The Mittal Institute’s Visiting Artist Fellowship (VAF) is part of a thriving Arts Program at the Institute that seeks to expand opportunities to connect South Asia’s rich and varied artistic culture to the Harvard community, as well as enhancing the arts in South Asia through access to Harvard’s vast resources. As part of this program, the VAF provides a unique opportunity for outstanding mid-career visual artists from South Asia to come to the Harvard campus. We spoke with the Institute’s Arts Program Manager, Sneha Shrestha, to learn more about the VAF program, what makes a successful candidate, and how she hopes the program will grow in the future.
Category : News
The Harvard South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA) is dedicated to the advancement and visibility of the South Asian community at Harvard Law School. They strengthen dialogue and connections through a variety of formats: discussions, lectures, panels, film screenings and social events. The Mittal Institute spoke with co-presidents Rosie Kaur and Vandana Apte about SALSA and its role on campus.
Each year, the Mittal Institute supports faculty research projects with grants ranging up to $25,000. Harvard faculty members are eligible for grants that bring together faculty from different fields and regions whose scholarship relates to South Asia. Traditionally the Mittal Institute has prioritized interdisciplinary research, as well as tried to catalyze connectivity between scholars at Harvard and those in South Asia. Meet this year’s grant recipients.
The Bengali Association of Students at Harvard, fondly called BASHA, evolved during the pandemic as a means of connecting students from Bangladesh and West Bengal. The Mittal Institute spoke with its president, Shifa Hossain ’23, about BASHA’s evolution on campus.
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.
Hemakshi Meghani, co-founder of the Indian School of Democracy (ISD), is a Harvard Kennedy School graduate, where she studied as a World Bank Graduate Scholar. She began her journey as a Teach for India Fellow before working with Boston Consulting Group and two startups in the education and sociopolitical consulting space. Hemakshi is passionate about politics, bottom-up social reform, and making democracy work for every citizen of the country, and she shared some insights into her experience building ISD.
Tradition and Transformation: A Conversation on South Asian Politics with Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Hansong Li
Hansong Li (Mittal Institute, Harvard University), spoke with Pratap Bhanu Mehta (Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi; Laurance S. Rockefeller Distinguished Professor at the Center for Human Values, Princeton University) about the South Asian political sphere ahead of the 2022 Global Political Thought Conference on April 8. Both interlocutors are founding members of the Association for Global Political Thought, an international, interdisciplinary, and intercollegiate project founded in 2021, supported by humanists and social scientists from global institutions. What follows is an exerpt from their conversation – to read the full text, visit the article in Comparative Political Theory.
Last week we introduced one of our Mittal Institute India Fellowship recipients, Mayanka Ambade. Now, meet our second fellow, Ankur Tamuli Phukan. Ankur is a historian and has a broad research interest on issues such as festivals, populism, nationalism, migration, citizenship and ecology. His field of study is largely located in the archives of Northeast India. Ankur will be mentored by Professor Sugata Bose.
The Mittal Institute offers opportunities for scholars and practitioners to utilize the university’s resources to contribute to self-driven, independent research. The first Mittal India Institute Fellowship began on March 15 and we spoke with one of the fellows, Mayanka Ambade, about her plans for the upcoming year.
Hindu Engagement with Rūmī’s Mathnawī in Mughal India: A Winter Student Grant Report by Nariman Aavani
A winter student grant report by Nariman Aavani, Ph.D candidate in the Comparative Study of Religion at Harvard University, who studies Islamic and South Asian philosophical traditions
Nitasha Kaul, a Kashmiri novelist, multidisciplinary academic, poet, economist, and artist who is based in London, headlines the April 7 talk, ‘Inbetween’ India and China: Bhutan’s International Relations. The talk, sponsored by the Mittal Institute, Asia Center and Fairbank Center, traces Bhutan’s history as a Himalayan country sharing borders with India and China, and its foreign policy trajectory. Dr. Kaul, who is also an Associate Professor (Reader) in Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster, spoke to the Mittal Institute ahead of the talk about her work.
The Mittal Institute welcomes Yaqoob Khan Bangash as the 2022-23 United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) Fulbright Fellow. A historian of Modern South Asia, Dr. Bangash is Associate Professor, Department of Governance and Global Studies and Director, Centre for Governance and Policy at Information Technology University, Lahore, Pakistan. He studies Pakistan as a post-colonial state – its state formation, identity, conflicts, etc. Dr. Bangash is the author of A Princely Affair: Accession and Integration of Princely States in Pakistan, 1947-55 and in 2016 founded the first academic literary festival in Pakistan, the ‘Afkar-e-Taza ThinkFest,’ which attracted over 25,000 people in 2020. We caught up with Dr. Bangash to learn more about his plans for the upcoming year.