On December 13, 2012, Lund University announced it would allocate resources in support of the Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET) for the period 2013–2015. This decision will allow SASNET to maintain its activities and add an assistant webmaster to help in its widening network outreach. The decision comes as a relief after a couple of years of uncertainty after SASNET’s annual subsidy from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) expired at the conclusion of a ten year commitment by that agency in December 2009. Since then SASNET has existed under insecure and provisional circumstances. The SASNET staff is grateful to Lund University for resolving several years of uncertainly and enabling our work to proceed into the future. See letter of thanks.
Although financed solely by Lund University, SASNET will continue its collaboration with other universities, institutes, and NGOs, and maintain databases for all Swedish researchers who wish to be part of our national network. Our aim is to be an interdisciplinary platform for promoting education, research, and information about South Asia.
Lund University has also established new directives that will be in force for SASNET from 2013 onwards. They include the appointment of a new board to be named in the coming months. See the new directives (Föreskrifter, only in Swedish).
On Tuesday 15th January 2013, SASNET has called all interested researchers and other staff at Lund University working with South Asia related projects in any field to a brain storming meeting to discuss possible interdisciplinary South Asia related projects to launch, visions and future collaborations. Anna Lindberg from SASNET will inform about our planned activites during 2013, and representatives for the External Relations Division will inform about other South Asia related activities at Lund University.
On Wednesday 24th April 2013, SASNET will organise a high-profile full-day South Asia seminar at Lund University. Prominent European and Asian scholars will give lectures about different aspects of societal life in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and the Ambassadors of the South Asian countries represented in Scandinavia have been invited to participate. A cultural programme will end the day. More information with the detailed programme will be published soon.
SASNET tries to keep track of all South Asia related research at the Swedish universities, and in our database we have information about approximately 300 departments where some kind of South Asia related research and/or educational collaboration projects with institutions in the eight South Asian nations is going on. Go for SASNET’s list of Swedish departments.
Professor in Epidemiology Hugo Westerlund with senior researchers Dr. Martin Hyde, Dr. Holendro Singh Chungkham and Dr. Linda Magnusson-Hanson.Starting with January 2013, and our Newsletter No. 143, we will each month present one or two of these departments and the researchers working on South Asia related projects. We start with The Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University, a national knowledge center focusing on stress reactions, sleep and health.
The Epidemiology Unit within the Stress Research Institute is involved in a collaboration with the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) in Mumbai. Hugo Westerlund, Professor in Epidemiology, and his research team consisting of Dr. Linda Magnusson-Hanson, Dr. Holendro Singh Chungkham and Dr. Martin Hyde, recently received funding from the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS) to organise two Indo-Swedish workshops, one in India and one in Sweden, focusing onOpportunities and obstacles to conducting work environment research amongst Indian workers in India and Sweden”. The aim is to encourage future bilateral collaboration through an exchange of information, expertise and ideas between Indian and Swedish researchers about the impact of work environment and labour market conditions on health, well-being and productivity. Read more about the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University.
• Programme for Spring 2013 lunch seminar series at Lunds konsthall
SASNET’s Thursday lunch (brownbag) seminar series, aimed at presenting and disseminating the eminent South Asia related research carried out at Lund University, was launched in 2011. Since last year the seminar series is organised in collaboration with Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF) Lund, and Lunds Konsthall. The seminars, open for all interested, are held once a month on Thursdays at 12.30 inside the public art gallery (Lunds konsthall) at Mårtenstorget 3 in central Lund.
The programme for the spring 2013 has now been finalised:
7 February 2013: Professor Per Wickenberg, Division of Sociology of Law: ”SEE THE CHILD! Reflections on 10 years of Child Rights work in Education with 29 Change Agents in Kerala-India”
14 March 2013: Professor Emeritus Baboo Nair, Division of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, “A story of my cooperation with SASNET-Lund University“
15 April 2013: Associate Professor Anette Agardh, Division of Social Medicine and Global Health, “Youth Friendly Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in India”
16 May 2013: Assistant Professor Ted Svensson, Department of Political Science, “What Kind of Independence? The Production of Postcolonial India and Pakistan”
More information on the SASNET/ABF Thursday Lunch Seminars
The Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET), the Nordic Centre in India (NCI), and the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) organize an explorative workshop on “Urbanization and Migration in Transnational India: Work and Family Life from a Welfare Perspective” in Bangalore, India, during the period 5–7 March 2013. SASNET will be represented in Bangalore by Anna Lindberg, Lars Eklund and Jonathan Stoltz. While in India, the SASNET team will also visit a number of other universities and research institutions in Bangalore, Mangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.
The purpose of the workshop is to bring together Nordic and Indian researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences to identify new areas of research on the ways in which work and family life in India are rapidly being transformed by urbanization, national and transnational migration, and new economic policies, especially with regard to welfare distribution and social security. Read more.
During the period 20 October till 30 November 2012, SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund was away from the SASNET office at Lund University. Lars set up a small SASNET office at his Sardar Sankar Rd residence in Kolkata, and interacted with SASNET networking partners at the prime universities in Kolkata – Calcutta University, Jadavpur University, and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta.
He also made a contact journey to Varanasi, Kanpur and Delhi, visiting the Swedish/Nordic study centres in Varanasi, the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), IIT Kanpur, the South Asian University in Delhi, and other networking partners. In Delhi, he aso participated in the sixth Nobel Memorial Week, organised by the Swedish Embassy, and had meetings with the Ambassador Harald Sandberg, and the Growth Analysis representative Andreas Muranyi. In mid-November, Lars also visited Kathmandu for five days, and meetings were organised at Tribhuvan University, and meetings with Nepalese networking partners. Go for Lars’ travel reports with information about all academic meetings.
• Lund University student guide to SASNET
SASNET has published an information folder specifically meant for students at Lund University on what we can do for them. The advises concern everything from assistance with all kinds of academic issues related to South Asia, such as project planning and information about funding possibilities; to providing useful contacts with universities, research institutions, and non-governmental organizations in all South Asian countries; facilitating contacts with other Nordic and European students and researchers with similar interests in South Asia; and supplying practical advice about visa applications, appropriate dress, and cultural differences before travelling to South Asia. See the folder entitled ”The student guide to SASNET”.
The eminent Kolkata writer and journalist Ajit Roy, well-known to a whole generation of Swedes interested in the development in the Indian political arena, passed away in June 2011. For more than 25 years he wrote well-informed and analytical texts from a leftist perspective in the Swedish-language magazine SYDASIEN, edited by Lars Eklund – now SASNET’s deputy director.
Lars has now written an obituary text on Ajit Roy for the web-based SYDASIEN, the follw-up to the printed magazine that was closed down in 2010. It was posted on 10th January 2013.
Lars has also updated an interview he made with Ajit Roy already in 1989, about his fascinating life experiences, an article entitled ”Motvalls gubbe i indiska vänstern“. The article is illustrated with a photo (re-posted here) from the same year showing Ajit Roy giving a speech in Kolkata at the occasion of Lars being awarded the Swedish-Bengali magazine Uttårapath’s Cultural Prize (in honour of his ”long-standing efforts to disseminate Indian and Bengali culture in Sweden through the SYDASIEN magazine)”. Go for Lars’ articles in SYDASIEN (in Swedish only)
• Riksbankens Jubileumsfond grants to three Swedish South Asia related research projects
In October 2012, Swedish researchers were awarded grants from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ), an independent foundation with the goal of promoting and supporting research in the Humanities and Social Sciences. RJ supports qualified research by means of providing grants to individual researchers or academic groups based in Sweden. RJ utilises two different methods in its work. One is to approve grants for qualified applications which have been directly submitted to RJ by individual researchers. The other is to undertake activities aimed at promoting research in the humanities and social sciences in Sweden, and which strengthen the position of Swedish academics internationally.
Three of the successful applications are related to South Asia:
– Dr. Denis Frank from the Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg, receives SEK 2.6 m for a three years project entitled ”Globalization of Migration to Sweden: The Labor Migration from India and China 2008-2014”. Along with the researcher Chia-Ling Yang, he will explore the increased labour migration from India and China, how this migration started and what lies behind. The contact person on the Indian side is Amita Sahaya, founder secretary of the New Delhi based non-profit organisation Women Work & Health Initiative (WWHI). More information.
– Dr. Bengt G Karlsson from the Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University, receives SEK 2.7 m for a project entitled ”The Indian Underbelly: Marginalisation and Migration in the Periphery”. This project focuses on emerging forms of poverty and related process of marginalisation and migration in India. In particular, it wishes to understand the problems and prospects associated with the expansion of developmental activities and state-control, in areas that were traditionally associated with economic backwardness, social ferment and protracted political conflict. The Indian research partner is Associate Professor Sanjay Barbora at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), based at its Northeast India campus in Guwahati. More information.
– Professor Peter Wallensteen, Dept. of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, receives SEK 3m for an Infrastructure project, on ”Mapping Armed Conflict in Asia, 1989-2012. Enhancing Research by Providing Georeferenced Event Data on Organised Violence in Asia”, to be carried out by the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP), a leading provider of data on organised violence, used by researchers and policymakers. More information.
• Krishnan Srinivasan again Research Fellow at SCAS in Uppsala
Krishnan Srinivasan is again a Research Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) in Uppsala during the academic year 2012/13. Srinivasan is both ascholar and a diplomat (retired). He graduated from Christ Church, Oxford and joined the Indian diplomatic service i 1959. After serving as ambassador to several countries, he was appointed Commonwealth deputy secretary-general until 2002. He has held academic appointments at Oxford, Cambridge, the Netherlands and India where he is Honorary Professor at ASCI Hyderabad and Fellow of the Maulana Azad Institute for Asian Studies at Kolkata.
During his stay in Uppsala, Srinivasan is working on a monograph on the future relationship between Europe and the emerging powers of Asia. He argues that with the economic downturn in Europe and the grpwth in politico-economic assertiveness among some Asian nations, these interactions will require reflection, introspection, and a re-set.
Lars Tore Flåten, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS), University of Oslo, will defend his doctoral dissertation entitled ”History and Identity Politics: Educational Reforms and History Textbook during the Rule of the BJP” on Friday 25 January 2013, at 09.15. First opponent is Research Director Veronique Bénéï, Centre National Reserche Scientifique, Paris, France. Venue: Auditorium 3, Helga Engs Hus, Blindern, Oslo.
Abstract: When the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) assumed power in India in 1998, as the largest party of the National Democratic Alliance, it soon became evident that it prioritized educational reforms. The BJP is a cultural nationalist party, which seeks to define India according to its Hindu cultural legacy. It may also be construed in terms of identity politics, since the BJP attempts to make Hindu identity the primary frame of identification for India’s Hindus. In this study Flåten examines the main features of BJP’s reforms of the National Council of Educational Research and Training, with particular emphasis on the publication of four new history textbooks in 2002. He views these textbooks as integral to BJP’s identity political agenda, and examine in what ways they invoked Hindu identity. More information.
Anvita Abbi, Professor of Linguistics at the Centre for Linguistics, School of Language Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is one of the foremost linguists in India, being an expert on every language family of the country. She has served as a Visiting Scientist at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, and was nominated as a Distinguished Fellow of 2001 by the Language Typology Research Center, La Trobe University in Australia. She has recently been nominated an honorary member of the Linguistic Society of America. At present she is one of the members of the Advisory Board of Terralingua, and advisor to UNESCO on language issues. She received the Rarashtriya Lokbhasha Samman 2003 for her contribution towards the tribal languages of India.
In late November 2012, Professor Abbi was invited by Professor Anju Saxena,Department of Linguistics & Philology, Uppsala University, to give two lectures at Uppsala University, through the interdisciplinary Forum for Advanced Studies in Arts, Languages and Theology programme – SALT. Both seminars focused on the languages of the Andaman Islands, an area of research she has dealt with extensiveley in recent years, being the Principal Investigator/Director of a mega project at JNU on ”Vanishing Voices of the Great Andamanese”. Read more.
H-ASIA is a vibrating well-run discussion forum on Asian History and Studies, part of the Humanities & Social Sciences OnLine network (H-Net). The primary purpose of H-ASIA, that was launched already in 1994, is to enable historians and other Asia scholars to easily communicate current research and teaching interests; to discuss new articles, books, papers, approaches, methods and tools of analysis; to test new ideas and share comments and tips on teaching. H-Asia is especially committed to discussing region wide, comparative and professional issues important to scholars of Asia. H-Asia is administered by Frank F. Conlon, Professor Emeritus of History, South Asian Studies & Comparative Religion at University of Washington, USA. Full information about the H-Asia Discussion Network. With the start of the new year 2013, H-Net has been slightly transformed. A new prototype on publishing and communications platform for H-Net was launched in early January. It integrates messaging and other forms of moderated content into one searchable space and offer great potential for editors and contributors to network and share information that one could only wish for in 1993. Go for the new H-Asia page.
• Eminent Swedish Radio journalist Sören Wibeck passed away
Sören Wibeck, eminent Swedish Radio journalist with a great interest in South Asia, passed away in the end of December 2012, only 61 years old. For many years, Sören has worked for the Swedish Radio 1 programme ”Människor och Tro”, focusing on philosophy and religion in a world perspective. For 30 years he travelled extensively in Asia and the Middle East, and he has written books on the history of religions (”Religionernas historia”, 2003), the Christian crusades (”Korståg. Västerlandets heliga krig”, 2005), and the Israel/Palestine conflict (”Ett land två folk. Israel-Palestina-konfliktens historia”, 2009).
Over the years, he developed a special interest in India, and especially Indian religion, history and society, which resulted in his last book entitled ”Indiens Historia” (Historiska Media, Lund, July 2012). More information about the book (in Swedish only).
Sören Wibeck lived in Malmö and was an active member of the SASNET network, participating in several events. He has also for many years collaborated with SASNET’s deputy director Lars Eklund on various projects, from the time when Lars edited the SYDASIEN magazine in the 1980s and 1990s till today. Lars did actually the fact checking of the new learned India book, that was supposed to have been launched in a big way at the 2012 Gothenburg Book Fair held in late September. However, by that time Sören had fallen ill due to cancer and his participation at the Book Fair had to be cancelled. Three months later he is tragically gone. SASNET condoles his untimely death.
The Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at University of Oslo invites applications for a position as Associate Professor of Modern South Asia Studies. The holder of the position is expected to initiate, contribute to and lead research on topics relevant to modern South Asia studies at the Department, to supervise MA and PhD candidates and to participate in teaching and in exam setting and evaluation at all levels. Both the South Asia studies programme and other programmes may be relevant. The holder is also expected to carry out administrative duties in accordance with the needs of the Department. More information.
The Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (ANHS) announces the opportunity to direct its research center in Kathmandu, Nepal. The director will work from the offices at the Social Science Baha (SSB), and must be a Nepali citizen.
The ideal candidate is ”highly motivated, experienced, and possesses superior organizational and communication skills”. Serious candidates, who are able to begin work on January 27, 2013, are invited to submit a current CV, a letter of interest, and three references to Mary Cameron, email@example.com, by January 7, 2013. Finalists for the position will participate in a phone interview with the search committee. The hire will be complete by January 20, 2013, and duties will begin immediately, preferably by January 27, 2013. More information.
The Social Anthropology Group, within the department of Anthropology at Universty College London (UCL), is advertising a Research Associate position, to work on the British Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project ‘Political Cultures in South Asia’. The post holder will join a research team working on democratic cultures across India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Professor Arild Engelsen Ruud at University of Oslo is one of the group members.
The successful candidate will conduct 8-12 months fieldwork in Bangladesh and collaborate in a series of seminars and writing projects. The post is funded for 22 months in the first instance. The expected start date is 1st March 2013. Applicants must have a PhD or be near completion of a doctoral degree in Social Anthropology or closely related disciplines. They should have a proven academic interest in the anthropology of South Asia and have field experience in at least one of the selected sites and possess relevant linguistic skills. The project has been designed as a collaborative exercise and applicants should be willing and able to work as part of a team and individually. Closing date for applications is 21 January 2013.More information.
The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) in New Delhi was established in the memory of former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964) and is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture of the Government of India, Located in the majestic Teen Murti House, the official residence of the first Prime Minister of India. It has four major constituents namely, a Memorial Museum, a Library on modern India, a Centre for Contemporary Studies and a Planetarium. Every year, NMML organises a high-profile Lecture Series, and the theme for the 2013 series is ”Rethinking History”. Among the lecturers could be mentioned Professor Mushirul Hasan, National Archives of India; Professor K Sivaramakrishnan, Yale University, USA; and Professor Mariam Dossal, University of Mumbai. See the full programme.
• More information about South Asia related research at Swedish and Nordic universities
See SASNET’s page, http://www.sasnet.lu.se/research-community-news
The Nordic Centre in India university consortium organises two short term summer courses for Nordic students in India during the summer 2013, one based at Hyderabad and the other at Bangalore. The courses are as follows:
Contemporary India. An Interdisciplinary Introduction Course. This course is being held for the 11th year at the University of Hyderabad during the period 30 June – 27 July 2013. It is tailor-made for 50 Nordic students and introduces issues of politics, culture and economy. It consists of the following five parts:
– Introductory course
– The diversity of India
– The political system and questions of identity
– Globalisation and the economy focusing on the city of Hyderabad
– Development, environment and human rights, and
– Indian literature and cinema.
Approaching the Environment in India. Issues and Methods in the Study of the Nature-Economy-Society Interface. This course is being held for the 7th year at the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bangalore during the period 7 July – 3 August 2013. Capacity: 22 students, getting an introduction to recent theories and methods in the study of contemporary environmental issues in India.
Both courses are available in the 7.5 ECTS variant and the 10 ECTS variant. The course structure remains the same with the exception of additional coursework for students opting for the 10 ECTS variant.
Typically each member university within the NCI consortim has their own deadline, so there is no general overarching deadline for receiving students nominations. But NCI wants to receive the names of interested students and their details by March 31st, 2013 so that the students, host institutes, and NCI have enough time to make practical arrangements for the course. Interested students can also independently approach NCI if they have missed their university deadline.
Given the unequal demand among the member universities and with the goal of filling all the seats being offered in the three courses NCI has changed the limit of nominations. The number may be more than just three students as was the earlier practice. If there are more students than required for the course NCI will look at member university/institute representation and the academic qualifications of the competing students to finally decide who gets selected.
More information on the NCI web page, http://www.nordiccentreindia.com/
or directly from the Programme Manager, Ms. Christabel Royan.
In 2011, former Nordic Centre in India (NCI) coordinator Dr. Mirja Juntunen introduced a Hindi Study Programme in Varanasi, India, mainly for Hindi/Indology students from her then home university Stockholm, but also for students from other NCI member universities such as Oslo and Aarhus. The programme was initially run by NCI in collaboration with the Gandhian Institute of Studies. From 2012, the organisational structure has been changed. The programme is now run by the Centre for the Study of Indian Languages and Society, a public trust set up to organise Hindi studies in an organised way in modern and well-equipped premises in a new building. Dr. Juntunen, now working at Aarhus University, is the Academic Director for the Centre, whereas Mr. John Moldén works as Programme Manager during 2012, handling the day-to-day affairs and planning for the courses in collaboration with Mr. Binit Kumar Mishra, Hindi teacher employed on a permanent basis (on photo together).
The Centre currently receives students from Aarhus, Oslo, Uppsala and Stockholm. With the changed organisational structure, as a trust independent of the Nordic Centre in India university consortium, the Centre may even approach universities and students from non-Nordic countries. More information in a report by SASNET’s Lars Eklund.
The Overseas Development Group (ODG), a charitable company wholly owned by the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, regularly organizes short courses for development professionals, some of them during the Spring–Summer 2013, on subjects like ”Gender and Development”, ”Climate Change and Development”, ”Impact Evaluation for Evidence-Based Policy in Development”; and a number of other Professional Development Programmes.
More information about the ODG professional courses 2013.
• Other educational news connected to South Asian studies all over the World
See SASNET’s page, http://www.sasnet.lu.se/education-news
The School of Arts and Communication (K3) at Malmö University co-organises a workshop/conference on the theme ”Mediating Modernity: Rethinking and Remembering” in Bangalore, India, 24–25 January 2013. The local partner institution is Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. Venue: Bangalore International Centre, Domlur. More than a traditional conference, this is a festival for academics, artists, activists, and cultural practitioners, brought together to consider how modernity is mediated in the 21st century. By bringing together a range of practitioners, the festival hopes to cross‐pollinate diverse perspectives through conversations on approaches, interests, and disciplinary trends. Confirmed keynote speakers are Professor Arjun Appadurai, New York University, and Dr Jyoti Sahi, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. More information about the conference.
The conference forms part of a collaboration project entitled ”Memories of Modernity” between K3/Malmö University and Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. The project, similar to a previous Memories of Modernity project carried out by K3 in collaboration with South African partners 2005-07, received funding in the form of ”aktörssamverkan” from the Swedish Arts Council (Kulturrådet) in December 2011 (more information).
On the Swedish side, this project is coordinated by Oscar Hemer; along with Kathrine Winkelhorn (on photo together), heading the Masters Programme in Culture and Media Production; and Anna Brag, a visual artist with international experience, who previously worked with Oscar Hemer in the MalmöLund Third Space Seminar in 2002. At Srishti in Bangalore, the coordinator is Deepak Sreenivasan, artist, media practitioner, researcher and pedagogue, currently a core member of Maraa, a media & arts collective based in Bangalore and faculty at Srishti.
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at Lund University will host the Swedish launch event of Global Energy Assessment (GEA) on Friday 25 January 2013, 09.00–12.00. At the Lund University event, the GEA lead authors, Lena Neij, Luis Mundaca and Lars J. Nilsson from IIIEE will explore and discuss energy innovation systems, energy scenarios, energy policies and the present and future of global energy systems. Venue: Main Auditorium, IIIEE, Tegnérsplatsen 4, Lund, Main Aula (2nd floor) at 09:00 – 12:00. The seminar is free, but places are limited, so please register in time. More information and registration here.
GEA is a major international scientific effort concluded in 2012 to analyze the interplay between energy and sustainability challenges and to identify pathways for sustainable energy transitions in the 21st century. The GEA report, launched in June 2012 in Rio, defines a new global energy policy agenda that transforms the way society thinks about, uses, and delivers energy.More information about GEA.
Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development (UCSD) at Uppsala University organises an international conference on “Claiming the City: Civil Society Mobilisation by the Urban Poor” on 16–17 April 2013. It is co-organised by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation. Venue: Missionskyrkan, S:t Olofsgatan 40, Uppsala.
Half of the world’s population lives in cities, and a growing proportion – today one billion – lives in “slums” and informal settlements. Many of the urban poor engage in collective strategies to secure their housing, earn a living, and defend their interests. Their claims on the city often conflict with the demands of other urban groups over access to resources, space, and power. They also challenge the definitions of urban authorities and city planners regarding which claims are to be seen as legitimate.
This conference will focus on informal and formalised networks and associations of urban poor – as well as other civil society organisations working in support of their claims – and their significance for strengthening people’s political, social and economic position in the city.
Since the subject asks for breaching the divide between research and practice, researchers, students, actors within international development cooperation, activists, and others with interest in the issues are equally invited to participate. Deadline for submission of abstracts for paper presentations is February 8, 2013. More information.
The 2013 World Water Week in Stockholm will be held 26–31 August 2013. The theme being ”Water Cooperation – building partnerships”. As ususal, the 23rd World Water Week is organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
The World Water Week is the leading annual global meeting place for capacity-building, partnership-building and follow-up on the implementation of international processes and programmes in water and development, with large relevance to South Asia.
2013 has by the UN General Assembly been declared the “International Year of Water Cooperation”. The questions to be addressed in 2013 include: why do we need to cooperate, on what, for what aim, at what level, with whom and, not least, how?
With an expected world population of more than 9 billion people by 2050, basically depending on the same finite and vulnerable water resource as today for sustaining life and wellbeing, our inter-dependence is growing every day. In 2015 we shall take stock of the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and a process of developing a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has been initiated as an outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, “Rio +20”, in June 2012. The Rio +20 outcome document clearly states water as one key area for achieving sustainable development and thus on important part of the upcoming SGDs and post 2015 development framework.
Perspectives for building partnerships, advance future water cooperation and find solutions to the world’s water related challenges will be explored. Deadline for submitting abstracts and proposals is Monday 7 January 2013. Full information about the 2013 World Water Week.
• Information about South Asia related lectures and seminars
See SASNET’s page, http://www.sasnet.lu.se/lectures-in-scandinavia
The Osmania University in Hyderabad, India organises an international conference on ”India in world Affairs: The Next Decade” 22 – 24 January 2013 in Hyderabad, India. The conference is proposed both to reflect the manner in which India is negotiating its position on the emerging global issues in the world community and to pool together current scholarship shaping Indias position on these issues. The objective is to bring into focus Indias policy options and a critical evaluation of their salience. The main themes of the conference are thus: – The World in India – India in the World; – India and her Neighbours; – West Asia and India; – India and the sub-Saharan Africa; – India and the Americas-North and South; – India and Europe; – India and Asia: Japan and China; – South East Asia; – India and the emerging international scenario-choices and options. Full information.
Following a number of conferences held in France, Ireland, Norway, Japan, China, Spain, Indonesia and India since 1994, the 18th International Euro-Asia Research Conference will take place in Venezia (Italy) between 31 January and 1 February 2013. The topic of the conference is ”The Globalisation of Asian Markets: implications for Multinational Investors”. Papers are invited in the following subtopics: – Asia’s Growing Consumer Markets: the rise of Asia’s Middle Class; – Cultural differences in marketing and other management issues; – Relocation abroad and relocation back home: European and Asian experiences; – Developed versus developing countries MNCs in Asia: comparison of international strategies; – SMEs internationalisation strategies; – European and Asian perspectives; – Impact of the global economic crisis on international business; – European and Asian perspectives.
Convenors of the conference are the School of Asian Studies and Business Management Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy; Yokohama National University, Japan; IAE of The University of Poitiers France; The University of Pau, France, TELECOM Ecole de Management, France; The School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield, U.K., and the University of Limerick, Ireland.
The Society of Pilgrimage Studies organises an international seminar on ”Sacred Places – Cosmological Power and Environment Issues” in Allahabad, India on 5–7 February 2013. The seminar is organised in connection to the occasion of Kumbh Mela 2013, a Hindu bathing festival held every twelfth year at Allahabad, attracting more than 40 million piligrims from all over the world. The seminar will focus on the cosmological power of and environmental issues at sacred places, besides the esoteric as well as outer meaning of the heritage associated with them. Concrete themes in focus will be: – religion-environment interaction; – theories and approaches to pilgrimage studies; – cosmic geometry and power of sacred places; – pilgrim circulation and economy; – pilgrimage archetype, hierarchy and pattern; – spatiality of time and temporality of space; – rituals, functionaries and festivities; – sects, saints and monastic organizations; – cultural symbolism; – environmental issues at pilgrimage places; and problem of pollution in the holy rivers. Abstracts of 500 words are accepted by October 2012.
The Society of Pilgrimage Studeis is an Indian registered academic charity that focuses on the interdisciplinary study of sacred places and journeys in all religions and countries. More information about the Allahabad seminar.
An international, interdisciplinary conference on ”Space and Spatiality in South Asia” will be held at The British Academy in London 7–8 February 2013. It is being convened by Professor Clare Anderson (photo), School of Historical Studies, University of Leicester, UK. Venue: British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London.
The ‘spatial turn’ is now well established across the academic disciplines, with historians, anthropologists, political scientists and geographers exploring how concepts of space and scale – and their interconnections – might inform our understanding of a range of cultural and social formations. The conference will showcase South Asian Studies scholarship in this cutting edge research area, and help us to think about what constitutes “South Asian Studies” as a field of enquiry. Speakers will explore the significance of the ‘spatial turn’ for South Asian Studies; work through, across and potentially beyond academic disciplines as well as geographical borders. The conference will address questions such as: what can a focus on space and spatiality illuminate in the South Asian context? What does it reveal about South Asia as a bounded, geographical unit? How does it help us to think about the value of South Asian Studies?
Sessions will include: • Borders & Border Making; • Modernism, Architecture & Urban Space; • Islands, Forests and Colonial Spaces: the Andaman Islands; • Space & Scale in Rural, Everyday & Religious Life; • Islands, Bays & Ports; and a keynote lecture on ‘Space and Place in British Imperial History Writing’ by Professor Alan Lester.
This event is the second part of a series of events interrogating the relevance and importance of South Asian Studies in the UK, and assessing the state of, and future prospects for, South Asian Studies. The event is free to attend, but registration is required, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to reserve a place.
The School of Humanities at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in New Delhi, India, organises an international conference on “Literature and Marginality: Comparative Perspectives in African American Australian and Indian Dalit Literature” on 20–22 February 2013.
The notion of marginality is generally employed to interpret and analyse socio-cultural, political and economic spheres, where disadvantaged people struggle to gain access to resources, and equal participation in social life. The superstructures of race in Africa, Australia, USA and caste in India inform, deform, and complicate the identities of the marginalized along lines of gender, class, and family structure.
The purpose of this bilingual (Hindi and English) conference is to contextualize marginality in an Inter-disciplinary framework with reference to the past and with its possible effects in the future and also provide a comparative platform of literary study between Dalit, African, Australian and American discourses. Although the chief concern will be to review literature on marginality and figure out the points of coming together and departure in terms of marginalized writings, scholarly contributions from every domain are invited so that the inter- or multi-disciplinary approach can authenticate the main theme. Deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 January 2013. More information.
The CFP International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Inter Cultural Dialogue (ICFLT&ICD) will be held at the School of Languages at Doon University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India during April 10-12, 2013. Foreign language teaching (FLT) and study is witnessing a renaissance in India after its introduction in the universities of Delhi in the 1950s and 1960s. The last decade has seen departments being opened and expanded in all parts of the country. Often they work in tandem with language centers run by the embassies such as those of Japan, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Germany and France who pool resources on the array of teaching methodologies, and sophisticated strategies to attract learners. FLT methodology forms a vital aspect of all language departments and in the last few years there has been a spurt in learner corpora and publications on this subject. The deadline for abstract submissions is January 26, 2013. More information.
The Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA, invites paper and panel proposals on aspects related to its 30th Annual Spring Symposium on “Sensing South Asia”. The conference will take place 15–17 April 2013 in Honolulu.
What happens when we approach social and natural worlds, the body, and affect through the senses? How do disciplinary and interdisciplinary understandings of South Asia change if we consider that what and how we feel, hear, taste, smell, touch, see, and intuit are culturally and historically mediated? The symposium invites scholars, artists, and practitioners to engage with the senses as portals to time, place, and social, cultural, and natural processes in South Asia. Of particular interest is research grounded in sensory relations and intersensory modalities that can generate new questions for various disciplines. In this symposium, the organisers want to explore what South Asian societies – and their histories, philosophies, everyday rituals and practices, and political economies – can offer to emerging theories and methods in sensory studies. Participants are encouraged to perform or use new media as part of their presentations. Deadline to submit proposals is January 15, 2013. More information.
On 23–24 April, The International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) organises a seminar on ‘Asian Cities: Colonial to Global’ in Leiden, the Netherlands. The organisers welcome contributions from the fields of architecture, urbanism, geography, area studies, history, linguistics, religious studies, social science, anthropology, etc., but please remember that the point of departure will always be the built environment. Note also that this seminar is not intended to be an investigation into theoretical issues relating to the field of postcolonialism, rather it seeks to investigate more practical issues relating to the more literally ‘post-colonial’ (in the sense of the era following independence from erstwhile colonial or imperial powers), and the effects this has had on the built environment. Contributions are invited that cover the regions of East, Southeast and South Asia (including countries that were not colonized (such as Japan or Thailand) or were only partially colonized (such as China).
Please note that neither the IIAS nor TU Delft will be in a position to help fund contributors’ trips to the seminar. The intention is however to gather a selection of the papers into a book which will be a fully peer-reviewed publication. The seminar series has a good track record at converting previous events into peer-reviewed publications: Seminar number two (Delft 2010) resulted in Aspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, published by the University of Amsterdam Press in spring 2012, and seminar number three (Shanghai 2011) is currently under peer review and is scheduled to be published as a special issue of Footprint journal in spring 2013. Abstracts should be submitted before 31 January 2013. More information.
The Asia Research Institute (ARI) at the National University of Singapore organises a workshop on“Violence, Insurgencies, Deceptions: Conceptualizing Urban Life in South Asia”, during 6-7 May 2013. This multidisciplinary workshop explores the nature of and relationship between violence and insurgent practices and the limits and slippages of state sovereignty that are constituted in the making of the built and social environments. The conference approach the political sphere in urban South Asia as a dynamic embedded in the lived conditions of city life and buttressed by the voices of refusal, separation, resistance and uncertainty.
Submissions are invited of papers from young and established scholars and especially those who are located in South Asia. Submissions are welcomed across disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, film and media studies, and geography. The deadline for paper proposals is January 15, 2013. More information.
The 5th International Conference of the South and Southeast Asian Association for the Study of Culture and Religion (SSEASR) will be held at Manila, the Philippines, 16–19 May 2013. the Conference is being organized by the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila from May 16 to 19 2013, and will be held in collaboration with some local Universities(details being worked out). The theme for the conference will be ”Healing, Belief Systems, Cultures and Religions of South and Southeast Asia”. The 5th SSEASR conference is co-sponsored as a Regional Conference by the SSEASR parent body – the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR), an affiliate organisation of the UNESCO. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 24 February 2013. Full information.
The International Academic Forum will hold the Third Asian Conference on Asian Studies in Osaka, Japan, May 24-26, 2013. The conference theme is “Intersecting Belongings: Cultural Conviviality and Cosmopolitan Futures”.
Contemporary contexts of the local, regional, national and global raise urgent questions about cultural conviviality and cosmopolitan futures across Asia. These are times when trans-cultural, trans-national and multicultural belonging are particularly being tested through environmental catastrophe, economic volatility, parochialism, fundamentalism, notions of cosmopolitan and multicultural exhaustion, and war. Belonging has become a fundamental dynamic of preservation, atavism, tradition and survival as well as hybridity, possibility, change and transformation. The aim of th conference theme is to open up discussion, exploration and analysis in Asian Studies about emerging social, economic, political and cultural trends formed at the intersection of multiple and multi-sited belongings.
The aim of the conference is to encourage academics, scholars and practitioners representing a exciting diversity of countries, cultures, and religions to meet and exchange research, ideas and views in a forum encouraging respectful dialogue. ACAS 2013 will afford the opportunity for renewing old acquaintances, making new contacts, and networking across higher education and beyond. The call for papers deadline is February 1, 2013. More information.
During the fourth Inter-Asian Connections conference, to be held during October 2-5, 2013 at the Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey, concurrent workshops, coordinated by individual directors showcasing innovative research from across the social sciences and related disciplines will be organised. The workshops will focus on themes of particular relevance to Asia, reconceptualized as a dynamic and interconnected historical, geographical, and cultural formation stretching from the Middle East through Eurasia and South Asia, to East Asia.
It follows three earlier conferences in a series, the one held in Dubai in February 2008 (more information), in Singapore in December 2010 (more information), and Hong Kong in June 2012 (more information). As with the preceding events, this four-day conference aims to effect a paradigm shift in the study of the Asian expanse, re-conceptualized as a dynamic and interconnected historical, geographical, and cultural formation stretching from the Middle East through Eurasia, South Asia and Southeast Asia, to East Asia.
The Inter-Asian Connections Conference Organizing Committee is composed of representatives from the Social Science Research Council, Yale University, the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (HKIHSS) at the University of Hong Kong, Göttingen University and Koç University.
Individual paper submissions are invited from junior and senior scholars, whether graduate students or faculty, or researchers in NGOs or other research organisations, for the following seven workshops:
– “After Neoliberalism?” The Future of Postneoliberal State and Society in Asia
– Asian Early Modernities: Empires, Bureaucrats, Confessions, Borders, Merchants
– Contemporary Art and the Inter-Asian Imaginary
– Inequalities in Asian Societies: Bringing Back Class Analysis
– Porous Enclaves: Inter-Asian Residential Projects and the Popular Classes from Istanbul to Seoul
– Rescuing Taste from the Nation: Oceans, Borders and Culinary Flows
– The Sounds and Scripts of Languages in Motion
The call for papers deadline is February 11, 2013. More information.
The Asian Cultural Landscape Association (ACLA), at Seoul National University, and the SNU Urban Greening Institute invites to an International Symposium on ”Meanings & Aesthetics in Asian Cultural Landscape”, to be held 12–15 October 2013 at the International Conference Hall, Seoul National University, South Korea.
The dominant ideology behind landscape aesthetics in Western tradition mostly deals with formalist scenic landscapes to ecological and phenomenological aesthetics; however in the Asian tradition in addition to these notions emphasis is laid upon the experiences in everyday lifeways and the deeper interpretation of the symbolic meanings manifested in landscapes. This results into the understanding of interconnectedness between Man and Nature, and exposed through interpreting the inherent and imposed meanings and contextuality that changes in varying space, time, function and cultural notions and symbols. In the Western tradition aesthetics tend to concentrate on the context of physical landscape and visual quality, but in Asian tradition more emphasis is laid on the experiential and sacred aesthetic expression, what could be referred to as “ecospirituality” or sublimation of landscape.
Prospective participants are invited to submit abstracts related to, but not limited to, the three following themes: ”Heterogeneity vs. Homogeneity in Cultural Landscape Aesthetics”, ”Exposing the Meanings and Spirit of Place”, and ”Making Harmonious Path through Integrity and Co-sharedness”. Deadline for submission of abstracts is April 30, 2013. More information.
The Sociological Anthropological Society of Nepal (SASON) organises an International Conference on 14–16 December 2013 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Scholars from around the world are welcomed and papers not just on Nepal but on the thematic focuses of the conference are encouraged. The thematic focuses of the conference are:
“Current dynamics in a transforming Nepal related to development, diversity, and power structures”. Under this theme of development, papers are requested on, for example, development practice and the dilemmas of foreign aid; cultural adaptation and mitigation of climate change; migratory labor and the economies of the periphery; governance and development including the successes of user groups and resource governance; poverty and livelihoods; social services and social security.
Under the theme of “Diversity and identity movements”, papers are requested on, for example, global forces and demands for identity recognition; gender and cultural difference; human rights, cultural rights, and religious rights in diverse states.
Under the theme of “Historical and contemporary socio-polities”, papers are requested on, for example, feudal moorings of Nepali politics; national integration and demands for recognition by ethnic minorities; religion and social transformation; social inclusion; violence and symbolic violence.
Deadline for abstract submission is 30 May 2013. More information.
The International Institute for Social History (IISH) will organise the Tenth European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC) in Vienna, 23-26 April 2014. The Asia Network of the ESSHC invites proposals for papers and panel sessions on Asian countries. The Conference welcomes proposals on any topic and any historical period. Thematic panel sessions that compare various Asian countries are particularly encouraged. The deadline for pre-registration is 15 May 2013.
The IISH organizes the ESSHC once every two years. The conference does not have a central theme and welcomes papers about all periods and subjects. The main objective of the conference is to introduce historians who use the insights and techniques from the social sciences to social scientists that focus on the past in their research and vice versa. The programme revolves around 28 thematic networks that address various subjects. Specialists in each field serve as network chairs and are the driving forces in elaborating the program. This approach is conducive to organising interdisciplinary panel sessions for an interdisciplinary and international audience. More information.
• Other conferences connected to South Asian studies all over the World
See SASNET’s page, http://www.sasnet.lu.se/conferences/conferences
The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) has changed its method to calculate the amounts of the overseas subsistence allowances (utlandstraktamenten), an allowance that Swedish employees, for example university staff, can receive from their employers for increased living expenses while traveling overseas in business.
Before the end of each year the Swedish Tax Agency decides on the amounts for the allowances, which vary by country. In many cases the change of method mean dramatic adjustments of the amounts for 2013 compared to previous years. As of January 1, 2013 the overseas subsistence allowances are reduced for 124 countries and increased for 24 countries, including all the Nordic countries.
More information and a list of the new allowances for the eight South Asian countries as of January 1, 2013.
South Asia is quite well represented at the 36th Göteborg International Film Festival (GIFF), this year held from 25 January till 4 February 2013. Several feature films from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will be screened. Besides, a number of highly interesting documentary films on Afghanistan are included in the extensive programme, and also a documentary from Nepal. Full information.
GIFF grows from year to year, it is the largest film festival in Scandinavia, and this year it is spread out over 13 cinema halls all over Gothenburg. SASNET’s Lars Eklund will as usual participate and report on the highlights among the South Asian films. One of them is Mira Nair’s latest film, ”The Reluctant Fundamentalist”, based on Mohsin Hamid’s novel with the same name. It is a joint Indian/Pakistani/US film production.
Another Pakistani feature film to be shown is ”Good Morning Karachi” (photo to the right) by Sabiha Sumar, a film being produced with support from Göteborg International Film Festival Fund. The Bangladeshi film is entitled ”Television” and is made by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki. It has also received support from the GIFF Fund, and recently it was awarded the jury prize at the film festival in Dubai.
The Indian feature films are ”Ha Bharat Maza” (India is my country) by Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar; and ”Filmistaan” by Nitin Kakkar (photo to the left).
Two Indian documentarys will be screened – Nidhi Tull’s film ”The Saroj Khan Story”; and Shivendra Singh Dungarpur’s film ”Celluloid Man” focusing on early Indian film production and especially P K Nair, a key person at the National Film Archive. A joint Nepalese/Japanese documentary is ”Playing with Nan” by film makers Dipesh Kharel and Asami Saito, on a poor Nepalese peasant migrating for work in Japan.
Documentaries on Afghanistan also feature prominently in the programme. ”My Afghanistan – Life in the Forbidden Zone”, made by Afghani-Danish journalist and film maker Nagieb Khaja documents civil life in the war zones between Taliban and government troops (photo to the right). ”No Burqas Behind Bars” is a horrifying Swedish documentary production made by Nima Sarvestani on women’s situation in Afghani prisons. Some short films related to South Asia are also shown during GIFF 2013, one film by Maud Nycander and Iga Mikler on the tough life for girl school children in Bangladesh, ”Go Straight Home”, and one film by Maryam Ebrahimi, also on women in an Afghani prison, ”The Death Row”.
Full programme on the Göteborg International Film Festival Web page.
• Information about South Asia related culture in Sweden/ Scandinavia
“Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan – Pioneer of Microcredit & Guru of Rural Development” is a collection of ten articles and two poems on Dr. A.H. Khan, Pakistani social scientist and pioneer in the field of rural development and of microfinance. Dr. Khan is also the founder of the Bangladesh (previously Pakistan) Academy for Rural Development (BARD) and the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) and was recognized by many academics, world leaders and global organizations, such as the World Bank, for his contributions to poverty alleviation. Dr. Khan passed away on October 9, 1999.
Author/Compiler Nasim Yousaf originally published this work in October 2012 (on Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader) as a tribute to Dr. A.H. Khan on his 13th death anniversary. The print version of the book has now been released. Go for the book on Amazon.com.
On 11th January 2013, the Institute for Human Development (IHD) in New Delhi, and Oxford University Press (OUP) releases “The Long Road To Social Security – Assessing The Implementation Of National Social Security Initiatives for the Working Poor in India”, a volume edited by Professor K.P. Kannan, Visiting Professor, IHD (and former Director, Centre for Development Studies in Thiruvananthapuram) and Jan Breman, Professor Emeritus at the University of Amsterdam. The book focuses on the fact that the Indian economy is characterized by a vast informal sector dominated by self-employed as well as hired labour without any employment and/or social security. There is a lack of security for the labouring poor in India. It is a critical study of the workings of two flagship national social security schemes initiated by the Government of India—the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (the national health insurance scheme). Fresh contributions made by senior scholars and researchers in the field, the essays provide rich data and analysis on social security schemes at work in five Indian states—Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Odisha, and Punjab. More information on the book.
• Swedish departments where research on South Asia is going on
This month there were two new departments added to SASNET’s list:
‡ Division of Physics and Electronics, Department of Science and Technology, Linköping University
‡ Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University
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: http://www.sasnet.lu.se/institutions/reserch-environments
• Useful travelling information
Look at our Travel Advice page. Updated travel advises from the The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office about safety aspects on travelling to the countries of South Asia.
SASNET/Swedish South Asian Studies Network