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The Power of Dance in Times of Change

The Power of Dance in Times of Change

Art is known to transcend barriers and boundaries, binding people across race, religion, and geographies. Dance holds the unique power of bringing relief into a world struggling under the gloom of uncertainty. However, the physical restrictions placed on performers due to the ongoing pandemic have enforced a radical re-imagination of the ways in which dance culture can be practiced and disseminated across the world. Last week, as part of the Harvard Worldwide Week, dance teams representing three global centers and institutes of Harvard University convened to present a program called “Channels of Expression in Times of Change: Music and Dance Across Continents.”

A Virtual Journey into the World of Sanskrit

A Virtual Journey into the World of Sanskrit

By Victoria Andrews, Summer 2020 Student Grant Recipient. I began my Sanskrit language training with the South Asian Summer Language Intensive (SASLI) during the summer of 2020. The unusual circumstances of the 2020 pandemic prompted me and the summer program to modify our plans for remote learning. In any other year, for my studies, I would have traveled to and lived in Madison, Wisconsin for the duration of the summer Sanskrit intensive. However, this year, I was able to video into my classes from Cambridge. Embarking on this linguistic endeavor has already proved fruitful for my studies this fall.

Apply for the Mittal Institute’s 2020 Faculty Research Grants

Apply for the Mittal Institute’s 2020 Faculty Research Grants

Each year, the Mittal Institute supports faculty research projects with grants ranging from $15,000–$30,000. Faculty members at Harvard are eligible for two types of grants that bring together faculty from different fields and regions whose scholarship relates to South Asia. Traditionally, the Mittal Institute has prioritized interdisciplinary research, and research that catalyzes connectivity between scholars at Harvard and those in South Asia. Up to five grants will be awarded each year. Full-time Harvard faculty members, preferably at the junior levels, are encouraged to apply.

Video: Khusrau’s River of Love: Cosmopolitanism and Inclusion in South Asian Traditions

Video: Khusrau’s River of Love: Cosmopolitanism and Inclusion in South Asian Traditions

During 24 Hours of Harvard, part of Harvard University’s Worldwide Week, the Mittal Institute hosted performances by musician and writer, Ali Sethi, and Dastango (story-teller), journalist, and writer, Himanshu Bajpai, with commentaries by Harvard Professor Ali Asani. The performance highlighted this cosmopolitan ethic of South Asia and its shared cultural history by showcasing Khusrau’s work and legacy.

The Mittal Institute’s 2020 Seed for Change Winners

The Mittal Institute’s 2020 Seed for Change Winners

Each year, the Mittal Institute’s Seed for Change (SFC) competition for Harvard students aims to develop a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India and Pakistan. Grant prizes are awarded to interdisciplinary student projects that positively impact societal, economic, and environmental issues in India and Pakistan. As a result of COVID-19, we have all had to make adjustments to our daily lives, and Harvard students are continuing to learn in new and creative ways. In light of this, the Mittal Institute recently offered SFC Exploratory Grants to students who are currently working on ideas or a project that addresses intractable problems in India and Pakistan. 

Video Preview: Khusrau’s River of Love at Harvard Worldwide Week

Video Preview: Khusrau’s River of Love at Harvard Worldwide Week

The Mittal Institute is excited to announce its participation in 24 Hours of Harvard (24hH), organized by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs (OVPIA) at Harvard University during the Worldwide Week at Harvard 2020. As part of this event, the Mittal Institute will be hosting an online session entitled, “Khusrau’s River of Love: Cosmopolitanism and Inclusion in South Asian Traditions,” which will include performances by noted artists from South Asia, Ali Sethi and Himanshu Bajpai. The performances will be interspersed with analysis and commentary by Ali Asani, Murray A. Albertson Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures at Harvard University, who will also moderate a live Q&A session with Ali Sethi and Himanshu Bajpai following the performances.

The Colonial Gaze Embalmed: An Investigation of Paintings, Archives, and Cultural Institutions

The Colonial Gaze Embalmed: An Investigation of Paintings, Archives, and Cultural Institutions

By Divya Saraf. This past summer, with COVID-19 restrictions in place, I utilized the research grant awarded to me by the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute to investigate the postcolonial effects of the so-called “Company Painting” style, which was developed in the Indian subcontinent over the 18th and 19th centuries under the “patronage” of the British East India Company. The paintings were a result of British attempts to survey, record, and display Indian culture for British citizens, and the paintings have been instrumental in shaping public perceptions of India abroad.

The Mittal Institute’s 2020–2021 Visiting Artist Fellows

The Mittal Institute’s 2020–2021 Visiting Artist Fellows

Due to COVID-related programming changes, we have reimagined the 2020-2021 Visiting Artist Fellowship. We have selected 14 Visiting Artist Fellows, including photographers, sculptors, videographers, and mixed media artists to attend a series of four online virtual seminars curated for them to support the artists’ long-term practice, while simultaneously contributing to thought-provoking discussions among their peers and the faculty facilitating the class.

Khimor-e-maraka: Exploring Bazmi Music in Hunza

Khimor-e-maraka: Exploring Bazmi Music in Hunza

By Nosher Ali Khan. Hunza is a valley located amongst the mighty mountains of the Karakoram in Pakistan. Amidst its rich history, ancient shamanistic traditions, and recent Islamic influence, poetry and music have always been an essential part of Hunzukutz’s (people of Hunza) identity. As a Hunzukutz myself, I was always aware and fascinated by the enormous influence our music has in our daily life and how it shapes our identity. To document the local music and enhance my understanding of the subject, I worked with the Mittal Institute to create a web-series of local folk music.

Rediscovering Partition from New Perspectives

Rediscovering Partition from New Perspectives

The impact of the 1947 Partition still ripples throughout South Asia, 73 years later. However, our knowledge of this historic event is constantly being reevaluated by academics and researchers who have continued to illuminate the details of what occurred. Moderated by Jennifer Leaning, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, this panel explores how new research efforts help us understand the full depth of the history and legacy of Partition.

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