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SAI Events Archive

Witness to Two Partitions: 1947 and 1971

START
Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 05:00pm

END
Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 07:00pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

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.

Add to your calendar.

POSTPONED: Film Screening: Baghban

START
Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 04:15pm

END
Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 07:15pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S250
Harvard University

ADDRESS
CGIS South, S250
Harvard University
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

This event has been postponed and will be rescheduled for the fall semester.

Cosponsored Event

An elderly couple wish their children to care for them in their old age. But their children see and treat them as a burden, and they must struggle to regain their worth and dignity to themselves and others.

Cosponsored with Asia Center

A World of Women Villages

START
Fri, Mar 10, 2017

END
Fri, Mar 10, 2017

Cosponsored Event

February 6 – March 10 2017
Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2nd Floor Exhibition Wall

Ashley C. Thompson, Design Studies in Risk and Resilience, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Curated from a collection of portraits of women and girls taken over more than 25 years of global travel, the exhibition presents ten portraits of women in rural villages from Nepal, Bhutan, Peru, and French Guiana. Accompanied by description and personal narrative, the work draws attention to a gendered global phenomenon: boys and men departing their homes and families, while the women remain.

The resulting distortion of the gender demographic across geographies and cultures is startling – villages everywhere seemingly inhabited only by women, children, and the elderly or impaired. Capturing the journey and imagination, of an American woman raised nomadically, the exhibition intimately frames her encounters with these girls and women and the realities they face, so drastically different from her own, incorporated into her own story of self.

The Lessons Private Schools Teach: Using a Field Experiment to Understand the Effects of Private Schools on Political Behavior

START
Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 02:00pm

END
Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 04:00pm

VENUE
CGIS Knafel, K262
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA 02138

Joint Seminar on South Asian Politics

Emmerich Davies Escobar, Assistant Professor of Education, Harvard University Graduate School of Education 

Bryce Millett Steinberg, Postdoctoral Fellow in International and Public Affairs, Brown University

Chair: Ashutosh Varshney, Sol Goldman Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs, Director of the Brown-India Initiative

Cosponsored with the Center for Contemporary South Asia at the Wat­son Insti­tute at Brown Uni­ver­sity, the Weath­er­head Cen­ter for Inter­na­tional Affairs, and the MIT Cen­ter for Interna­tional Studies

Read the seminar paper.

The Astrolabe in Medieval India

START
Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 06:00pm

END
Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 08:00pm

Student Event

Owen Cornwall, Columbia University

This talk will discuss the history of the astrolabe in South Asia between 1200-1600CE. As the most important astronomical instrument in the medieval period, the history of the astrolabe in Europe is fairly well known. The history of the astrolabe in South Asia, however, contains many intriguing gaps and puzzling questions. This talk will outline some of these questions while discussing the ways that the astrolabe figured in the political and literary imaginations of medieval South Asia. It will argue that the Sultans of Delhi positioned themselves as the second coming of the Greeks (particularly Alexander the Great, himself directly associated with the astrolabe in Persian literature) in order to emphasize the civilizational benefits of Islamicate empire in India, including an increased control over the powers of the stars. Through a deep engagement with (and critique of) Ptolemy’s Almagest, Arabic (and later Persian) astral sciences had developed a number of advances over their Sanskrit counterparts, which itself did not have many of the key advances necessary for the development of the astrolabe. As a result, a new genre of Sanskrit astronomy, Tājika-śāstra (The Teachings of the Muslims) was developed by a number of Jains (and later Brahmins) between 1150-1600 to incorporate Perso-Arabic concepts into Sanskrit astronomical models, a rare example of translation of foreign language terminology into Sanskrit during the premodern period.

Cosponsored with the Early Sciences Working Group, the South Asia Institute and South Asia Across Disciplines

The Radcliffe Boundary Commission: Cartography and Conflict in the Partition of India and Pakistan

START
Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 05:00pm

END
Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 07:00pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

Partition Seminar

Lucy ChesterAssociate Professor, University of Colorado Boulder

Over a period of six weeks in the summer of 1947, Cyril Radcliffe, a British lawyer who had never been to India and had no experience in boundary-making, drew a 2500-mile-long line that would divide India and Pakistan. This talk will examine the pseudo-judicial framework and deeply politicized nature of the Radcliffe Boundary Commission’s work. I aim to clarify the geographical thinking of the main political parties involved in this commission, the reasoning behind Radcliffe’s deliberations, and the boundary’s role in partition violence.

The role of maps, as texts that communicate contemporary attitudes and beliefs, will receive particular attention. Many of the maps used in this division had been created as tools of colonial control. The “silences” of such maps, such as the absence of information about the inhabitants of the territory depicted, significantly impacted the Radcliffe Commission’s work. Other maps were the product of nationalist attempts to shape independent South Asia. They had silences of their own, with costs and benefits that continue to influence what is arguably a still unfolding partition.

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.

Add to your calendar. | Facebook Event

Dastangoi: The art of Urdu storytelling

START
Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 04:30pm

END
Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 06:00pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S250
Harvard University

ADDRESS
CGIS South, S250
Harvard University
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

*Please not the change in start time.

Muslim Societies in South Asia Seminar

Ankit Chadha, Storyteller / Author

Chair: Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University

Dastangoi, the lost art of Urdu storytelling, developed in eighth century A.D. around the adventures of an Arab hero, Amir Hamza. These stories became very popular in the 19th century North India. With the demise of the last known exponent of the art form in 1928, Mir Baqar Ali, the form also died with him. The modern revival has seen not just the performance of the traditional stories from the Hamza dastan, but also the adaptations of more local and contemporary themes. Ankit Chadha, a writer and storyteller, has been a practitioner of Dastangoi since 2010. His writing varies from biographical accounts of personalities like Kabir, Rahim, Dara Shikoh and Majaaz to modern folk tales on corporate culture, internet and mobile technology. Ankit also has works for young audiences and has worked on Urdu adaptations of children’s classics; including Alice and The Little Prince. He is the author of the award-winning book for children, My Gandhi Story, and the recently released, Amir Khusrau – The Man in Riddles.

 

Mumbai: Research + Projections Social Sciences and Spatial Thinking

START
Sat, Mar 4, 2017

END
Sat, Mar 4, 2017

VENUE
CGIS South, S010

ADDRESS
CGIS South, S010
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA


VENUE
Harvard University

Special Event

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.

Cosponsored with Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative.

Enter the conference website and register.