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News Category: Nepal


Apply today: Raghunathan Family Fellowship


Shubhankita Ojha, 2016-17 Fellow

Shubhankita Ojha, 2016-17 Fellow

The Harvard South Asia Institute is pleased to offer the Raghunathan Family Fellowship (formerly known as South Asian Studies Fellowship) to support recent PhDs in the humanities and social sciences related to South Asia. Research topics can cover any period of South Asian history or contemporary South Asia. Candidates must be able to provide evidence of successful completion of their PhD by June of the year of appointment and may not be more than five years beyond the receipt of PhD. Scholars who have not had past opportunities to access Harvard’s resources and who have primarily been educated at institutions in South Asia will be prioritized.

Fellows are expected to reside in the Cambridge vicinity during the time of their award and to actively participate in the events and intellectual life of the Institute. Participation includes contributing to the greater Harvard community by teaching, mentoring, or advising students.

Total stipend for one year: $40,000
Health insurance up to $5,000 and round trip economy travel expenses to from South Asia to Boston will also be provided (for participants residing in South Asia only).

The Raghunathan Family Fellowship for the 2017 – 2018 Academic Year is due March 31, 2017.

Apply.

 

 

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Mar. 20 – 31: Visiting Artists at Harvard


SAI is pleased to announce our Visiting Artists for the Spring semester, who will be at Harvard from March 20 – 31. During their time at Harvard, the artists will display their work on campus, meet with students, attend courses, and give a public seminar.

Check back on our site for details about the seminars.

Madhu DMadhu Das is a multi-disciplinary Visual Artist based in Mumbai, India; his artistic practice is primarily concerned with the projection of identity onto the social and natural world: in a way that the two are woven together in the Indian space (both mythic space and actual); Exploring both conceptual and material sensibilities through range of media including drawing and painting, photography, performance, video, site-specific interventions, collaborative community projects and interactive/performative installations.

In his work, human body often establish an improvisational relationship with object and sculptural elements in the space. The work has involved the spaces in both a narrative sense and as a site of memory to re-narrate historical events as a way of plotting connections between the particular and the universal. Subjectively, he adapt aspects of material culture as well as methods from anthropology, allegorical fiction as conceptual tool, which later extends to the space of the viewer, from the point of a storyteller, exploring exciting linguistic devices and imagery with a sense of irony and paradox.

Das received his Masters of Arts (Painting) from S N School of Fine Arts and Communication, Central University of Hyderabad, India in 2013. Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) from College of Fine Art, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, Bangalore, India 2009. He was awarded the Inlaks Fine Arts Award, Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation, India (2015) and Shortlisted for Emerging Indian Visual Artists by Delfina Foundation, UK (2014).

 

IMG_0452Rabindra Shrestha is a Nepalese visual artist. Installation, detail pen and ink drawing, painting, traditional painting (Paubha), illustration, cartoon, and ceramic art are the different mediums of his visuals expressions. Most of his art is directly conceptual based. The collaborative line art project, Earthquake line and Finger prints with red line are some of his series in the Nepali contemporary art scene. Many people refer to him as a “Line Artist”. Shrestha’s works has been exhibited throughout the National Fine Art exhibition (nine times), Kochi-Muzirise Biennale 2014 (India), and Asian Art Biennale (Bangladesh). He secured the National Special Award (NAFA) from National Academy of Fine Arts three times, and was a winner of the US embassy Art Competition (Nepal).

 

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SAI responds to Executive Order


The South Asia Institute (SAI) fully endorses Harvard President Drew Faust’s response to the Trump Administration’s executive order restricting travel to the United States.

We offer our full support to Harvard students, faculty, staff and affiliates, regardless of their country of origin or religious background, alongside the Harvard International Office and the university’s Global Support Services. We encourage all South Asia scholars to apply for our programs.

The work of universities in the world has never been more vital. The SAI is committed to the advancement of global scholarship and understanding, and our work in this fascinating, important region will continue. Across many borders, our diverse students and scholars are aiming to generate knowledge and insights that transcend and outlive any temporary barriers to progress.

Harvard President Drew Faust: We Are All Harvard

Resources:

Harvard International Office

Harvard Global Support Services

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In Short Supply: Post-disaster medical care


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This article, featuring SAI Steering Committee member Jennifer Leaning, was originally published in Harvard Medicine Magazine.

By Elizabeth Dougherty

When a calamity strikes and tens of thousands of people need help, the first impulse is to cry “All hands on deck!”

Not so fast, say experts in disaster relief.

“It was always thought that in a disaster there wouldn’t be time to measure the quality of the aid, and no real reason to do so,” says Michael VanRooyen, an HMS professor of emergency medicine, head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative at Harvard University. “We assumed that any care is good care.  But we now know that’s not the case.”

When providing medical care in disasters, health care providers must make on-the-spot decisions about who should receive care and how much, and they must do so with the knowledge that resources are limited in every conceivable way.

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SAI launches Nepal Studies Program


Photo by Patrick Xu, Harvard College '16

Photo by Patrick Xu, Harvard College ’16

The South Asia Institute is pleased to announce the launch of the Nepal Studies Program, with generous support from Jeffrey M. Smith, who is a Principal Shareholder with the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig, LLP. The 3-year program will focus on a different faculty-led topic of interest each year, and engage with scholars and practitioners both on the ground in Nepal and in Cambridge.

In the first year, starting in 2017, Jerold Kayden, Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design, will lead a study on earthquake preparedness, with events upcoming both in Kathmandu and Cambridge.

In Year 2, Leonard van der Kuijp, Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, will lead an exploration of the spread and development of Buddhism in the India-Nepal-Tibet corridor. This will be based on medieval documents and modern practice. In Year 3, Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit, will lead an exploration of aspects of Hindu religion in Nepal, especially of various rituals. This too will be based on medieval documents and modern practice. Special attention will be placed on their co-existence and the mutual influences with related Buddhist rites.

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Student Voices: Resilient Design to Resilient Buildings: Quality Assurance in Nepal’s Remote Mountains


This is part of a series in which we share reports from Harvard students who have traveled to South Asia with support from a SAI grant.

By Justin Henceroth, MDes Risk and Resilience, 2017, Harvard Graduate School of Design

There is little machinery available in remote parts of Nepal, so many construction tasks are done by hand, including bending rebar.

There is little machinery available in remote parts of Nepal, so many construction tasks are done by hand, including bending rebar.

The SUV slowed to a crawl as we prepared to cross the last of four causeways before we reached our destination—a construction site for a new police station in Dang District, Nepal. This site is not in the most remote part of Nepal, but in many ways this construction site embodies the challenges of building anything in this mountainous country. Despite being on the national East-West Highway, it took us nearly six hours to drive the 120 miles from the nearest city and the regional headquarters for UNOPS, the organization managing this project. It had not rained in over a week, so the road was clear, but the evidence of landslides lined the road for miles, and each causeway we crossed was still under a few inches of water. It was easy to understand how even a day of rain could quickly block some key section of this road—cutting off access between communities and the flows of people and materials.

As the reconstruction following last year’s earthquakes gets underway throughout Nepal, the limited access will prove a significant challenge for the communities, government agencies, humanitarian organizations, and donors that are all working to rebuild Nepal. Throughout the country, more than half a million homes need to be rebuilt, more than 30,000 classrooms have collapsed, and more than 400 health centers were completely destroyed. Many of the most damaged communities are in the remote hills that flank the Himalayas, with some villages accessible only by a multi-day walk.

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Student voices: Nepal in recovery


Peng4This is part of a series in which we share reports from Harvard students who have traveled to South Asia with support from a SAI grant.

By Haibei PengMaster in Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2017

Haibei traveled to Nepal over the summer to work on her research project ‘The Nested Scale of Time: to protect and display biodiversity in South Asia through research on agriculture and seed bank.’

With the generous support from SAI Research Grant, I traveled through Nepal in May, 2016 for two weeks to conduct my thesis research on traditional Nepalese architecture and post-earthquake reconstruction in Kathmandu. During the two weeks I spent in Nepal, I traveled through Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan national forest while talking to local residents, friends, foreign workers, volunteers and international organizations. Even though Nepal remains a poor country with bad infrastructure and is still recovering from the earthquake disaster, people here are all very friendly, welcoming and seem to share a happy attitude towards life and their country. Below are some of the most stimulating findings from my research.

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Student Coordinators, 2016-2017


SAI is excited to welcome five students to serve as student coordinators for the 2016-2017 academic year. Interns play a vital role in SAI’s operations, including helping with SAI’s Grant Program, research projects, digital outreach efforts, and organizing SAI programs in the region.

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Nepal earthquake response offers lessons for future disasters


Akritee Shrestha (left) and Aayush Khadka of the Harvard Chan Students for Nepal

Akritee Shrestha (left) and Aayush Khadka of the Harvard Chan Students for Nepal

This article was originally published by the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health.

After a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal on April 25, 2015 killed 8,000 people, injured close to 25,000, and destroyed or damaged 500,000 homes, the international community rushed in to help. Governments and relief organizations from 23 countries sent scores of medical and military personnel, disaster response teams, mountaineers, engineers, and aid workers.

But, well-meaning though it was, the huge influx of helpers actually complicated relief efforts in the small South Asian nation, which had only a one-runway airport in its capital city, Kathmandu, and just a handful of helicopters available to transport relief workers to remote areas where many of the injured were located.

That issue and other lessons learned from the Nepal earthquake were the focus of a day-long symposium at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in mid-September. At the symposium—which filled Kresge G1 with faculty, students, policymakers, disaster response experts, and members of the Boston-area Nepali community—panelists talked about providing relief after a disaster and managing it effectively; about rebuilding; about the role of the media and technology during disasters; and about how to prepare for future disasters.

Watch a webcast of the symposium.

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