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.
Awardees EASAS Research Student Award 2021 (in alphabetical order):
Michal Erlich: BIOGRAPHIES OF ENHANCED AGENCY AND SELF-MADE GURUS: FROM HOUSEWIVES INTO FOUNDERS OF GURU-BHAKTI COMMUNITIES
PhD Candidate, Dept. Of History
Tel Aviv University, Israel
Michal Erlich is a PhD candidate in the Department of East Asian Studies, Tel Aviv University, and an Azrieli Research Fellow. For the past ten years Erlich has divided her time between Delhi and Tel Aviv, studying vernacular languages and conducting research. She was hosted by OP Jindal Global University, Delhi, as a visiting scholar, 2016–2017. Her dissertation is titled “Contemporary Guru-Bhakti Communities: Religion and Well-being in the Geographic and Socio-cultural Peripheries of Delhi.” The dissertation is based upon more than two years of in-depth ethnographic fieldwork with two local guru-led Hindu communities. Erlich completed her MA at Tel Aviv University with a thesis on Āyurvedic medicine in contemporary India. Her research explores current meanings of well-being in India’s specific and dynamic contexts as well as how individuals and communities in religious frameworks pursue well-being to improve their lives and achieve earthly and religious-spiritual goals. Her research interests include contemporary lived Hinduism in urban India. She mainly explores issues related to internal migration, marginalized and hybrid communities, new religious movements, the tradition of guru devotion (bhakti), and female gurus.
Suravee Nayak: LAND, BARGAINING AND THE NEGOTIATING LIVES: A CASE OF DISPLACEMENT IN TALCHER COALFIELDS OF ODISHA, INDIA
Centre for Development Studies (CDS), India
Suravee Nayak is a final year doctoral researcher at the Centre for Development Studies (CDS), India and a former visiting doctoral researcher (Jan-Mar, 2019) at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex, UK. Her six years-long research engagement focuses on the political economy of coal mining and dispossession in India, and its impacts on the rural communities by looking at the intersections of their caste, class and gender positions through using mixed methods. Her PhD thesis titled “Dispossession, Labour Process and Production of Space: A Study of Coal Mines in Talcher, Odisha” explores the production of capitalist space in the context of land dispossession by understanding the labour process in the coal mines of India. Her research interests include political economy, extractive industries, dispossession, labour studies and intersectionality in the Global South.
Sanjukta Poddar: MANY TONGUES, MANY VOICES: THE ROLE OF ADĪB IN THE WORLD OF MULTILINGUAL JOURNALS OF THE INDIAN PRESS, ALLAHABAD (1900-1915)
Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations
University of Chicago, IL
Sanjukta Poddar is a doctoral candidate at the university of Chicago. She is a cultural historian of colonial India and explores how textuality became the staging ground for contestations within the varied domains of languages, religions, and caste in provincial urban spaces. Her doctoral project takes the provincial city of Allahabad as case study and examines a range of place-making practices and relationalities of belonging expressed in texts and journals. In so doing, her dissertation draws attention to the triangulated relationship between textuality, urbanity, and social identity in a significant but under-studied location in colonial India.
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.
SASNET – A Unique National Swedish Research and Information Network
– BY LARS EKLUND
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.
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 (1997-2008),
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).
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: https://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/30540/