The third ICCR Visiting Professor was Surinder Jodhka, Professor of Sociology at the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi. He was installed on Friday 12 October 2012, and stayed till end of June 2013. Prof. Jodhka was hosted by the Dept of Political Science.
SASNET asked Surinder five questions after his leave:
Who are you?
I am a Professor of Sociology at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in India. My research interests include the dynamics of rural transformations and agrarian change; social inequalities – old and new – and their reproduction; the social life of caste and the varied modes of its articulation in the contemporary Indian context. I have published (authored and edited) more than 10 books and around 90 research papers in a wide range of journals. My publications include The Indian Middle Class: Oxford India Short Introductions (Oxford University Press 2016, with Aseem Prakash) Caste in Contemporary India (Routledge 2015), Interrogating India’s Modernity (ed. Oxford University Press 2013); Caste: Oxford India Short Introductions (Oxford University Press 2012); Village Society (ed. Orient Blackswan 2012). I was among the first recipients of the ICSSR-Amartya Sen Award for Distinguished Social Scientists, for the year 2012.
What did you do at Lund University?
I delivered a good number of lectures in Lund and in several other universities of Europe. My stay in Lund also gave be opportunity to work on my writings. Most of the writing for my book Caste in Contemporary India was completed in Lund. I also started working on my book on the Indian Middle Class while I was in Lund.
What did your time at Lund University bring to your research?
It provided me with a conducive and very friendly environment for writing. I interacted with a large number of social science scholars with a wide range of interests.
What is currently on your research agenda?
I am currently working a few books. One of these is on Caste and Power in the 21st century India and another on Rural Transformations.
What was your latest research publication about?
The Indian Middle Class (with Aseem Prakash) Delhi: OUP 2016.
See enclosed CV for research papers.
An installation ceremony was organised at Lund University’s Palaestra auditorium on 12th October 2012. Professor Jodhka gave an inaugural lecture on the theme ”Indian Village in the 'Neo-Liberal' Times: Changing Economies, Power and Identities”. The informed presentation was based on field work he has carried out in the rural areas of Haryana state in north India. The audience consisted of an interested crowd of Lund University researchers, students and others.
His lecture was preceded by a presentation by the Indian Ambassador to Sweden and Latvia, Ms. Banashri Bose Harrison, who had come to Lund specifically to participate in the installation ceremony. Introductory speeches were also given by Professor Tomas Bergström, Dept. of Political Science, and by Dr. Anna Lindberg, Former Director, SASNET.
On Thursday 1 November 2012, Professor Jodhka held a SASNET lecture on ”What's happening to the countryside: Agrarian Change and the Social Order of Caste in Northwest India”. The seminar was organised in collaboration with the Department of Sociology.
The ICCR professorship
An ICCR professorship programme was run at Lund University during four years, 2010–2014. The programme was an outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Lund University, that was signed on 22 June 2010 by Mr. Balkrishna Shetty, former Indian Ambassador to Sweden, and Prof. Per Eriksson, Vice-Chancellor, Lund University. The agreement was valid for four years, with a new Indian Professor being selected each year. It has now come to an end.
SASNET was actively involved in finalizing the ICCR professorship programme at Lund University, with strong support from the Embassy of India in Stockholm. In April 2010, SASNET’s director, Dr. Anna Lindberg, participated in an official Lund University delegation to Delhi, where final negotiations were held with representatives of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, regarding the proposed Indian visiting guest professorship at Lund University.