The Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET) at Lund University organises an inter-disciplinary Research Workshop on South Asia: Culture, Technology, and Development on 13–15 June 2014 at the Falsterbo Conference Resort, Sweden. The conference is organized in collaboration with the Nordic Centre in India (NCI) and the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), Copenhagen University. SASNET is now accepting abstracts of research papers for presentation at the workshop. Go for the conference web site.
The main objective of the workshop is to bridge the gap between Nordic researchers in various disciplines working on South Asia. We will discuss interdisciplinary research in terms of theoretical and methodological approaches, assumptions, ethical considerations, and practices. The workshop will consider interdisciplinary research that is already being done in the field of South Asian studies, and will give participants an opportunity to explore promising new areas for future research. Talks by three prominent researchers will be featured.
The workshop is divided into three main thematic sessions.
Session A: Methods, Fieldwork and Ethics in the South Asian context
Session B: Culture , Religion and Technology in South Asia
Session C: Theory, Practice and Development in South Asia
Researchers and young scholars interested in submitting papers at any of the aforementioned sessions are requested to submit an abstract of individual papers (maximum 500 words) as an email attachment addressed to Hawwa Lubna, by email email@example.com. Deadline for submission is 2 December 2013. Please specify clearly in the email in which session you would like to present the paper.
A clear goal of the workshop discussions is to create strong academic cooperation on South Asia between different disciplines in the form of joint publications or new research projects. Therefore, participants are highly encouraged to send us ideas for new research project or publication in no more than 100 words. We are also exploring the option of bringing out the previously unpublished papers presented at the workshop in a special publication.
|Sten Widmalm, Muhammed Farooq Sulehria and Ali Daalat.|
SASNET organised a successful seminar entitled ”Fragile Peace in Kashmir. Is there any way forward?” at Lund University on Thursday 14 November 2013. It was arranged in collaboration with the South Asian Students Association (SASA) at Lund University. The two invited speakers were Professor Sten Widmalm from the Dept. of Government, Uppsala University, and PhD Candidate Muhammad Farooq Sulehria from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK.
Sten Widmalm’s presentation was entitled ”How to build peace in the world’s most dangerous place”, and focused on the issue how peace in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to a large extent depends on whether confidence in democracy can be revived on the ground. However, he also pointed out that stability is also decided by the development in other parts of India, and the political stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Muhammed Farooq Sulehria’s presentation was entitled ”The Kashmir Cauldron: Complexities facing the nationalistic political project” offered a lot of insights regarding the Kashmir national question.
Sulehria argues that the Kashmir question remains a tripartite dispute whereby Kashmiris constitute the third elemental party to the dispute, and that India and Pakistan mutually want to maintain a status quo on the Kashmir dispute for strategic reasons.
The seminar was followed by a screening of ”Lakeer”, a feature film on Kashmir by British-Kashmiri film maker Ali Daalat, who was present and held an introductory speech about the film about people who have had to suffer great pain and separation because of India’s partition in 1947. The film skillfully brings alive the pre- and the post-partition life in Jammu and Kashmir, and how the locals have coped with their lives after the Partition.
More information about the SASNET/SASA Kashmir seminar.
Professor Helle Rydström from the Department of Gender Studies at Lund University holds the final SASNET/ABF Thursday lunch seminar talk for the fall semester 2013 on Thursday 21 November 2013 at Lunds konsthall. The presentation is entitled ”Jeopardizing the Security of Women and Children: Gendered Violence in Public and Private Spaces in India and Beyond”, focusing on violence against women and the girl child in India and elsewhere in the region. Please note changed time for this specific seminar: 14.00–15.00!
Abstract: In unfolding the “logic” (Arendt 1970; Bourdieu 1992; Stoler 2010) inherent to different kinds of violence, Helle Rydström examines how gendered and aged violence is informed by assumptions about masculinity, femininity, superiority, and not least male privileges. In so doing, she discusses how women and the girl children become included by exclusion of the social order and its promises about human rights and security (Agamben 1998; Rydstrom 2012; Sanchez 2004).
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 mid-day inside the public art gallery (Lunds konsthall) at Mårtenstorget 3 in central Lund. More information on the SASNET/ABF Thursday Lunch Seminars.
Associate Professor Devleena Ghosh from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia was supposed to hold a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Tuesday 26 November 2013, talking about ”Call Centre Workers and the Transformation of Labour and Gender in India”. The seminar is however cancelled!
Devleena Ghosh coordinates the Indian Ocean South Asia Research Network at UTS, a network linking researchers across Australia and internationally. She has pioneered Indian Ocean studies in Australia and published widely on political and cultural experiences of South Asians, including Fijians, in Australia and on the circulations of the Indian Ocean. Her books include Colonialism and Modernity (2007), Cultures of Trade (ed) (2007), Water Borders and Sovereignty in Asia and Oceania (ed) (2008) and Shadowlines: Women in Asia (ed) (2012).
SASNET and the School of Social Work, Lund University is jointly arranging a workshop with Dr Sheba Saeed, as a part of the conference ”Social Work in an International Context” on the 28 November 2013. Venue: Lund University’s Campus Helsingborg, Universitetsplatsen 2, Helsingborg.
Dr Saeed’s workshop, to be held from 14.30 to 15.45, will be based on her documentary film about beggars in the streets of Lahore, Pakistan. What compels the beggars to beg and what measures have been taken by the government and non–governmental organisations to assist the beggars? The documentary examines the political, social, religious and economic reasons for begging as well as the growth of the beggar’s mafia. In order to participate in the workshop, registration is needed. Contact Teres Hjärpe, International Coordinator at School of Social Work. More information about the Helsingborg conference and workshop.
Dr Sheba Saeed, a solicitor by profession, holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham, UK. For her doctoral research she provided a critique on the regulation of begging in Mumbai using religious and secular laws in an audio-visual format with a written thesis. For her MPhil in History, Film and Television she produced and directed her debut documentary “Beggars of Lahore” as part of an audio-visual dissertation. The film has been screened at International Conferences and Film Festivals. More information about the film.
On Wednesday 4 December 2013, 19–21, US-based journalist and documentary filmmaker Brent E. Huffman (photo) participates in a seminar on Chinese mining companies involvement in the Mes Aynak project in Afghanistan, that threatens to destroy ancient Buddhist cultural artifacts located on top of the copper deposits, the largest untapped copper reserve in the world. Huffman’s film ”The Buddhas of Mes Aynak” will be shown at the seminar that is jointly organised by SASNET, UPF (Association of Foreign Affairs at Lund University) and the Swedish Committeee for Afghanistan in Lund. Venue: Café Athen, Akademiska Föreningen (AF), Sandgatan 2, Lund. See the poster.
Brent E Huffman is working as Assistant Professor at the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University in Illinois state, USA. After following China's international development in Africa for the last few years, he became interested in China's Mes Aynak project in 2011, and began documenting in volatile Taliban country the beginnings of the largest private investment in Afghanistan's history. Huffman later discovered that as a result of the Chinese copper mine, the entire region would be completed destroyed by open-pit mining. This cost-effective method would force local Afghans to relocate out of the area, as well as demolish their homes and the ancient Buddhist artifacts. The fate of Mes Aynak hangs in the balance as the Chinese company begins creating their destructive open-pit copper mine.
Earlier the same day – 4th December 2013 – the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University (CME) organises an academic seminar with Dr. Huffman. The seminar will be held 13.15–15.00, in the seminar room at CME, Finngatan 16, Lund. More information will follow.
The minutes are now available from SASNET’s October 8th, 2013, board meeting. Go for the verified Minutes (as a pdf-file).
Among the many issues to be discussed, plans for conferences and other activities during the coming year were agreed upon, and the budget for 2014 was approved. Some important decisions regarding SASNET’s organisational structure were also taken. Dr. Olle Frödin, working for SASNET since August 1, was appointed Deputy Director for the period up till 31 December 2015, with a specialization on issues related to research collaboration, research applications and interdisciplinary collaboration at Lund University. Lars Eklund continues to be in charge of SASNET’s daily work as a Research Communicator, but will keep the title Deputy Director as well. The board also approved that Hawwa Lubna should be given an internship on 20 % at SASNET for a period of six months, assisting Lars with the daily work.
The meeting was attended by all its members, but no student representatives, since the Social Science Students Union had missed to appoint such in time for the meeting. Afterwards, two students have been selected for the period upto June 2014.
Full information about the SASNET board 2013-15.
During the period 23 October till 10 November 2012, SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund was away from the SASNET office at Lund University. He travelled to Kolkata along with other members of the Lund India Choir, specialized in singing songs by the Indian/Bengali Nobel Laureate poet and composer Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). Lars however also visited a number of universities as part of his SASNET work, among them Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, North Orissa University in Baripada – involved in a Erasmus Mundus collaboration with Lund University, and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, the highrest ranked IIT in India located 120 km west of Kolkata.
In two weeks time the Lund India Choir completed a successful tour consisting of no less than seven concerts in Kolkata, Shantiniketan, Balasore, Baripada and Kharagpur, in order to commemorate the 100th jubilee year of Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize in 1913. The main concert was held at classical Star Theatre in north Kolkata on Saturday 26th October, in a programme together with world famous Mamata Shankar Ballett Troupe. The group also had an amazing concert for students and professors at Sangheet Bhawan, the Music Department at Viswa Bharati University in Santiniketan, Tagore’s own university.
First part of the programme coincided with the official Swedish Embassy Tagore commemoration programme held in Kolkata on 25–26 October (more information), but was by some strange reason not admitted to be part of it. The Lund India Choir, led by Bubu Munshi Eklund, also performed at the Calcutta Cricket and Football Club, and at the inauguration of a new Swedish-funded Shakuntala Rheumatology Hospital and Research Institute in Balasore, Odisha State on Thursday 31 October. Other programmes were held at North Orissa University in Baripada and at IIT Kharagpur, and everywhere the choir perfomed it was widely covered by press and TV. Read more about the choir’s India tour, with links to Youtube recordings and press clips.
‡ Lars report from Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), 25 October 2013
‡ Report from Viswa Bharati University, 28-29 October 2013
‡ Lund University Alumni meeting in Kolkata, 30 October 2013
‡ Report from North Orissa University, 2 November 2013
‡ Report from IIT Kharagpur, 4-5 November 2013
Assistant Professor Charu Uppal from the Department of Media and Communication Studies (MKV) at Karlstad University visited SASNET’s office in Lund on her own initiative and had a fruitful meeting with SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund on Monday 11th November 2013. Dr. Uppal hails from India, but has a professional background from Penn State University in the US, and more recently University of the South Pacific in Fiji. Her research focuses on Bollywood and Diaspora, and about how girls, 8-15 years in different countries, including India and Fiji, perceive images of girlhood in Disney movies. At a recent London conference on ”India China Soft Power”, Dr. Uppal presented a paper on ”Bollystan: An Expanding State (of Mind)”, in which she claims that the international spread of Bollywood films to a large extent is connected to the fact that there are now 25 million people of Indian origin living in diaspora in 110 countries all over the world.