Newsletter 148 – 20 May 2013


• SASNET/Lund University seminar on Forest Access in Jharkhand

PhD candidate Siddharth Sareen from the Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Science, holds a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Tuesday 21 May 2013, 13.15–15.00. The seminar is held in collaboration with the Dept. of Sociology. Siddharth will speak about ”Forest access for indigenes during political transformation in a resource-rich region”, focusing on the state of Jharkhand in eastern India. Venue: Conference room 3, Dept. of Sociology, Paradisgatan 5, Lund. See the poster.
Siddharth Sareen works within the Section for Global Development at his department at Univerwity of Copenhagen. He has a background in development studies and is part of the Erasmus Mundus joint doctoral programme Forest and Nature for Society.
Jharkhand came into being in 2000. The state presents a resource-rich democracy-building context with 40 percent of the country’s mineral wealth but high rates of poverty. Domestic and international mining companies have a large stake in securing land, while the state holds a monopoly over commercial timber even as it allows a significant tribal population access to minor forest produce. Progressive but hard-to-implement legislation safeguards the rights of indigenous, land-dependent peoples such as the Ho even as the regional political economy threatens them, creating what Anna Tsing elsewhere describes as a ‘resource frontier’. This seminar seeks to examine what factors determine Hos’ access to forests they have traditionally used as commons, in the post-1991 period of a liberalising-privatising-globalising national avatar that is coincident with decentralisation in natural resource governance. More information.

• SASNET seminar on the Gujarat Elections and their nationwide implications

Professor Sebastian Morris from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, India, holds a SASNET lecture entitled ”The Gujarat Elections – Implications for the Political and Economic Development in India” on Tuesday 21 May 2013, 15.15–17.00. The seminar is organised in collaboration with the Dept. of Sociology, Lund University.
Prof. Morris is currently Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Chair Professor at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS). In his presentation, he focuses on the third time victory in the Gujarat state elections of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Chief Minister Narendra Modi. To most especially the middle-classes the elections were campaigned and won on the dual planks of “development” and “leadership in command”. See the seminar poster.
Venue: Conference room 1, Dept. of Sociology, Paradisgatan 5, Lund. Full information.

• SASNET Concert with Mandolin and Vocal Recital by Sugato Bhaduri

SASNET organises a Mandolin & Vocal Recital concert programme with Sugato Bhaduri (photo) at Theatre Sagohuset in Lund on Tuesday 21 May 2013, at 19.00. The concert is co-organised by the Lund based Association for Indo-Swedish Cultural Exchange. See the poster.
Sugato Bhaduri is one of the most sought after Mandolinists in India today, and was initiated into the field of music at a very tender age.
Since 2005, Sugato Bhaduri has toured frequently both in India and Europe, and in 2006 he was recognized to be the best mandolin soloist of the world by the Eurofestival Zupfmusik held in Bamberg, Germany. He performs North Indian Classical Music on Mandolin, an instrument hitherto rarely known in Sweden for rendering the pure & ancient form of Indian classical music that is Dhrupad. Over a period of 17 years he studied music under the active supervision of renowned sarodiya Pt T. N. Majumder. He was also privileged to join workshops conducted by Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, the legendary figure in Indian music. More information about Sugato Bhaduri and his music.
The Lund University concert will be Sugato Bhaduri’s first performance in Sweden. He will be acompanied by the Indian  Tabla musician Sandip Bhattacharya. Venue: Sagohuset, Revingegatan 8, Lund. Tickets can be booked by calling Lars Eklund on 0731-50 88 44, or sending an e-mail to SASNET Assistant webmaster Jonathan Stoltz.

• First meeting for the new SASNET board for the period 2013–2015

New SASNET board at its first meeting on 14 May 2013, from left to right: Anders Fänge, Helle Rydström, Hawwa Lubna, Anna Lindberg, Fredrik Tufvesson (back row), Stefan Jonsson and Olle Qvarnström.    Photo: Lars Eklund

After running for two and a half years without a board, SASNET had its first meeting with the new board on Tuesday 14 May 2013. The members of the board, except three representatives for students, were appointed by Eva Wiberg, Pro Vice Chancellor, Lund University, in a decision made on Thursday 7th February 2013. The board is appointed for a period of three years up till 31 December 2015.
All the members of the board participated in the premier meeting:

– The chairperson Dr. Anna Lindberg, SASNET Director.
– Three Lund University representatives: Professor Helle Rydström, Centre for Gender Studies (representing the Faculty of Social Sciences), Professor Olle Qvarnström, Department of History and Anthropology of Religion (representing the Faculty of Humanities and Theology), and Dr. Fredrik Tufvesson, Department of Electrical and Information Technology (representing the Faculty of Engineering).
– Two external representatives: Professor Stefan Jonsson, Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University (and former Counsellor of Science and Technology, Embassy of Sweden in India), and Dr. Anders Fänge, former Site Manager, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA).
– Student representative: Ms. Hawwa Lubna from the BSc Programme in Development Studies (BIDS), Lund University (also the interim chairperson of the South Asian Students Association at Lund University – SASA). According to the statutes, the SASNET board should have three students representatives, but for the period upto 30 June 2013, only one student representative has been appointed. These representatives are appointed by Lund University Social Science Students Union association, for a period of one academic year at a time.
The first board meeting was mainly devoted to information about SASNET’s current status and activities. The next meeting will be held in October 2013. Full information about the SASNET board 2013-15.
• Seventh European PhD workshop in South Asia Studies to be held in Amsterdam

The Seventh European PhD workshop in South Asia Studies will be hosted by University of Amsterdam and be held 26–27 September 2013. The conveners are Prof. Mario Rutten and Prof. Willem van Schendel. These European workshops are 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; University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and SASNET/Lund University, Sweden. Each university nominates a couple of PhD candidates and a senior Professor. The workshop’s format gives 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.
From Lund University, PhD Candidates Maria Tonini, Centre for Gender Studies, and Srilata Sircar, Dept. of Cultural Geography, will attend the Amsterdam workshop. More information on the 2013 workshop will follow.
The 2012 European workshop in South Asia Studies was organised by SASNET/Lund University. It was held at Falsterbo Kursgård, Höllviken from 17 to 19 September 2012. Read a report from the 2012 workshop.

• SASNET seminar with Krishnan Srinivasan on Europe and Emerging Asia

Dr. Krishnan Srinivasan, Research Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) in Uppsala during the academic year 2012/13, held a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Tuesday 7 May 2013. It was organised in collaboration with the Dept. of Political Science. Venue: Main university building, room 206, Universitetsplatsen, Lund. See the poster.
Former senior Indian diplomat and General Secretary of the Commonwealth Krishnan Srinivasan spoke about ”Europe’s engagement with Emerging Asia; reflections on a new roadmap”. The learned presentation was based on a monograph on the future relationship between Europe and the emerging powers of Asia, that he is working on during his stay in Uppsala.
Indian Ambassador to Sweden, Mrs. Banashri Bose Harrison participated in the seminar, and held an introductory speech.
More information about the seminar.

• Indian Ambassador on hectic visit to Lund University

Indian Ambassador to Sweden, Mrs. Banashri Bose Harrison, visited Lund and Lund University for the second time on Tuesday 7 May 2013. She came to Lund on an invitation from SASNET to attend an academic seminar on EU’s relations with emerging Asia with Dr. Krishnan Srinivasan at the University main building; and a Rabindranath Tagore Nobel Prize Centennary celebration organised by the Association for Indo-Swedish Cultural Exchange (AISCE) at Theatre Sagohuset in the evening.
At both occasions Mrs. Bose Harrison held inspired inaugural speeches.
While in Lund, the Ambassador also visited SASNET’s office at Scheelevägen, and the Asia Library – part of Lund University Library, located in the same house. Mrs. Bose Harrison wanted to see its Karl Reinhold Haellquist donation of South Asian literature, part of which consists of  a unique collection of Mahatma Gandhi literature. The librarian Anna Larsson showed the Ambassador around, and discussed possible additions of books for the Asia Library. More information about the Haellquist books donation and the Gandhi collection.
(On photo: Anna Larsson and SASNET’s Lars Eklund studies a volume of Gandhi’s Collected Works).

• SASNET lunch talk on production of postcolonial India and Pakistan

Dr. Ted Svensson from the Dept. of Political Science at Lund University held the final SASNET/ABF Thursday lunch seminar talk for the spring semester 2013 on Thursday 16 May 2013 at Lunds konsthall. The presentation was entitled ”What Kind of Independence? The Production of Postcolonial India and Pakistan”, and revolved around his forthcoming book on the partitioning of British India and the ensuing state formation in the region. See the poster.
In his presentation, he specifically focused on how we might allow ourselves to speak of the transition from the colonial to the postcolonial, and thus of independent India and Pakistan, in terms of novelty, rather than continuity. In his writing he engages with the Partition, the transfer of power, and the gained independence, accentuating how what occurred in 1947 might be described as a constitutive moment – a moment that represents a beginning much more than continuation or inheritance. As such, and in light of the need for the newly established states to both distinguish themselves from the past order and the neighbouring state, the work at stabilising the meaning of the nation, citizenship and the legitimating grounds entailed decisions about what could not be considered to belong, to not have a place.
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 2013 fall semester series will start on 19th September. More information on the SASNET/ABF Thursday Lunch Seminars

• Fruitful SASNET/NCI meeting on Nordic Studies in India

On Friday 17 May 2013, the Nordic Centre in India (NCI) university consortium and the Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET) jointly organized a fruitful meeting to discuss possible academic collaboration with The English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in India, in connection with the university’s plan to launch a new Department of Nordic Studies. The meeting was held at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University, and convened by the NCI coordinator Dr. Kristina Myrvold.
The invited participants included Monika Wirkkala from the Swedish Institute (SI); Clemens Cavallin from University of Gothenburg; Jyrki Kalliokoski from University of Helsinki, Anders Mortensen, Centre for Scandinavian Studies at Lund University; and Mattias Nowak from Centre for European Studies, Lund University. SASNET was represented by Anna Lindberg, Lars Eklund and Jonathan Stoltz. Representatives from the universities in Aarhus, Copenhagen, Uppsala and Oslo were also supposed to participate but could not come.
EFLU is a Central University with campuses in Hyderabad, Lucknow, Shillong and Malappuram that offer education and research in a wide range of foreign languages and related subjects. Since autumn 2012, NCI has arranged several meetings with representatives of EFLU to discuss their plans to launch a new Department of Nordic Studies that can provide teaching in Nordic languages and cultures. The meeting on May 17 is arranged to inform about EFLU’s plans for this pioneer project and to identify and receive input from universities and departments who could be interested in being partners with EFLU. SASNET Assistant webmaster Jonathan Stoltz visited FLU on a visit to Hyderabad, along with Kristina Myrvold, in March 2013. Read his report.

• Lund University seminar on Indian Cultures and Diasporas
Amit Kumar Mishra
Gibb Schreffler
Gurinder Singh Mann

An open seminar on ”Indian Cultures and Diasporas” will be held at Lund University on Monday 17 June 2013, 15.00–19.00. It is jointly organized by SASNET, the Nordic Centre in India (NCI), and Lund University’s Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (CTR). Venue: CTR, Room 118, Allhelgona Kyrkogata 8, Lund.
Invited guest speakers are Professor Gurinder Singh Mann from the Center for Sikh and Punjab Studies at University of Californa, Santa Barbara, USA, who will speak about “The Sikh Panth: From Kartarpur to Anandpur (1500-1700)”; Dr. Amit Kumar Mishra from the Centre for the Study of Indian Diaspora at University of Hyderabad, India, who will give a lecture on ”Indians in Diaspora: A Social-Cultural Continuum?”; and Dr. Gibb Schreffler from Pomona College in Claremont, California, USA, who will speak about ”The Punjab Dhol (Drum) Tradition and its Modernization in Post-Indenpendence Indian Punjab”. The seminar will also include a screening of the documentary film “The Sikhs of Kabul: A Forgotten Community” directed by Mr. Bobby Singh Bansal in 2012. The film is about Afghan Sikhs who have been a part of the culture and heritage of Afghanistan since the seventeenth century and how they have been caught in political crossfire since the rise of the Taliban regime to power in 1992.
The seminar is arranged in connection with the conference ”Young Sikhs in a Global World: Negotiating Identity, Tradition and Authority” held in Lund 18–19 June 2013 at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University. More information about the conference.

Research Community News

• Uppsala University Colloquium on South Asian Area Studies

The Forum for South Asia Studies at Uppsala University (FSAS) organises a Colloquium entitled ”Area Studies at Uppsala University: Challenges and Convergence in Researching South Asia” on Tuesday 21 May 2013, 13.15–16.45. The event will focus on the fact that Uppsala University recently initiated interdisciplinary regional research forums and the Forum for South Asia Studies is one of them. The colloquium will stimulate reflection and discussion about the development of area studies in the 21st century, and the opportunities it holds for Uppsala University. Venue: House 2, hall K1028, Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3H.
Professor Roger Jeffery (photo) from the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh in Scotland will hold a keynote speech entitled ”Reinventing Area Studies: A continuing challenge and opportunity”, in which he argues that reinventing area studies is a worthwhile and valuable activity, and set out some thoughts about the role of area studies in the contemporary world. Prof. Jeffery is also President of the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS).
Challenges and Convergence in Area Studies. His presentation will be followed by a panel discussion also involving Prof. Margareta Fahlgren (Vice-rector for the Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences), Dr. Hans Blomqvist (Department of Government), and Prof. Gunnel Cederlöf (Department of History).
The colloquium programme also includes time for some Uppsala University South Asia research scholars – Prof. Heinz Werner Wessler (Philology and Linguistics), PhD student Pawel Odyniec (Philology and Linguistics), and Dr. Ferdinando Sardella (Theology) – to reflect over the research theme “Constructing Identities”. Another important research issue, on ”Building Bridges: Cooperation between the Humanities and Medicine in South Asia Studies”, will then be discussed by Prof. Gunnel Cederlöf and Dr. Birgitta Essén (Department of Women’s and Children’s Health). Full information about the Uppsala University Colloquium.

• Decisions in June on panels for 23rd ECSAS Conference in Zurich 2014

The 23rd European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS) will take place on 23 to 26 July 2014 at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. The call for panels closed on 30th April 2013. The EASAS appreciates a well-balanced composition of convenors and panellists within a panel (by gender, with an international mix of participants, and senior and junior scholars) but the main criterion will be the high academic quality of your panel. One of the convenors must be based in a European institution. The Steering Committee decisions will be published on 15th June 2013.
The ECSAS has met regularly since 1968, and has provided an important opportunity to discuss current research and scholarship on topics relating to South Asia within the humanities and social sciences. The ECSAS conferences now operate under the auspices of the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS), a charitable, academic association engaged in the support of research and teaching concerning South Asia with regard to all periods and fields of study. The hosts for the 23rd ECSAS are the Department of Geography and the University Research Priority Program (URPP) Asia and Europe, both at the University of Zurich.
Participants cannot submit more than one presentation during the 23rd ECSAS. Beyond that, each participant may chair one panel; or be discussant in one panel. According to the decision of EASAS members, panel convenors and paper presenters at the 23rd ECSAS must be members of EASAS through 2013 and 2014. Non-members cannot attend the conference. It is easy to join EASAS through the following link:
Conference convenors are Prof. Dr. Ulrike Müller-Böker, Department of Geography, University of Zurich (CH); and Prof. Dr. Angelika Malinar, Department of Indology; Academic Director University Research Priority Program Asia and Europe, University of Zurich (CH). Full information about the 2014 EASAS conference.

• Surinder Jodhka selected for 2013 Amartya Sen Award for Distinguished Social Scientists

Surinder S. Jodhka, Professor of Sociology at the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, India, but currently ICCR Visiting Professor at the University of Lund, Sweden, has been selected for the 2013 Amartya Sen Award for Distinguished Social Scientists by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). He gets it because of his seminal work on bonded labour in agriculture. The Award comprises a citation, a plaque and a cash award of Rs. 1 million. The award function was held in Delhi on 6 May 2013 where Professor Amartya Sen was also present.

The other five award winners are President of Centre for Policy Research Pratap Bhanu Mehta for Political Science; Associate Professor at Hyderabad University’s School of Economics Vamsicharan Vakulbharanam for his work on agrarian distress and economy; Sociologist and legal researcher Kalpana Kannabiran, who is director of Council for Social Development, Hyderabad, for her work in the field of law; Prof Sudhanshu Bhushan of the National University of Educational Planning and Administration for his research in education; and Associate Professor at Delhi University Anu Kapur for her work in Geography.
The ICSSR instituted the Amartya Sen Award at the behest of Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry. The Minister Kapil Sibal, while making an announcement to this effect in February 2012 said that it was a part of the five-point agenda “to rejuvenate social sciences “ in the country. “Unless we are able to lift the quality of research in India in social sciences, we will not be able to get the kind of data which are fundamental for policy makers to take decisions”, he added, signifying the importance the government attached to the Award. More information.

• Launch of online journal “History of Science in South Asia”

The new journal “History of Science in South Asia” (HSSA),, has officially started publication with the appearance of its first paper by Dr. Bill M. Mak; “The transmission of Greek astral science into India reconsidered – Critical remarks on the contents and the newly discovered manuscript of the Yavanajataka”. HSSA publishes papers as soon as they are peer-reviewed, accepted, edited and typeset.  Authors retain copyright of their work, and there are no fees for authors for the next two years.  Articles are published under a Creative Commons license, and are Open Access (free to download and read). Contributions are welcome! More information.

• Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer passed away

Renowned Indian Islamic scholar and reform activist Asghar Ali Engineer passed away at his home in Santa Cruz, Mumbai on 14th May 2013 after a long illness. He was born in Salumbar, Rajastan in 1939 to a family of the Dawoodi Bohr – a small Shia Muslim community centered on Gujarat in western India. Asghar Ali’s family traditions led to Islamic schooling in the Quran, jurisprudence and hadith. He also received secular education, graduating in civil engineering and taking up appointment as an engineer of the Bombay Municipal Corporation. He took early retirement to devote his energies to study of Islam and promotion of social and religious reform, both within his Bohra community and among Muslims generally. His criticisms of the administration of the Dawoodi Bohra’s spiritual leadership led his expulsion, yet he was supported by many of his compatriots and was active in the Progressive Dawoodi Bohra movement from 1977.  In 1980 he set up the Institute of Islamic Studies in Bombay as a vehicle for progressive Muslim thought.  Following the violence of 1992/93 surrounding the destruction of the Babri Masjid, he founded the Center for Study of Society and Secularism to promote communal harmony.
His active opposition of all religious bigotry and communal violence was recognized throughout India; Calcutta University conferred a D. Lit. on him in 1983.  He was recipient of many other awards and recognitions.  He was an invited participant in various conferences and gatherings on Islamic traditions throughout the Muslim world as well as in the West. Asghar Ali Engineer should be remembered both for his civic leadership and his scholarly work.
(Obituary by Prof. Frank Conlon, H-Asia)
More information on the Progressive Dawoodi Bohras web page.

• Associate Professor in History of Religions to Trondheim, Norway

The Department of Archaeology and Religious Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) invites applications for a position as Associate Professor in History of Religions, starting from Aug 1 2014.
The Department of Archaeology and Religious studies is part of the Faculty of Humanities at NTNU, which is located at the Dragvoll campus in Trondheim. The faculty and the department are currently restructuring its organisation, and at the time the position starts the staff will be part of the new Department for Philosophy and Religious Studies.
Applicants must hold competence for research, teaching, and communicating to the public History of Religions with a focus on religion in South Asia. Apart from the necessary administrative work, the position consists of an equal workload of teaching and research. The successful applicant will enjoy freedom of research. He or she will be expected to fill research time with active development of research projects, research and publication activities, both alone and in interaction with national and international colleagues. Among its stated goals the university includes high quality, interdisciplinary research projects.
The position will include teaching History of Religions broadly at all levels, as well as specifically teaching Hinduism and Buddhism at the basic level. The person appointed will be asked to develop an intermediate level course within one of the latter areas. He or she will be required to participate in teaching activities in accordance with the relevant curricula, and to assist in further developing the teaching program.
Applicants will have excellent academic qualifications, along with a track-record and research program in South Asian religions that shows a clear trajectory. Special weight will be put on the applicants publication activities during the last 5- 10 years. Personal suitability for the position and good cooperative skills are important. The successful candidate should demonstrate enthusiasm for teaching and pedagogical skills will be an important part of the evaluation. Deadline for application is June 3rd 2013. More information.

Educational News

• ASEM ministers for education met in Kuala Lumpur

Asian and European ministers for education met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 13–14 May 2013 to study ways to strengthen and develop an education partnership for the 21st Century. The focus was on ”Strategizing ASEM Education Collaboration”. The meeting was part of the multifaceted and informal process of Asia-Europe Meetings (ASEM) – a forum for dialogue and cooperation between European and Asian countries – which was launched in Bangkok in 1996.
ASEM is an interregional forum which consists of 51 partners: 49 countries in Europe and Asia, plus two international organizations – the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat. In South Asia, India and Pakistan have been members since 2008, and in 2012 also Bangladesh was included. More information about ASEM.
The May 2013 meeting in Kuala Lumpur was jointly organised by the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia (MOHE) and the ASEM Education Secretariat set up in the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). It discussed critical issues including quality and recognition in education as well as bringing business and industry views into planning and lifelong learning, including in technical and vocational disciplines. The aim is to enhance cooperation and encourage exchanges on key education issues between Asia and Europe. The European Commission supports a range of international education and training activities and has established policy dialogues with several countries, including many in Asia.
Education has been a top ASEM priority for many years. ASEM leaders, meeting in Helsinki in 2006, underlined the importance of education as an investment in human resources. Two years later, ASEM Education Ministers met for the first time in Berlin, Germany, to emphasise the pivotal role of education and training in ensuring economic and social development in both regions. The Second ASEM Education Ministers’ meeting was held in Hanoi in 2009, and discussed the “Sharing Experiences and Best Practices on Higher Education”. At their third meeting, in Denmark in 2011, ministers underlined the need for an intensive and sustainable Asia-Europe education partnership on the basis of mutual respect and benefit. Read more.

• Heidelberg Summer School 2013 on Circulation between Asia and Europe

The Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” at Heidelberg University welcomes applications for its Summer School 2013; “Sites of Knowledge: Space, Locality, and Circulation between Asia and Europe”. It will take place from August 4 to 8 in Heidelberg, Germany.
This year’s Summer School will explore the significance of space and locality for the generation and circulation of knowledge. Starting from the premise that space and place shape the social interactions in which knowledge is made and remade, the Summer School will address questions such as: Is all knowledge local? Does the situatedness of knowledge preclude claims to ‘truth’ and ‘universality’? And how can we best conceptualize the liminal spaces in which knowledge is traded or transmitted? Individual sessions will focus on selected places involved in circulations of knowledge between and within early modern Asia and Europe, ranging from courts, schools, academies, temples, and observatories to print shops, bazaars, roadhouses, ports and ships.
The Summer School addresses graduate students in humanities and social sciences with an interest in theories and practices of knowledge production in Asia and Europe. The academic program combines informal lectures with more interactive elements such as reading groups and writing workshops. The invited scholars represent a wide range of backgrounds and share an interest in engaging in critical dialogue across regional and disciplinary boundaries.
In addition to the academic program, a range of excursions and leisure activities in and around the city of Heidelberg is on offer. Application deadline is May 31, 2013. More information.

• Eleventh Annual Course on Forced Migration in Kolkata

Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (MCRG) is organizing the Eleventh Orientation Course on Forced Migration Studies to be held in Kolkata, India on 8–14 December 2013. The Course, certified by the UNHCR and the MCRG, will be preceded by a two-and-a-half-month-long programme of distance education and consist of several workshops, lectures on selected themes and other interactive exercises. The programme is intended principally for college and university teachers. However, human-rights activists, policymakers, academics, refugee activists and others working in the field of human rights and humanitarian assistance for victims of forced migration are also welcome. Applicants must have (a) experience in teaching, research work or policy studies on forced migration OR, 5 years experience in the work of protection of the victims of forced displacement, AND (b) proficiency in English. The following registration fee will have to be paid by each selected candidate: 1. Candidate from India and other countries of South Asia: INR 8,000 / US$ 150; 2. Candidate from the rest of the world: US$ 1,200. In Kolkata, the CRG will provide accommodation and bear other expenses for all participants. Deadline for applications for the eleventh Annual Course on Forced Migration is 24 June 2013. More information.

Seminars and Conferences in Scandinavia

• Skövde workshop on Anthropogenic Pollution on Human Health and the Environment

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Skövde, Sweden, organizes a workshop on ”The Effect of Anthropogenic Pollution on Human Health and the Environment” on 29-30 May 2013. It is organised in collaboartion with Dr. D.Y. Patil University in Pune, India and University of Pune, India. The workshop is financed by two PDC (Partner Driven Cooperation) grants from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and is expected to further strengthen the existing collaboration between Skövde and Pune, with an intention of protecting human health and the ecosystem from toxic pollution caused by human activities. Several experts from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Germany and Sweden are expected to participate in this event. The conveners are Prof. Abul Mandal and Dr. Cecilia Eriksson. Venue: P-building (Portalen), University of Skövde. More information.

• Oslo Morgenstierne Lectures on Culture, Power, Water in India

The Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS) at University of Oslo invites to a new series of Fokus INDIA: Oslo Morgenstierne Lectures, addressing topics related to India’s past and present, politics, religions and cultures. The theme for this spring term’s last two lectures lies on ”culture–power–water in India”.
On Tuesday 21 May 2013, at 16.15, Jürgen Neuss from Department of History and Cultural Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, will speak about ”Faith in God – Faith in Progress. Religion and Politics in the Narmada Valley”. Venue: PA Munchs Hus, room 11, Oslo. More information.
On Wednesday 5 June 2013, at 16.15, Jörg Gengnagel from South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany, will speak about ”Changing Sacred Waterscapes: The north-Indian Pilgrimage Center Varanasi between Purity and Pollution”. Venue: PA Munchs Hus, room 11, Oslo. More information.
The lectures will be followed by informal discussions with light refreshments.

• Lund Global Gender Matters Workshop on Civil Society, Politics, and Opposition

The Global Gender Matters Network at the Department of Gender Studiesat Lund University, invites to an open workshop on “Civil Society, Politics, and Opposition” on May 21, 2013, 09:45-16:00 at Lund University; Portvaktsstugan, Ground Floor, Building M1 Department of Gender Studies, Allhelgona kyrkogata 14M, Lund.
The workshop will offer thought-provoking lectures and debate and scholars with a particular interest in global gender matters are encouraged to meet and explore how sexualized and racialized roles, relationships, powers, and conflicts interact with ideas about gender, especially in non-western settings.
In a rapidly changing global world, gender matters cross borders and render new meanings. The Global Gender Matters Network examines the transnational ways in which gender is configured socio-culturally, economically, and politically in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The hope is to create a stimulating intellectual forum wherein the sexualized and racialized roles, relationships, powers, and conflicts of women and men in respect to the social sphere and political institutions can be examined carefully. See workshop programme.

• Oslo seminar on Greed or Grievance in Maoist India

The Institute of Social Anthropology at University of Oslo organises a seminar entitled ”The Intimacy of Insurgency: Beyond Coercion, Greed or Grievance in Maoist India” on Wednesday 22 May 2013, 14.15–16.00. The seminar will be opened with a presentation by Dr. Alpa Shah from Dept of Anthropology, London School of Economics (LSE), UK. Venue: Eilert Sunds Hus, 6th floor, Blindern, Oslo.
Alpa Shah is a social anthropologist interested in inequality and efforts to address it. She has drawn on more than a decade of field research in India to explore how marginalised people experience indigenous rights activism and Adivasi politics; poverty, the developmental state and corruption; seasonal casual labour migration and transformations in the agrarian economy; the state, education and positive action policies; and the radical left and emancipatory politics, notably the Maoist movement. In the book “In the shadow of the state” (Duke University Press, 2010) Shah argues that well-meaning indigenous rights and development claims and interventions may misrepresent and hurt the very people they seek to help.

• Malmö seminar on changing EU relations to China and India

Malmö University hosts a seminar entitled ”The End of the Euro-Complacency? Global Implications of Europe’s Crisis” on Tuesday 28 May 2013, 10.00–12.30. It is organised jointly by Malmö and Roskilde Universities, and is the eight seminar out of a series of 12, entitled ‘Europeanization and Globalization’, that is held in collaboration with The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) in Copenhagen. Venue: Building G 8, room 104, Citadellsvägen 7, Malmö.
Since the seminar deals with changed global power relations between European Union and the emerging Asian nations such as China and India, one of the invited speakers is Professor Sanjay Seth from Goldsmiths University in London, UK. He will speak about ”The Western Education of Colonial India”. Professor Catarina Kinnvall, Dept of Political Science, Lund University, will be a commentator on the seminar presentations. More information about the seminar.

• Copenhagen workshop on Development Challenges in Bhutan

Aalborg University, Denmark, invites to an international workshop on ‘Development Challenges in Bhutan’, to be held in Copenhagen 29–30 May 2013. The title of the workshop shows that we will be witness to a kaleidoscope of topics and views at this interesting gathering. The occasion is ongoing Research and PhD programmes involving Danish and Bhutanese researchers, jointly funded by Danida and the Royal University of Bhutan. Five PhD candidates from Bhutan, and five senior researchers from Bhutan and Denmark, respectively, will take part in the workshop plus additional participants.
Issues which will be covered are: Assessment practices in Schools, Health and Education; ICT; eGovernance; Foreign policy; and the Status of Gross National Happiness. A keynote lecture on ‘Sociocultural and political developments in Bhutan since 1990: reflections from a distance’ will be delivered by Professor Michael Hutt, SOAS, University of London, UK. Abstracts should have been submitted before 15 April. The organisers plan to publish the papers from the workshop afterwards. More information.

• Ishtiaq Ahmed lectures on the Pakistani Garrison State

The Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP) and its Asia Program invites to a seminar with Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Stockholm University, on Tuesday 21 May 2013, 10.00 – 12.00. He will speak about ”Pakistan: The Garrison State, Origins, Evolution, Consequences (1947-2011)”, a presentation based on his recent book with the same title. To attend, register to Ms. Silvia Pastorellibefore 20th May. Venue: ISDP, Västra Finnbodavägen 2, Stockholm-Nacka.
Abstract: In 1947, the Pakistan military was poorly trained and poorly armed. It also inherited highly vulnerable territory vis-à-vis the much bigger India, aggravated  because of serious disputes with Afghanistan. Defence and security were therefore issues that no Pakistan government, civil or military, could ignore. The military did not take part in politics directly until 1958, although it was called upon to restore order in 1953 in the Punjab province. Over the years, the military, or rather the Pakistan Army, continued to grow in power and influence, and progressively became the most powerful institution. Moreover, it became an institution with de facto veto powers at its disposal to overrule other actors within society including elected governments. Simultaneously, it began to acquire foreign patrons and donors willing to arm it as part of the Cold War competition (the United States), regional balance-of-power concerns (China), and ideological contestants for leadership over the Muslim world (Saudi Arabia, to contain Iranian influence). A perennial concern with defining the Islamic identity of Pakistan, exacerbated by the Afghan jihad, resulted in the convergence of internal and external factors to produce the ‘fortress of Islam’ self-description that became current in the early twenty-first century. Over time, Pakistan succumbed to extremism and terrorism within and was accused of being involved in similar activities within the South Asian region and beyond. Such developments have been ruinous to Pakistan’s economic and democratic development. More information.

• Critical Perspectives on Growth at Fifth Asian Dynamics Initiative Conference

The Asian Dynamics Initiative (ADI) at University of Copenhagen announces its fifth international conference on ‘Growth: Critical Perspectives from Asia’ to be held on 13-14 June 2013. The conference will take place over two days and feature distinguished keynote speakers as well as panels examining the notion of growth from an Asian perspective and from multi-disciplinary vantage points – cultural, economic and social.
This year the focus is mostly on East Asia. However, the keynote lecture is given by Professor Edward Farmer, History Department, University of Minnesota, USA, and is entitled ”Eurasia and the Path to Global Growth”. Among the panels, one on ”Exploring local pathways of economic growth” is convened by PhD candidate Siddharth Sareen from the Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Science. Other panels deal with ”The social consequences of growth and transformation on the margins”; ”Economic growth in emerging economies”; and ”‘Cultural Growth’: Asian notions of civilization”. Read more about the ADI Conference.

• Lund conference on Young Sikhs in a Global World

The Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University organises the conference “Young Sikhs in a Global World: Negotiating Identity, Tradition and Authority” on June 18 to 19, 2013 at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University, Allhelgona Kyrkogata 8, Lund, Sweden.
The conference is organized as a part of the Nordcorp project Sikh Identity Formation, in which Dr. Kristina Myrvold (Lund University), Prof. Knut A. Jacobsen (University of Bergen), Dr. Ravinder Kaur (University of Copenhagen), Prof. Hanna Snellman (University of Helsinki), and Dr. Laura Hirvi (University of Jyväskylä) participate. More information about the project.
The aim of the conference is to bring together scholars to discuss current research on young Sikhs with multicultural and transnational life-styles and how they interpret, shape and negotiate religious identity, tradition, and authority on an individual and collective level. The conference will also provide a forum for discussions about future collaboration between researchers in Europe, Asia and North America, and give young researchers an opportunity to discuss their projects with senior colleagues. Close to 40 doctoral students and researchers from 15 countries will participate in the event. In connection with the conference the film maker Bobby Singh Bansal will show his documentary from 2012, “The Sikhs of Kabul – A Forgotten Community”, about the surviving Sikh community of Afghanistan who has been caught in political crossfire since the rise of the Taliban regime to power in 1992. More information.

• 2013 World Water Week focuses on Cooperation and Partnership Building

The 2013 World Water Week in Stockholm will be held 1–6 September 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.
On Tuesday 3 September, a regional focus day will take place, with sessions specifically oriented towards Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Middle East.
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.
Early bird registration is possible from 15 April till 30 June 2013. Full information about the 2013 World Water Week.

• Delhi conference on Work Environment, Stress and Health in India

The Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University, and the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) in Mumbai, India, jointly organise a conference on ”Work Environment, Stress and Health in India”, 9 – 11 December 2013. Venue: Taj Ambassador Hotel and Conference Centre, New Delhi.
Stress and poor working conditions have repeatedly been shown to be bad for the health and well being of the workforce. However these studies have largely been conducted in Europe, Japan and North America. We know little about whether these factors are prevalent in India or whether they impact on the health of workers in India in the same way. These are crucial questions given the rapid economic growth of the Indian economy and the transformation of the workforce. Employment in agriculture has declined from around 72% of the workforce in 1971 to just over 50% in 2008. This has been coupled with a dramatic rise in the number of people employed in the service and IT sector. How these changes and the new environments in which these employees work might impact on their health are key questions. This conference will bring together researchers from two of the world’s leading centres on work environment and health and researchers from India to discuss these crucial issues. More information.

Conferences and workshops outside Scandinavia

• Third Asian Conference on Asian Studies to be held in Osaka

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. More information.

• New Delhi conference to present Indo-Canadian research on Environment, Development and Trade

The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute is organizing a conference on “Emerging Priorities For Sustainable Partnerships” at the India International Centre, New Delhi on June 1, 2013, to present collaborative research that has been completed, or is currently being undertaken, by Indian and Canadian universities/research institutions in four focus areas: 1. Energy & Environment; 2. Public Health; 3. Food Security & Sustainable Development; and 4. Bi-lateral Trade and Investment.
Emerging opportunities and strategies to address challenges in these four areas that have  been identified as priority sectors by both the Indian and Canadian governments will be the themes of the onference. One of the objectives of the conference is to gather experts and a new cadre of researchers to discuss their contributions to higher learning while weaving academic and institutional collaborations between Canada and India. It is expected that strategic recommendations will be derived from the conference that will contribute to sustained academic and institutional partnerships. More information.

• Women’s Studies conference in Colombo

The International Center for Research & Development (ICRD) in Sri Lanka invites to the 2013 International Conference on Women’s Studies (ICWS 2013) to be held 17–18 June 2013 in Colombo. It will bring together leading academics, scientists and researchers from around the world. ICWS 2013 invites individual or panel proposals for presentations on any topic on women and/or gender issues in all scholarly fields and disciplines, including but not limited to education, arts, design, business, law, humanities, social sciences and sports. The objective of the conference is to present & share ongoing research activities in this field with the scientific and research communities. This conference provides opportunities for the delegates to exchange innovative ideas , learn the latest research findings from experts and enhance their knowledge, to establish business and/or research relations and to find global partners for future collaboration/research projects. Venue: Grand Oriental Hotel, Colombo. More information.

• Copenhagen/New York joint dissertation workshop on Cities in the Global South

University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and New York University, USA, invite participants to its 3rd Joint Dissertation Workshop to be held in New York City 21–22 June 2013. The theme for the workshop, coordinated by Prof. David Ludden, New York University, and Dr. Ravinder, University of Copenhagen, will be ”Social Mobility, Inequity and City in the Global South”.
Cities are focal points for the social mobility and prosperity that signify ‘the rise of the South,’ and also highlight the social immobility and deprivation that produce our planet of slums and agrarian and environmental crises. In this multi-disciplinary dissertation workshop, the focus lies on the inequity of globalization in and around urban centers of the global South, from various theoretical and empirical perspectives, including but not limited to fields of history, sociology, anthropology, political science, political economy and development studies. PhD students who have completed substantial dissertation research on any aspect of urbanized inequity in the world of globalization are invited to discuss their work. Prospective participants should send relevant documents to the organisers by 7 April 2013. See full information.

• ICAS 8 conference to be held in Macao 2013

The International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) will hold its eigth biannual conference, ICAS 8, in Macao, China, on 24–27 June 2013. ICAS 8 will be hosted by the University of Macau (UM) and will be held in the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel. Some 1,500 to 2,500 Asia specialists are expected to attend. Participants are expected to fund their own travel and accommodation.
ICAS is the premier international gathering in the field of Asian Studies. It attracts participants from over 60 countries to engage in global dialogues on Asia that transcend boundaries between academic disciplines and geographic areas. Since 1998, ICAS has brought more than 15,000 academics together at seven conventions.
Submission of individual papers are now invited , as well as proposals for organized panels (organized by a group of varying (national) backgrounds), institutional panels (constituted and sponsored by an institution, association, network or company), and roundtable proposals.
The ICAS Book Prize (IBP) will also be awarded for outstanding English-language works in the field of Asia Studies. The five awards are: – Best study in the Humanities; – Best study in the Social Sciences; – Best dissertation in the Humanities; – – Best dissertation in the Social Sciences; and – The Colleagues’ Choice Award.
More information on ICAS 8.

• Peshawar conference on Dynamics of Change in Pakhtun Society

In order to gain a more holistic view of the dynamics of change in a society which faces on-going conflict, the Department of Political Science, University of Peshawar, Pakistan hosts an international conference on “Dynamics of Change in Conflict Societies: Pakhtun Region in Perspective”, 25–26 June 2013.  It is organised in collaboration with the Hanns Seidel Foundation, Islamabad, and will be held at the Bara Gali Summer Campus of the University of Peshawar.
This is the second in a series of conferences by the same organisers – the first one was held in November 2011. The aim is to investigate the dynamism which is associated with the Pakhtun region and society. In order to explore more deeply the critical factors and impacts of change, this second conference will cover new thematic areas relating to the recent dynamics within Pakhtun society.
The Pakhtun region has witnessed a long history of perpetual war, violence, insecurity and displacements, which profoundly affect the socio-psychological, political and economic conditions of its people. For decades, life within Pakhtun society in the Pakistani provinces of Baluchistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) has been viewed through the spectrum of social and political upheavals and conflict in Afghanistan. Since 2001, the US and NATO engagement in Afghanistan has added to growing unrest in Pakhtun society. The situation in the Pakhtun region cannot be studied thoroughly when treated in isolation from the broader context of Pakistan. Therefore, scholars are also invited to submit proposals for comparative studies of conflict dimensions in other areas of Pakistan and their connections to the Pakhtun region and society. More information.

• Vienna conference on Ethnicity and Cultural Identities of Northeast India

The Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria, invites papers for an International Conference on ”Negotiating Ethnicity: Politics and Display of Cultural Identities in Northeast India” to be held 4–6 July 2013. The conference aims at examining changes of collective identities and ethnicity in various parts of Northeast India, as well as look at practices related to ethnicity and cultural identities. Northeast India is the political unit defined by the Indian Government as the ”North Eastern Council”, which includes the eight states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim. Proposals from scholars working in a variety of disciplines, including, but not limited to, history, sociology, economics, anthropology and cultural studies are welcome to submit research paper proposals. The organisers expect around 40 participants half of whom from India. The organisers cover travel fares and lodging for all speakers and discussants. Full information.

• Thirteenth International Seminar on Tibetan Studies to be held in Mongolia

The Thirteenth Seminar of the International Association of Tibetan Studies will take place in Ulaan Baataar, Mongolia, 21-27 July 2013. Altogether twelve seminars have been held before in a total of nine different countries. The last of these being Canada, where the Twelfth Seminar was hosted by the University of British Columbia in 2010. The other countries are the UK, Germany, Japan, Austria, the USA, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland.
Behind the seminars stands the organisation International Association of Tibetan Studies (IATS). The IATS was formally created in 1979 on the occasion of a conference of Tibetan Studies that was organised at the University of Oxford by the late Dr. Michael Aris. The purpose of the Association, as stated in the statutes that were drawn up at this meeting, is primarily to promote Tibetan studies from all disciplinary perspectives such as history, religion, linguistics and art, to cite just four prominent examples, by providing a forum at which both established and aspiring scholars can present original academic research. More information about the Ulaan Baataar seminar 

• Thirteenth Central Asian Studies conference to be held in Kazakhstan

The Thirteenth biannual European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS) will be held at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan, 5–6 August 2013. The Conference will be hosted jointly by Nazarbayev University and the R. B. Suleimeinov Institute of Oriental Studies of the Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences.
It eill fearure panels and round-table discussions related to all aspects of research in the arts, humanities and social sciences on Central Asia; the republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, together with Xinjiang, Mongolia, Afghanistan and adjacent regions of Russia, China, Iran, South Asia and the Caucasus.
Scholars and practitioners of anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art & art history, cinema, development studies, economics & finance, history, musicology, philology, political science, sociology and other related disciplines are encouraged to participate. Panel proposals which will cross disciplinary boundaries, bringing together experts from different fields, are particularly welcomed.
The theme of the 2013 conference is “The Steppe and the Sown”. This is to encourage scholars to explore both the many complexities implied by the concepts of pastoral nomadism and sedentary farming and the complex interaction between peoples typically characterized by these concepts in the course of history. It also reflects important themes in the history of Astana itself. More information.

• Kathmandu conference on Governing Youth in South Asia

The second Joint Regional Conference on ”Governing Youth in South Asia” will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal, 22–24 September 2013. It is organised by a regional network of research organisations in South Asia, including Colombo University, the Institute of Governance Studies (IGS) at BRAC University in Dhaka, the Social Science Baha in Kathmandu, the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in New Delhi, as well as the Delhi Office of the South Asia Institute (SAI) of Heidelberg University. The Kathmandu conference will be hosted by Social Science Baha. The topics to be addressed are inclusive democracy and post-conflict situations, health and education, access to labour markets. Abstracts should be submitted before 20 May 2013. More information.
The first Joint Regional Conference was held at Colombo University in March 2012, (co-)funded by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) in New Delhi, the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), UNICEF, and the Affiliated Network of Social Accountability (ANSA South Asia) in Dhaka. The 40 participants included members from nearly all South Asian countries (Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bhutan), and comprised of development partners, as well as policy makers, youth organisations and members from the Sri Lankan Youth Parliament, and scholars from the South Asian region and from Germany.

• 42nd Annual Madison Conference on South Asia

The 42nd Annual Madison Conference on South Asia will be held 17–20 October 2013. 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.
This year a plenary session will be organized around the theme of ”Work”.  The organisers especially welcome panels that similarly address questions of work – including waged labor, informal economies, new forms of entrepreneurship, and the work of social reproduction – from a variety of disciplinary and evidentiary perspectives. The conference features nearly 100 academic panels and roundtables, as well as association meetings and special events ranging from performances to film screenings. The registration deadline for all individuals listed on proposal submissions was April 1, 2013. For general conference attendees, early bird registration will be available through October 1, 2013. Venue: Madison Concourse Hotel, 1 West Dayton St., Madison, Wisconsin, USA. More information.

• 3rd International Congress of Bengal Studies to be held in Kolkata, India

Papers are invited for the 3rd International Congress of Bengal Studies scheduled to be held 19-22 November, 2013. This 3rd Congress will be hosted by the University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India. Papers on all the areas of Bengal Studies, including, but not limited to, Literature and Criticism, Comparative Literature, Linguistics, Folklore, Cultural Studies, Media Studies, History, Economics, Sociology, Fine Arts, Philosophy, Anthropology, Archaeology, Museulogy will be presented, either in Bengali or in English. More information.

• The Second International Conference on Social Sciences to be held at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

The Second International Conference on Social Sciences will be hosted by the Research Centre for Social Sciences (RCSS) of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka on 22–23 November, 2013.
This time, the conference theme is “Culture, Globalization and the Developing World”. It is expected that the presenters of papers and participants will draw their attention to the interdependent nature of these broad variables and its impact on the life of billions of people in the developing countries. The world has witnessed the triumphant march of the globalization process and its effects on social, economic, political, technological and cultural landscapes of the countries irrespective of their level of development, but the impact on developing countries is more conspicuous. Accordingly, twenty sub-themes have been selected to facilitate the participants to express their views and experiences on these important aspects. The deadline for abstract submissions is 17 June 2013. More information.

• Third International Colloquium on Politics and religions in the Himalayas and Central Asia

The Paris based European Society For Studies Of Central Asia and Himalayan Regions (SEECHAC) organises its third international Colloquium on Politics and religions in the Himalayas and Central Asia in in Vienna at the Austrian Academy of Sciences from 25 to 27 November 2013. The full title of the colloquium is: ”Interaction in the Himalayas and Central Asia: processes of transfer, translation and transformation in art, archaeology, religion and polity from antiquity to the present day”. The aim of this colloquium will be to focus on various forms of interaction and related processes of transfer, translation and transformation in the Himalayas and Central Asia, including Northern India, Northern Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet, from the perspective of a variety of disciplines and fields of study (in particular archaeology, art history, numismatics, philology, social anthropology, study of religion). Every SEECHAC member may attend the sessions. The papers may be delivered and written in any European language, preferably in English, Italian or French. More information.

• International Sociological/Anthropological Conference to be held in Kathmandu

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.

• Kolkata conference on Vivekananda, Grundtvig, Rolland, Gramsci and Freire

The International Forum for Studies in Society and Religion (IFSSR) holds its Fourth International Conference in Kolkata, India, 20–22 December 2013. The theme for the 2013 conference will be ”Swami Vivekananda in the International Perspectives: NFS Grundtvig, Romain Rolland, Antonio Gramsci & Paulo Freire – Efforts towards Making a Global Society”. While paying homage to Swami Vivekananda during this ongoing 150th birth anniverarsary year, the organisers like to contextualize his thoughts with the thinking  of  four world renowned figures who dedicated their lives for similar ideals : N.F.S. Grundtvig of Denmark (1783-1872), a great champion of democracy and universal education, Romain Rolland of France (1866-1944), a relentless fighter for peace, Antonio Gramsci of Italy (1891-1937), an exponent of critical  education and Paulo Freire  of Brazil (1921-1997), the celebrated  ideologue   of  pedagogy of the oppressed. The conference is convened by Prof. Asoke Bhattacharya and Prof. Piyali Palit at Jadavpur University. Abstracts should be submitted before 9 August 2013. More information.

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

Business and Politics

• Tomas Rosander new Swedish Ambassador to Pakistan

The Swedish Government has appointed Mr Tomas Rosander as new Ambassador to Pakistan. The decision was taken on 16th May 2013. He is currently anti-terrorism coordinator at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Security Policy Department, but has previously served at the Swedish embassies in Tehran, Washington and London, and in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Americas Department and Press, Information and Communication Department. He has also been Consul-General in Los Angeles. Mr Rosander will take up his new post in late autumn 2013.

South Asia related culture in Scandinavia

• Sheila Gowda art exhibition at Lunds konsthall during summer 2013

Lunds konsthall again goes Indian. During the period 14 June – 25 August 2013, the municipal art gallery at Mårtenstorget presents a solo exhibition by Sheela Gowda from Karnataka. It is entitled ‘Open Eye Policy’ and gives a comprehensive overview to date of the work of this acclaimed Indian artist, bringing together sculpture, large installations, painting and photography from the past twenty years. A first impression of these works suggests a pre-occupation with abstraction, form and material, but on closer inspection they reveal a constant engagement with politics, environment and society.
The title of the exhibition speaks of the artists’ attentive approach to her contemporary surroundings as she works with materials taken from the everyday following what she calls on ‘an open eye policy’. In the exhibition visitors will find, next short wall texts and title cards,  a number of screens with movies in which Sheela Gowda explains her work.
The exhibition has also been on display at Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The opening ceremony at Lunds konsthall will take place on Friday 14 June , 18-20. More information.

• Gitanjali perfomance in Stockholm in honour of Tagore’s Nobel Prize

In commemoration of the centennary jubilee of Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize award in 1913, the dance troupe Baithak from London (led and directed by Dr. Sangeeta Datta) performs in Stockholm on Tuesday 4th June 2013, at 19.00.
They wlll give a performance entitled ”Gitanjali”, named after the collection of poems whose English translations convinced the Swedish Academy to give the Nobel Prize to Tagore. Sangeeta Datta is versatile-director, singer and an exponent of Tagore songs. Her group Padatik has performed in various parts of Europe. Renowned Indian film actress Sharmila Tagore, the heroine of several Satyajit Ray movies, will also participate as a guest artist. Venue: ABF-Huset, Z-salen, Sveavägen 41, Stockholm. Tickets are sold for SEK 200. See a video on the Gitanjali performance.
More information.

• Asian Festival with Dance and Music to be held in Huddinge

Saraswathy Kalakendra Institution of Fine Arts in Huddinge, led by Usha Balasundaram, organizes an Asian Festival 2013 on Saturday 1 June 2013, 11.00–14.00. It will be a glittering showcase of Asian culture and traditions with a focus on Dance and Music. Dancers and artists from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines will perform, and there will also be dance workshops and a fashion show. Venue: Aulan, Gymnasietorget 1, Huddinge (south of Stockholm). More information.

• Bangladesh programme with Helena Thorfinn in Stockholm

On Wednesday 15th May 2013, the writer Helena Thorfinn presented her novel ”Innan floden tar oss/Sisters by the River” at a literary evening devoted to Bangladesh at Brokiga Bengalen Butik in Stockholm, the establishment launched by Dr. Christina Nygren, Stockholm University. The book is a fascinating story on life in Bangladesh, including so many true-to-life experiences such as criminally dilapidated textile factories, corruption, etc. It is based on Thorfinn’s work as a journalist and as a social analyst for Save the Children and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) in Bangladesh. More information.
Helena Thorfinn is now working as Communications Manager for the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) at Lund University. Venue for the Stockholm programme: Brokiga Bengalen, Åsögatan 69. Read more.

• Tagore Nobel Prize Centennary celebrated with choir music and lectures in Lund

On Tuesday 7 May 2013, the Lund based Association for Indo-Swedish Cultural Exchange
(AISCE) organised a cultural programme in honour of the Indian/Bengali Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who was the first non-European writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. Venue for the May 7th concert: Sagohuset, Revingegatan, Lund. The programme featured the Indian Choir of Lund, singing Tagore’s songs, and the Saregama chldren’s choir (photo), both being conducted by Bubu Munshi Eklund.
It also contained a learned academic presentation by Dr. Heinz Werner Wessler, Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University, on Tagore and his literature, why he was awarded the Nobel Prize, and how he had to wait till 1921 before coming to Sweden for the first time to receive the award.
Indian Ambassador to Sweden, Mrs. Banashri Bose Harrisson, was the guest of honour, and she also held an inspired introductory speech on Tagore and his relevance today. More information.

New and updated items on SASNET web site

• Collected essays by Pamela Price published in one volume

Orient Blackswan publishers have released a volume with the writings of Professor Pamela Price at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo. The book  is entitled ”State, Politics, and Cultures in Modern South India: Honour, Authority, and Morality” and brings together ten of Pamela Price’s essays that appeared between 1979 and 2010, presenting studies from different political domains and linguistic areas.
Pamela Price has been a perceptive observer and analyst of the politics and cultures of southern India for more than three decades. She became interested in how the people in the region honour and respect those in public life while doing research in Madurai on Dravidian nationalism. She has also researched on similar issues in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. She was a member of SASNET’s board during the period 2001-06.
This volume of essays will be an invaluable guide for students of history and politics of southern India in both the colonial and modern periods. The book will also appeal to those interested in understanding the culture and politics of south India. More information.

• New book about Jewish community in Andhra Pradesh

“The Jews of Andhra Pradesh – Contesting Caste and Religion in South India” is a new book authored by Yulia Egorova, Durham University, and Shahid Perwez, University of Bath. It is the first book of its kind, making a novel contribution to debates about what it means to be Jewish and examines ethnographically the way the time-old discourse about the Lost Tribes of Israel translates itself into the emergence of a Jewish community in the contemporary world. The book is devoted to the Bene Ephraim – a group of former untouchables in Andhra Pradesh who have claimed Jewish identity for themselves. Why would a community adopt Jewish identity as a social liberation strategy? What does it mean to be Jewish in the twenty-first century? Egorova and Perwez address these questions by focusing on this group in India whose unique circumstances provide a new perspective on communities claiming the status of the Lost Tribes of Israel. More information about the book.
Shahid Perwez is also a partner in a research project on ”Health, Gender, and Demography: A Socio-cultural study of Mother and Child Healthcare in two Indian states” with Dr. Torvald Olsson, School of Education and Environment, Kristianstad University, Sweden (more information about the project).

• 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 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