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Mission

The Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) engages faculty and students through interdisciplinary programs to advance and deepen the teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia. 

About SAI | View the South Asia Institute video 

Upcoming Events


Thu, October 2, 2014 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  Perkins Room, Rubenstein 415, HKS

China, India, and the Global Struggle for Oil in Sudan and South Sudan

SAI Book Talk

Luke Patey, Senior Researcher at the Dan­ish Insti­tute for Inter­na­tional Studies

Discussants:

Rohit ChandraPhD candidate, Harvard Kennedy School

Ahmad Al-MahiMPA candidate, Harvard Kennedy School

Note: Due to heightened security because of visiting dignitaries, please enter the Rubinstein building from the JFK park entrance on October 2. Non-Harvard attendees should contact Rohit Chandra (rchandra@fas.harvard.edu) ASAP otherwise they may be unable to enter the building.

For over a decade, Sudan fuelled the rise of China and India’s national oil companies. But the political turmoil surrounding the historic division of Africa’s largest country, with the birth of South Sudan, challenged Asia’s oil giants to chart a new course. The outbreak of conflict in South Sudan last December only deepened the instability and insecurity and sent Chinese and Indian diplomats scrambling to reinvigorate their foreign policies to protect their interests and bring an end to the conflict.

The lecture will discuss the overseas investments of Chinese and Indian national oil companies, their close ties with their respective governments in Beijing and New Delhi, and experiences with political and security risks in Sudan and South Sudan. It draws from Luke Patey’s recent book The New Kings of Crude: China, India, and the Global Struggle for Oil in Sudan and South Sudan. Beyond examining the economic and political impact of Chinese and Indian engagement in Sudan and South Sudan, the book argues that the two Sudans are examples of how Africa is shaping the rise of China and India as world powers.

Luke Patey is a senior researcher at the Dan­ish Insti­tute for Inter­na­tional Studies. His work focuses on the polit­i­cal econ­omy of oil in Sudan and South Sudan, the role of China and India in Africa, and the global invest­ments of Chi­nese and Indian national oil companies. He has written for the Finan­cial Times, The Guardian, The Hindu, and VICE News. He has been a Vis­it­ing Scholar at Peking Uni­ver­sity (Bei­jing), the Social Sci­ence Research Coun­cil (New York), and the Cen­tre d’études et de recherches inter­na­tionales (Paris).

START
Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 04:00pm

END
Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 05:30pm

VENUE
Perkins Room, Rubenstein Building, Harvard Kennedy School

ADDRESS
79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Mon, October 6, 2014 from 06:30pm - 08:00pm  /  CGIS South, S050

Healing Bodies, Healing Spaces: Understanding Urban Religiosity in Contemporary India

Urbanization Seminar

Smriti Srinivas, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis

Chair: Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Cosponsored with the Harvard University Social Anthropology Colloquium

This presentation seeks to understand the ethnographic and analytical registers of contemporary urban religiosity in India. Grounded spatially in Professor Srinivas’ long-term research in Bangalore, India’s “Silicon Valley” of nearly nine million people, it discusses what Srinivas calls the “sacrality of urban sprawl,” i.e. the fact that cities and their expanding boundaries (whether suburban, exurban, or peri-urban) are important arenas for the recruitment of devotees, the construction of habitats to house the religious, new spiritual maps, and ideas of selfhood.

An exploration of the strata and groups who inhabit these spaces is not the main focus of this paper. It is clear, however, that most could be seen as constituting the “new middle class” that represents and lays claim to the benefits of liberalization. Srinivas tries to show that in addition to consumption patterns and lifestyles, new norms of (religious) selfhood are crucial to the production of their identity. Further, while much attention in recent years has been paid to ideologies and displays of religious nationalisms, fundamentalisms and violence in urban areas, Srinivas draws attention in this paper instead to other maps, sensibilities, and architectures of religiosity.

Dr. Smriti Srinivas is Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis. She received her PhD. from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi (1995). Her research and teaching interests include urban cultures, place-making, utopias, social memory, cultures of the body and performance, religion, South Asia within a comparative context.

START
Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 06:30pm

END
Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 08:00pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

Tue, October 7, 2014 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S050

The Awakening of Muslim Democracy: Religion, Modernity, and the State

SAI Book Talk

Jocelyne Cesari, Senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Visiting Associate professor in the Department of Government, Georgetown University; Director of Islam in the West, Harvard University

Chair: Asad Ahmed, Assistant Professor, Social Anthropology Program, Harvard University

In this book, Jocelyne Cesari explores the relationship between modernization, politics, and Islam in Muslim-majority countries. She contends that nation-building in these environments has produced national ideologies rooted in the politicization of Islam, rather than liberal democracies following the Western model. Cesari’s historical examination covers the post-WWII period to the Arab Spring and informs the book’s consideration of the role of Islam in contemporary Middle Eastern emerging democracies.

START
Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 04:00pm

END
Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

Wed, October 8, 2014 from 06:00pm - 09:00pm  /  CGIS South Concourse

South Asia Exchange: Thoughts, Responses and Questions

A group show called South Asia Exchange:
An exhibition exploring contemporary dialogue about South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, including social justice, pop culture, industry; the environment, food, music, and how they come into play with the idea of exchange

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 6 – 9 p.m.
Panel Discussion:
Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 7:30 p.m.

Exhibit is open to the public :
Mon-Thurs: 7 AM – 9 PM
Fri: 7 AM – 7 PM

Cosponsored with MITHAS and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts

START
Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 06:00pm

END
Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 09:00pm

VENUE
CGIS South Concourse
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Tue, October 14, 2014 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S050

CANCELLED: The May 1990 Nuclear ‘Crisis’: An Indian perspective

Science, Technology, and Energy Seminar

 

This event has been cancelled and will be rescheduled.

 

C Uday Bhaskar, Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses

Chair:Gary Samore, Executive Director of Research, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Cosponsored with the Future of Diplomacy Project, India & South Asia Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

 

 

START
Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 04:00pm

END
Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

    Fri, October 17, 2014 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S250

    The Rational Sciences and Their Contexts in 19th Century India

    Muslim Societies in South Asia Seminar

    Asad Ahmed, Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of California Berkeley

    Chair: Khaled el-Rouayheb, James Richard Jewett Professor of Arabic and of Islamic Intellectual History; member of the Steering Committee of the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program

    This lecture aims to show that the history of the rationalist disciplines (ma’qulat, such as logic, philosophy, astronomy, etc.) in Muslim South Asia was driven by non-trivial social and political contexts.  Taking up the example of a theological debate on the finality of the Prophet, this lecture examines how reformist and establishment scholars deployed various technical tools in rationalist scholarship (especially logic) to argue for the validity of their position on this issue.  In the process, they breathed new life into several subfields of the rationalist disciplines.  This brief period of focus on the relevant technical tools was not due to some predictable orientation of texts, but was the product of the complex layers of the cultural, social, political, and technological landscapes of nineteenth century Muslim India.

    Cosponsored by the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program

    START
    Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 04:00pm

    END
    Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 05:30pm

    VENUE
    CGIS South, S250
    Harvard University

    ADDRESS
    1730 Cambridge Street
    Cambridge MA

    Tue, October 21, 2014 at 06:30pm to
    Thu, October 23, 2014 at 06:30pm  /  Harvard Graduate School of Design

    The Secret Life of Cities

    Urbanization Lecture Series

    Series of Lectures with Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found

    What is the city but the people?” asks Shakespeare in Coriolanus.

    In this series of lectures, writer Suketu Mehta looks at the urban human being, exploring themes of migration, loneliness, and community in the world’s cities. Mehta is author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found (2004), which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He has won the Whiting Writers Award and an O. Henry Prize for his essays and fiction, which have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Harper’s, Time, and Newsweek, and featured on NPR’s “Fresh Air” and “All Things Considered.” Mehta is currently working on a book about immigrants in contemporary New York, for which he received a Guggenheim Fellowship.

    6:30 pm in Piper Auditorium on October 21 and 6:30 pm in Stubbins Room on October 22 and 23.
    Both venues are in Gund Hall, Harvard Graduate School of Design, 48 Quincy St, Cambridge MA

    Cosponsored with the Harvard Graduate School of Design

    START
    Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 06:30pm

    END
    Thu, Oct 23, 2014 at 06:30pm

    VENUE
    Harvard Graduate School of Design
    Harvard University

    ADDRESS
    48 Quincy St,
    Cambridge, MA

    Tue, October 28, 2014 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S250

    CANCELLED: South Asia Without Borders Seminar

    This event has been cancelled and will be rescheduled.

    South Asia Without Borders Seminar

    Sukhadeo Thorat, Professor of Economics, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University

    Chair: Martha Chen, Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Affiliated Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Design, International Coordinator,  WIEGO Network

     

    START
    Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 04:00pm

    END
    Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 05:30pm

    VENUE
    CGIS South, S250
    Harvard University

    ADDRESS
    1730 Cambridge Street
    Cambridge MA

      Announcements


      Oct 24-26: Harvard Asian American Alumni Summit

      The Inaugural Summit in 2010 drew more than 400 students, faculty, staff and alumni—from seven decades, multiple continents and all of Harvard’s schools—for a weekend ofnew connections, new ideas and fun. Register for the 2014 Summit now before events sell out, as they did last time!