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SAI Event Type : Seminars


Royal City Invented: Mysore in the 20th Century

Royal City Invented: Mysore in the 20th Century

After the 1880s, Mysore was established as the home of the royal family. Despite its interrupted and uncertain status as a “capital” city, it became the site of an experiment in ornamentalism by the 20th century. It was among the first cities in India to have a City Improvement Trust in 1903, a few years after the Bombay Improvement Trust was set up in 1898. In the Trust’s negotiations with the municipality on the one hand, and the Palace establishment on the other, we see a specific form of material and temporal “ordering” that drew as much on the sovereign power of the monarch — though mediated by an increasingly powerful bureaucracy — as on a creative adaptation of the diverse forces, techniques, and devices more properly associated with “governmentality.” How does the invention of Royal Mysore challenge existing conceptions of the colonial city as a site of modernity?

Speaker:

Janaki Nair, Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Delusional States: Feeling Rule and Development in Pakistan’s Northern Frontier

Delusional States: Feeling Rule and Development in Pakistan’s Northern Frontier

Delusional States is the first in-depth study of state-making and social change in Gilgit-Baltistan, a Shia-majority region of Sunni-dominated Pakistan and a contested border area that forms part of disputed Kashmir. Ali will discuss how Gilgit-Baltistan’s image within Pakistan as an idyllic paradise overlooks how the region is governed as a suspect security zone and dispossessed through multiple processes of state-making, including representation, militarization, and sectarianized education.

Speakers:

Nosheen Ali, Karti Dharti, Institute for Ecological Studies, Pakistan

Ali Asani, Harvard University, will moderate the discussion

Raj Rewal: Timeless Rasa & the Spirit of Our Times for Epic Works

Raj Rewal: Timeless Rasa & the Spirit of Our Times for Epic Works

Raj Rewal is internationally recognized for the creation of buildings that respond with sensitivity to the complex demands of rapid urbanization, climate, and culture. Earlier in his career, his focus on low-cost housing led him to design a large number of dwelling units, fragmented into smaller aggregations enclosing a variety of spaces for different building types — an experience that led him to create a series of public projects in a humane manner, for works of epic proportions. Rewal will discuss his past work in public housing, the lessons learned from the cities of Rajasthan, Mediterranean villages, and high-density developments, and how the study of the existing traditional pattern of living can provide cues for place-making that can promote community activities.

Voting for Strongmen: Nationalist and Populist Leadership in Brazil and India

Voting for Strongmen: Nationalist and Populist Leadership in Brazil and India

Around the world, numerous nations have witnessed a resurgence of strongman politics — and with it, many governments are bypassing democratic norms and embracing populist ideals. Focusing on President Bolsonaro of Brazil and Prime Minister Modi of India, the speakers on this panel will discuss what nationalist and populist leadership means for Brazil, India, and the global political system at large.

Speakers:

Rachel Brule, Assistant Professor of Global Development Policy, Boston University
Bruno Carvalho, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
Patrick Heller, Professor of Sociology and iNternational and Public Affairs, Brown University

This event is co-sponsored by the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.

Crisis in Kashmir: Current Events Seminar

Crisis in Kashmir: Current Events Seminar

The panel will discuss the recent events in Jammu and Kashmir, including the lead-up to the dissolution of its special autonomous status, the current situation on the ground, and the greater geopolitical implications of the recent change in status. Speakers include:

Salil Shetty, Former Secretary General of Amnesty International and Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School
Ashutosh Varshney, Sol Goldman Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs and Director of the Center for Contemporary South Asia, Brown University
Prerna Singh, Mahatma Gandhi Associate Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs, Brown University
Ashwaq Masoodi, Nieman Fellow, Nieman Foundation for Journalism, Harvard University
Beena Sarwar, Affiliated Faculty, Emerson University; Editor, Aman Ki Asha

The Fears Have Gone Away: Exploring the Roots of Insurgent Citizenship in India’s Bhil Heartland

The Fears Have Gone Away: Exploring the Roots of Insurgent Citizenship in India’s Bhil Heartland

In India, subaltern groups must resort to the universalizing vocabulary of citizenship in order to stake claims for redistribution and recognition. But on what basis do they do this — especially under severe coercion? Alf Nilsen, Professor of Sociology at the University of Pretoria, will explore this question by investigating movement patterns in the Bhil heartland of western India, where Adivasi communities have organized and mobilized against the tyranny of the local state.

Translating Public Health Research into Policy and Action

Translating Public Health Research into Policy and Action
In this lecture, K. Vish Viswanath, Lee Kum Kee Professor of Health Communication at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, will discuss public health research and its relationship with policy and action.  Refreshments will be served. This event is...

Rethinking Mizo Nationalism in Contemporary India

Rethinking Mizo Nationalism in Contemporary India

In this talk, Roluahpuia, the Mittal Institute’s 2018-19 Raghunathan Family Fellow, will explore how and why politics among the Mizos continue to remain nationalistic in India and how to understand this phenomenon in contemporary India. This discussion will be moderated by Virginius Xaxa, Visiting Professor at the Institute for Human Development.

Who Should Own Road Safety? Tackling a Hidden Pandemic

Who Should Own Road Safety? Tackling a Hidden Pandemic
In the past decade, over 1.3 million people have been killed in road crashes in India. Ten times more have been left seriously injured or permanently disabled. The issue has emerged as the single biggest killer of young people in India (15-45 age group). Given...

Hinduism in Nepal: The Ritual Dimension

Hinduism in Nepal: The Ritual Dimension

As part of the Nepal Studies Program, Professor Michael Witzel from Harvard University will lead a conference titled “Hinduism in Nepal: The Ritual Dimension.” Ritual has played a major role in Hindu societies, from the Vedas to modern times, and it has been particularly prominent in Nepalese society. It accompanies individuals from morning until night, from birth to death, and it shapes the customs of society throughout the year. This conference will explore some of the rituals, past and present, that are typical for Nepal. Stress is put on the extensive documentation that has been carried out over the past few decades, with a particular focus on fire rituals.

Mallika Sarabhai: Dance to Change the World

Mallika Sarabhai: Dance to Change the World
A lecture and demonstration by Mallika Sarabhai, one of India’s leading choreographers and dancers for over three decades. In constant demand both as a soloist and with her own dance company, Darpana, she has created and performed classical and contemporary...

Invisible Boundaries: Taxation and Enchantment in Late-Mughal Gujarat

Invisible Boundaries: Taxation and Enchantment in Late-Mughal Gujarat

As part of the Asia Center’s Borders in Modern Asia Seminar Series, Samira Sheikh will join us to discuss the late-Mughal era in Gujarat. 

Speaker:
Samira Sheikh, Professor of History, Vanderbilt University

Chairs:
Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of History, Harvard University
Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies, Harvard University

This event is hosted by the Harvard University Asia Center and co-sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Mittal Institute, and the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History.

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