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Category : Bangladesh


GSA Spotlight: Nusrat Jahan Mim on Designing in Urban Bangladesh

GSA Spotlight: Nusrat Jahan Mim on Designing in Urban Bangladesh

Nusrat Jahan Mim, a Mittal Institute Graduate Student Associate, is a Doctor of Design candidate at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Her research focuses on post-colonial, post-secular urban designs and human-computer interaction. By examining existing systems, she explores how different spatial and technical designs challenge or propagate social exclusions in the Global South. She is a Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative Fellow for the academic year 2022-23. Prior to Harvard, she won the prestigious AIA Henry Adams Medal from Syracuse School of Architecture for achieving the highest academic rank in M.Arch. The Mittal Institute also profiled her work on makeshift cattle markets in Dhaka in a September 2021 newsletter. We spoke with Nusrat to get an update on her work and new GSA role.

Previewing Harvard-Tufts Conference: Tariq Omar Ali on the Partition of Labor and Capital

Previewing Harvard-Tufts Conference: Tariq Omar Ali on the Partition of Labor and Capital

Tariq Omar Ali received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard and is now an Associate Professor at Georgetown University. His research focuses on nineteenth and twentieth century South Asia and global histories of capital with a particular interest in how the material and everyday lives of ordinary men and women are shaped by transnational circulations of commodities and capital. His first book, A Local History of Global Capital: Jute and Peasant Life in the Bengal Delta was published by Princeton University Press, 2018. He will be presenting his new research examining how decolonization, independence, and the rise of the nation-state restructured the working lives of peasants, boatmen, itinerant traders, and small businessmen in post-colonial East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh) in the 1950s and 1960s at the Tufts-Harvard Conference on the 75th Anniversary of Independence and Partition, October 7-9. Prof. Ali will be speaking on Friday, October 7 at 4:30 p.m. on a panel chaired by Prof. Amartya Sen at the ASEAN Auditorium, Cabot Building, Tufts University. 

Unearthing Partition’s Narrative: The Work of Dr. Jennifer Leaning

Unearthing Partition’s Narrative: The Work of Dr. Jennifer Leaning

An expert in public health and rights-based responses to humanitarian crises, Dr. Jennifer Leaning has spent her nearly 50-year career at the intersection of war and disaster, atrocities and conflict. Despite witnessing some of the darkest instances of human behavior, it is a ‘kindness of strangers’ motif that motivates her work. She applies this approach to the Mittal Institute’s 1947 Partition Project, which she has led since its inception in 2016.

Urban Modernity, Religion, and the Urban Informalities: A Study on Makeshift Cattle Markets in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Urban Modernity, Religion, and the Urban Informalities: A Study on Makeshift Cattle Markets in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Nusrat Jahan Mim, a Harvard D.Des candidate, was a recipient of a Mittal Institute Summer 2021 Research Grant, and she shared her findings in the account below. As a part of her Doctor of Design thesis, she investigated and collected spatial data from the largest annual makeshift cattle marketplaces in Dhaka, Bangladesh during Eid ul Adha (July 19-23, 2021).

Bennett Comerford, Mittal Institute Graduate Associate, Studies South Asian Religions

Bennett Comerford, Mittal Institute Graduate Associate, Studies South Asian Religions

Bennett Comerford, a second year Graduate Student Associate with the Mittal Institute, is a doctoral candidate in the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University. His work focuses on the intersections of religion, literature, race and coloniality in nineteenth-century Bengal. He is a past recipient of language and research fellowships in Bangladesh and India. The Mittal Institute sat down to learn more about Bennett and his research.

Visiting Artist Fellowship Lecture Series: Decentralizing the Creative Process by Asim Waqif

Visiting Artist Fellowship Lecture Series:  Decentralizing the Creative Process by Asim Waqif

The Mittal Institute recently concluded the 2020–2021 Visiting Artist Fellowship, which annually brings four mid-career visual artists to Cambridge to engage with Harvard faculty and students, participate in art exhibitions, and perform research using Harvard’s intellectual resources to further their art practice. Due to COVID-related programming changes this year, the fellowship was reimagined, bringing 13 of the top applicants from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal to the virtual world for a series of four online seminars curated to support the artists’ long-term practice. In these courses, the artists participated in thought-provoking discussions centering on art history, creative writing, urban design, and more, with both their peers and the expert facilitating the class. For the final installment of the VAF Lecture Series, the Mittal Institute welcomed Asim Waqif, a Delhi-based artist whose international work revolves around architecture, ecology and design.

Walking inCommon: An Exploration of Visual Artist Naiza Khan’s Work

Walking inCommon: An Exploration of Visual Artist Naiza Khan’s Work

In a conversation with the Mittal Institute this week, Naiza Khan, a visual artist who splits her time between London and Karachi, explored the impact of the pandemic on her creative processes and methods of making art. This past year, COVID-19 drastically changed the landscape of possibilities for modes of working and presented new opportunities to engage in making work alongside other artists.

Podcast: Bangladesh at 50 Conference

Podcast: Bangladesh at 50 Conference

Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan in 1971. To mark 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence, the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University held a virtual conference, “Bangladesh @ 50: Looking Back, Looking Forward” on March 3 and 4, 2021. The conference highlighted the arc of Bangladesh’s history from the Language Movement through the Liberation War to the present – and the future.