Swedish Research Council grants to South Asia related projects 2011
In September 2011, Dr. Anna Laine, School of Education and Humanities, Dalarna University, Campus Falun, was awarded SEK 2.2 m as a research grant from the Swedish Research Council for a three-year project (2012-14) within the field of Artistic Research. The project is entitled ”Reconfigurations of Identity in a Deterritorialized Setting: The Visuality of ´Tamilness´ in Diasporic Sites on the Web and in Neighbourhoods of London”.
The aim of this project is to explore the role of visual appearance in the construction and performance of cultural identity. The study will enhance the knowledge on how social, political, religious and aesthetic issues interact in reconstituting visual aspects of identity among ethnic minorities. It is positioned in the overlap between art and anthropology, based on recent interests among artists in ethnographic methods and collections, among anthropologists in phenomenology and multisensorial forms of expression, and in the joint interest in politics of representation.
More information about the project.
On 26 May 2011, the Swedish Research Council awarded Dr. Ferdinando Sardella, History of Religions, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala University, a scholarship for two years to continue his work as a post-doc on a new research project on modernHinduism and globalization. The project is entitled ”Hinduism and Globalisation: A Return Journey, focusing on Vaishnavism – the leading religious culture of Hindu India. Interestingly, an important element of Vaishnava culture concerns the mutual influence of Indians and Europeans through the migration and transformation of religious movements. The primary purpose of this project is to explore through archive sources and interviews the growth of a modern Hindu movement in Sweden known as the Gaudiya Math with particular focus on Stockholm, where it is well represented, but insufficiently explored. A secondary purpose is to investigate the impact of the movement in the area in West Bengal as it returned there. More information about the project.
On 20 October 2011, the Swedish Research Council awarded Dr. Henrik Chetan Aspengren, Department of History, Uppsala University, SEK 2.067 m as a research grant for three years (2012-14) for a project entitled ”Knowledge as colonial dissent: social science and political argument, Western India 1870–1940”.
Dr. Aspengren defended his doctoral dissertation at the Dept. of Politics and International Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, in 2010 with a thesis entitled ”Social Imperialism – And how it was applied in the Bombay Presidency, 1895–1925” (more information). In the new project he will explore in innovative ways how political argument of dissent towards British authorities in the Bombay Presidency, Western India, 1870-1940, shifted from being mainly inspired by religion or custom, to become infused with social science concepts and data.
By analysing primary and secondary archival sources in London, Mumbai and Delhi, Aspengren wants to show how actors for different reasons, turned social statistics on housing, mortality or unemployment rates, into arguments against the direction of British authorities of the time. Social studies proved important, not only for identifying poor social conditions, but also for providing secular concepts and imagery that gradually marginalised previous lines of reasoning. The case provide new perspectives on theoretical question at the heart of the study: How do actors form new political argument so persuasive to others in their society that it eventually comes to dominate local political debate?