Michaelmas Term 2017

Past events

Read about our past events in Michaelmas Term 2017 and access podcasts and blog posts.

LSE Library Exhibit

Journeys to Independence: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

18 September to Friday 15 December 2017

An LSE Library exhibition exploring LSE's relation with the India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and the 70 years of independence. 


Law and Nationhood: India at 70

13 November 2017 to 7 December 2017

Curated by Dr Nilanjan Sarkar (LSE) and Dr Charlotte de Mille (Courtauld). Organised in collaboration with The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and the High Commission of India, London.

Hosted by LSE Arts, Atrium Gallery

This exhibition explores the relationship between legality and nationhood in independent India, placing her Constitution at the heart of it. It focuses on four prominent Indians – Shyamaji Krishnavarma, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Dr B R Ambedkar – all Barristers, who played a key role in the centrality of law in India’s structures of governance. Exhibited for the first time are original documents relating to the disbarment of Varma and Gandhi on grounds of ‘sedition’ from Inner Temple.


David Gilmartin

Pakistan and the Grand Narratives of 20th Century History

This is a South Asia Centre public lecture which is part of the Colony as Empire: Histories from Whitehall series.

4 December 2017

Speaker: Prof David Gilmartin

Chair: Dr Nilanjan Sarkar

The birth of Pakistan as an historical event varies depending on the lens through which it is viewed and interpreted. In this talk, David Gilmartin will explore the different understandings of Pakistan produced by competing narratives of 20th century world history, whether it is empire and nation, religion and democracy, or environment and development.

David Gilmartin is Professor of History at North Carolina State University.

Listen to the podcast here.


Maitreesh Ghatak

The Case for a Universal Basic Income Scheme in Developed vs Developing Countries

24 November 2017

Speaker: Prof Maitreesh Ghatak

Chair: Dr Mukulika Banerjee

It is relatively rare for the same economic policy to be hotly debated in both developing and developed countries given how different their economic environments are. A universal basic income (UBI) is one such example. The three dimensions of a UBI – cash transfers, non-conditionality, and universality – can and have been debated. It is useful to think about the respective pros and cons of these different features, and how they apply to developing versus developed country contexts.

Maitreesh Ghatak is Professor of Economics at LSE and is a member of the Faculty Advisory Group of the South Asia Centre. 

Listen to the podcast here.



Citizenship and Law: Pakistan at 70

9 October 2017 to 3 November 2017

Curated by Dr Nilanjan Sarkar (LSE) and Dr Charlotte de Mille (Courtauld). Organised in collaboration with The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and the High Commission of Pakistan, London.

Hosted by LSE Arts, Atrium Gallery

On the 70th anniversary of the creation of Pakistan, this exhibition celebrates the critical role of Quaid-i Azam M A Jinnah as lawyer and statesman. Displaying documents from his time at Lincoln’s Inn, and his role as Privy Councillor in 1930s London, together with photographs, newspapers, and objects relating to her constitutional history, the exhibition highlights the long-standing relations between Pakistan and the UK.



Afghanistan in Global Affairs: New Histories and Perspectives

This is a South Asia Centre roundtable discussion in collaboration with the Department of International Relations.

19 October 2017

Speakers: Dr Dawood Azami, Dr Martin Bayly, Dr Elisabeth Leake and Dr Timothy Nunan

Chair: Professor Christopher Coker

This is an interdisciplinary public roundtable discussion showcasing new research, histories, and perspectives on Afghanistan in international affairs.

Dr Dawood Azami is an award-winning BBC senior broadcast journalist and academic.

Dr Martin Bayly is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of International Relations and Centre for International Studies, LSE.

Dr Elisabeth Leake is a lecturer in International History at the University of Leeds

Dr Timothy Nunan is the Freigeist Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin and a scholar of international and global history.

Professor Christopher Coker is Professor of International Relations at LSE.

Listen to the podcast here.



The Radcliffe Boundary Commission and the Geographical Imagination of Pakistan

This is a South Asia Centre public lecture which is part of the Colony as Empire: Histories from Whitehall series.

16 October 2017

Speaker: Dr Lucy Chester

The Radcliffe Boundary Commission, which drew the lines dividing India and Pakistan in 1947, brought both the culmination of hopes for an independent Muslim state in South Asia and disappointment for those who had imagined that state in a different geographic form.  Proponents of ‘Pakistan’ in the 1930s and 1940s held a variety of views about its rightful boundaries; this talk will examine the effects of earlier visualisations of that Pakistan on the work of the Radcliffe Commission.

Dr Lucy Chester is Associate Professor of History at the University of Colorado Boulder. Lucy’s monograph Borders and Conflicts in South Asia: The Radcliffe Boundary Commission and the Partition of Punjab (2009) is the only modern study of the drawing of the Radcliffe Line (separating India and Pakistan) by Sir Cyril Radcliffe a few months before the partition of the Indian subcontinent in August 1947. Her more recent research has been on cartography, and on Britain and the Palestine Mandate.

Listen to the podcast here.



Can Intelligence Services do Good? A Conversation between Indian and Pakistani Former Chiefs

This is a South Asia Centre and LSESU Pakistan Development Society public lecture, co-hosted with the South Asia Future Forum.

6 October 2017

Speakers: Amarjit Singh Dulat, Ehsan ul Haq

Discussants: Aamir Ghauri, Rahul Roy-Chaudhury

Chair: Dr Mukulika Banerjee 

The panel will explore the nature of intelligence services in India and Pakistan, their challenges, limits and potentials towards domestic and international security issues. This event is co-hosted by the South Asia Future Forum, LSESU Pakistan Development Society and South Asia Centre.

Amarjit Singh Dulat is former Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing.

Ehsan ul Haq is former Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence.

Aamir Ghauri (@AamirGhauri) is the founder and Director of South Asia Future forum, and the editor of The News, Islamabad.

Rahul Roy-Chaudhury is Senior Fellow for South Asia, International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Listen to the podcast here.



Talking Economics: Finance and Reform in India

This is a discussion by the South Asia Centre in partnership with the Institute for New Economic Thinking, New Delhi.

5 October 2017

Speaker: Adair Turner

Discussant: Mr Nasser Munjee

This discussion is part of the series ‘Artha Vivaad: Lectures in New Economic Thinking’ by INET.

Adair, Lord Turner of Ecchinswell is a businessman and academic. Most recently, he has authored Between Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit and Fixing Global Finance (Princeton, 2015); he was formerly Chairman of the Financial Services Authority, and Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry. Sir Adair is currently Chairman of INET, New York. 

Nasser Munjee set up IDFC in India, is Chairman of the Development Credit Bank, and Tata Motor Finance Ltd., and serves on the Board of several other companies including Jaguar Land Rover plc, ABB Ltd, HDFC Ltd. Nasser is Chair of the Senior Advisory Board of the South Asia Centre (LSE). 



Ram Rahim: Faith and Justice in India

This is a discussion by the South Asia Centre in partnership with the National Indian Students and Alumni Union, UK.

3 October 2016

Speaker: Utsav Singh Bains

Chair: Dr Mukulika Banerjee

The conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim, a self-styled godman, by the Indian Judiciary for charges of rape was a landmark judgement in criminality in a society where there are hundreds of self-styled ‘godmen’ with substantial numbers of followers. Since the conviction in August this year, the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (the apex council of Hindu sadhus) have published – for the first time – a list of fake godmen/godwomen, demanding a crackdown by state authorities on such cult leaders. In this session, the lawyer for the plaintiffs who brought the criminal charges against Godman Ram Rahim will examine from first-hand experience the details of this landmark judgement, amidst the wider role asked for and played by the state and the judiciary in spiritual matters and the regulation of local religious figures in India today.

Utsav Singh Bains is a human rights lawyer at the Supreme Court of India. He represented the plaintiffs in the criminal case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. 



Barrister Gandhi Takes the Stand

This is a lecture by invitation only, by the South Asia Centre in collaboration with The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.

2 October 2017

Speaker: Dr Faisal Devji

This special lecture at once commemorates the birth anniversary of M. K. Gandhi, called to the Bar by The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in 1891, and later Father of the Indian Nation; the 70th anniversary of India’s independence and the UK-India Year of Culture 2017.

Dr Faisal Devji is University Reader in Modern South Asian History, University of Oxford. Dr Devji is interested in Indian political thought as well as that of modern Islam. He has published The Impossible India: Gandhi and the Temptation of Violence (2012), which focuses on Gandhi’s unsentimental engagement with the hard facts of imperial domination, fascism and civil war, while placing Gandhi at the centre of modern history who explores a new political reality. His most recent publication Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea(2013)explores how Pakistan was founded on a philosophy that accords with Zionism in surprising ways.



DSC Prize for South Asian Shortlist Announcement and Panel Discussion

Hosted by Surina Narula in partnership with the South Asia Centre

27 September 2017

The event will feature a panel on film and literature with Steven Bernstein, Michael Wood and Gurinder Chadha.

The short list announcement will be followed by a reception in the Senior Dining Room (5th Floor).