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Partition Seminar

Martha Chen, Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, Affiliated Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and International Coordinator of the global research-policy-action network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)

Chen will be speaking from a personal perspective, as a long-term resident of India and Pakistan who witnessed two partitions: 1947 and 1971. For the 1947 Partition of India, Chen plans to feature excerpts from her grandmother’s letters written that year from Rawalpindi to family in the USA, and also her own few memories of that time as a 3-year-old. For the 1971 Partition of Pakistan, Chen will recall a series of events she witnessed:  the cyclone and tidal wave of November 1970, the elections of December 1970, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic speech in March 1971, the military crackdown that led to civil war later that month, and Sheikh Mujib’s release from Pakistani custody and return to Dhaka in January 1972.

Light refreshments will be served.

Seminar resources.

This series, part of the SAI research project ‘Looking Back, Informing the Future: The 1947 Partition of British India – Implications of Mass Dislocations Across Geographies’ will explore issues that have often been ignored in the context of the Partition as well as discuss their relevance and impact today, both in South Asia and in other parts of the world. Through two-hour seminars spread over eight sessions, faculty, students, and community members will be brought together to explore the various facets of this complex historic event.

See a full list of Partition seminars.

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