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Events at this Venue

India at 75: The Global Roots of Independence

Wed, Oct 6, 2021 at 08:00am

Wed, Oct 6, 2021 at 09:30am


5:30 PM IST – 7:00 PM IST / 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM ET 

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Since independence in 1947, India has played a considerable role in shaping the world. But the world also played a considerable role in shaping Indian independence. As India approaches the 75th anniversary of its freedom, the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, in association with the Harvard Club of India, presents a webinar on how the anti-colonial struggle developed beyond India’s borders, in diaspora settlements and with non-Indian partners. This webinar brings together three scholars—all with previous or current Harvard connections—to examine the overseas careers of Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, Mahendra Pratap, and J.J.Singh.

This event is part of Harvard Worldwide Week, an annual weeklong celebration of the university’s global breadth and depth.


Dinyar PatelAssistant Professor, History, SP Jain Institute of Management and Research Affiliate, Mittal Institute, Harvard University


Nico Slate
, Professor and Department Head, Department of History, Carnegie Mellon University

Carolien Stolte, Senior Lecturer in History at Leiden University, The Netherlands

Indian Political Thought in the Global Age

Mon, Oct 4, 2021 at 12:00pm

Mon, Oct 4, 2021 at 01:00pm


9:30-10:30 pm IST / 12:00-1:00 pm ET

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The Association for Global Political Thought (AGPT) presents “Indian Political Thought in the Global Age.” The event is part of the Association for Global Political Thought’s (AGPT) Seminar Series. Professor Shruti Kapila (Faculty of History & Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University) will discuss the intellectual origins and global contexts of her new book, Violent Fraternity: Indian Political Thought in the Global Age, as well as her thoughts on the state and future of Indian political thought. Kelvin Ng (History Department, Yale University) will comment and respond, with an emphasis on Islam, Civil War and modern republican sovereignty in South Asia. 


  • Professor Shruti Kapila is an intellectual historian and political thinker, currently University Lecturer in History and Convenor, History and Politics Tripos in the Faculty of History, and Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University.  
  • Kelvin Ng (History Department, Yale University) Kelvin Ng is a PhD candidate at the Department of History at Yale University. His research interests broadly lie in the history of imperialism and anti-imperialism in the early-twentieth-century Indian Ocean circuit.  


  • Hansong Li is a political theorist and historian of political, economic, and legal thought at the Department of Government, the Joint Centre for History and Economics, the Minda de Gunzburg Centre for European Studies, and the Mittal Institute for South Asia at Harvard University. 
  • Yi Ning Chang is a PhD student in political theory at the Department of Government at Harvard University. Her research focuses on postcolonial theory and the history of political thinking on race, capitalism, and the modern state in modern Southeast Asia. 

This event is sponsored by Harvard University’s Asia Center.

ScienSpur: Information Session on Courses in Life Sciences

Fri, Sep 24, 2021 at 08:00am

Fri, Sep 24, 2021 at 09:30am


5:30pm-7:00pm IST // 8:00am-9:30am EST

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ScienSpur and the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University are hosting a virtual information session on the upcoming fall semester courses in Life Sciences on September 24, 2021, from 5.30 pm to 7 pm (IST). Kindly register and confirm your presence.

Scienspur, co-founded by, Nagaraju Dhanyasi (Harvard Post-doctoral fellow) and Vinay Vikas (Sr. Associate Scientist at a biopharma industry) provides courses in STEM education to economically disadvantaged students attending public colleges and universities in India. It aims to nourish the scientific curiosity in students and to equip them to become globally competitive to pursue their dreams in higher education.

The courses shall be taught to undergraduate and masters students free of cost by post-doctoral and independent researchers from world class institutions. Applications for the fall semester courses in Life Sciences are being accepted till September 30, 2021. 

Political Misinformation in India: Evidence from Experimental Solutions

Fri, Sep 24, 2021 at 12:00pm

Fri, Sep 24, 2021


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Dr. Sumitra Badrinathan is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oxford. In May 2021, she received a PhD in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include studying misinformation, media effects and political behavior, with a regional focus on India.

Sumitra’s dissertation evaluates the effectiveness of interventions to combat political misinformation in India and the power of partisanship and motivated reasoning to affect information processing. To shed light on these questions, her research has focused on techniques to fight fake news on WhatsApp and digital literacy trainings to decrease vulnerability to misinformation. Her work has appeared in academic journals such as the American Political Science Review well as popular press such as The Washington Post. Methodologically, Sumitra uses experimental and survey methods to study the relationship between newer forms of media like WhatsApp and their effect on trust in news, polarization, political participation, and quality of democracy.

Originally from Mumbai, India, Sumitra holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Psychology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

A Joint Sem­i­nar on South Asian Pol­i­tics co-sponsored by the Watson Institute at Brown, the Weatherhead Center and South Asia Institute at Harvard and the MIT Center for International Studies

Entangled Histories: The Bamiyan Buddhas—Past, Present, and Future

Wed, Sep 22, 2021 at 07:00pm

Wed, Sep 22, 2021 at 08:15pm


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Western scholarship has focused on the monumental sculptures in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Valley as Buddhas created in the late sixth and early seventh centuries. This lecture tells an alternative story based on Islamic sources from the tenth to the twentieth century, which saw these sculptures not as Buddhas but as legendary heroes representing the mythic conversion of the Bamiyan Valley to Islam. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Taliban destroyed the sculptures—as Buddhas. After the fall of the Taliban, the sculptures’ entangled histories and the viewpoints of multiple stakeholders posed challenges for the global debate on how best to memorialize the destroyed images. Now that the Taliban has again taken power, the question is: what is Bamiyan’s future?


Deborah Klimburg-Salter, University Professor of Art History, emerita, University of Vienna, Austria, and Associate, Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University

Masanori Nagaoka, Programme Specialist for Culture, UNESCO Office in Cambodia

This talk will take place online via Zoom. Free admission, but registration is required. To register, please complete this online form. Please read these instructions on how to join a meeting on Zoom. For general questions, email

The Harvard Art Museums are committed to accessibility for all visitors. For anyone requiring accessibility accommodations for our programs, please contact us at at least 48 hours in advance.

Book Talk: A Military History of India Since 1972: Full Spectrum Operations and the Changing Contours of Modern Conflict

Thu, Jun 24, 2021 at 10:00am

Thu, Jun 24, 2021 at 11:15am


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Join the Asia Center on June 24, 2021, from 10:00 – 11:15 a.m. EDT for an Asia Center Author Conversation with Arjun Subramaniam, Retired Air Vice Marshal, IAF; President’s Chair of Excellence in National Security, India’s National Defence College. Subramaniam will discuss his recent book, A Military History of India Since 1972: Full Spectrum Operations and the Changing Contours of Modern Conflict with M. Taylor Fravel, Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science; Director, Security Studies Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. James Robson, James C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations; Victor and William Fung Director of the Harvard University Asia Center will moderate. 

Arjun Subramaniam is the President’s Chair of Excellence in National Security at NDC. He is a retired fighter pilot from the IAF who has flown MiG-21s and Mirage-2000s. He has commanded a MiG-21 Squadron and a large flying base and held several operational, staff, and instructional assignments in the IAF. He is an airpower doctrinal expert having crafted the current IAF doctrine in 2012. He was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for distinguished service by the President of India in 2011. A Ph.D. in Defence and Strategic Studies from the Univ of Madras, he has been a Visiting Fellow at The Harvard Asia Center and Oxford Universities, and a Visiting Professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Ashoka and Jindal Universities. Currently, he is also an Adjunct Faculty member at the Naval War College. He has lectured extensively at a wide range of Universities, think tanks, and war colleges in India and abroad including Harvard, MIT, Georgetown University, Oxford, Carnegie Endowment, and the International Institute of Strategic Studies. His current areas of focus are international and regional security, contemporary Indian military history, airpower in integrated operations, and the India-China security relationship. He is the author of four books including ‘India’s Wars: A Military History: 1947-1971’ and its newly-released sequel titled ‘A Military History of India since 1972: Full Spectrum Operations and the Changing Contours of Modern Conflict.’

M. Taylor Fravel is the Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science and Director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Taylor studies international relations, with a focus on international security, China, and East Asia. His books include Strong Borders, Secure Nation: Cooperation and Conflict in China’s Territorial Disputes, (Princeton University Press, 2008), and Active Defense: China’s Military Strategy Since 1949 (Princeton University Press, 2019). His other publications have appeared in International Security, Foreign Affairs, Security Studies, International Studies Review, The China Quarterly, The Washington Quarterly, Journal of Strategic Studies, Armed Forces & Society, Current History, Asian Survey, Asian Security, China Leadership Monitor, and Contemporary Southeast Asia. Taylor is a graduate of Middlebury College and Stanford University, where he received his Ph.D. He also has graduate degrees from the London School of Economics and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. In 2016, he was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow by the Carnegie Corporation. Taylor is a member of the board of directors of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and serves as the Principal Investigator for the Maritime Awareness Project.

James Robson is the James C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Victor and William Fung Director of the Harvard University Asia Center. He is also the Chair of the Regional Studies East Asia M.A. program. Robson received his Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Stanford University in 2002, after spending many years researching in China, Taiwan, and Japan. He specializes in the history of medieval Chinese Buddhism and Daoism and is particularly interested in issues of sacred geography, local religious history, and Chan/Zen Buddhism. He has been engaged in a long-term collaborative research project with the École Française d’Extrême-Orient studying local religious statuary from Hunan province. He is the author of Power of Place: The Religious Landscape of the Southern Sacred Peak [Nanyue 南嶽] in Medieval China (Harvard, 2009), which was awarded the Stanislas Julien Prize for 2010 by the French Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres and the 2010 ToshihideNumata Book Prize in Buddhism. Robson is also the author of “Signs of Power: Talismanic Writings in Chinese Buddhism” (History of Religions 48:2), “Faith in Museums: On the Confluence of Museums and Religious Sites in Asia” (PMLA, 2010), and “A Tang Dynasty Chan Mummy [roushen] and a Modern Case of Furta Sacra? Investigating the Contested Bones of ShitouXiqian.” His current research includes a long-term project on the history of the confluence of Buddhist monasteries and mental hospitals in East Asia.

Sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center; co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, and Harvard-Yenching Institute

The COVID-19 Crisis in India: Voices from the Frontline

Mon, Jun 21, 2021 at 08:00am

Mon, Jun 21, 2021 at 09:30am


5:30-7:00 pm IST/ 8:00-9:30 am ET

Register here for the talk
Stream the talk on YouTube


  • Mirai Chatterjee, Director, Social Security Team, Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)
  • Ajay Nair, Chief Executive Officer, Swasth
  • Sunita Rani, ASHA Worker and Secretary, ASHA Workers Union Haryana
  • Priyadarsh, Yumetta Foundation


Sreenivasan Jain, Journalist and Reality Check Host, NDTV


The webinar will be a panel discussion about the frontline efforts to manage the devastating COVID-19 pandemic surge in India. The panelists have been directly involved in activities relating to the containment of COVID-19 spread or engaged in COVID-19 related care and will address issues such as COVID preparedness, saving lives, and protecting mental health. As a Citizens’ Commission, we invite the public to participate in the discussion, provide input and engage with the panelists. The Commission would also invite those interested to participate in our initiative and provide inputs to the discussion and work.

Please fill out the survey.

The Lancet Citizens’ Commission on Reimagining India’s Health System is an ambitious, cross-sectoral endeavor that aims to lay out a citizens’ roadmap to achieving universal health coverage for the people of India. Our new webinar series is intended to serve as a platform for public health discourse in India, and a means for academics, practitioners and the public to engage on substantive and timely issues regarding universal health coverage in India.

Combatting Anti-Asian Racism and Misogyny: What is our Local Community Doing?

Mon, May 24, 2021 at 09:30am

Mon, May 24, 2021 at 10:30am


This public discussion will highlight key challenges of racism, misogyny and other discrimination faced by our Asian and Asian-American community, the responses of local organizations who have long sought to address such challenges, and what more needs to be done in our own communities. Speakers represent perspectives from the Harvard Kennedy School’s staff, faculty and student groups, as well as leading local non-profits.Speakers include:

  • Anisha Asundi, Research Fellow: Gender Specialist, Harvard Kennedy School Women and Public Policy Program
  • Carolyn Chou, Executive Director, Asian American Resource Workshop
  • Dr. Kathy Pham, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Nick Sung, Harvard Kennedy School MPP ’21
  • Dr. Kaori Urayama, Senior Program Manager, Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center

William Huang, Harvard Kennedy School MPP ’22, will give welcome. This event is co-sponsored by the Harvard Kennedy School Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Caucus, Women and Public Policy Program, Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, the Harvard University Asia Center, and Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.

Virtual Event Details 

Registration is required for this event. Please register using the link above to receive details via email for how to join the virtual discussion. 

You can submit questions to the panelists in advance during the registration process. A live Q&A will also be available during the event with an option to submit questions in real-time. 

The Ash Center encourages individuals with disabilities to participate in its events. Should you wish to inquire about an accommodation, please contact our events team at prior to the event. 

Additional questions? Email the Ash Center events team at



Additional Organizers

​Harvard Kennedy School Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Caucus, the Harvard University Asia Center, and Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Africa-Asia Roundtable – Pandemics: Surveillance, Preparedness, and Response

Tue, May 18, 2021 at 07:00am

Wed, May 19, 2021 at 09:00am


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The Harvard Center for Africa Studies will convene our Africa-Asia Roundtable – Pandemics: Surveillance, Preparedness, and Response on May 18 – 19, 2021 from 7:00a – 9:00a EST / 1:00p – 3:00p CAT / 4:30p – 6:30p IST / 7:00p – 9:00p CST.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a global focus on pandemic surveillance, preparedness, and response. As a result of the 2014 – 2016 Ebola outbreak, the World Bank invested in the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) Program. Thirteen countries in West and Central Africa have received a $200 million funding commitment “to prevent, detect, and respond to the threat of emerging and epidemic-prone diseases.” In addition to funding, the program has provided for intra-country cooperation on detecting and preventing pandemics as well as regional lab networks and training opportunities. More recently, the Africa CDC  has spearheaded continental efforts to advance various elements of  detection and response to various health threats, with notable success related to COVID-19. Such programs are examples of how regional and global cooperation designed to respond to an infectious disease outbreak can be leveraged in future pandemics.

China has promised the delivery of its Sinopharm vaccine to countries in Africa, with 200,000 doses arriving in Senegal and another 200,000 in Zimbabwe. While the commitments fall far short of the 1.4 billion doses that will be needed to reach herd immunity in Africa, China’s vaccine distribution has moved alongside the WHO-endorsed COVAX plan (to which China will also contribute 10 million vaccines). India has also been a contributor to global vaccine distribution, both through COVAX and other direct supplies to the global south, distributing more than 60 million doses. The scrambling for vaccines from the global north highlights a disparity in equitable access to vaccines, raising questions about intellectual property and the possibilities for local production.

Over two days, we will convene four panels to further explore questions around vaccines and vaccine development, technology transfer, capacity building, and global cooperation strategies for combating pandemics. What lessons can the world learn from Africa’s response to previous epidemics/pandemics including Ebola and HIV/AIDS and the current COVID-19 pandemic? What is the role of global cooperation between Africa-Asia, and China-India-Africa in particular? Is the COVID-19 crisis and response, including vaccine development and distribution, an opportunity for a new era of global cooperation?

May 18, 2021: Vaccines

7:00a                     Welcome and Introductory remarks

7:10a – 8:05a     Panel 1– Vaccines: Discovery and Trials

The panel will explore vaccine development and the role of clinical trials held in Africa, by Africans, and on Africans as well as the generalizability of global trials of the COVID-19 vaccine in light of the spread of variants. We will discuss the clinical trials conducted globally and the contributions of African scientists and trial participants. Conducting clinical trials in Africa has also been a topic of controversy, in particular when some have suggested trials should take place in Africa due to a lack of personal protective equipment and a higher risk of infection. We will also explore whether the speed with which COVID-19 vaccines have been produced brings promise for other existing and emerging infectious diseases.

8:05a – 9:00a     Panel 2 – Vaccines and Diagnostics: Production and Technology Transfer at Scale

We will begin a conversation about local distribution of globally produced vaccines and technology transfer. Once a vaccine is developed, what conditions provide for local production, and what are the barriers? China and India, for example, have made bilateral agreements with several Asian and African countries to produce vaccines for COVID-19. Compared to India and China, Africa has limited production capacity for both vaccines and diagnostics. What factors explain the lack of production capability and capacity? Dakar, Senegal is one production site developing both rapid testing and antibody testing for COVID. What are the economic and public health factors that could drive local production at scale?

May 19, 2021: Surveillance and Response

7:00a                     Welcome and Reflections on Day 1

7:10a – 8:05a     Panel 3 – Capacity Building and the Role of Universities

We will explore the role of universities in training the next generation of scientists and health professionals who will lead the charge in discovery and translation of knowledge that is essential for addressing current and future public health challenges. Tomorrow’s pandemics require the next generation of leaders to be prepared to collaborate with peers within and across countries to navigate as yet unforeseen challenges. What have been the barriers to such collaborations? What novel and innovative approaches have been used to develop capacity building in an increasingly globalized world? The panel will discuss solutions that have been successfully implemented and can serve as models to further develop global public health leaders.

8:05a – 9:00a     Panel 4 – Surveillance and Response

We will invite panelists to speak to their roles and contributions on surveillance and response and to interrogate the possibility for global cooperation on these efforts. Infectious disease outbreaks such as Ebola or COVID-19 may tax a system in the near-term, but what can be done to develop more resilient health systems in the longer-term? Surveillance and response are also linked to good governance, and, with COVID-19, we have seen the risk of an infectious disease becoming politicized. The panel will explore how healthcare and response strategies must transcend domestic politics and foster global cooperation efforts as well as successful examples of such strategies.  

Sponsored by the China-Harvard-Africa Network at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Harvard University Asia Center; Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University; The Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute at Harvard University; Harvard-Yenching Institute