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A Paean to Learning to “See” and the 1947 Partition

A Paean to Learning to “See” and the 1947 Partition

Recently, Professor Tarun Khanna — Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School and Director of the Mittal Institute — traveled to Bengaluru to give the D.D. Kosambi Lecture, “A Paean to Learning to ‘See’” at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences. The talk was structured around the use of basic analytics to better “see” some overlooked regularities in human behavior — drawing on examples from recent Indian history, including the Partition of British India in 1947 and the annual Maha Kumbh Mela religious gathering, and from contemporary social phenomena.

The Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program Reaches New Heights — What’s Next?

The Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program Reaches New Heights — What’s Next?

The Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program began in 2017, a joint effort between the Harvard Business School Club of the GCC, HBS Professors Tarun Khanna and Karim Lakhani, and the Mittal Institute. This year, the Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program received 6,093 total applications from 97 countries spanning the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, Latin America, South Asia, and US students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Of the candidates, 4,263 were selected to move onto the next round, which consisted of a fully funded selection of interdisciplinary courses offered online on HarvardX through Crossroads’ partnership with edX.

The Nepal Mandala’s Place in South Asia

The Nepal Mandala’s Place in South Asia

Symposia dedicated to the art and culture of early modern Nepal come around only once in a generation. And the atmosphere at the Nepal Mandala in an Early Modern South Asia symposium last week, run by Jinah Kim (Harvard University) and Todd Lewis (College of the Holy Cross), reflected the rarity of this meeting. The symposium brought together international experts on the history, culture, and societies of the “Nepal Mandala” — or the Kathmandu Valley — to present papers on the region’s place in early modern South Asia.

Unveiling the Voices of Women and Marginal Characters in the Mahabharata

Unveiling the Voices of Women and Marginal Characters in the Mahabharata

Earlier this week, we were joined by Karthika Naïr, author and poet, for an in-depth discussion on her latest book, Until the Lions. In the book, Naïr retells the story of the Mahabharata through the embodied voices of women and marginal characters. In conversation with Professor Parimal Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy at Harvard University, and with the audience, Naïr brought these voices to life.

Book Workshop Builds Opportunity and Community for Junior Scholars

Book Workshop Builds Opportunity and Community for Junior Scholars

Recently, the Mittal Institute hosted a book workshop with Dr. Mariam Chughtai, Babar Ali Fellow at the Mittal Institute and Associate Dean and Assistant Professor at the LUMS School of Education in Lahore, Pakistan, to curate feedback on her manuscript currently in progress. In a book workshop, a professor hosts a junior scholar and invites other senior scholars from the relevant field to come together and provide feedback on the junior scholar’s developing book manuscript.

Jinah Kim: Nepal’s Artistic Heritage and Buddhist Rituals

Jinah Kim: Nepal’s Artistic Heritage and Buddhist Rituals

Co-curated by Dr. Jinah Kim, Professor of History of Art & Architecture at Harvard University, and Dr. Todd Lewis, Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at College of the Holy Cross, the Dharma and Punya: Buddhist Ritual Art of Nepal exhibit at the College of the Holy Cross’s Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery highlights Nepal’s artistic heritage as a rich and enduring continuation of Indic Buddhist traditions. From December 5–7, 2019, the Nepal Mandala Symposium will bring together scholars of religion, anthropology, and art history whose work examines critically various aspects of Nepal’s culture and history, culminating in a visit to the exhibition. We sat down with Dr. Jinah Kim to learn more about Nepal’s artistic heritage, the role of ritual in Buddhism, and what to expect from the upcoming Symposium and exhibition.

A Tale of Three Cities: Agrarian-Urban Transformation in Western Maharashtra

A Tale of Three Cities: Agrarian-Urban Transformation in Western Maharashtra

“If we look at some of the most contentious land conflicts over the past decade, we realize that the new economic corridors are not anachronistic to the agrarian countryside. Instead, they accrete onto former agricultural modernization programs of the Green Revolution. The Green Revolution helped consolidate … provincial propertied classes — and these agrarian propertied classes are at the forefront of these corridor conflicts,” said Sai Balakrishnan, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, in her talk this week on economic corridors in India and the infrastructural urbanizing development projects that come with them.

Sai Balakrishnan: Redefining the Shape of Urbanization in India

Sai Balakrishnan: Redefining the Shape of Urbanization in India

Economic corridors — ambitious infrastructural development projects throughout Asia and Africa — are dramatically redefining the shape of urbanization. As these corridors cut across croplands, the conversion of agricultural lands into new urban uses has erupted in volatile land conflicts. We sat down with Sai Balakrishnan, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, to learn more about the interaction between agrarian and urban lands throughout India, and the effects that infrastructural changes are having on the nation’s population. On Tuesday, November 5, Balakrishnan will head a panel, Shareholder Cities, on urbanization along the first economic corridor built in India, the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

Preserving History in Lucknow Via Advocacy, Politics, and Civic Engagement

Preserving History in Lucknow Via Advocacy, Politics, and Civic Engagement

Urban conservation is often a pressing challenge in historic Indian cities that are experiencing the pressures of development. Many cities, often lacking any viable local-level policy and enforcement, have resorted to alternative tools, often citizen-led, to accomplish the goal of conservation. In a seminar this week, Ashima Krishna — Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Buffalo — explored the tools of advocacy, politics, and civic engagement through recent examples from the city of Lucknow in northern India.

Museums & The City Workshop: Creating a Dynamic Space

Museums & The City Workshop: Creating a Dynamic Space

This September, the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University partnered with the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum in Mumbai to hold a workshop exploring how museums could potentially create an expanded culture of civic life that represents and nurtures the diverse and plural sensibilities of those with whom they share space.

Podcast: Voting for Strongmen in Brazil and India

Podcast: Voting for Strongmen in Brazil and India

If you missed our recent event, Voting for Strongmen: Nationalist and Populist Leadership in Brazil and India, check out this podcast to see what Professors Patrick Heller, Bruno Carvalho, and Rachel Brulé have to say about what nationalist and populist leadership means for Brazil, India, and the global political system at large.

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