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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, September 8, 2014 from 05:00pm - 07:00pm  /  CGIS South Concourse

Chaat Welcome Back Party

Celebrate the start of the school year with the Harvard South Asia Institute (SAI)!

  • Enjoy delicious food from all over South Asia.
  • Meet representatives from student groups across Harvard that focus on South Asia.
  • Learn about SAI’s internship and funding opportunities.

 

If you are interested in representing your South Asia focused student group at this event, please email us at sainit@fas.harvard.edu.

 

START
Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 05:00pm

END
Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 07:00pm

VENUE
CGIS South Concourse
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Tue, September 9, 2014 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S050

Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies in South Asia: Through a Peacebuilding Lens

SAI Book Talk

Moeed Yusuf, Editor of Pakistan’s Counterterrorism Challenge and Director of South Asia Programs at the US Institute of Peace

Chair: Adil NajamProfessor of International Relations and Earth & Environment, Boston University

Dr.Yusuf has studied counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency responses in many countries including Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal and other non-South Asian countries. In his talk, he will draw upon his two most recent edited volumes, Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies in South Asia: Through a Peacebuilding Lens and Pakistan’s Counterterrorism Challenge to discuss the experience of South Asian countries with insurgencies, causes of their onsets, and the effectiveness of various strategies to counter them. He will apply these lessons to Pakistan’s current predicament. With 180 million people, the world’s fifth largest nuclear arsenal, and a festering insurgency internally and operating as a hub for cross-border militancy regionally, Pakistan remains a crucial security challenge for the U.S.  He will shed light on the status of the terrorist threat to the Pakistani state and people, the opportunities and constraints in tackling it, and the way forward.

START
Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 04:00pm

END
Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

Thu, September 18, 2014 at 06:00pm

Film Screening: Bawandar

SAI Film Screening

Based on a true story that sent shock waves through India in 1992, this drama concerns Sanwari (Nandita Das), a lower-caste woman with a husband, Sohan (Raghuvir Yadav), and two children, who is raising her family in a rural village. While it’s generally Sanwari’s nature to mind her own business and take care of her family, when she sees a neighbor woman being mistreated by an man from the city’s upper caste, Sanwari is outraged and speaks out in public about the incident. Shobha (Deepti Naval), a social worker, is impressed by Sanwari’s conviction and hires her as an assistant as the Indian government begins implementing a program to give greater rights and protection to Indian women. While she’s timid at first, Sanwari soon comes to value her work as a feminist activist, but as she becomes more outspoken against sexism and abuse of caste position, she earns the enmity of many powerful men in the community. First Sanwari and her family are shunned by the local leaders, and then a group of men from the town’s leadership take their revenge by subjecting Sanwari first to a savage beating and then to a gang rape. Sanwari, Shobha, and Sohan refuse to be intimidated or silenced, and when the local leadership refuses to bring Sanwari’s attackers to justice, they bring the crime to the attention of the national media, leading people across the country to demand justice for Sanwari — and for women all over India.

START
Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 06:00pm

END
Thu, Sep 18, 2014

Fri, September 19, 2014 from 05:00pm - 06:30pm  /  Plimpton Room, Barker Center

The Role of Art and Film in Social Change

Gender Seminar

Nandita Das, Actor and Director

Mukti Khaire, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Cara Moyer-Duncan, Scholar-in-Residence, Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, Emerson College

Co-sponsored by the Arts and Social Justice Program and Mahindra Center for the Humanities

START
Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 05:00pm

END
Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 06:30pm

VENUE
Plimpton Room, Barker Center 113

ADDRESS
12 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA 02138

    Sat, September 20, 2014 at 07:00pm  /  Paine Hall

    Legends of India: Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan and Pandit Anindo Chatterjee

    The SPK Academy, the LearnQuest Academy of Music and the Harvard South Asia Institute are excited to present an Indian Classical music concert by two world renowned musicians: sitar maestro Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan and tabla maestro Pandit Anindo Chatterjee. The on-stage chemistry between these musical virtuosos is simply electrifying and their performances always take Indian Classical music to new heights. Join the many passionate fans of these two living legends of India for an inspiring and memorable evening of music.

    Co-Sponsored with Shahid Parvez Khan Academy and Learnquest Academy

    Doors open at 6:15PM. Pre-purchased ticket prices: $55, $35, $10 (students). At the door: $60, $40, $15 (students). Available at the Harvard Box Office website.

    START
    Sat, Sep 20, 2014 at 07:00pm

    END
    Sat, Sep 20, 2014

    VENUE
    Paine Hall

    ADDRESS
    Behind 1 Oxford Street, Music Building, Cambridge, MA

    Tue, September 23, 2014 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S153

    Princes of the Mughal Empire

    Muslim Societies in South Asia Seminar

    Munis Faruqui, Associate Professor, Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of California Berkeley

    Chair: Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Director, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program

    Cosponsored by the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program

    For almost 200 years, the Mughal emperors ruled supreme in northern India. How was it possible that a Muslim, ethnically Turkish, Persian-speaking dynasty established itself in the Indian subcontinent to become one of the largest and most dynamic empires in the early-modern period? Using the figure of the Mughal prince, Munis D. Faruqui offers a new interpretive lens through which to comprehend Mughal state formation. In a challenge to previous scholarship, Prof. Faruqui’s work suggests that far from undermining the foundations of empire, the court intrigues and political backbiting that were features of Mughal political life – and that frequently resulted in rebellions and wars of succession – actually helped spread, deepen, and mobilize Mughal power through an empire-wide network of friends and allies. Ultimately, however, because Mughal imperial and princely success were interlinked when both experienced political stress in the late 1600s and early 1700s, they atrophied together with negative results for the empire.

     

    START
    Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 04:00pm

    END
    Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 05:30pm

    VENUE
    CGIS South, S153
    Harvard University

    ADDRESS
    1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

    Tue, September 30, 2014 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S250

    The future of Indian Higher Education: Four case studies

    Education Seminar

    Pramath Raj Sinha, Founding Dean of the Indian School of Business and a founder of Ashoka University

    Chair: Akshay Mangla, Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School

    Everyone knows Indian Higher Education is a mess. Proposals for its transformation abound, but things continue to go from bad to worse. Despite the doom and gloom, there are several recent experiments that attempt to challenge the status quo and set an example. This talk is a first-hand account of building new and transforming existing higher education institutions in India.

    START
    Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 04:00pm

    END
    Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 05:30pm

    VENUE
    CGIS South, S250
    Harvard University

    ADDRESS
    1730 Cambridge Street
    Cambridge MA

      Mon, October 6, 2014 from 06:30pm - 08:00pm  /  CGIS South, S050

      Healing Bodies, Healing Spaces: Understanding Urban Religiosity in Contemporary India

      Urbanization Seminar

      Smriti Srinivas, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis

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

      Cosponsored by the Harvard University Social Anthropology Colloquium

      This presentation seeks to understand the ethnographic and analytical registers of contemporary urban religiosity in India. Grounded spatially in Professor Srinivas’ long-term research in Bangalore, India’s “Silicon Valley” of nearly nine million people, it discusses what Srinivas calls the “sacrality of urban sprawl,” i.e. the fact that cities and their expanding boundaries (whether suburban, exurban, or peri-urban) are important arenas for the recruitment of devotees, the construction of habitats to house the religious, new spiritual maps, and ideas of selfhood.

      An exploration of the strata and groups who inhabit these spaces is not the main focus of this paper. It is clear, however, that most could be seen as constituting the “new middle class” that represents and lays claim to the benefits of liberalization. Srinivas tries to show that in addition to consumption patterns and lifestyles, new norms of (religious) selfhood are crucial to the production of their identity. Further, while much attention in recent years has been paid to ideologies and displays of religious nationalisms, fundamentalisms and violence in urban areas, Srinivas draws attention in this paper instead to other maps, sensibilities, and architectures of religiosity.

      Dr. Smriti Srinivas is Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis. She received her PhD. from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi (1995). Her research and teaching interests include urban cultures, place-making, utopias, social memory, cultures of the body and performance, religion, South Asia within a comparative context.

      START
      Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 06:30pm

      END
      Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 08:00pm

      VENUE
      CGIS South, S050
      Harvard University

      ADDRESS
      1730 Cambridge Street
      Cambridge MA

        Announcements


        Call for Papers: Pakistan Heritage

        Pakistan Heritage is a research journal of the Department of Archaeology, School of Cultural Heritage and Creative Technologies, Hazara University, Mansehra, Pakistan and is jointly edited by professionals from Hazara University and School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

          Fall 2014 South Asia Courses

          Harvard will be offering many South Asian courses in the Fall 2014 semester, covering topics such as Islamic law, social enterprise, Indian cinema, South Asian art, music in Islam, Buddhist scripture, and the Era of the 5th Dalai Lama.

            Congrats, Class of 2014!

            Commencement exercises were held at Harvard University on May 29, 2014. Former SAI students, including student coordinators, Graduate Student Associates, and grant recipients received degrees from various Harvard schools.

              2014 Prasad Fellowships

              This year, with the generous support of the Prasad family, the South Asia Institute has funded four Harvard College undergraduate students from various disciplines to study and complete internships in India this summer on issues ranging from the role of media in Indian democracy to environmental governance.