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Mission

The Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) engages faculty and students through interdisciplinary programs to advance and deepen the teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia. 

About SAI | View the South Asia Institute video 

Upcoming Events


Mon, April 20, 2015 at 06:00pm  /  Wiener Auditorium, Taubman Building, Kennedy School

Unarmed and Upright: Against State-Sanctioned Sectarianism in Pakistan

Mohammad Jibran Nasir, Lawyer, Political Activist, Anchor (formerly Dawn) News, Blogger, Co-founder #HumQadam #PakistanForAll

Cosponsored with the Pakistan Caucus at HKS and South Asian Business Association at HBS

 

START
Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 06:00pm

END
Mon, Apr 20, 2015

VENUE
Wiener Auditorium, Taubman Building, Kennedy School

ADDRESS
Wiener Auditorium, Taubman Building, Kennedy School

Tue, April 21, 2015 from 06:30pm - 08:00pm  /  CGIS South, S050

Building Storeys: An Architect’s journey through the Indian landscape

Urbanization Seminar

Brinda Somaya, Architect and Urban Conservationist.

Chair: Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Whether it involves the restoration of a rural Indian village, the creation of a corporate campus, the rejuvenation of city monuments or the establishment of an academic institution, Brinda Somaya has successfully created a practice that covers the many faces of the Indian landscape. Her reputation has been built on her unique ability to find the appropriate way to build forms that belong. An overview of some of her completed works shows each project having its own original and unique architectural interpretation. This clarity of vision will be presented in a journey through her four decades of practice.
Brinda Somaya will share how she built her practice in India and will focus on the experiences and challenges she faced as she evolved into a leading South-Asian woman architect. Her works include the rehabilitation of an earthquake-devastated village, restoration of an ancient cathedral as well as twentieth century Louis Kahn buildings, creation of educational and information technology campuses, collaboration on the tallest residential tower in India and the conversion of massive garbage dumps into beautiful and usable community parks and plazas. Her talk will take her audience through the enormous changes that India has gone through since independence in 1947 and the challenges it continues to face today with a population of over 1.2 billion people catalyzing rapid urbanization. Her primary belief, that strongly underlies all her work, is the architect’s role is that of a guardian, he or she is the conscience of the built and unbuilt environment.

Co-sponsored with the India GSD

START
Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 06:30pm

END
Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 08:00pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

Wed, April 22, 2015 at 06:00pm  /  CGIS South, S020 Belfer

The Ephemeral City: Looking at Temporary Landscape of Religion in South Asia and Latin America

What is the role of the Ephemeral City in the broader discussion about urbanism globally? Professor Rahul Mehrotra, Chair of  the Department of Urban Planing and Design (GSD), will moderate a conversation across disciplines about ephemerality in the landscapes of South Asian and Latin American cities.  The panel will feature Harvard scholars Felipe Hernandez (GSD), Marianne Potvin (FAS),  and Luis Valenzuela (GSD).

This panel is part of the exhibition The Ephemeral City: Looking at Temporary Landscape of Religion in South Asia and Latin America.

This event was originally scheduled for February 2015.

Cosponsored with the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies

START
Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 06:00pm

END
Wed, Apr 22, 2015

VENUE
CGIS South, S020 Belfer
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA 02138

Fri, April 24, 2015 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS Knafel, K262

The Future of Capitalism in India

South Asia Without Borders Seminar

Prasannan Parthasarathi, Professor of History, Boston College

Amit Basole, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts-Boston

Discussant: Sanjay G ReddyAssociate Professor of Economics and Co-Academic Director of the India-China Institute, The New School for Social Research

Chair: Parimal G. Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy, Committee on the Study of Religion, FAS, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies

Co-sponsored with the Department of South Asian Studies and the Harvard US-India Initiative (HUII)

 

START
Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 04:00pm

END
Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS Knafel, K262
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA 02138

Fri, April 24, 2015 at 02:00pm  /  Harvard Faculty Club

India’s National Security Calculus

A lecture by Ambassador Shivshankar Menon, Fisher Family Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India

The South Asian Politics seminar series is co-sponsored by the Watson Institute at Brown University, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and the MIT Center for International Studies

Free and open to the public.

 

START
Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 02:00pm

END
Fri, Apr 24, 2015

VENUE
Harvard Faculty Club

ADDRESS
20 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Mon, April 27, 2015

Title TBD

South Asia Without Borders Seminar

Matthew Hull, Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan

Co-sponsored with the Social Anthropology Colloqium

START
Mon, Apr 27, 2015

END
Mon, Apr 27, 2015

Tue, April 28, 2015 from 02:30pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S030

Intizar Husain: A World Class Fiction Writer and The Social Ethics of Dr Yaqub Mirza

Muslim Societies in South Asia Seminar

Chair: Dr. Naseem Hines 

Cosponsored with the Harvard Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program and Pakistan American Democratic Forum (PADF) Literary Circle

START
Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 02:30pm

END
Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S030
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA 02138

    Wed, April 29, 2015 at 04:15pm  /  CGIS South, S020 Belfer

    Astu – So Be It

    Film Screening

    Directed by Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar, and starring Dr. Mogan Agashe, focuses on a retired Sanskrit professor who suffers with Alzheimer’s and goes missing while travelling with his daughter.

    The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Agashe, Professor Arthur Kleinman, and Professor Diana Eck.

    Cosponsored with the Harvard University Asia Center

    START
    Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 04:15pm

    END
    Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    VENUE
    CGIS South, S020 Belfer
    Harvard University

    ADDRESS
    1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA 02138

    Announcements


    Annual Symposium: April 16 and 17, 2015

    The 2015 Annual Symposium will bring together scholars and practitioners for a series of workshops on SAI’s ongoing research projects and see the launch of an exhibit and book on Mapping the Ephemeral City: Kumbh Mela 2013.

      Q+A with Asma Jahangir

      In an interview with SAI, Jahangir discusses women’s empowerment, freedom of expression, and Pakistan’s complicated political relationships with India and the US. Jahangir delivered the Asia Center’s Tsai Lecture on Mar. 4

        A literary colossus

        The Murty Classical Library of India hopes to introduce a vast corpus of literature, thought, and science to fresh audiences across the world. “It’s completely transformative,” said Parimal Patil, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies and SAI Steering Committee member.

          Innovative healthcare solutions

          Read highlights from SAI’s roundtable discussion in the Bay Area on India’s healthcare system organized in collaboration with USAID and the South Asian Healthcare Leadership Forum.

            The City and South Asia Podcast: Floating on Waste Islands

            The processes of urbanization, globalization, and climate change have made traditional methods of waste management difficult for the Maldives. In this podcast, SAI talks with Krishna Matturi, recent GSD graduate, about the country’s “unique culture of waste” and its possible solutions.

              Update from the Harvard Club of Nepal

              On Feb. 10, the Harvard Club of Nepal (HCN) hosted an event in Kathmandu with two newspaper editors who discussed the current political situation in the country and the role that media could play in resolving the chaos of constitution-making. The HCN, a group of Harvard alumni, has recently been reactivated.

                International Photo Contest Winners

                Congratulations to Gillian Slee, Harvard College ’16, and Sara Melissa Theiss, Harvard College ’15, who were chosen by SAI as winners for the Office of International Education’s Annual International Photo Contest.

                  A US-India comeback?

                  In an op-ed for The Boston Globe, SAI Steering Committee member Nicholas Burns, HKS, explains how President Obama’s visit to India for Republic Day is an important symbolic gesture that may kickstart the revival both countries have been looking for.

                    Kashmir’s women in wait

                    “More than the political aspect, it is understanding how women cope with the phenomenon of disappearances that appealed to me as a filmmaker,” says director Nilosree Biswas in an interview with SAI on the unique culture of Kashmir.

                      The City and South Asia

                      In SAI’s second annual publication, The City and South Asia, experts from a variety of fields, at both Harvard and elsewhere, have come together to hold up a cross-disciplinary lens to urban centers in South Asia.

                        Report on the Harvard US-India Initiative Conference

                        “If yesterday’s events urged participants to immerse themselves in the world of ideas, today’s panelists gave us diverse and exceptional examples of how to apply these ideas in practice,” writes Zeenia Framroze, Harvard College ’15, about the conference.

                          Creating a better India

                          SAI recently talked to Namrata Narain, Harvard College ’15, one of the organizers of the Harvard US-India Initiative’s (HUII) Annual Conference, to learn more about how HUII is working to increase discussions on important issues by connecting young academic communities in India and the US.

                            2014 Student Grant Report

                            In 2014, SAI awarded 46 grants to students to do a variety internships and research projects in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Read first-hand experiences from students in SAI’s Grant Report.

                              Tragedy in Pakistan

                              “This is a day of deep reflection. War strategy against extremists, whether through drone strikes or carpet-bombing, must factor in the lives of children beyond collateral damage and prepare especially to protect the most vulnerable in society on both sides.”

                                Ayesha Jalal: The Struggle for Pakistan

                                In a SAI Book Talk on Dec. 3, renowned Pakistani historian Ayesha Jalal, Tufts University, spoke about her new book and highlighted the need for a comprehensive historical interpretation of Pakistan’s narrative and encouraged members of the audience to view the history of the country through a geopolitical lens rather than a religious one.

                                  SAI Fellowships

                                  The South Asia Institute offers several opportunities for scholars and practitioners to continue their research at Harvard University in Cambridge. Deadline to apply: January 15, 2015 for Academic Year 2015-2016.

                                    2015 Student Winter Grant Recipients

                                    SAI has awarded 18 grants to support undergraduate and graduate student projects over the Winter Session in January, 2015. These include 6 undergraduates and 12 graduate students who will be traveling to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka for research and internships.

                                      Shaping problem-solvers

                                      A Harvard Gazette article looks at SAI Director Tarun Khanna’s Gen Ed course, which spans disciplines to address social, economic challenges in South Asia.