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.
Category : News
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We spoke with Raile Rocky Ziipao, a multidisciplinary researcher, development practitioner, and former Raghunathan Family Fellow at the Mittal Institute. He is currently tenured at the Central University of Punjab, and has recently published a book entitled “Infrastructure of Injustice: State and Politics in Manipur and Northeast India.” Raile’s research delves into the dynamics of infrastructural development in northeast India, especially in his home state of Manipur, from a socio-anthropological perspective.
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.
In our latest India In-Focus podcast created with the Times of India, Shubhangi Bhadada, Mittal Institute Research Fellow, and Nadhra Khan, Associate Professor at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of Lahore University of Management Sciences, discuss the pre-Partition architecture of Lahore, how it has been forgotten or ignored, and the importance of remembering such buildings.