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March 3–4, 2021
Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan in 1971. To mark 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence, the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University is holding virtual conference on March 3 and 4, 2021. The conference will highlight the arc of Bangladesh’s history from the Language Movement through the Liberation War to the present – and the future. Panelists will discuss a wide range of topics, including the remarkable economic and human development of independent Bangladesh and the important role of civil society in its development. This arc will be traced and analyzed through a set of panel presentations by leading Bangladeshi scholars and activists moderated by international scholars who have worked on and in Bangladesh.
Harvard University and College of the Holy Cross
December 7–9, 2019
The Nepal Mandala Symposium coincides with an NEH sponsored exhibition on Nepalese Buddhist art, Dharma and Punya: Buddhist Ritual Art of Nepal which brings together many lesser known objects of the Malla period and the Shah period. It will provide an opportunity to examine the questions of modernity and globality in the study of Nepal’s art and culture. The call to explore more trans-regional connections must be pursued along with deeper historical inquiries into the unique cultural matrix of the Kathmandu valley. To this end, the symposium brings together scholars of religion, anthropology, and art history whose work examines critically various aspects of Nepal’s culture and history.
Visit the main Nepal Mandala Symposium website for more information.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) Museum
September 24–26, 2019
A city is a sacred landscape in which we live, learn and communicate with others. It is woven into the fabric of day to day life, manifest in languages, performances, traditions and other tangible representations of our existence. While multiple art forms are the reflection of creative human minds and can manifest anywhere, the provision of different high-quality cultural facilities provide crucial spaces and places where we connect with our heritage and also experience the excitement of the contemporary art traditions. Such experiences motivate us to become part of the conversation by exploring similarities and differences inherent in the city’s fabric. The city emerges as a cosmopolitan interface, where it pays attention to local needs but connects well with global thinking. A museum is a cultural, as well as a social space, it is a meeting place for culture and communities to engage in dialogue and exchange of ideas. It plays a direct role in preserving and enriching the community in which it is sustained. The museum is seen as an agent of change and development. Through this workshop, we will explore 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.
September 16, 2019
Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with the third fastest GDP growth rate. In our upcoming Bangladesh Rising Conference, experts from Harvard and peer institutions, as well as governing bodies and organizations across Bangladesh, will discuss the nation’s economy, history, art and heritage, entrepreneurship, public health, and its actions to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Keynote speaker Kaushik Basu, former Chief Economist of the World Bank, will lead a panel on the Bangladesh economy and the nation’s economic resurgence through foreign investment.
April 25, 2019
In 2019, the Mittal Institute’s Annual Cambridge Symposium brought together Institute supporters and Harvard faculty for a fascinating and informative day centered around the Mittal Institute’s and Harvard’s scholarship on science and technology, health, arts, and education and livelihood in South Asia.
May 4, 2018
The Mittal Institute Symposium is our annual flagship event, free and open to the public, where we bring together scholars, practitioners and audiences to discuss, debate and dissect major South Asian themes from an interlocking variety of perspectives.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston & Harvard University
Thursday, October 12 – Sunday, October 15, 2017
ACSAA symposia occur in alternating years, and serve as opportunities to meet colleagues, reconnect with mentors and graduate school cohorts, and share one’s current research with the field. From senior scholars to graduate students, ACSAA symposia are one of the primary ways ACSAA members gather and support one another, share ideas with a group of like-minded colleagues, and participate in the ACSAA community.
The Ismaili Centre in Dubai, Dubai, UAE
Saturday, August 19 – Sunday, August 20, 2017
The Harvard South Asia Institute (SAI) Liberal Arts Education Workshop is a forum for vice chancellors, directors, principals, and deans from universities across South Asia, the Middle East, and neighboring regions to convene on an annual basis for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and the exchange of ideas. Harvard University faculty will be leading the discussion on a range of topics, with the aim of launching a consortium of stakeholders committed to a robust and vibrant future of liberal arts education.
May 3 & 4, 2017
The SAI Symposium is our annual flagship event, free and open to the public, where we bring together scholars, practitioners and audiences to discuss, debate and dissect major South Asian themes from an interlocking variety of perspectives.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Featuring new and largely unpublished work, this one-day conference sets up a dialogue between designers and social scientists. By connecting fine-grained micro studies with broader imaginations for the metropolitan region, we intend to open up new scalar possibilities for Mumbai.
Friday, October 28, 2016 – Saturday, October 29, 2016
The symposium on DeCoding Asian Urbanism explores the current discourse and creation of innovative architecture and urban interventions that are effectively transforming the spatial and operational landscape of the complex Asian city. The focus is to highlight efforts that strategically embrace the rapid growth and the cultural and physical complexity of the built environment in Asia. The symposium builds on an exhibition at the A+D Architecture +Design Museum>Los Angeles, curated by Kenneth Frampton, Ken Yeang and Farooq Ameen.
May 5 & 6, 2016
The 2016 Annual Symposium will feature conversations on the topic of democracy across South Asia.
This event is free and open to the public. Learn more and register here.
April 16 & 17, 2015
Workshops to highlight interfaculty research projects supported by SAI, and launch of the exhibit and book Mapping the Ephemeral City: Kumbh Mela 2013.
April 24 & 25, 2014
This conference will bring together scholars and practitioners to highlight SAI’s ongoing research projects in the form of workshops: Urban Water Challenges, Mobile Technology, Urbanism in South Asia, Disaster Relief & Mental Health, Religion and Secularism, and The Way Forward for the Informal Economy.
January 10-12, 2014
This conference will bring together a multidisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners to explore new frontiers in research on the contemporary South Asian city. South Asia includes some of the largest and fastest-‐growing urban agglomerations in the world today, all of which are growing increasingly interconnected with the larger regional and global economy. Equally relevant is the experience of small and medium-sized cities in each country, and the economic, social and spatial possibilities they encompass.
India International Centre, New Delhi, India
July 12-13, 2013
This conference will be the first step in convening a group of stakeholders from the public and private sectors, the academy, service providers and NGOs. The meeting will provide an opportunity for information exchange and discussion across a range of issues – legislative, educational, policy and service oriented – relevant to sexual assault and gender violence in India and, more generally, South Asia.
April 25 and 26, 2013
The symposium will focus on the timely appeal of South Asia to the humanities—at the intersection of religion and civil society, ancient arts and cutting edge technologies. “South Asia Without Borders” will explore development, the juncture of caste and race, gender and human rights, social entrepreneurship and the arts, constitutionalism and development in South Asia, and will conclude with Harvard’s study of the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage in India.
Future of Afghanistan, 2013
April 5, 2013
The Future of Afghanistan Conference, co-sponsored by Harvard Kennedy School‘s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs‘ India & South Asia Program and the Future of Diplomacy Project, and the Harvard South Asia Institute, is a daylong conference that seeks to answer important questions about the current state of affairs in Afghanistan and the prospects for regional peace and stability in a post-2014 world.
Health in South Asia, 2012
April 26th and 27th, 2012
South Asia Initiative at Harvard University held its second annual symposium, focusing on Health in South Asia: Lessons for and from the World. The conference brought together global experts with deep research, implementation and policy experience to learn and find new modes for global exchange. Day 1 focused on understanding the issue, to create a platform for Day 2’s discussion on the solutions.
India Habitat Centre, Delhi, India
January 23, 2012
Education is increasingly becoming the foundation for individual prosperity and social mobility. Investments made in higher education in South Asia have contributed significantly to economic development, social progress, and political democracy. However, the higher education sector is under significant strain to equip its students with the needed knowledge and technical skills to cater to the demands of the region’s economy. With a focus on gathering multiple perspectives, SAI assembled leaders from the academic, government, and private spheres to discuss innovative approaches being adapted to enhance quality and increase access to higher education across the region.
Future of South Asia, 2011
April 8, 2011
This conference presented speakers on a wide spectrum of issues, including energy technology and innovation, water security, architecture, the aging population of South Asia, and the future of Pakistan.