A seven-member delegation from Harvard College recently visited the Indian state of Manipur to conduct the second iteration of the Program for Scientifically Inspired Leadership (PSIL), a program that would encourage local high school students and college-level teaching assistants in a Western-style education format.
Category : Students
The digital version of the Mittal Institute’s 2018-2019 Student Grant Report has just been released! The report highlights the recipients of the Mittal Institute’s Winter 2018 and Summer 2019 student grants, who traveled all over South Asia to learn about everything from conservation in post-colonial India to the transformation of South Asian foodways.
The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute is seeking a Communications Intern for the Spring 2020 semester! The Institute engages in interdisciplinary research to deepen the understanding of critical issues in South Asia, and the Communications team promotes its events, programs and research through various forms of multimedia content. We’re looking for an intern who can assist with the creation of posters for the various events hosted by the Institute.
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.
Each year, the Mittal Institute holds the Seed for Change competition, welcoming student projects that impact societal, economic, and environmental issues in India and Pakistan. Our latest digital report on the program is out now, highlighting the work of the winning teams. Click here to read it!
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.
My main goal was to examine the production of religious sound in a variety of settings, with an eye toward the social demarcation of “spaces” around the sites of these sounds. Of course, this originally led me to the kinds of places that one would obviously expect: shrines, churches, gurdwaras, masjids, a few Buddhist monasteries, and so on. After listening to most of the field recordings I made, they all seemed to end up pointing to the sort of conclusions that are common in the literature on sound studies in urban spaces: people go about their business within their particular location-bound social milieu, but sound bleeds over.
The Cilappatikāram (“The Tale of an Anklet”) is a 5th century Tamil epic telling the story of Kovalan, a merchant, and his wife Kannaki, who becomes a goddess. Ilango Adigal is credited as the author of this literary work. Over the summer, I conducted the preliminary research for my intended dissertation project on the Cilappatikāram and its reception and retelling histories. During my research, I was able to address my interests and needs for my dissertation in numerous ways.
In the past, conservation studies in India have mainly focused on architectural preservation efforts to protect and maintain designated monuments. In many ways, this is the legacy of the former colonial regime, which enacted stringent preservation laws and laid the academic foundation for the predominant mode of conservation we now see in modern-day India. This is exemplified in the manner in which state agencies, advocacy groups, and academics have dealt with archaeological sites, as plots entirely removed from their urban contexts.
With my grant from the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, I spent eight fruitful weeks abroad, studying the how and the why of the limited set of historic designations in Kolkata. My daily activities were structured around site visits, photographic and written documentation of spatial practices and cultural phenomena, investigative interviews with scholars and professionals in the field of conservation, theoretical readings, and archival work. I spent the first six weeks in Kolkata trying to better understand the city’s spatiality and how many Kolkatan’s livelihoods and daily activities engage with the hybridization of the old and the new.
By Tommy Schaperkotter. This summer I traveled to Bangladesh to survey and conduct fieldwork in the Rohingya refugee camps located in the Ukhiya and Teknaf regions, adjacent to the country’s border with Myanmar. I am pursuing this research as a component of a publication and my master’s thesis at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, which addresses the architectural and urban patterns of refugee settlements created in the wake of forced migration that has engendered a humanitarian crisis heretofore unprecedented. This crisis is often explained as one of refugees, but not always as one of refuge, of architectural spaces where the voices, memories, and capabilities of people are held in abeyance, precluded from substantive participation in the creation of their own built environment.
Working with the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Harvard doctoral student Sonali Dhingra has brought to life a collection of South Asian paintings and sculptures from across the Indian subcontinent, provided by private collectors Carol (alumna of Wellesley College, ’79) and John Rutherford. This fall, the Rutherford Collection will be on display at the Davis Museum from September 12 to December 15, 2019.