweden-India Business Council (SIBC), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Southern Sweden, and Invest Skåne, being part of a series of seminars held at different places in Sweden in order to highlight business relations between India and Sweden. More information about the SIBC seminar.

• Sixth European PhD workshop in South Asia Studies successfully hosted by SASNET
Senior scholars at the workshop, from left to right Staffan Lindberg, Lund University, Roger Jeffery, University of Edinburgh, Anna Lindberg, SASNET/Lund University, Claude Markovits, CEIAS Paris, William Sax, University of Heidelberg and Bert Suykens, Ghent University.

SASNET and Lund University successfully hosted the Sixth European PhD workshop in South Asia Studies that took place at Falsterbo Kursgård, Höllviken from 17 to 19 September 2012. The workshop was jointly co-organised by the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS); Heidelberg University, Germany; Ghent University, Belgium; University of Edinburgh, UK; Le Centre d’Études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (CEIAS), Paris, France; and SASNET/Lund University, Sweden.
The workshop’s format give each PhD candidate the responsibility of introducing the paper of another participant and raising some preliminary questions. A senior scholar then acts as discussant and provides feedback on the paper, prompting further debate. This format broadens perspectives on research methods, concepts, and theory by helping students consider questions from a variety of disciplines. Read more about the 2012 PhD workshop.

• Jonathan Stoltz appointed to be SASNET’s new assistant webmaster

Mr. Jonathan Stoltz has been enrolled as SASNET’s new assistant webmaster on a 50 % basis. He succeeds Julia Velkova who has shifted over to a doctoral position in Media and Communication Studies at Södertörn University in Huddinge.
Jonathan joined the position on 4 September 2012, and his duties involve being partly responsible for the management and updating of the extensive SASNET web portal, currently the largest Nordic website presenting research, collaborations, and culture regarding South Asia at Nordic universities. Additionally, he will assist in the organisation of academic seminars, conferences, and cultural events concerning South Asia arranged by SASNET.
After studying Cognitive Science at Linköping University, Jonathan Stoltz has worked with web- and interaction design, as well as being a research assistant in Cognitive Psychology at Lund University. More recently he has been working within the field of Environmental Psychology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Alnarp. Jonathan has also been a keen visitor to South Asia, and has lately among other things been engaged in a Biogas project in Andhra Pradesh, India. Jonathan lives in Malmö and will share his time between SASNET and his continuing duties at SLU.

• Lund University researchers meeting on Sustainable Sanitation solutions in India
Some of the participants at the meeting: Sara Gabrielsson, LUCSUS; Lars Eklund, SASNET; Cecilia Ruben, SEI; Prakash Kumar, WASH; and Peder Hjort, Division of Water Resources Engineering.

More than 20 researchers and students turned up for an informal SASNET meeting on sustainable sanitation solutions in India that was held at Lund University on Monday 24 September 2012, 12.15–13.15. Researchers working on not only sanitation issues but also water supply, hygiene, human health, environmental health, development, disaster risk reduction and policy promotion had been invited to meet Cecilia Ruben, Research Fellow at Stockholm Environment Institute(SEI), and Prakash Kumar, Executive Director for the Indian WASH Institute. They came to Lund on their own initiative in order to launch a dialogue with colleagues in Lund regarding the implementation of a Sida-financed Partnership Driven Collaboration research project on sustainable sanitation solutions in India, that is jointly run by SEI and WASH since 2010.
The project is entitled ”Enhanced Sustainable Sanitation Provision in Flooded Areas of India: Researchers and Practitioners Collaborate for Policy Reform and MDG Fulfillment”. It is a three-year Sida-financed Partnership Driven Collaboration research grant that was awarded the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at the end of 2010, focusing on sustainable sanitation research, living examples, capacity development, communications and policy work in India. Moreover, the findings and outcome of the grant activities are likely to have implications on the international sustainable sanitation landscape and global efforts for disaster relief in the case of flooding. Final report is to be delivered to Sida in April 2014. More information.
The meeting at Lund University, planned in collaboration with SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund, was held at Lund University Centre for Sustainable Studies (LUCSUS), at Sal Rio, Geocentrum, Sölvegatan 10, 4th floor. The audience consisted mainly of students from the Lund University International Master’s Programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science (Lumes), plus researchers from LUCSUS and the Division of Water Resources Engineering. The local host was PhD Candidate Sara Gabrielsson.

• SASNET Brown Bag seminar on Colonial Changes of Nature in Sri Lanka

On Thursday 20 September 2012, the first SASNET Brown Bag lunch seminar for the fall semester 2012 was held in collaboration with Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF) Lund, and Lunds konsthall. Venue: Konsthallen, Mårtenstorget 3, Lund.
Dr. Mats Mogren, till April 2012 affiliated to the Lund University’s Department of Archaeology and Ancient History talked about ”Inbetween Rain Forest and Plantation. Understanding Colonial Changes of Nature in Sri Lanka”, focusing on ecological footprints of cultural contacts during the colonial period (16th–20th centuries) in Sri Lanka. The changes in the landscape often came as a result of the establishment of new world systems. The presentation was based on a project that aims at a better understanding of the development of the cultural landscape of the Wet Zone of Sri Lanka (the southwestern quarter of the island that receives the rain from two monsoons). More information.
See the seminar poster.

SASNET organises Brown Bag lunch seminars in collaboration with ABF, Sweden’s  largest adult liberal education association, and the municipal art gallery of Lund (Lunds konsthall). As usual, lectures are given by eminent Lund University researchers working on South Asia related projects, and are held once a month on Thursdays. The remaining 2012 seminars will be held held on 11 October (Dr. Anna Lindberg, SASNET), 15 November (Dr. Jan Magnusson, School of Social Work), and 6 December (Dr. Emily Baird, Department of Biology). Programme for the fall 2012 (as a pdf-file)

• Welcome reception for new Erasmus Mundus scholarship holders from South Asia

The section for Strategic Partnerships and Networks within Lund University’s Division for External Relations organised a welcome reception for the new EU-funded Erasmus Mundus Action 2 scholarship holders coming from many countries on Monday 17 September 2012. SASNET’s deputy director Lars Eklund participated in the event in order to communicate specifically the scholarship holders from Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh, researchers and students coming to work and study at Lund University (LU) during the academic year 2012-13. They come to Lund within the framework of the Erasmus Mundus Asia Regional mobility programme EMEA that is coordinated by Lund University. The programme includes universities in the above mentioned countries, but also China and from next year Thailand and Malaysia (whereas India will be excluded in the coming 2013-14 announcement). More information.

• Nils Finn Munch Petersen held SASNET/UPF lecture on the Maldives Tragedy

Nils Finn Munch-Petersen, Senior expert at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen, Denmark, held a SASNET/UPF lecture entitled ”The Maldives Tragedy – A Small Nation losing its Culture and History” on Wednesday 26 September 2012. The seminar drew an audience of approximately 50 students and researchers. The seminar was jointly organised by SASNET and the Association of Foreign Affairs at Lund University (UPF), and focused on the February 7th, 2012, events when the first democratically elected government of the Maldives was brought down by a coup d’état, engineered by groups linked to the former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom; the primary actors being the National Security Forces and hired street gangs along with major investors within the tourism industry – backed by a corrupt judiciary. The main argument for the coup was that the elected president Mohamed Nasheed was not truly Islamic and accordingly posed a threat to Islam. On the day of the coup all Buddhist and Hindu sculptures stemming from the Maldivian past were destroyed by supposedly Maldivian Muslim fanatics. Read more.

• Githa Hariharan lectures on India’s living diversity at Lund University

Indian writer Githa Hariharan holds a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Friday 5 October 2012, 13.15–15.00. She will talk about ”Living Diversity, Living Many Indias”.  The seminar is organised in collaboration with the Nordic Centre in India (NCI). Venue: Room 438, Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (CTR), Allhelgona Kyrkogata 8, Lund.
Born in Coimbatore, India, educated in Bombay, Manila, and the US, Githa Hariharan’s published work includes novels, short stories, essays, newspaper articles and columns. Her first novel, The Thousand Faces of Night (1992) won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1993. Her fiction has been translated into a number of languages including French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Greek, Urdu and Vietnamese. She has been Visiting Professor or Writer-in-Residence in several universities, including Dartmouth College and George Washington University in the United States, the University of Canterbury at Kent in the UK, and Jamia Millia Islamia in India, where she is, at present, Scholar-in-Residence.
Abstract: The idea of diversity is part of formal policy in India – there is a powerful official form of diversity, spoken in the “language of the Indian nation”. Thus we need to look at the concept of the nation itself before we can examine “narrating” a nation or its diversity. And the nation does not exist in isolation, and certainly not in our times of globalisation. What does this mean for our own version oflived diversity? Which are the voices that are heard, and which go unheard? Beginning with the hybrid and heterogeneous nature of Indian culture and cultural artefacts such as the novel, the poem or autobiography, Githa Hariharan examines what we can learn about the “many Indias” from selected novels, poems and autobiographies by those from the margins of official mainstream India – women, dalits, and the working class.

• Andrea Nightingale holds SASNET/UPF lecture on Political Development in Nepal

From 1 October 2012, Associate Professor Andrea Nightingale (photo) works at the Human Ecology section at the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg. She was previously the Director of the MSc in Environment and Development and a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Geography at the University of Edinburgh (2002-2012).
Her academic interests include pioneering work on socio-natures, critical development studies, and methodological work on mixing methods across the social and natural sciences. She is presently involved in a collaborative research programme with the University of Toronto and ForestAction Nepal investigating democratic governance in the post-conflict state. She has worked closely with the Nepal-Swiss and the DFID-funded Livelihoods and Forestry Programme (both community forestry projects) in Nepal on their land management programmes, gender and equity programmes and climate change strategies. She has also worked in India, Indonesia and South America during the course of her studies and short term consultancies.
On Wednesday 26th November 2012, Andrea Nightingale will participate in a SASNET/UPF seminar, most probably focusing on the Political Development in Nepal. The seminar is jointly organised by SASNET and the Association of Foreign Affairs at Lund University (UPF). Venue: Athén, AF-Borgen, Sandgatan 2, Lund. More information will follow.

• Book launch seminar at CBS on Globalization and Economic Nationalism and Asia

The Asia Research Centre at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) organised a public launch of ”Globalization and Economic Nationalism and Asia”, a new book edited by Professor Anthony D’Costa (photo to the left) at the Asia Research Centre within CBS. The event took place on 11 September 2012, at the ARC premises on Porcelænshaven in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen. SASNET’s deputy director Lars Eklund participated in the seminar.
The book launch event included speeches by Prof. Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard, Director of the Asia Research Centre at CBS; Prof. Rory Miller, University of Liverpool and coeditor of Journal of Latin American Studies; and Associate Professor Jørgen Pedersen, Aarhus University. Dr. Dige Pedersen (photo to the right) talked about ”India: Economic Nationalism as a Road to Growth and Development?”.
The book in focus aims at challenging the popular view that with globalization either the role of the state becomes redundant or that states are unable to purposefully intervene in the economy. The argument goes that since most states pursue national interests, which largely include economic development, they work with national business and often intervene on their behalf to create internationally competitive industries. Contributors from Asia and elsewhere present wide-ranging arguments and demonstrate that states in Asia are active in shaping trade, investment, technological, industrial, and financial outcomes. Countries covered include India, China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, and the East Asian region as a whole.

Research Community News

• Doctoral dissertation by Dan Hirslund on Maoist Cadres in Post-War Nepal

Dan V. Hirslund, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, defended his doctoral dissertation entitled ”Sacrificing Youth: Maoist Cadres and Political Activism in Post-War Nepal” on Wednesday 5 September 2012.
The thesis is an ethnography about young, lower-level cadres in Nepal’s Maoist movement after the 2006 transition to peace. It investigates the mobilization of a new generation of young people to the Maoist’s youth movement and how they are recruited to a program of revolution and self- sacrifice. The overall question explored is what it means to become a revolutionary when the war is over and how it has formed Maoist youth activism and Nepali political culture. The examination committee consisted of Thomas Blom Hansen, Stanford University; Marie Lecomte-Tilouine, CNAS France; and Inger Sjørslev, University of Copenhagen. Read an abstract of the thesis.

• Time to apply for Linnaeus Palme grants for the period 2013-14

The Linnaeus-Palme programme is an exchange programme for teachers and students, financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida); and administrated by the International Programme Office for Education and Training. The aim of the programme, launched in 2000, is to promote long-term cooperation based on mutual benefit between higher education institutions in Sweden and those in developing countries in order to stimulate further global internationalisation of higher education. The programme has two components: Linnaeus scholarships for outbound Swedish participants and Palme scholarships for foreign participants.
An annual application is made by the Swedish institution – in a dialogue with the foreign partner institution. Funds can be authorized for at period of up to eight years, but decided upon by the Programme Office on a yearly basis.
Applications for the contract period 1 July, 2013 – 30 June, 2014, should normally be delivered to the International Office or equivalent authority at the local Swedish university not later than 15 November, 2012. However, at Lund University the deadline for submitting applications is 1 November 2012, and then the application should be forwarded to Mr. Henrik Hofvendahl at the university’s Division of External Relations. Mr. Hofvendahl will then compile the applications from different departments into a frame application and get this signed by the Vice Chancellor or Pro-Vice Chancellor, before sending it to the International Programme Office for Education and Training before 15th November.
Read the full guidelines for the Linnaeus-Palme programme applications 2013-14.
SASNET has also published an informative page on the programme, including detailed information about all South Asia related collaboration projects given grants over the years at all Swedish universities. Go for SASNET’s page.

• Proposals invited for programme on Support to Indo–European Interactions on Higher Education

The Delegation of the European Union to India has announced an open call for proposals to a new programme entitled ”Support to Indo–European Interactions on Higher Education”. Deadline for submission of proposals is 12 October 2012. The programme is part of the broader Erasmus Mundus II – Partnership Action 2 (India Strand) programme, which has been designed to promote knowledge and intercultural understanding and contribute to the sustainable development of India in the field of higher education. The overall programme aims to support institutional linkages between institutions, organize mobility of students, support research collaboration and organization of joint workshops and international conferences. It enhances awareness and visibility in the relation between EU and India.
The specific objective of the present Call for Proposals is to facilitate the exchange of best practices on higher education, sharing of knowledge, intercultural understanding, and organisation of debates, production of research papers, information and visibility between EU and India. In reality, the new programme very much appears to be a follow-up programme to the EU-India Study Centres programme that ran from 2008 till 2011 – more information regarding this programme.
The maximum amount made available under the new Call for Proposals is EUR 1 000 000.
Full information about the new Call for proposals

• Prosun Bhattacharya new Fellow of the Geological Society of America

In April 2012, Professor Prosun Bhattacharya from the Department of Land and Water Resources Engineeringat the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, was elected a Fellow of the prestigeous Geological Society of America (GSA), a global professional society with a membership of more than 24,700 individuals in 103 countries. In the motivation for electing Prof. Bhattacharya, it was stated the “he has made seminal and sustained contributions on the problem of arsenic mobility and toxicity in aquifers. His work not only addresses the source, mechanism, and distribution of arsenic in sediments and groundwaters, but also remediation and manage-ment of arsenic-contaminated groundwaters in underdeveloped countries.” More information on Prof. Bhattacharya’s research.

• Three Swedish universities among 100 highest ranked by THE

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13 will published on Wednesday 3 October. This year is the ninth year that THE has published a global university ranking, but the third year of a new more comprehensive ranking system developed in partnership with Thomson Reuters. The THE rankings employ 13 separate performance indicators, making them the only global university rankings to examine all the core missions of the modern global university – research, teaching, knowledge transfer and international activity.
In last year’s THE ranking for 2011-12, three Scandinavian universities appeared among the top 100 in the world, Karolinska Institutet as No. 32, Lund University as No. 80, and Uppsala University as No. 87. In South Asia, the top university according to the THE ranking was the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, ranked to be somewhat below No. 300 in the world.

• Interns wanted for Symposium on India-China issues in New Delhi

A Symposium on India-China issues will be held in New Delhi, India during the period 8 October till 5 November 2012. It is jointly organised by the India China Institute at the New School, New York, USA, and the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. The organisers hereby announce their interest to invite Masters level students with interest in India China issues to apply for an internship for the symposium. Interns would be based at the CPR office in Delhi and would be given a stipend and certificate. Applications should be sent to Dr Geetanjali Chopra at the Centre for Policy Research.

• Postdoc position in Heidelberg project on South Asian Buddhism

The Cluster of Excellence ”Asia and Europe in a Global Context”, funded by the German Federal Excellence Initiative, is advertising a 36 months postdoctoral position within the research project ”Buddhism between South Asia and Tibet – negotiating religious boundaries in discourse and practice”. The Cluster is an interdisciplinary institution, developing and promoting transcultural research. This project is part of an interdisciplinary research group on negotiating religion from a transcultural perspective, comprising altogether four subprojects. The deadline for applications is 30 September 2012; the position is available beginning with 1 Nov 2012, but a later starting date, preferably within the first half of 2013, will be considered. More information.

• Postdoc fellowships at IIAS in Leiden, the Netherlands

The International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) in Leiden, the Netherlands, invites outstanding researchers to work on an important piece of research in the social sciences and humanities with a postdoctoral fellowship. Of particular interest are researchers focusing on one of the Institute’s three thematic clusters: ”Asian Cities”, ”Asian Heritages”, and ”Global Asia”. Some positions will be reserved for outstanding projects in any area outside of those. Research projects that can contribute to new, historically contextualized, multidisciplinary knowledge, with the capacity of translating this into social and policy relevant initiatives, will be privileged. Application deadline is 1 October 2012. More information.

• Indian and Chinese perceptions of the EU in focus for Berlin based research group

An interdisciplinary NFG (Nachwuchsforschergruppe) Research Group based at the Free University of Berlin, Germany, is involved in a major research programme on “Asian Perceptions of the EU: External views on the EU as a Civilian Power – India and China in Comparison”. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and will be running from 2011 to 2014. The research group comprises of researchers from Germany, India and China, including resident, associated and visiting fellows. In their ”Networked Think Tank” (NTT), they engage in an ongoing process of exchange, exposure and self-reflection. Drawing on evolving approaches on transfer and diffusion NFG focuses on case studies of Chinese and Indian elite perceptions of the EU’s role in norm promotion via export control regimes and peacekeeping operations. The group attempts to provide a sound empirical base for a systematic analysis of these perceptions, provide recommendations for adjusting EU security policy, and, by doing so, also provide an interface between Europe-based research and discourses in Asia. More information on the “Asian Perceptions of the EU” Research Group website.

Educational News

• Time to apply for 2013 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 2013: November 1st: – Fall Semester: March 15th. Full information about the Hyderabad Spring 2013 semester programme.
For the 2012/13 SIP programme, seven students from Sweden and Norway were accepted for studies at Hyderabad University. At the same time, 63 students from NCI’s member universities in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden were admitted to the NCI 2012 summer courses in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

• Advanced Course in Spoken Sanskrit to be held in Goa

During the period 11 February – 1 March 2013, the Department of Classical Indology at Heidelberg University, Germany, organizes an Advanced Course in Spoken Sanskrit in India. The venue of the course will be Shadvala – Center for Sanskrit Studies in Goa, and the course will be taught by Dr. Sadananda Das (Leipzig University, Germany). Dr. Das has been conducting courses on spoken Sanskrit since two decades, including the Summer Schools in Spoken Sanskrit held each year in Heidelberg. The maximum number of participants is limited to seven. Applications should reach the organisers by 31 October 2012. More information and application form.

Seminars and Conferences in Scandinavia

• Stockholm seminar on Caste and Indian Environmental Politics

Indian author Mukhul Sharma will hold a lecture on ”Caste, Dalits and Indian Environmental Politics” at Stockholm University on Monday 1 October 2012, 15.00–17.00. It is an open research seminar arranged by the Department of Social Anthropology. Venue: Room B 600, Department of Social Anthropology, Frescati campus, Stockholm.
Mukhul Sharma is the prize-awarded author of several books, among those: Green and Saffron: Hindu Nationalism and Indian Environmental Politics (Permanent Black, Delhi, 2011), Human Rights in a Globalised World: An Indian Diary (Sage, Delhi, 2010) and Contested Coastlines: Fisherfolk, Nations and Borders in South Asia.
Seminar abstract: Indian environmental politics is frequently conceptualized and expressed in terms of India’s glorious past, tradition and culture, but often render questions of caste and dalits invisible. However, it needs to be recognized that caste is one of the central categories that frame environmental politics. Caste and Dalits in India today bring forth not only new dimensions on both environment and Dalits, but also helps us in redefining certain key categories such as development, modernity, community, livelihood and social movements. More information about the seminar.

• Uppsala seminar on Ecology, Landscape and Polity

Professor Mahesh Rangarajan, Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, India, lectures at Uppsala University on ”Ecology, Landscape and Polity: A Longer View of India’s Environmental History” on Tuesday 2 October 2012, 14.15–16.00. The seminar is organised by the Department of History in collaboration with CEMUS (Centre for Environment and Development Studies). Venue: Geijer Hall, Engelska Parken, Thunbergsvägen. More information.

• Uppsala panel debate on Ecology, Landscape and Conservation

The Forum for South Asia Studies at Uppsala University invites to a panel debate focusing on ”Ecology, Landscape and Conservation” on Wednesday 3 October 2012, 14.15–16.00. The event is coorganised by the research node Mind and Nature. Invited participants are Mahesh Rangarajan, Mukul Sharma, and May-Britt Öhman. Rangarajan is professor of history and the Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi. He is a leading scholar in environmental history with a particular focus on India, and a political analyst commenting in public media on wildlife conservation and Indian politics.
Mukul Sharma is an independent scholar and writer, and holds the position of South Asia Regional Director of Climate Parliament. He has worked in relation to a wide spectrum of the South Asian society – government agencies, media, research organizations and international agencies.
May-Britt Öhman, PhD in the History of Science and Technology, works at the Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University. More information about the panel debate.

• Amitav Ghosh holds Asia Network’s Annual Lecture in Oslo

In October 2012, Indian writer Amitav Ghosh visits Norway in connection with the release of a Norwegian translation of the second volume in the ”Ibis” trilogy, with the title En elv av røyk (River of Smoke). Ghosh is regarded as one of India’s most important writers and has been influential in the so-called Anglo-Indian boom. The new book deals with the early 1800’s. China is exporting porcelain, silk, spices and tea. In order to be able to pay for it, the British Empire starts a major production of opium in India, and as a consequence the Indian farmers are starving, forced to grow poppies instead of food. Suddenly China decides that they do not want to import any more opium, they’ve had enough. Then, England goes to war, the Opium Wars as they are called.
On Tuesday 9 October 2012, Amitav Ghosh will participate as speaker at the Norwegian Asia Network’s (Asianettverket) Annual Lecture at the University of Oslo. Ghosh will talk about ”China and the Making of Modern India”. Venue: Auditorium 1, Helga Engs hus, Blindern. More information.
On Wednesday 10 October, at 19.00, he will also take part in a literary book release function in Oslo, discussing his work with Norwegian journalist Marte Spurkland. Venue: Litteraturhuset, Wergelandsveien 29, Oslo. More information about the Oslo event.

• Oslo seminar on the Economic Rise of China and India

As part of the Annual Oslo University Festival, Professor Pranab Bardhan from the Graduate School at the Department of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, will lecture on Saturday 13 October 20912, at 17.00. He will talk about ”Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India”, a presentation based on his recent book. It assesses the economic rise of China and India, explaining how the two countries now account for one fifth of the global economy, and why they soon will account for one third. Emphasizing the challenges that the new giants must overcome, the presentation compares policies, obstacles and economic structures in the two countries. Special attention is devoted to poverty, inequality and environment – and how political and social factors shape each country’s variant of capitalism. Venue: Eilert Sundts hus, auditorium 4, University of Oslo, Blindern.
Prof. Bardhan was educated at Presidency College, Kolkata and Cambridge University, England. He has been at the faculty of MIT, Indian Statistical Institute and Delhi School of Economics before joining Berkeley. He was the BP Centennial Professor at London School of Economics for 2010 and 2011.

• Stockholm University organises Educational for Rural Transformation (ERT) Symposium in India

The Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University co-organizes the 3rd International Educational for Rural Transformation (ERT) Symposium, that will take place 15 – 17 October 2012 at the Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. The theme for the 2012 symposium will be ”Education for Rural Transformation (ERT) – Good Practices from National and International Perspectives”.Read a concept paper.
The present and ongoing three-year comparative research study on Education for Rural Transformation (ERT) is coordinated by Professor Vinayagum Chinapah at the Institute of International Education (IIE), Department of Education, Stockholm University, in collaboration with Dr. Zhao Shangwu, Professor Zhou Nanzhao, and Dr. Pushpanadham Karanam at the Dept. of Educational Administration, MS University, Baroda. The aim is to critically examine the concept, policy and practice of education for rural transformation in China and India from a comparative perspective using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Thus the 3rd Syposium is a follow-up to the two symposia held in Stockholm, Sweden in 2010 and Chengdu, China in 2011. More information about the 2012 Baroda conference.

• Lund University Development Research Day 2012 at LUCSUS

Lund University Development Research Day 2012 will be held on Tuesday 16 October 2012. The theme will be ”Development and Climate”. The Development Research Day is an annual event intended to bring together those interested in development issues from a wide variety of disciplines. This year it is hosted by LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies). Senior researchers, post-docs, PhD students, and graduate students are all encouraged to present their research that does not need to be climate specific; anyone working with development issues is welcome. Twenty minutes in total will be devoted to each participant for presentation, discussion, and feedback.
It is a full day programme with a morning of keynote speakers focusing on the Development and Climate theme. They include AnnaKarin Norling, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida); Göran Hyden, University of Florida, Richard Klein Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), and Lennart Olsson, LUCSUS, Lund University.
The afternoon will highlight the variety of development research at Lund University through parallel sessions with short presentations and a poster exhibition. If you would like to participate email LUCSUS at, informing about the title of your research and whether you would like to do a presentation or a poster.

• Stockholm seminar on Human Trafficking in South Asia

The Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University begins its 2012 seminar series with Dr. Mondira Dutta, Associate Professor at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India. She will give a presentation on “Cultural Perspectives in Human Trafficking of Women and Girls in South Asia” on Thursday 11 October, 15.00-17.00. The venue will be F702, Dept. of Political Science, Stockholm University.
Dr. Mondira Dutta is the current Director and Programme Coordinator of the Central Asian Area Studies Programme at the Centre for Central, South, South East Asian and South West Pacific Studies at JNU. She is also a Consultant to UN Women, South Asia, New Delhi. Her fields of specialization include Impact Studies, Gender Studies, Human Security & Human Development with particular reference to South Asia, Afghanistan and Central Asia.
She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, at the International Congress of Women for Justice, Equality, Peace and Progress, sponsored jointly by United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan, Govt of India, FICCI and The India Today Group, New Delhi, on 7th March 2009. Among her recent publications are the books ”Capturing Women’s Work” and “Emerging Afghanistan in the Third Millennium”. More information on the seminar.

• Stockholm seminar on India’s foreign policy priorities

The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) in Stockholm invites to a seminar about India’s global role, increasing power and India’s foreign policy priorities with His Excellency Mr. M. Ganapathi, Secretary(West) at the Ministry of External Affairs of India, on Monday 15 October 2012, 15.00–16.15. The seminar will be moderated by Anna Jardfelt, director at UI. Venue: Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Drottning Kristinas väg 37, Stockholm.
India’s global power is increasing. Which priorities do India have for its foreign policy? How is the increasing power of India affecting the region? How do India see upon its relations with the EU and other important actors in the foreign policy domain? These questions will be discussed with Mr. Ganapathi, who has had the assignment as Secretary(West) in the Ministry of External Affairs since 2011. His responsibilities include looking after India’s relations with countries of Central Europe, Africa and Latin America as well as EU and the India, Brazil and South African Dialogue Forum (IBSA). Pre-registration needed. Seminar fee: UI-members free, non-members 100 SEK. More information.

• Copenhagen lecture series on the Political Economy of Transition in India

The Asia Research Centre at Copenhagen Business School (CBS) organises a public postgraduate student lecture series on ”The Political Economy of Transition in India” during the month of November 2012. The lecture series is arranged in cooperation with Contemporary South Asian Studies at Oxford University; and the Centre of Development Studies at Cambridge University, UK. The lectures take place over the course of five Thursdays, and every time from 10.00 till 12.00. Lecturers include Dr. Mathew McCartney, Oxford University, who will speak about ”Liberalization and the Role of the State in India 1980-2012”; Dr. Shailaja Fennell, Cambridge University, who will speak about ”Challenges and Opportunities for Indian Agriculture in a Globalized Food Market”; Professor Anthony D’Costa, Asia Research Centre, CBS, who will speak about ”Compressed Capitalism and the New India”; Professor Sebastian Morris, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and current ICCR Visiting Professor in Indian Studies at CBS, who will speak about ”The Politics and Economics of Public Service Failure in India and the New Mantra of PPPs”; and Professor Barbara Harriss-White, Oxford University, who will speak about ”Capitalism and the Common Man – The Big Problem of Self-Employment In India”.
The lectures are free of charge and everybody is most welcome, but please register by writing to Registration begins on October 1. Venue: Copenhagen Business School, Dalgas Have 15, Frederiksberg. Full information.

• Oslo PhD course on Political Determinants of Health

University of Oslo arranges a PhD course entitled ”The Political Determinants of Health – Changing Perspectives on Health Inequality” on 3–5 December 2012. It is organised by the university’s interfaculty research area Livelihoods in Developing Countries (LEVE), in collaboration with SUM Research School, and will be held at the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), Sognsveien 68, Oslo. Applications are invited until 14 September 2012.
The principal objective of the course is to critically review different approaches to health inequality, which will enable doctoral students to understand the causes of the causes of ill health – the political determinants of health. The interdisciplinary nature of the course will appeal to doctoral students from a variety of backgrounds, such as public health, international relations, medical sciences, anthropology, geography, political science.
Lecturers include Jashodhara Dasgupta, Coordinator of SAHAYOG (Indian NGO working on gender and health) and Steering Group Member of the International Initiative on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights. More information.

• Copenhagen conference on Speculation in India

A three-day conference on ”Speculation in India: Imaginaries of Indian economies” will be held in Copenhagen 28 February – 2 March 2013. Scholars of disciplines such as Anthropology, History, Sociology, Indology and Economics working with India, are invited to participate to present research on speculative practices and the dealing with uncertainty, in the present and past. The conference is being organized by Dr. Stine Simonsen Puri at the Center for Comparative Cultural Studies  at University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with the Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies. The keynote speaker will be Arjun Appadurai, Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, USA.
Along with the narrative of the growth of Indian economy there is It foceses on an increasing amount of speculation in India, addressing both aspects of speculation, namely speculation as a way of dealing with the uncertainty of the future through economic risk-taking, and speculation, which concerns information gathering and imaginaries which are formative of time. The interrelationship between the two sides of speculation is captured in the relationship between economy and the production of knowledge.
Despite the title, the seminar is however not restricted to studies on practices of trading, hedging or wagering manifested in for example the futures markets of stock exchanges. Rather, what is in focus are the imaginaries of the uncertain future, and the practices and devices used to attempting at calculating and taking advantage of the future. Whereas the focus is on the economic drive in the speculative practices, of as much interest are the social, cultural, moral and existential scales through which we can understand different aspects of speculations.
Deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 November 2012. Full information.

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• Fourth Annual Asia and Europe in a Global Context conference

The University of Heidelberg invites to the fourth Annual Conference of the ”Asia and Europe in a Global Context” Cluster of Excellence, to be held at the Karl Jasper Centre on 10–12 October 2012. The conference, entitled ”Things that connect – pathways of materiality and practice”, is organised by the university’s Research Area D “Historicities and Heritage, and the ”Material Text Cultures” Collaborative Research Centre. It will focus on the study of materiality and the power it exercises in cultural processes. The expanding field of material culture studies has infused a new dynamism into a range of disciplines from archaeology and epigraphy to anthropology, histories of consumption, quotidian life, technology, curatorial and museum studies, aesthetics and art history.
The conference will feature two keynote lectures: by Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum in London and author of ”A History of the World in 100 Objects”; and Ian Hodder from Stanford University, USA, who will speak about the interrelationship of humans and things. It also includes four plenary panels on ”The Obstinacy of Things”, ”Multiple Materialities: Local, National, Global”, ”Material Text Cultures on the Move”, and ”Materializing Messages: Metamorphoses and Placement of Texts in Early China”. More information.

• 41st Annual Madison Conference on South Asia

The 41st Annual Madison Conference on South Asia will be held 11–14 October 2012. The conference, that is sponsored by the Center for South Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, attracts over 650 scholars and specialists on South Asia, who travel from countries all over the world and much of the United States. It is a great venue for intellectual, professional, and social exchange. Panels, roundtables, and individual papers on all topics pertaining to South Asian studies are welcome. Registration and proposal submission forms (single papers, panels, roundtables, preconferences) are available on line. Registration as a non-presenting participant at the Conference is open to the general public. The conference features nearly 100 academic panels and roundtables, as well as association meetings and special events ranging from performances to film screenings. This year a plenary session will be organized around the theme of ”Corruption and Culture.” Panels that similarly address questions of corruption and its cultural manifestations and understandings from a variety of disciplinary and evidentiary perspectives are especially welcome. Venue: Madison Concourse Hotel, 1 West Dayton St., Madison, Wisconsin, USA. More information.

• Third Borderlands Research Conference to be held in Singapore

The 3rd Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network will be held in Singapore 11–13 October 2012. The theme for the 2012 conference will be ”Connections, Corridors, and Communities”. The conference is organized by the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore; International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), the Netherlands; the Asian Borderlands Research Network; in collaboration with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.  It is convened by Prof. Prasenjit Duara, Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore, Prof. Tansen Sen, Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Dr. Tina Harris and Prof. Willem van Schendel, University of Amsterdam, and Dr. Erik de Maaker, Leiden University, Netherlands.
Venue: University Hall, National University of Singapore, Lee Kong Chian Wing, 21 Lower Kent Ridge Road.
Extensive land and maritime networks have crisscrossed Asia for centuries, providing the basis for encounters between diverse ethnic, linguistic, economic, religious, and political groups. Today, developments such as new infrastructural projects, an increase in media access, and renewed interest in shaping cross-border cultural identities serve to both underscore these long-standing linkages and create new forms of connections across Asia.  During the 3rd Asian Borderlands Research Conference in Singapore, presentations will address continuities and ruptures along routes and borders in Asia, broadly related to the theme, Connections, Corridors, and Communities. The keynote speaker will be David Ludden, Professor of Political Economy and Globalization in the Department of History at New York University, USA.
More information about the conference

• Seventh Annual Himalayan Policy Research Conference invites for papers

The Seventh Annual Himalayan Policy Research Conference (HPRC 2012) will take place on 11 October 2012.  The event is organised by the Nepal Study Center at the University of New Mexico, United States. The focus for the 2012 conference will be ”SAARC countries: South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation”. This year the conference will also feature a special session on South-South Cooperation and Development (South Asia, Africa, and Latin America). Papers on recently completed projects or research in progress are invited for consideration, provided that they are in the field of development, democracy, governance, or environment. The conference will take place in The Madison Concourse Hotel, Wisconsin, US, and will be part of the larger 40th Annual Conference on South Asia at the University of Wisconsin. Deadline to submit abstracts is 10 July 2012. Full information.

• Fukuoka conference on Environmental Aspects of Bangladesh

The 3rd International Conference on Environmental Aspects of Bangladesh (ICEAB) will be held 13–14 October 2012 in Fukuoka, Japan. Researchers from all over the world are invited to participate in the conference, hosted by the University of Kitakyushu, that covers not only the environmental issues of Bangladesh but other parts of the World as well. It is a follow-up to the International Symposium on Environmental Issues of Bangladesh & Japan held in 2009, and the 2nd International Conference on Environmental Aspects of Bangladesh held in 2010. The ICEAB provides vibrant opportunities for researchers, industry practitioners, volunteers, students and fellow citizens to share their research experiences, research results, ideas, review of various aspects and practical development experiences on environmental aspects of Bangladesh, Japan and other regions. Topics of interest include: River issues and water pollution; Forest and biodiversity conservation; Fisheries and marine biology; Green energy, renewable energy; and Waste management. More information.

• Kolkata symposium on South Asian Cities under Siege

The Centre for Built Environment (CBE) in Kolkata, India, organises an International Symposium on ”Cities under Change” on 17–19 October 2012. The focus will be on South Asian Cities and/or a comparative presentation of European Cities. Separate sessions will also be held on Global Cities Forum, Urban Research Forum and Youth Urban Forum. The symposium is convened by Mr. Partha Ranjan Das, CBE Vice President, and coordinated by Ms. Sonia Gupta, CBE Secretary General. More information about CBE in a 2005 SASNET report. Full information about the October 2012 symposium.

• Central Eurasian Studies Society’s Annual Conference in Bloomington

The Central Eurasian Studies Society’s (CESS) Thirteenth Annual Conference will be held 18–21 October 2012 in Bloomington, Indiana, USA. 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 conference.

• New York conference on Sikhism, Literature and Film

On 19–21 October 2012, the Department of Religion at Hofstra University, New York, USA, organises a conference on ”Sikhi(sm), Literature and Film” with the purpose to explore the literary and visual cultures within, or pertaining to, Sikh traditions both in Punjabi and Diasporic contexts. The conference aims to chart new territory by exploring the aesthetic and expressive traditions within Sikh and Sikhism and proposals for papers are invited in two major areas: literatury cultures, and visual cultures. For the former, proposals that work with the broader literature such as –romance (kissaa), – ballad (of war/strife, vaar), – lyric (revelation), – hagiography and biography (Janamsaakhiis), – didactic and devotional (revelation, commentarial), – revival and reform (political, nationalist, moral/didactic tracts), – fiction and short story, – poetry and new poetry, – prose, – drama and play, are welcome.
For the virtual cultures track proposals are welcome from the on – Cinema/Film (Bollywood, Hollywood, Lollywood and Independent productions, Internet websites, YouTube, Vimeo, Music video-Rap, Bhangra), – TV (terrestrial and satellite stations), – Comic (Amar Chitra Katha, Sikhtoons), – Fine Arts (miniature paintings, court paintings, modern art, photography, contemporary art), – Commerical Art (calendar art, lithographs), – Fashion and Advertising (e.g. Sonny Caberwal ,Vikram Chatwal, Waris Ahluwalia), – Museum Exhibitions (V&A, Rubin Museum, Smithsonian etc), – Architecture (monumental, temple and residential). Requests for more information can be given by, S.K.K. Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies, Associate Professor of Religion.

• Second Students’ Conference on Bengal Related Studies in Halle

The Second Students’ Conference on Bengal Related Studies will be held in Halle (Saale), Germany, on 27–28 October 2012. It is hosted by the South Asia Seminar, Institute of Oriental Studies, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg along with the association Bengal Link e.V. and the Arbeitskreis Neuzeitliches Südasien of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Asienkunde e.V. (DGA). The Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg is one of the two German universities where research on the Bengal regions, Bengali language and culture has been an integral part for a long time. After the emergence of numerous studies on the Bengal regions disciplines other than South Asian Studies (e.g. Social Anthropology, Sociology, Development Studies, Urban Planning), the conference organisers realised the necessity of giving students and young scholars an option to discuss their various topics and research ap-proaches among each other across disciplinary borders, and of building up an interdisciplinary network for Bengal Related Studies.
The aim of the conference is to provide an inter-disciplinary venue for young scholars who focus on the Bengali regions in their studies. Halle-Wittenberg is one of the two German universities where research on the Bengal regions, Bengali language and culture has been an integral part for a long time. After the emergence of numerous studies on the Bengal regions from other disciplines (e.g. Social Anthropology, Sociology, Development Studies, Urban Planning) the conference organisers realised the necessity of giving young scholars an option to discuss their various topics and research approaches among each other and of building up an interdisciplinary network for Bengal Related Studies. After the success of the first conference in 2010 the organisers are very much looking forward to hosting the second one.
Among interesting papers to be presented could be mentioned one by Magdalena Lipinska (University of Hamburg) on ”The Partition of Bengal (1947) in the Bengali Novel, on the Example of Taslima Nasrin’s Pherā”; one by Elisabeth Fink (Goethe University Frankfurt) on ”From Social Mobilisation to Service Delivery? The Impact of International Support on Trade Unions and Labour Organisations in the Ready-Made Garment Sector in Bangladesh”, and one by Kirsten Hackenbroch (TU Dortmund University) on ”Dhāndābāj or Civil Society? An Analysis of the Discussion of the Future of Korail Neighbourhood in Dhaka”. More information about the Halle conference.

The Department of Political Science, University of Allahabad, UGC-SAP, is organizing a two-day international seminar on ’Global Environmental Politics’ during December 8-9, 2012. Since the early 1970s, the environmentalist movement, instead of being a specific scientific doctrine or field of study, has emerged as a socio-political force. It has sometimes found expression in the formation of ‘green’ political parties and in pressure groups. The rise in air, water, sound, soil and municipal garbage pollution in alarming scale has sustained the continued presence of environmentalism on the political agenda; a series of very high-profile specific environmental disasters – at the Bhopal and Seveso plants and the 3-Mile Island and Chernobyl Nuclear reactors, and the Exxon Valdez Oil Tanker spillage – together with an increasingly environmentalist understanding of natural disasters have placed environmentalism at the centre stage of the public agenda. But despite all the visible signs of environmental degradation and country-wide protests and movements against environmental degradation, the socio-economic and political policies in India are nearly uninfluenced. ‘Environmental protection’ still seems to be a neglected area. This is because of cumulative impact of several factors; failure to develop a full-bloom environmental jurisprudence being one of the most significant. Through this seminar the UGC-SAP seeks to contour an in-depth analysis of the emerging issues related to Global Environmental Politics and paper-presenters are free to choose an area of their interest which broadly falls within this theme. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 25 November 2012. More information on the Allahabad seminar.

• Yale University invites to its 2013 Modern South Asia Workshop

Abstracts are invited for the 2013 Yale Modern South Asia Workshop, to be held 30–31 March 2013 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. This two-day workshop brings together the ongoing work of advanced graduate students and recent PhDs working on topics of current interest in modern South Asian Studies. Submissions of paper proposals from all disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences are invited, particularly those that will foster cross-disciplinary dialogue and exchange of ideas from across the diverse regions of South Asia. Past papers have tackled issues ranging from film and ethnomusicology to state formation and elections and have presented new theoretical and methodological alternatives in the study of South Asia. The workshop is sponsored by the South Asian Studies Council at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale. Deadline for submitting abstracts is October 1, 2012. More information here.

• Paris conference on ”The East” in the eyes of 16th-18th century Europe

A conference entitled ”Eastern Resonances 2: India and the Far East 16th-18th centuries” will held at the University of Paris Diderot, France on 5–7 December 2013. The aim is to study the moves, shifts, transformations and translations through which the idea of the East resonated in Europe in general, and Britain in particular, from the early modern period to the romantic age. Short proposals in English and a brief biographical statement are to be sent by October 31, 2012, to the conference organisers. Papers may be presented either in French or in English and the intention is to publish a selected number of papers from the conference in a volume on the topic of Eastern Resonances.More information.

• 12th International Asian Urbanization Conference to be held in Varanasi

The 12th International Asian Urbanization Conference will be held in Varanasi, India, 28–30 December 2013. It will be hosted by the Department of Geography at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), in association with The Asian Urban Research Association (AURA). AURA was established in January 1986 and is based at the University of Akron, Ohio, USA.
The conference seeks to address a wide variety of problems in the Asian urban milieu. The themes to be covered include Rural Urban transformations; Globalization and the urban economy; Urban transportation and commutation; Amenities and facilities in urban areas; Climatic change and urban environment; Marginalization of local communities in urban areas; and Use of Geoinformatic tools (GIS, Remote Sensing and GPS) in urban environmental studies. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 30 March 2013. More information.

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

Business and Politics

• Information about South Asia related business and politics in Sweden
See SASNET’s page,

South Asia related culture in Scandinavia

• South Asia related books at Göteborg Book Fair 2012

The 2012 Göteborg Book Fair (Bok- och Biblioteksmässan) takes place 27–30 September. SASNET’s deputy director Lars Eklund will attend the book fair to take part in the South Asia related presentations. Compared to 2008, when India was partly in focus at the fair (read Lars Eklund’s report from the 2008 book fair), only few new South Asia related books are presented this year.
Most interesting is the latest production by Tomas Löfström (photo), who has written a book on Torgny Sommelius, a travelogue writer who made adventourous journeys to South Asia in the late 1950s. The book is entitled ”Den siste resenären” and will be extensively discussed in seminars and debates during the book fair. More information about the book.
The controversial Swedish writer Jan Myrdal will also participate in the 2012 Book Fair. He will take part in seminars focusing on his recent book ”Red Star over India”, based on travelling experiences in the tribal heartland of Bastar and meeting with the leadership of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) party. More information about Jan Myrdal’s participation.

• Rangoli magazine invites articles on South Asian Arts and Literature

Submissions are being taken for the fourth issue of Rangoli, a non-commercial online magazine devoted to South Asian Literature and Art Forms. Rangoli is operated by Kala Kahani, a UK based cultural institution promoting, developing and cultivating an appreciation of South Asian literature, theatre, dance, music and the visual arts. The publishers are looking for poems, short stories, book reviews, photography, interesting articles and pieces of creative art, and they are particularly keen to recieve submissions related to South Asian Literature and art forms. No payments are given. For more details write to Sneha Subramanian Kanta, Assistant Editor, Rangoli.
To view the previous two issues of this journal, visit,

• 12th edition of River to River Florence Indian Film Festival

The 12th edition of River to River Florence Indian Film Festival will be held 7–13 December 2012 in Florence, Italy. The festival accepts 2011 and 2012 features, shorts and documentaries from and about India.Submissions are done online by 30 September 2012.
The River to River festival, under the Patronage of the Embassy of India in Rome, is the first festival in the world entirely devoted to films from and about India. New for this year is that besides the Bitebay Audience Award, the festival announces the new “Piaggio Foundation Award” for the feature film category. The jury of the award will be composed by a special committee of the Piaggio Foundation. The award, given to the director of the winning feature film by the President of Piaggio Vehicles Private Ltd of Pune, will be the new Vespa LX125 just launched on the Indian market.
Deadline for accreditations is 20 November 2012. Last minute accreditations can be done from 7 December 2012 at the festival venue. Full informaiton on the festival website.

• Information about South Asia related culture in Sweden/ Scandinavia

New and updated items on SASNET web site

• ISDP publication on India’s Special Economic Zone policy

India’s SEZ Policy, by researchers Ebba Mårtensson and Per Olsson at the Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP) in Stockholm/Nacka. Interesting publication about India’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Policy. Over the last few decades India has emerged as an economic giant, and in 2000 the SEZ policy became part of  a strategy to maintain high growth and promote India’s manufacturing sector. However, according to the authors, India’s current SEZ policy does little to strengthen India’s economy and they argue that India should consider modifying its SEZ policy or abandoning it in favor of  broader economic reform. ISDP POLICY BRIEF No. 97 (3 July 2012). Go for the publication.

• Pacific Affairs special issue on the impact of mobile phones in South Asia

In its September 2012 issue, the Pacific Affairs magazine has made a special theme on ”Celling South Asia: The Mobile Phone’s Impact on a Region”. Guest Editors Robin Jeffrey, Institute of South Asian Studies & Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore; and  Assa Doron, The Australian National University, introduces with an article entitled “The Mobile Phone in India and Nepal: Political Economy, Politics and Society”, followed by six other articles with a focus on the mobile phone’s impact on culture, politics, economics and society in India and Nepal. The researchers being published include Subhashish Gupta from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore; Sunil Mani from the, Centre for Development Studies (CDS) in Thuruvananthapuram; and Nimmi Rangaswamy from Microsoft Research in Bangalore. Go for Pacific Affairs special issue.

• Swedish departments where research on South Asia is going on

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

• Useful travelling information

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

Best regards

  Lars Eklund

Deputy director/webmaster
SASNET/Swedish South Asian Studies Network