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SAI Events


Fri, June 5, 2015 - Sat, June 6, 2015  /  CGIS South, S010

Transformation Challenges and Opportunities for the Bangladesh Garment Industry

Bangladesh Development Conference 2015

This conference will look at identifying and solving the challenges in the transformation of the Bangladesh Garment Industry, analyzing the tools and metrics to measure progress and recommending the best practices for sustainable development.

Participants include:

Government and Non Government Organizations of Bangladesh, USA, and development partner countries, international academics and experts, BGMEA, BKMEA, international brands and retailers, ALLIANCE, ACCORD, workers rights groups, labor organizations, United Nations agencies, international financial institutes.

Cosponsored with SAI, the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and International Sustainable Development Institute, Inc.

Contact: Mohammed Iqbal Yousuf
Conference Coordinator
Harvard Medical School DFCI
mohammed_yousuf@dfci.harvard.edu

June 5, 2015: 12pm to 8pm

June 6, 2015: 8am to 8pm

START
Fri, Jun 5, 2015

END
Sat, Jun 6, 2015

VENUE
CGIS South, S010

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA

Mon, May 4, 2015 from 12:00pm - 01:30pm  /  CGIS South, S050

Remaking a nation: Nepal’s tryst with peace, constitutionalism and sovereignty

SAI Book Talk

Prashant Jha, Associate Editor, Hindustan Times.

Chair: Madhav Khosla, Ph.D. Candidate in Political Theory, Department of Government, Harvard University

 

START
Mon, May 4, 2015 at 12:00pm

END
Mon, May 4, 2015 at 01:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

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

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

 

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

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

Thu, April 16, 2015 - Fri, April 17, 2015  /  Loeb House

Annual Symposium

Workshops to highlight interfaculty research projects supported by SAI, and launch of the exhibit and book Mapping the Ephemeral City: Kumbh Mela 2013.

Symposium website and registration.

START
Thu, Apr 16, 2015

END
Fri, Apr 17, 2015

VENUE
Loeb House

ADDRESS
Loeb House, 17 Quincy Street in Cambridge, MA 02138

Tue, April 14, 2015 from 06:30pm - 08:00pm  /  CGIS South, S250

Conceptualizing The Urban Civic Realm: Insights From The Indian City

Urbanization Seminar

Speaker: Prem Chandavarkar, Managing Partner, CnT Architects.

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

It is necessary to distinguish between ‘civic space’ and ‘public space’: the former must embrace inter-personal engagement, whereas the latter need not go beyond the spectacle of the city. The failure to adequately discriminate between the two types of space has led to a global problem: the degeneration of the urban civic realm, with public space largely reduced to the spectacle of leisure and consumption. Third places (as defined by Ray Oldenburg), which formed a strong element of civic glue, are declining as they are getting out priced in a world of globalized capital flows.

The problem becomes specifically acute in the Indian city. Firstly, the challenge is immense: a 70% rural society is expected to transition to being over 50% urban over the next four to five decades, which amounts to over 400 million people becoming urban over this period. Secondly, there is no popular imagination of what a city truly is: the authenticity of culture is located in the village, and the city is seen primarily as a rational economic machine, perceived in terms of infrastructure rather than urbanism. And third, this transition, which has to be achieved with a speed unprecedented in history, cannot be done using the paradigms of the past for they are ecologically unsustainable at the scale of this problem.

The call is being made to respond to this crisis by urgently strengthening the country’s capabilities for urban planning. But the land use plan, which forms a foundation of urban planning, has limited applicability. Bangalore will be used as a case study to compare the impact of land values for the smallest parcel permitted by the land use plan with median incomes of the top to bottom quintiles; the comparison showing that over 40% (a conservative estimate) of the city’s population is out priced by the land use plan. The poor have survived in the Indian city through informal systems of tenure enabled by spaces left by the limited and weak reach of urban planning. The weakness of planning exists at the levels of ideation as well as implementation, and is compounded by the large percentage of building stock that predates master planning. To now extend the reach of urban planning (as it is currently perceived) will set the country on a collision course with social conflict.

The large gap between what current models of planning can do and the reality of the Indian urban condition raises the question of how such a partial and limited perception survives as the dominant mode of representing the city. This is because we do not see the city in terms of human rights. While we may consider human rights as fundamental, the history of universalizing rights is in its infancy, starting with the United Nation’s declaration of 1948. Formal adoption of two subsequent covenants (covering economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights) took a further 28 years, ending only in 1976.

Rights remain abstract, and become tangible only within a spatial entity that enforces them; and the nation state has been defined as that appropriate entity. But in most cases the nation state is too complex an entity to do this effectively. It plays a role in constitutionally defining rights and setting up mechanisms for redressing their violation. But it is too distant for rights to be woven into the protocols of daily life. For this human rights must also be tangible at the level of the city and the village.

But rights are also tied to citizenship. Our current definition of citizenship is predicated on stability in space, which exists at the level of the nation state as mobility is constrained by the rules of immigration. This cannot be done at the level of the city, for urbanism thrives on mobility. The failure to adequately consider citizenship and human rights allows inequity and exclusiveness to permeate conceptualizations of the city. One needs to develop an alternative notion of citizenship: one that is not tied so much to spatial stability, but more toward enabling capabilities for engagement in the civic realm. The lecture will end with an attempt to define a framework for this notion of citizenship – particularly in terms of the urban condition’s ability to accommodate equity, scale, legibility, freedom, flexibility, context and memory.

An attempt to tackle the crisis that is apparent in the Indian city can become a precedent for a global re-conceptualization of the urban civic realm.

Co-sponsored with the India GSD

START
Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 06:30pm

END
Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 08:00pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S250
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

Mon, April 13, 2015 from 04:00pm - 06:00pm  /  CGIS South, S020 Belfer

Perspectives

Arts Initiative and Muslim Societies in South Asia Seminar

Speaker: Rohail Hyatt, record producer, actor, film composer, rock music artist, and keyboardist

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

Co-sponsored with the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program

START
Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 04:00pm

END
Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 06:00pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S020 Belfer
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA 02138

    Thu, April 9, 2015 from 05:00pm - 06:30pm  /  CGIS South, S250

    The People’s Hero? Jayaprakash Narayan Reconsidered

    SAI Student Event

    Mircea Raianu, PhD Candidate, Harvard History Department; Graduate Student Associate, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

    Benjamin Siegel, Assistant Professor of History, Boston University; former Predoctoral Fellow, Harvard Academy for Area Studies; former Graduate Student Associate, South Asia Institute.

    Anand Vaidya, South Asian Studies Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard South Asia Institute; former Graduate Student Associate, South Asia Institute.

    Lydia Walker, PhD Candidate, Harvard History Department; Graduate Student Associate, South Asia Institute and Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

    Four current and former Graduate Student Associates at the South Asia Institute and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs will present a panel on the place of Jayaprakash Narayan (1902-1979) in modern Indian and international history. A complex and elusive political thinker, J.P. was a central figure both within and outside of post-independence India. As Gandhi’s supposed political heir, he was deeply invested in Indian domestic development, the Bhoodan Movement, and land reform. As a socialist personally connected to India’s leading business houses, he played a key role in the intellectual and institutional origins of “corporate social responsibility” in the 1950s and 1960s. As a leader of the international advocacy for anti-colonial nationalism, he lent his prestige to African nationalists like Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere, and Kenneth Kaunda. As the figurehead for the student-led “J.P.” movement, he catalyzed both the 1975 Emergency and the political movements, left and right, that have marked India’s post-Emergency political landscape.

    J.P. Narayan was active in diverse, and often seemingly contradictory, contexts. There is a lack of comprehensive and synthetic scholarship on his life and work, which spanned most of India’s twentieth century. Combining cutting edge interdisciplinary projects on different facets of J.P.’s politics and anti-politics, this panel will put into conversation the many sides of J.P., generating a fruitful and invigorating discussion on the man known as Loknayak – The People’s Hero.

    Co-sponsored with the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs

    START
    Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 05:00pm

    END
    Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 06:30pm

    VENUE
    CGIS South, S250
    Harvard University

    ADDRESS
    1730 Cambridge Street
    Cambridge MA