News - Other Events Related to South Asian Studies


Cultures of Data and Datafication in South Asia

Date: 7th July 2022

Format: Hybrid Workshop (In-Person & Online)

Location: Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford



Aims and Objectives:

Over the last decade, a number of public commentators have argued that ‘data is the new oil’. Such a comparison, albeit facile, nonetheless captures data’s status as the principal coveted commodity in the contemporary world, its centrality to the modern capitalist economy, its diverse use value, and its ability to act as the lightning rod for fierce political debates. Much like crude oil itself, data does not present itself ready-for-use. It requires careful collection, cleaning, and processing before it is rendered usable. Implicated in this process are an assemblage of actors, institutions, and social imaginaries that seek to define, inter alia, what constitutes data in the first place, what attributes define its quality, and how it should be used. This workshop invites papers that critically analyse the conceptualization, collection, compilation, curation, and consumption of data in different spheres of life in contemporary South Asia.


The production and consumption of data has had a long genealogy in modern South Asia where it has historically been associated with state power – from the use of censuses that rendered the native population legible for colonial officials to the heavy reliance on macroeconomic indicators by the dirigiste developmental state. In recent years, however, there has been an explosion in the volume and granularity of available data and the trend of ‘datafication’ has permeated social life more generally. Policy experts in fields as different as higher education and financial markets claim to be ‘data-driven’. In particular, the entry of big-tech firms, the widening base of social media users, and the ascendancy of the gig-economy have dovetailed to make ‘Big Data’ popular in everyday decision making. At the same time, the lack of access to accurate data (e.g. COVID-19 deaths) has become a major stumbling block. This workshop aims to bring together scholars to interrogate and reflect upon the implications of these trends for the future of South Asia. We seek papers that will reflect on the transformations and changes (and the lack thereof) that the culture of datafication has brought upon different domains, such as politics, the economy, civil society activism, journalism, development planning, education etc.  


Papers could explore themes including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Historical genealogies of data and datafication in South Asia; political/social/intellectual histories of statisticians, debates on data use within state institutions (e.g. The Planning Commission, Indian Statistical Institute), and the evolution of the meaning of data.
  • Ethnographic approaches that study the production of and/or producers of data in the sphere of development planning, bureaucracy, or the private corporate sector.
  • Uses of data in electoral and party politics viz. psephology, public opinion, data-driven campaigning.
  • State and governmental practices centred on data collection, control, and archiving.
  • The way data practices affect the everyday life of South Asian citizens and consumers.
  • Practices of civil society actors and new social movements that revolve around the use of data

We encourage scholars to draw upon diverse methodological approaches and sources. Disciplinary perspectives from political science, anthropology, sociology, history, and law are welcome, as are inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches from scholars in fields such as development studies, science & technology studies, and critical area studies.

Application Procedure:

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words using the following Google form: link. Deadline: 20th May 2022. A limited number of travel bursaries will be available for workshop participants to fully or partially cover the cost of attending the workshop in-person. We anticipate to complete the screening of abstracts by the end of May. For queries, please email Amogh Dhar Sharma at This workshop has been generously supported by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Call for Papers

Conversations: Searching for the Sacred in South Asia


We are excited to invite you to a postgraduate symposium on religion in South Asia, to be held in Cambridge on 1st October 2022. We seek to bring students together in a creative and collaborative way to discuss the variegated expressions of religiosity across South Asia, and to explore the dynamic intersections of religious discourse, creative arts, social location, ritual expression, and embodied practice. Participants may be affiliated to any faculty or department, and their research may span any time period.

Please submit abstracts of 150-200 words, by no later than June 1st 2022, using this submission portal. Any queries about the submission process should be directed to the organising committee at


University Professor of Languages

Cultures of Modern South and Inner Asia

Open to new ideas. Since 1365.
As a research university with high international visibility and a wide range of degree programmes, the University of Vienna is committed to basic research open to application and research-led teaching, as well as to career development of young researchers and to the dialogue with economy and society. That way, the University of Vienna contributes to the education of future generations and to the society’s ability to innovate. The appointment of particularly qualified researchers to university professors is an important strategy of the University of Vienna. Become part of this vibrant and future-oriented organisation.


At the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies, Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies of the University of Vienna the position of a University Professor of Languages and Cultures of Modern South and Inner Asia (full time, permanent position) is to be filled.

As specified in the University’s Development Plan, this position is assigned to the thematic area “Global Cultures and Identities” and its special research focus on “Cultural and Social Transformations in Asia and Africa”. Applicants should be qualified in the study of the region where the cultures of modern South and Inner Asia meet, in particular the Himalayas. The research and teaching focus of candidates should be on one or more of the following areas: South Asian Studies, Inner Asian Studies, Social and Cultural Anthropology, History, Cultural Studies, and History of Religions, with special consideration of the Himalayan region in the modern period. Candidates should be familiar with the linguistic diversity of the Himalayas and have an excellent command of at least one modern language of the region. They should furthermore have experience in conducting fieldwork in the region. Readiness to be committed to the continuation and further development of the “Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Documentation of Inner and South Asian Cultural History” (CIRDIS) and willingness to cooperate especially with premodern South Asian Studies, Tibetan Studies and Buddhist Studies as well as with other Asian Studies disciplines represented at the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies is expected.


Successful candidates should have the following qualifications:

  • Doctoral degree/PhD and post-doctoral experience at a university or other research institution
  • Habilitation (venia docendi) in a subject field relevant to this position or an internationallyaccepted equivalent qualification is desirable
  • Outstanding achievements in research, excellent publication record, international reputation
  • Experience in designing, procuring and managing large research projects, as well as the willingnessand ability to lead research groups
  • Enthusiasm for excellent teaching, teaching experience at universities as well as the ability andwillingness to teach students in all phases of their studies (bachelor's, master's, or doctoral level),to supervise academic theses and to promoting young academic colleagues

Applications in German or English should be submitted by e-mail to the Dean of the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies of the University of Vienna, Univ. Prof. Dr. Melanie Malzahn, Universitätsring 1, A-1010 Wien, Österreich (
Reference no.: 143-2022
The application deadline is 12 April 2022.

You can find the full vacancy HERE (DE) / HERE (EN) or on the university's homepage.



5th Conference on South Asia 27-29 April

Ireland India Institute -Dublin City University



The Ireland India Institute at Dublin City University is organising its Fifth Annual Conference on South Asia, which will be held online from April 27 – 29, 2022.


Abstract submissions are open until February 10, 2022, and can be made here.


Paper proposals should include a title and abstract (300 words). We especially encourage papers from underrepresented groups including Queer, Dalit and minority perspectives. Without the mention of relevant themes, abstracts will not be included. We also invite panels with no more than 4 panellists. Panel Proposals can be made via email; please write to us at for more information.


Doctoral researchers, academics and activists are invited to send proposals for papers and panels addressing one of the thematic sections listed below.


Registration Fee (General): €15


Registration Fee (Student): €5


Themes (find out more):


· Voices from South Asia: literature, film and media politics


· Empire, Imperialisms, and Anti-imperialisms


· Gender Studies – inter-disciplinary, intersectional and interactional developments


· South Asia and the Global Pandemic: Domestic politics and international relations


· Dilemmas of growth – prosperity, equity, and sustainability in South Asia


· Emerging Methodologies and non-Western Paradigms


· The Right to Education in South Asia



Call for papers
Cuadernos Europeos de Deusto (CED)/Deusto Journal on European Studies

Special Issue

EU-Asia Pacific social and cultural dialogue: involving civil society in interregional relations


How to submit:
Articles proposals should include a title and an abstract (max. 250), in English. PhD students and early stage researchers from EUNAP partner institutions are specifically encouraged to submit an article proposal, but we also welcome contributions from other researchers.

Please send your article proposals to the coordinators of this special issue:

Abstract submission deadline extended to January 14, 2022.
Abstract selection will be communicated by January 31, 2022.
Once selected, full articles should be submitted in English by May 20, 2022 at the latest.

Authors are invited to follow the style guidelines as detailed on the CED website.

Please find the Call HERE.