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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 2021, Vienna


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

PhD Researcher

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)

PhD Candidate

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.

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


– 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.


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
(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).

Other Events Related to South Asian Studies


Virtual Book Launch

 

Childbirth in South Asia: Old challenges and new paradoxes (New Delhi: Oxford UP)


https://ed-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/83390321642

Meeting ID: 833 9032 1642
Passcode: 3rU9JDzQ

Please find more details HERE.

 


 

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.

Details:

  • 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 hr@hsps.cam.ac.uk

 

Informal enquiries can be directed to Professor Jacob Copeman (jacob.copeman@usc.es) or Dr Perveez Mody (pm10012@cam.ac.uk).

 

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/