EASAS Events

EASAS Research Student Awards - ECSAS 2021 Vienna





EASAS Research Student Awards


One of the stated aims of the European Association for South Asian Studies is to encourage and support young scholars working in the field of South Asian Studies. In pursuit of this aim, the Association is offering awards linked to its biennial conference. Awards are to be made for the most outstanding papers by currently registered research students presenting at the conference.


At the 26th EASAS conference in Vienna, an award of €300 will be made. All current PhD students fully registered and presenting at the conference may submit their paper for consideration. The submitted papers will be considered by a panel of judges selected by the EASAS Council.




Submission criteria:


• Authors must be currently registered PhD students.


• Papers must be delivered at the conference.


• Papers must be written in English.


• Papers must be full and complete (including references and bibliography).


• Papers must be in the range 6000 to 8000 words.


• Papers must include an abstract up to 200 words.


• Papers must be submitted by email to by 10 July 2021.


• Please include the subject line ‘EASAS Research Student Awards’ in your email.


Assessment criteria:


• The papers will be assessed in terms of their contribution to the field, the quality of their research data, and their ability to convey ideas and arguments clearly and effectively.


• After these primary considerations have been taken into account, the panel will hope to make awards that reflect the full range of disciplines represented at the conference.


• A named panel of judges will assess the qualities of the papers under consideration.


• The awards will be made on the basis of the written paper, not its presentation (although the paper must be presented at the conference).


ECSAS 2021 Conference


Dear Conveners and Presenters,

thank you for your reply to our last circular and the announcement of your preferred participation (online or in person) in the upcoming ECSAS conference. Based on your feedback, we decided that the 26th ECSAS conference in Vienna will be hosted as an online event from 26 -29 July 2021, with the possibility to take part in a few selected hybrid panels and join the conference on site. A list of the respective panels will soon be announced on the website.

In light of continuing travel restrictions, we consider the virtual format the best solution for all conveners and participants to gather and access the event from their countries without constraints and concerns about health issues. But we also want to accommodate the wish of some colleagues to meet in person, and therefore we plan to provide safe conference space, as far as possible under current conditions.

The conference will be mainly organised via Zoom, using the secure licenses of Vienna University and providing also opportunities for informal virtual meetings, including casual breaks and joint side events for entertainment. We will send detailed access instructions and further advice on technical and practical requirements in due course to secure a smooth e-event.

Online participation

An online event of this size involves a great deal of organizational and technical effort, we therefore also have to charge registration fee:

  • Regular: € 70 after June 30: € 90
  • Student: € 35 after June 30: € 45

Registration for online participation will be open from mid-May onwards.

On-site participation

There is still some uncertainty about the regulatory requirements for on-site scientific events in summer, but we are optimistic that a safe gathering will be possible by taking all necessary precautions (this is likely to include testing, wearing of FFP2 masks, keeping a distance).

Due to the current situation, there will be no social events, except one open-air reception, but we will provide lunch and coffee breaks.

Registration fee:

  • Regular: € 160 after June 30: € 190
  • Student: € 110 after June 30: € 135

Registration for on-site participation will be open from mid-May onwards.

We regret that this year we cannot provide bursaries for young researchers, but we encourage everybody to take the advantage of joining the conference online

We also regret that we cannot finance cancellation and re-booking fees, in case an on-site participation will not be possible due to Covid-19-pandemic restrictions. Please make sure to book your travel accordingly.

Panel Organisation

In the next few days we will review the panels on our website and remove the abstracts of those colleagues who unfortunately had to cancel their participation. Please contact us if there are any other necessary changes. All panel conveners are requested to submit the proposed programme of their panels - i.e., the proposed sequence of papers - before 30 May 2021 by e-mail to, with a clear indication of the time zones of all participants. We will take this into consideration when finalizing the programme in the course of June

Please keep in mind that the 26th ECSAS requires EASAS membership.

We are looking forward to this special and challenging new format of our biannual meeting and we wish you all the best in the meantime: stay safe and healthy!


The Conveners and Organising Committee

EASAS Research Student Awards

EASAS Research Student Awards:

One of the stated aims of the European Association for South Asian Studies is to encourage and support young scholars working in the field of South Asian Studies. In pursuit of this aim, the Association offered awards linked to its biennial conference. Awards were to be made for the most outstanding papers by currently registered research students presenting at the conference.

Research Student Awards ECSAS 2018, Paris

Awardees EASAS Research Student Award 2018 (in alphabetical order):


Madihah Akhter: A Wholly Unsuitable Heir: The Bhopal Sucession Case, 1924-26

PhD Candidate, Dept. of History

Stanford University, USA


Madihah Akhter is a fifth year PhD candidate specializing in modern South Asian history. She received a Master’s in History from Tufts University and a Bachelor’s in History from UCLA. Her research and teaching interests include modern South Asia, gender, queer and transhistory, and global history. Her doctoral dissertation, titled, "In Her Own Right: Sovereignty and Gender in Princely Bhopal, 1901-1926," explores the mutual dependencies and contestations of sovereignty between princely rulers and imperial administrators in the twentieth century. Specifically, she excavates the possibilities of princely sovereignty in Bhopal under the direction of its ruler, Sultan Jahan Begum (r. 1901-1926). Bhopal, located in central India, was the only princely state under female rule in the twentieth century and was the second largest Muslim princely state in India. In this project, she interrogates the conceptual and practical articulations of "in her own right" through gendered space, history writing, anticolonialism, symbolism and succession. Her dissertation engages with political theory on early modern and modern sovereignty in South Asia, feminist analysis of performance and embodied sovereignties, and postcolonial scholarship on anticolonialism and nationalism.


Sara Kazmi: Gender, Vernacular Tradition and the Politics of Voice in Punjabi Poetry: Radical Re-tellings of Hir by Amrita Pritam and Nasreen Anjum Bhatti

PhD Candidate in Criticism and Culture

Department of English

University of Cambridge


Sara Kazmi is a doctoral student at the University of Cambridge. Her project explores literary radicalism in postcolonial Punjab, focusing on poets and playwrights whose work addresses the relationship between emancipatory politics in the contemporary period and vernacular genealogies of critique. Her research examines the reworking of folk forms by contemporary writers to address issues of gender, caste and class in the making of region and nation.

Past EASAS Events

Past EASAS Academic Workshops

  • The fifth EASAS Workshop on Price of Belonging took place at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Bielefeld University, Germany, from 12 to 13 July 2018. During the two-day focused discussion group, it was intended to jointly work through and deepen understanding of human sacrifice that belonging implies by focusing upon specific case studies in different South Asian countries. The aim of the workshop was to look into the interior of human bonds that are less about a relationship between the self and a different ‘Other’ – an already established approach to
    investigate belonging and more of a relationship between the self and a distinct ‘Same’, a perspective that will guide us to the hidden yet scarcely understood spheres of belonging.
    The following questions were addressed: How do collectives make claims upon individual persons? How do individuals gain and secure their membership? How are individual and collective commitments (re)negotiated in everyday situations? What makes some people stay in a formation while others opt for an exit? What happens to those who
    are unable or unwilling to bear the costs? Themes of interest include: consequences of class, caste, ethnic and gendered belonging and membership; inter-marriage; individual navigation through collective constellations.
  • The fourth EASAS Workshop on Worker-Contractors: Refiguring low-level labour market intermediaries in contemporary India took place at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK, on 7 July 2017.
    This one-day symposium was to examine on the formation and working practices of low-level contractors, understood as key figures underpinning India’s economic boom.
  • The third EASAS Workshop on ‘Potent Substances’ between Asia and Europe: Redefining materia medica in Tibetan and Himalayan Medicine and Buddhist Ritual took place at the University of Vienna, Austria, from 1 to 4 September 2016. This workshop focused on how medical and ritual substances are identified and categorised in Tibetan traditions, as well as possible impacts on their ‘potency’ within recent EU pharmaceutical regulations.

  • The second EASAS Workshop on South Asian Apparel Workers in the Post-Rana Plaza World: Worker Health Beyond the Factory Floor took place at the University of Edinburgh, UK, from 15 to 16 July 2016. This workshop focused on worker health in the garment industry since the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in 2013.


  • The first EASAS Workshop on Opening Up Intimate Spaces: Women Writing and Autobiography in India took place at the Adam Mickiewicz University Poznan, Poland, from 19 to 20 May 2016. This workshop focused on Indian women’s writings in India. Most studies of India have tended to focus on the public and the political spheres, seeing them entirely in masculine terms. The fact of women’s much lower literacy levels, their containment within ideologies of femininity and domesticity, compounded by the deafening silence of the imperial archive on women’s experiences have led to the relegation of women’s writings to the margins of mainstream Indian history. This workshop follows an important shift in studies of Indian history towards a reappraisal of women’s roles in the making of pre-modern and modern India by focusing on their writings about their lives.

Past EASAS PhD Workshops

  • The 12th  EASAS PhD Workshop took place at the University of Stuttgart from 19 to 21 September
    2019. Participants hailed from ten countries, in alphabetical order, from Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Twelve students’ chapters were presented by one of the fellow students and commented upon by a senior member of staff. The format of presenting and discussing chapters followed the usual pattern employed at EASAS doctoral workshops.
    The Stuttgart workshop had lively and intense discussions on all presented topics, which ranged from historical to anthropological, and linguistic to performative subject areas. The in-depth discussions offered students with maximum quality feedback on their work in progress.
    The 12th EASAS PhD Workshop was convened by Dr. Margret Frenz, FRHistS, FHEA, University of Stuttgart, and Dr. Georg Berkemer, Humboldt University Berlin.
  • The 11th EASAS PhD Workshop in South Asian Studies was held from 22 to 24 September 2017 in Naples at L'Orientale University of Naples. The EASAS Doctoral Workshops take place annually and aim at giving PhD students the oppertunity to discuss their thesis with fellow PhD students and senior scholars who work on South Asia.
    The 11th EASAS Doctoral Workshop was convened by Dr. Stefania Cavaliere (L'Orientale University, Naples) and Prof. Dr. Alessandra Consolaro (University of Turin).

SASNET – A Unique National Swedish Research and Information Network


In May 2000, the Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET) was created through agrant from Sida/SAREC and Lund University with the aim to create an institutional base in Sweden for academic competence building and thematic work on present day South Asia.The long-term goal was to strengthen the relatively weak academic competence in Sweden in the field of South Asia. SASNET soon became a successful network, funded by Sida for 10 years and after that by continued Lund University funding.


Till December 2016, SASNET was a unique feature – a national all-Swedish research and information network, not found elsewhere in the World. However, from January 2017 SASNET was transformed into a local Lund University Research Centre. It still keeps the network name but in reality it is a completely different institution than the ”old” SASNET. This is the story of old SASNET, 2000-2016, the SASNET that was built up by Staffan Lindberg and Lars Eklund in 2001, and within a few years became an internationally highly recognised network connecting all Swedish and Nordic researchers in the field of South Asian Studies.


Please find the complete story of SASNET, 2000-2016, written by Lars Eklund HERE.

In Memoriam


Dietmar Rothermund (1933-2020),
Professor of South Asian History at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg (1963-2001),
Chairman of the European Association for South Asian Studies


Honorary President of the European Association for South Asian Studies (2010-2020)


It is with profound sadness that we announce that Professor Dietmar Rothermund passed away on 9  March 2020. He was an internationally distinguished historian of South Asia who focused on the history of Indian political ideas and Indian economic history.


In the first half of the 1950s, Rothermund studied history and philosophy in Marburg and Munich. A Fulbright fellowship took him to the University of Pennsylvania where he received his PhD in 1959 for a thesis on the social history of America. After completing his studies, he travelled to India in 1960 as a recipient of a German Research Foundation (DFG) scholarship. This journey was decisive for his future research which thereafter centred on India.


Professor Rothermund’s entire academic career was associated with the South Asia Institute at the University of Heidelberg where he worked from 1963 until his retirement in 2001. From there he was awarded his habilitation in 1968 for the monograph Die politische Willensbildung in Indien, 1900–1960 and was soon appointed to the professorship in the history of South Asia. He also directed the Institute for 15 years during several separate terms and succeeded in establishing an  international network for research and cooperation.


In 1968, Professor Rothermund was among the founding fathers of the European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies (ECMSAS) that later evolved into the European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS) and gave birth to the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS). He contributed immensely to the association’s development for more than four decades and served as its first Chairman from 1997 to 2008. Professor Rothermund is especially remembered by EASAS members for his dedication to the cause of promoting South Asian Studies in Europe. In recognition of his decades-long engagement for and representation of South Asian Studies within and beyond academic circles, Dietmar Rothermund was made the – only – honorary life member of EASAS. His inspiration and presence will be sorely missed at future conferences and meetings.


A prolific scholar, in addition to numerous scholarly articles, Professor Rothermund authored many monographs, including Government, Landlord and Peasant in India: Agrarian Relations under British Rule 1865-1935 (1978), An Economic History of India (1993), Mahatma Gandhi: An Essay in Political Biography (1999), India: The Rise of an Asian Giant (2008) and Contemporary India: Political, Economic and Social Developments Since 1947 (2012). His most popular and probably most widely read work, A History of India (originally published in German in 1982), co-written with Hermann Kulke, is well known to students of South Asian Studies across the world as it has appeared in multiple, constantly up-dated editions and has been translated into several languages.


In 1988, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in London. His work on the dissemination of knowledge on South Asia saw him recognised by the German government with the Federal Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2011) and by the German-Indian Society with the Rabindranath Tagore Culture Prize (2011).


The world-wide community of South Asian scholars has lost one of its most eminent members. He will be remembered as a distinguished professor who put South Asian Studies firmly on the academic map, as a supportive colleague bringing scholars together across Europe, and as an astute and kind human being,


The EASAS Council and Community


Photo: Prof. Dietmar Rothermund at the ECMSAS Conference 2008 in Manchester (courtesy of Lars Eklund).

Other Events Related to South Asian Studies


South Asia-related Postdoctoral Job 

- Research Associate (Fixed Term) -
Department of Social Anthropology


The Department of Social Anthropology is pleased to invite applications for a full-time, Research Associate position in the ethics of asylum and non-religion, to begin on 1 October 2021 for a period of 42 months. This is an excellent opportunity to join a vibrant and growing Department at Cambridge.

The successful applicant will join a multi-country research project, 'Religion and its Others in South Asia and the World' (ROSA), funded by the European Research Council, that uses an anthropological approach to investigate the forms in which individuals and communities raise, in the open or in more hidden transcripts, questions over the dominant religious norms in South Asia. The project is led by Professor Jacob Copeman at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and includes a consortium of researchers based at Cambridge, Zurich, Lyon and the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle.

The applicants will have a PhD in Social Anthropology. They will have experience of carrying out ethnographic fieldwork. They will also have an excellent command of written and spoken English. Fluency in one or more South Asian language would be an advantage - in particular Bengali, Hindi, Urdu or Punjabi. Initiative, motivation, effective teamwork and liaison with other team members and collaborators in the UK and abroad are crucial to the role.


  • Department/Location: Department of Social Anthropology
  • Salary: £32,816-£40,322
  • Reference: JB27356
  • Category: Research
  • Published: 12 July 2021
  • Closing date: 8 August 2021

The closing date for applications is: 8 August 2021. Interviews will be held as soon as possible after the closing date.


If there are any queries about the application process please contact Faculty HR at


Informal enquiries can be directed to Professor Jacob Copeman ( or Dr Perveez Mody (


Please quote reference JB27356 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.


Please see for the job offering:




CFP British Academy Writing Workshop, Pakistan to Bangladesh, 1947-70

The British Academy Writing Workshop

Pakistan to Bangladesh, 1947-70

Call for Proposals


Present day Bangladesh and Pakistan were one country from 1947-1971, a period of twenty-four years. While some remarkable studies have focused on the inequalities and the war which led to the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, other aspects of their combined histories have been overshadowed, leading to an eerie silence about the quarter century of entanglements between the two wings of Pakistan. Studies covering both wings of Pakistan were published in the period before the founding of Bangladesh, but since 1971 the tendency has been to treat them separately even for the pre-1971 period. While some scholars outside South Asia still take a holistic view, most writings in Pakistan either only mention East Pakistan in passing, or simply ignore its existence. In Bangladesh, this period is only teleologically significant as a build-up to its independence. As a result, current scholarship from both countries prevents a fuller grasp of the lifeworld of the erstwhile largest Muslim majority state called Pakistan. Coupled with the fact that there are almost no academic linkages between Pakistan and Bangladesh, and that relations between the two countries are often more polarised than those between India and Pakistan, no serious attempt has been made to bridge this historiographical and intellectual gap. Thus, it is time to appreciate that united Pakistan and the conditions that gave birth to Bangladesh represent not only political projects of emancipation—these also harboured a range of innovations, ideas, doubts, contestations as well as affective conversations which marked the history of many post-colonial nations across the global south.


This writing workshop invites proposals from early career scholars (ideally within 7 years of their PhD), on topics relating to the period 1947-70. Proposals from the disciplines of history, politics, sociology, anthropology, art, literature and architecture, among other related fields, are especially welcome, together with those with an interdisciplinary lens. An equal number of scholars will be chosen from Pakistan and Bangladesh, and we hope pandemic restrictions lift to allow for meetings within each country and outside over the course of one year. The scholars selected will also receive mentorship from an international team of senior academics, either in online and physical meetings. The papers, once they pass the peer review process, will then be published as a special issue of a leading scholarly journal. This is a yearlong commitment, and we request scholars to apply only if they have the time to commit to it for the whole duration.


Please send a proposal between 500-1000 words which clearly details the question/theme you are interrogating, the methodology, and engagement with current literature. With the proposal please send a copy of your CV. Both these materials need to be sent to: by midnight GMT, June 30, 2021. Those selected will be informed within a fortnight.


After selection, senior mentors will be matched with the early career scholars, followed by in-country meetings in July/August 2021 (either online or on zoom in Bangladesh and Pakistan). First drafts will be expected by early November 2021. After comments, the second draft will be due in January 2022, when the whole team will meet at the Lahore ThinkFest to present the papers and for a 2-day workshop (conditions allowing), where a final round of feedback will also be given. Thereafter the scholars will be helped with editing and language, if need be, before final submission to a journal as a special issue.

This Writing Workshop has been funded by the British Academy, and is a collaboration of the University of Oxford with IT University, Pakistan. BRAC University is the Bangladesh partner.



TOIndia Summer School 2021_Politics, Development and Social Change in Contemporary India online edition


5-9 July 2021


One week of lectures, seminars, interactive sessions. Online edition

One year of unrest: Emergency policies and protest at the time of Covid-19 pandemic


From the shocking images of masses of workers flocking streets, stations and railway lines after the lockdown was announced in the subcontinent, to those of the farmers rallies that from Punjab moved to the outskirts of Delhi: instances of unrest emerged powerfully in the past year, bringing to light an increasing tension between developmental policies and the extreme marginalisation of wider strata of society. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the School provides a broad insight to disentangle recent political, economic and socio-cultural tensions in contemporary India.



Jan Breman [University of Amsterdam]

C.P. Chandrashekar [JNU, New Delhi]

Arun Thiruvengadam [Azim Premji University, Bangalore]

Subir Sinha [SOAS, London]

Thomas Blom Hansen [Stanford University]

Matilde Adduci [SOAS, London]

Alpa Shah [LSE, London]

Ravinder Kaur [University of Copenhagen]

The Polis Project 


Contact Info: 

Subscription accepted from 20th April to 10th June. For queries and information on subscription fees, applications, faculty visit our website or write to

Contact Email: 

AJEI - Webinar series « India Matters »

The Association Jeunes Etudes Indiennes (AJEI) is pleased to invite you to its 2021 webinar series:

India Matters 

In the past few years, the AJEI has found it difficult to hire new members. In 1998, its founders had seen India as peculiar enough to justify a related association for the young French researchers, but it would seem that this interest has faded away.

Is it because neoliberal globalization erased some of the national specificities over the past 30 years? Or is the country better studied as part of larger areas such as South Asia or the « global South »? Is it that India, with its myriads of regional and social divisions, is too diverse to develop an area-specialist knowledge? Or has the continuous rise of monodisciplinary approaches been fatal to Indian studies?

As a scientific field with origins that can be traced back to the end of the 18th century, the contemporary importance of Indian studies is seemingly attested by the works of India scholars from the country and abroad. This webinar is an attempt to consolidate some of the contemporary studies on India. We will hear presentations on current Indian themes every first Tuesday of the month at 1:00 pm CET/ 5:30 pm IST, this:

  • On January 5th, political scientist Khaliq Parkar will inaugurate the webinar series with a talk on the governance of India’s smart cities. He will tell us more about the Indian specificities of these new urban models specifically related to technology and data based on his current PhD work on the topic.
  • On February 2nd, members of a Franco-Indian research collective will talk about the political, geopolitical and socioeconomic impact of the Covid-19 in India. Stemming from different disciplines, they will sketch research perspectives on the topic.

  • On March 2nd, GIS specialist Alexandre Cebeillac will talk about the issues of collecting and analyzing quantitative data from India. He will draw on his experience with geotagged social media data as well as government databases in a timely contribution as the 16th Indian Census, will be taken in 2021.
  • April 6th will call for a debate on the relevance of area studies in Asia and their French networks with representatives of areal associations. It will include Johan Krieg from the French Academic Network of Asian Studies, Rémi Desmoulière, from the Association française pour la recherche sur l’Asie du Sud-Est (AFRASE), and Yves-Marie Rault Chodankar from the Association des Jeunes Etudes Indiennes (AJEI).

  • On May 4th, socioeconomist Floriane Bolazzi by talking about a classic subject in Indian studies, at least since Louis Dumont — that is social stratification. Drawing on her extensive PhD research on Palanpur, she will particularly focus on the issue of upward mobility and discuss to what extent the analytical models invented in the global North can also be valid in India.

  • On June 7th, we will eventually listen to sociologist Roland Lardinois. He’s a well-known India scholar and has extensively researched on the history and epistemology of Indian studies. Drawing on his personal experience and work, he will tell us about the structuration of the field in France.

The sessions will take place on Zoom, are open to all, and will last about an hour. If you wish to attend, please register here. We will send you a Zoom link one day before each session.