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South Asia Centre

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South Asia Centre
London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7107 5330

Email southasiacentre@lse.ac.uk

 

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Established in 2015, the South Asia Centre marks a step-change in LSE’s engagement with South Asia. LSE has more than 70 subject experts whose teaching and research interests concern South Asia; the Centre harnesses this world class inter- and multi-disciplinary expertise to underwrite the School’s fundamental mission of impacting public awareness through informed knowledge. All activities of the Centre focus on public engagement and impact, capacity and skills development, and the creation of a global platform to engage with South Asia – whose particularities constantly challenge conventional social science thinking about the region. 

The mission of the South Asia Centre is to work with individuals, organisations, think tanks, the media, governments and parastatal institutions to debate South Asia amidst its constituent countries and with the world at large through multi-faceted dialogue and debate, and position it as a dynamic global region influencing wider challenges and powers. The Centre’s activities at once capture and animate the multiple alternative and varied global frames of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and their role in the making of the Asian century.

The South Asia Centre is part of the Institute of Global Affairs, alongside several other region-focused Centres at LSE.

Gagan Sood

Dr Gagan Sood  (Assistan Professor in the Department of International History) has authored the following book, which has just been published by Cambridge University Press. 

India and the Islamic Heartlands: An Eighteenth-Century World of Circulation and Exchange

Based on the chance survival of a remarkable cache of documents, India and the Islamic Heartlands recaptures a vanished and forgotten world from the eighteenth century spanning much of today's Middle East and South Asia. Gagan Sood focuses on ordinary people - traders, pilgrims, bankers, clerics, brokers, scribes, among others - who were engaged in activities marked by large distances and long silences. By elucidating their everyday lives in a range of settings, from the family household to the polity at large, Sood pieces together the connective tissue of a world that lay beyond the sovereign purview. Recapturing this obscured and neglected world helps us better understand the region during a pivotal moment in its history, and offers new answers to old questions concerning early modern Eurasia and its transition to colonialism.

 
HCI Welcome by SAC and Professor Craig Calhoun

India's new High Commissioner to the UK H.E. Mr Navtej Sarna welcomed at the LSE

High Commissioner H.E. Mr. Navtej Sarna visited the LSE on March 9. He was hosted by the Director and President, Prof. Craig Calhoun who shared with him the vision and plans of the newly formed South Asia Centre; he also interacted with academics associated with the Centre working on issues of importance to India.

At the High Commissioner's suggestion, it was agreed that given the close proximity of the LSE and the HCI, as the two institutions are literally across the road, they will strengthen their ties through a new '100 Foot Journey Club' (#100FJC) that will host regular events and discussions on topical issues and research about India.

 
Prof Craig Calhoun with PM Nawaz Sharif 23 Feb 2016

Professor Craig Calhoun has become the first LSE Director to visit Pakistan.

This was at the beginning of a week long trip around the country, including Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, where Professor Calhoun, along with Dr Mukulika Banerjee and Dr Nilanjan Sarkar, Director and Deputy Director of the LSE South Asia Centre respectively, met with Government ministers, students, alumni, and gave presentations at Universities in each city. 

Read about his meeting with PM Nawaz Sharif here

You can see more highlights from the visit on our faceboook and twitter accounts.

 
S Ibnes Abbas addressing alumni with Craig Calhoun and Mukulika Banerjee

Reception for LSE Alumni from Pakistan in the UK

On Tuesday 16th February 2016, the South Asia Centre held a reception for LSE Alumni from Pakistan in the UK where they met the LSE President & Director, Professor Craig Calhoun, and His Excellency Mr. S. Ibne Abbas, High Commissioner of Pakistan to the UK. 

Dr Mukulika Banerjee also spoke about the South Asia Centre and its imminent trip to Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

Thanks to all alumni who came, and for the support given by members of the LSE SU Pakistan Society and LSE SU Pakistan Development Society. It was great to meet you and hope to see you at South Asia Centre events in the near future

Photos of the event are on our Facebook page here

 
Sam Pritoda

LSE India Summit 2016

‘We live in a world where UBER, the largest taxi company, does not own taxis; Airbnb, the largest accommodation company, does not own rooms; Alibaba, the biggest retailer in the world, does not have a shop. In this world, the language of GDP, balance sheets, per capita income no longer make sense. We need a total redesign of how we look at global finance.’

     ~ Sam Pitroda, pioneer of India’s IT revolution, speaking at             the LSE India Summit in Goa  

The South Asia Centre hosted the first ever ‘LSE India Summit 2016’ at the Cidade de Goa on 28-30 January 2016.

Sponsored in full by Difficult Dialogues LLP, the Summit was immensely successful, with more than 300 people attended it over 3 days. 

Read more about the Summit here.

Details on panels and speakers here.

Twitter Hashtag used for this event: #LSEIndia2016 

 
Group photo of Ambedkar students

The second delegation of Ambedkar Research Students had a successful visit, finishing with a reception hosted by the South Asia Centre on Friday 27th November. 

Whilst here, two of the students were interviewed by Rozelle Laha, from the Hindustan Times, which features in an article published in the Delhi edition on Wednesday 2nd December. 

The article is featured on page 19 of the Delhi edition. Click here  to view.

 
South Asia Centre leaf

About the South Asia Centre logo

Sacred Fig (ficus religiosa), Pipal, Bodhi - this symbolises at once social, cultural, religious and ecological benevolence, representing a shared cultural geography and noetic economy. Find out more about the symbol and why it has been adopted as the LSE South Asia Centre logo here.

 
Pal Joyojeet

Twitter and Political Rebranding in the Global South:The Case of Narendra Modi

Part of the The ICT4D seminar series, organised by the LSE Department of Management

Tuesday 31st May

3 - 5pm 

32 Lincolns Inn Fields, room LG.14 

Speaker: Joyojeet Pal

The ICT4D seminar series centres on how ICTs may make a contribution to development in the global South.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

For more info click here.

 
Sumathi Rumaswamy

“India is Indira, Indira is India.” M. F. Husain and the aesthetics of India’s Emergency, June 1975

The South Asia Centre 1st Anniversary lecture

Tuesday 31st May

6:30-8:00pm

Wolfson Theatre, NAB

Speaker: Sumathi Ramaswamy

Through M F Husain's painting 'India June 1975: The Triptych in the Life of a Nation', Ramaswarmy will explore the place of the visual artist in sustaining and deepening India’s much-vaunted democracy.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

Please email  if you have any queries

 
taming the imperial imagination

Taming the Imperial Imagination: colonial knowledge, international relations, and the Anglo-Afghan encounter, 1808-1878

Department of International Relations public conversation

Wednesday 1st June

6:00-7.30pm

PAR.2.03, Parish Hall, Sheffield Street

Speaker:  Dr Martin Bayly

Discussants: Dr Duncan Bell, Dr Rob Johnson, Professor Jutta WeldesChair: Dr Tarak Barkawi

Taming the Imperial Imagination (Cambridge University Press) marks a novel intervention into the debate on empire and international relations, and offers a new perspective on nineteenth-century Anglo- Afghan relations.


This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries contact Sophie Wise by email s.wise3@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 6821

 
IGC logo

Growth Challenges in Fragile States

An International Growth Centre public discussion, as part of Growth Week 2016

Thursday 2nd June

6:30pm - 8:00pm

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, NAB

Speakers: Sir Paul Collier (Professor of Economics and Public Policy at University of Oxford and Director of IGC); Torsten Persson (Professor of Economics at Stockholm University and Centennial Professor at LSE)

Chair:  Timothy Besley (W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics at LSE)

The conflicts and crises in fragile states are no longer contained within national borders and now dominate global agendas for development and growth. This panel of experts will explore the major challenges that state fragility poses for creating an environment conducive to sustained and inclusive economic growth.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

For more info click here.

 
Amartya Sen

Tales of the Unexpected: gender equality and social progress in Bangladesh 

South Asia CentreGender Institute and Eva Colorni Memorial Trust  discussion 

Friday 3rd June

6:30pm-8:00pm

Old Theatre, Old Building

Speakers: David Lewis, Juli Huang  and Amartya Sen

Chair: Naila Kabeer 

This panel will discuss why gender indicators for Bangladesh have shown a marked improvement despite various development indices not reflecting a similar upswing.

This event is free but a ticket is required. You can find more information about how to apply for tickets here.

Please email  if you have any queries

 
2014-10-08_Guest_Lecturer_Caste_System_Madison.Richards03985

The Indian Village: Romantic Images versus Historical Realities Lecture  

South Asia Centre Public Lecture as part of the '100 Foot Journey Club' (#100FJC)

Monday 6th June 

6:30pm - 8:00pm 

Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London, W1K 1HF

Speaker: Sumit Guha 

Chair: Ed Simpson

This lecture will review the realities of Indian village life and its social and political setting  up to the late twentieth century. 
The event is free to attend and open to all.

Click here for more information

 
Beyond Caste

Beyond Caste: Identity and Power in South Asia, Past and Present

South Asia Centre public lecture

Tuesday 7th June

6:30pm - 8:00pm

Alumni Theatre, NAB

Speaker: Sumit Guha

Chair: Tirthankar Roy

Sumit Guha will be giving a public lecture based on his book ‘Beyond Caste: Identity and Power in South Asia, Past and Present’(Brill 2013), which tracks the long history of the practices amalgamated under the label of caste and shows their connection to changing patterns of social and political power down to the present. It frames caste as an involuted and complex form of ethnicity and explains why it persisted under non-Hindu rulers and in non-Hindu communities across South Asia.

The lecture is open to all however there are a limited number of places, so please email to confirm your attendance. 

 
bearii

Alternatives to Austerity?

Department of Anthropology public conversation 

Thursday 9 June 2016

6.30-8pm

Old Theatre, Old Building

Speakers:  Dr Laura Bear, Anna Coote, Dr Andrea Muehlebach, Dr Carly Schuster 

Chair: Professor Deborah James

This discussion will look towards a post austerity future, discussing proposals for a social calculus to be applied to government policy and sovereign debt relations.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEausterity

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

Click here for more info.

 
Fernande Pool

“We don't want your freedom”: the imagination of virtue among Muslim Bengalis

A Department of Anthropology Research Seminar on Anthropological Theory

Friday 10th June

10:30am - 12:30pm

Seligman Library (OLD 6.05) Old Building

Speaker: Fernande Pool

This seminar is free and open to all. 

For more information contact Deborah James, and click here to see other events in this seminr series. 

 
100FJC

India's Greatest CEOs by Suhel Seth

Thursday 16th June 2016

6:30-8:00pm

Old Theatre, Old Building, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE

Speakers: Suhel Seth, Rt Hon. Jo Johnson and H.E. Navtej Sarna

You are invited to the launch of Suhel Seth's new book India's Greatest CEOs.

The book will be launched by The Rt Hon. Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science, followed by a panel discussion including H.E. Navtej Sarna, Hon'ble High Commissioner of India to the UK and the author. 

The event is free and open to all, but please RSVP to Tim Aldcroft by Friday 10th June if you wish to attend.

Suhel was recently interviewed by Saanya Gulati, for the South Asia @ LSE blog. You can read the article here.

This is a '100 Foot Journey Club’ (#100FJC) event, jointly organised by the LSE South Asia Centre and the High Commission of India, London.

 

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  • No hope left? Interpreting the West Bengal election results
    Last week saw a suprise landslide victory for the TMC in West Bengal. Maitreesh Ghatak assesses the drivers of the TMC victory and argues the Left parties in particular did badly because they failed to adapt to the reality that traditional land and trade-union centred policies for rural and urban areas respectively are largely irrelevant in present day Bengal. The electoral verdict in the […]
  • Do women in power have an impact on corruption?
    Whether women are inherently less corrupt than men remains open to debate, but studies suggest that women in positions of power can reduce corruption, write Chandan Jha and Sudipta Sarangi. This post forms part of our cross-blog Anti-Corruption series, hosted in partnership with The IGC. Catch up on previous posts here. Several studies in social and behavioural sciences have found that […]

Bangladesh posts 

  • Digital Bangladesh: Assessing the impact of electronic government procurement
    Corruption in procurement practices of developing country governments remains a significant source of waste and expenditure. In Bangladesh, the introduction of an electronic procurement system could significantly raise the quality and competitiveness of bidding for public project contracts with implications for future investment and growth in Bangladesh, writes Farria Naeem . This post forms part of our cross-blog Anti-Corruption series, hosted in partnership with The IGC. […]
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Sara Hossain

Kalpana's Warriors - Shahidul Alam 

An Autograph ABP exhibition

22nd April - 18th June

Rivington Place, London EC2A 3BA

(Exhition Opening Reception and tour on Thursday 23rd April, 6:30pm. More info here.)

Kalpana Chakma was a vocal and charismatic leader who campaigned for the rights of indigenous people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts area of Bangladesh. She was abducted from her home at gunpoint 20 years ago by a military officer and two members of the Village Defence Party and has never been seen again.

Through this powerful installation, using photographs printed on large straw mats each one illuminated by a candle, the acclaimed Bangladeshi photographer, artist and activist Shahidul Alam attempts to break the silence surrounding her disappearance.

Click here for more info.

 
Banjara-exhibition

Stitching the Square - an Exhibition of Banjara embroidery from India

25th May to 30th July2016

10 am - 6 pm Monday - Saturday

Joss Graham, 10 Eccleston Street, London, SW1W 9LT 

'Banjara embroideries, like the Banjara themselves, are almost instantly identifiable. The fortitude of the patterns and the wealth of stitches is unmatched by any other culture'. Charllotte Kwon and Tim McLauchlin 'Textiles of the Banjara: Cloth and Culture of a Wandering Tribe' 2016

Click here for more info. 

 
Tati

Tati: Emerging Bengali Textiles and Fashion

An Oitij-jo Fashion Design and Textiles (FDTC) exhibition

Tuesday 7th June – June 12th June

Rich Mix, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA

'Tati’ in Bangla means weaver. This exhibition is an interwoven conversation between British fashion and textile practitioners who fuse Bengali artisan woven fabrics, cross-cultural design, and re-interpreted contemporary craft within their work - taking Bangladesh beyond the RMG industry. From using indigenous, sustainable new materials and fibres; to drawing design from the daily street cultures of Rickshawallahs in Dhaka; to sourcing fair trade hand woven fabrics from weavers in Bangladesh. Tati aims to start a dialogue about the wider aims of future partnerships of British Designers and the handmade in Bangladesh label.

Click here for more info, and here for the press release.

 
 
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