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SAI Events Archive

Extreme Urbanism: A View on Afghanistan, Session 1

Sat, Sep 12, 2020 at 10:30am

Sat, Sep 12, 2020 at 11:45am


Session 1: Planning for Urban Afghanistan

This event belongs to a 3-part series. Information on the remaining two events in this series is soon to come.

Join via Zoom:
Join via YouTube:

Until recently, Afghanistan was omnipresent in global news for the past two decades for all of the wrong reasons. As part of the Option studio, Extreme Urbanism VII: Imagining an Urban Future for Ishkashim, offered at the Harvard GSD in the fall of 2020, this workshop/lecture series aims to propose to interested audiences the opportunity to get an updated, informed view on the country.

Addressing primarily architectural, urban, and territorial aspects of Afghanistan, this cycle of talks aims to create a platform where varied topics ranging from vernacular architecture and building traditions to infrastructure and cultural specificities are discussed in conjunction with issues related to historic settlements and contemporary planning in Afghanistan. The speakers will include academics from Harvard University and Kabul University, in addition to global experts, and practitioners working in or on Afghanistan.

  • Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning, Harvard Graduate School of Design
  • Onno Rühl, General Manager, Aga Khan Agency for Habitat
  • Dennis Pieprz, Principal, Sasaki Research
  • Victor Eskinazi, Senior Associate, Urban Designer, Sasaki Research
  • Alykhan Mohamed, Associate, Planner, Sasaki Research
  • Thomas Nideorest, Professional Staff, Landscape Designer, Sasaki Research
  • Einat Rosenkrantz, Senior Associate, Urban Designer, Sasaki Research

This series is organized by the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat.

Maintaining Peace in China-India Relations: Discussion and Book Launch

Thu, Sep 3, 2020 at 08:30am

Thu, Sep 3, 2020 at 09:30am


The China-India relationship is one of the keys to international security, the future of Asia, and the well-being of nearly 3 billion people. Since early May 2020, border tensions between the two powers have underlined the potential for conflict. In 2017, their armies faced off for 73 days. At the same time, they have built a system of engagement designed to manage conflict and their larger rivalry. Their leaders meet regularly, they hold talks on the border quarrel, they have a series of confidence building measures, and they trade and invest with each other. They also cooperate multilaterally.

What are the drivers of the relationship? How can they manage conflict and rivalry? Are there cooperative steps forward, now and looking ahead? Two years ago, the Centre on Asia and Globalization in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, set out to answer these and other vital questions by working with Routledge UK to produce the Routledge Handbook of China-India Relations. The book was published earlier this year. It assembled experts from China, India, Singapore, other parts of Asia, Australia, Brazil, Europe, and the United States and has 35 chapters on a range of China-India issues.

Rediscovering Partition from New Perspectives

Tue, Sep 1, 2020 at 10:00am

Tue, Sep 1, 2020 at 11:30am


Partition Webinar Poster
10:00 AM EDT  |  3:00 PM BST  |  7:00 PM PKT  |  7:30 PM IST
Join via Zoom:

The impact of the 1947 Partition still ripples throughout South Asia, 73 years later. However, our knowledge of this historic event is constantly being reevaluated by academics and researchers who have continued to illuminate the details of what occurred. This panel will explore how new research efforts help us understand the full depth of the history and legacy of Partition.


  • Jennifer Leaning, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


  • Ian Talbot, Professor of History and Director of the Centre for Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies, University of Southampton
  • Yaqoob Bangash, Assistant Professor, Information Technology University, Lahore

Registration not required. This event is co-sponsored by the Harvard Club of India and the Harvard Club of Pakistan.

Caste in Tech Town Hall

Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 11:00am

Sat, Aug 22, 2020


In this webinar, the speakers will explore the many dimensions of caste discrimination in tech, from recruitment, hiring and workplace dynamics to sexual harassment and limited HR policies. They will also discuss the ways workers are addressing casteist workplaces and the larger movement to add caste as a protected category across the United States in the battle to end caste in the US.


  • Thenmozhi Soundararajan, Executive Director, Equality Labs


  • Maya Kamble, Ambedkar Association of North America
  • Ajantha Subramanian, Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies at Harvard University, Author of Caste in Merit
  • Sam Cornelius, Founder of Ambedkar International Center
  • Sareeta Amrute, Research Director of Data and Society
  • Anil Dash, CEO of Glitch and Technologist

 This event is co-sponsored with Equality Labs,, and Data and Society.

Harvard Pakistan Forum

Thu, Aug 13, 2020

Sun, Aug 16, 2020

The fifth edition of the Harvard Pakistan Forum will be held on August 13–16, 2020. The Harvard Pakistan Forum attracts the brightest minds from around the globe — academics, policy experts, business people, students, and politicians — to discuss socio-economic issues pertinent to Pakistan. This year, the discussion will center around the situation of Pakistan in the context of the COVID era.

This event will be held virtually.

To attend, please register via the Forum website:

HPF 2020 Facebook:
HPF 2020 Instagram: @harvardpakforum

The Future of Higher Education

Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 08:00am

Fri, Aug 7, 2020

What does the future of internationalization in higher education look like after the global pandemic? Trends in higher education have for a long time pointed toward ever greater internationalization of student enrollments, teaching staff, curricular content, and research networks. The general consensus is that this has been for the good: young people enjoy richer learning opportunities and institutions are stronger and more diverse. Moreover, internationalization has accelerated the advancement of scholarship in every field and discipline, leading most surveys of higher education to rely on some measure of “globalization” in determining their rankings.

Today, however, the future of international higher education suddenly seems much less certain. By forcing a halt to nearly all international travel, the pandemic has interrupted the normal movement of people within and between the world’s universities, isolating us from one another in unprecedented ways. Even before the emergence of the SARS-CoV2 virus, resurgent nationalism and xenophobia around the world were already leading some to question the value of a globalized system of higher education, and of globalization more generally. 

Dr. Mark C. Elliott, Vice Provost for International Affairs at Harvard University will discuss how the twin forces of the COVID-19 pandemic and politics has and will impact the future of international higher education.

Swaraj: Dadabhai Naoroji and the Birth of Indian Nationalism

Thu, Jul 9, 2020 at 09:00am

Thu, Jul 9, 2020 at 10:00am

9:00–10:00 AM EST // 6:30–7:30 PM IST // 6:00–7:00 PM PKT // 7:00–8:00 PM BST

Venue: Virtual via Zoom: 

This event will also be streamed LIVE on Facebook: 


  • Sven Beckert, Laird Bell Professor of History, Harvard University


  • Dinyar Patel, Assistant Professor, S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research

In 1906, Dadabhai Naoroji (1825-1917) declared swaraj, or Indian self-government, as the goal of the Indian National Congress. This talk will examine how Naoroji developed the idea of swaraj during his five decades-long political and nationalist career, which included groundbreaking economic research on Indian poverty, engagement with emancipatory movements around the world, and becoming the first-ever Asian elected to the British Parliament. Naoroji’s swaraj, as we will see, was global in nature. It evolved from contact with European liberalism and socialism and, at the same time, had a significant influence on the growth of global anti-colonialism and antiracism.

Webinar: The Labor of Fashion, the Global COVID-19 Crisis, and the Politics of Resistance in Bangladesh

Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 09:00am

Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 10:30am


9:00–10:30 AM EST // 6:00–7:30 PM PKT // 6:30–8:00 PM IST // 7:00–8:30 PM BST

Virtual via Zoom:
Stream via YouTube Live:


  • Dr. Elora Chowdhury, Professor, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Dr. Durba Mitra, Assistant Professor, Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard University


  • Taslima Akhter, Photographer and Organizer, Bangladesh Garments Sramik Shanghati
  • Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh
  • Dr. Seuty Sabur, Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Social Sciences, BRAC University, Bangladesh
  • Dr. Dina M. Siddiqi, Clinical Associate Professor, Liberal Studies, New York University
  • Dr. Nafisa Tanjeem, Assistant Professor, Global Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Lesley University

The global apparel industry is currently facing an unprecedented crisis resulting from the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Major fashion retailers in the Global North are closing their stores and laying off workers. The same brands that demonstrated strong public commitment for protecting the safety and security of Bangladeshi garment workers after the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013 are not hesitating to cancel or suspend orders or delay payments. Thousands of workers are currently out of work and facing a unique livelihood, as well as a health threat. 

Bangladeshi local labor rights organizers are urging the garment factory owners and the Bangladesh government to stop laying off workers, pay the unpaid salary, and enact health safety protocols at the workplace. On the other hand, Bangladeshi garment factory owners and international labor rights groups are exclusively targeting the global brands and asking them to take responsibility for the workers. What is missing in the local and global COVID-19 organizing initiatives is an understanding of how focusing exclusively on either the global brands or the local Bangladeshi actors – such as the government and the factory owners – creates an unfortunate disjuncture between local and global labor organizing priorities and fails to address global capitalism’s creative ways of feminizing and racializing garment workers’ bodies and labor across the supply chain.

By bringing together labor rights organizers and critical scholars, this webinar addresses: How can we move beyond the spotlight approach of focusing on one actor of the apparel supply chain at a time? How can we engage in dialogues and organizing across borders to simultaneously hold the global retailers, governments, and factory owners accountable for ensuring workers’ safety and wellbeing? What does a transnational resistance that is mindful of the power differences between labor organizers in the Global North and the Global South look like?

COVID-19: Reopening — Public Health and the Economy

Thu, Jun 11, 2020 at 12:30pm

Thu, Jun 11, 2020 at 02:00pm

Watch live on YouTube

As global economies gradually reopen, how are governments balancing economic recovery with concerns for public health? This event brings together scholars from economics, public health, and political science to discuss how different regions of the globe are approaching the complex demands of reopening.

  • Speakers
    Chi-Man (Winnie) Yip, Professor of the Practice of International Health Policy and Economics, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Joseph Allen, Assistant Professor of Exposure Assessment Science, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Judyth Twigg, Professor of Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Karl Lauterbach, Professor of Health Economics and Epidemiology, University of Cologne
  • Yasheng Huang, Epoch Foundation Professor of International Management and Faculty Director of Action Learning, MIT Sloan School of Management

Co-sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian StudiesFairbank Center for Chinese StudiesDavid Rockefeller Center for Latin American StudiesLakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, and the China Health Partnership at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

For more information, please call 617-495-4037.

Webinar: Science, Business, and Vaccine Development to Combat the Pandemic

Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 08:30am

Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 09:45am


  • Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School & Director, Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University
  • Gagandeep Kang, Executive Director, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute & Vice Chairperson of The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations
  • Umang Vohra, Managing Director & Global Chief Executive Officer, Cipla Ltd.
  • David E. Bloom, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics & Demography, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Through the lens of a contemporary case study, Harvard Business School Professor Tarun Khanna will share the geo-politics of how vaccines are developed, the funding and distribution methods that are critical to the effort, and the global alliances that facilitate this in the world today. He will speak with Dr. Gagandeep Kang, Executive Director, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute & Vice Chairperson of The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations; Umang Vohra, Managing Director & Global Chief Executive Officer, Cipla Ltd, and Dr. David E. Bloom, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics & Demography, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a discussion on the South Asia context.

The objective is to share the mechanics and commerce of vaccine development and the critical role that science and business can play in combating pandemics such as COVID-19. The intent is to foster a collaborative and synchronous effort among science, business, and government to find synergies and solutions as they navigate the current challenges. How does one forge worldwide alliances in healthcare? How can science, business, government, and society collaborate on healthcare imperatives? How does one resolve the logistics and equity of vaccine distribution, and how can credibility and trust be built? This interactive conversation will be presented via Zoom web-conference.