Join us at the 2017 SAI Symposium, our annual flagship event, where we bring together scholars, practitioners and audiences to discuss, debate and dissect major South Asian themes from an interlocking variety of perspectives. This year, we are exploring migrations and transformations in society, from the points of view of visual arts, life sciences, and the study of displacement.
This talk will discuss the history of the astrolabe in South Asia between 1200-1600CE. As the most important astronomical instrument in the medieval period, the history of the astrolabe in Europe is fairly well known. The history of the astrolabe in South Asia, however, contains many intriguing gaps and puzzling questions. This talk will outline some of these questions while discussing the ways that the astrolabe figured in the political and literary imaginations of medieval South Asia. It will argue that the Sultans of Delhi positioned themselves as the second coming of the Greeks (particularly Alexander the Great, himself directly associated with the astrolabe in Persian literature) in order to emphasize the civilizational benefits of Islamicate empire in India, including an increased control over the powers of the stars. Through a deep engagement with (and critique of) Ptolemy’s Almagest, Arabic (and later Persian) astral sciences had developed a number of advances over their Sanskrit counterparts, which itself did not have many of the key advances necessary for the development of the astrolabe. As a result, a new genre of Sanskrit astronomy, Tājika-śāstra (The Teachings of the Muslims) was developed by a number of Jains (and later Brahmins) between 1150-1600 to incorporate Perso-Arabic concepts into Sanskrit astronomical models, a rare example of translation of foreign language terminology into Sanskrit during the premodern period.
Cosponsored with the Early Sciences Working Group, the South Asia Institute and South Asia Across Disciplines
Featuring new and largely unpublished work, this one-day conference sets up a dialogue between designers and social scientists. By connecting fine-grained micro studies with broader imaginations for the metropolitan region, we intend to open up new scalar possibilities for Mumbai.
Jerold Kayden, Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Sarita Maskey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Nepal Government
Shriju Pradhan, Deputy Director, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Government of Nepal
David Sanderson, Judith Nielsen Chair, University of New South Wales
Anshu Sharma, Co-founder and Chief Mentor, SEEDS
Although scientists can say with near certainty that a major earthquake will strike the Kathmandu Valley in the future, they cannot predict with certainty when that major earthquake will strike. Such uncertainty generates another kind of uncertainty, about what to do now, in the near term, and in the long term. It can even facilitate delays in needed decision-making. Nepali stakeholders, drawn from government, civil society, and the private sector, joined several outside participants in a just-completed one-day exercise using rapid scenario and other planning methods to unlock implementable ideas for securing an earthquake-resilient Kathmandu Valley. They will report on the outcome of the working exercise during this panel discussion.
High Tea to Follow
This initiative is part of the Harvard South Asia Institute’s Nepal Studies Program, launched with generous support from Jeffrey M. Smith.
In partnership with University of New South Wales, Tribhuwan University, Kathmandu University, and Harvard Alumni Group of Nepal
Deepa Mehta will be screening her latest movie ‘The Anatomy of Violence’ on the sidelines of the India Conference. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Ms. Deepa Mehta, a UN representative, Harvard student activist Gulika Reddy, and Harvard Professor Jacqueline Bhabha
Celebrated filmmaker Deepa Mehta investigates one of India’s most notorious crimes — the 2012 gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a Delhi bus — in her angry, impassioned and essential new film.
In December 2012, a 23-year-old woman and her friend got on a private bus in Delhi. The men already on board — five passengers and the bus driver — gang-raped the woman, beat her friend, and threw them onto the street. The woman died of her injuries two weeks later. The case made worldwide news and was instrumental in activating Indian policy discussions about women’s rights and the government’s duty to prosecute for rape.
Deepa Mehta’s Anatomy of Violence takes a fearless approach to the topic. In collaboration with theatre artist Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry, Mehta worked improvisationally with her actors to envisage possible sociological and psychological backgrounds and pasts for the perpetrators and the victim. The film posits formative events in the men’s lives, imagining the origins of their violent, remorseless personalities, while presenting the woman’s life in parallel.
This event is free and open to the public. Seating will be first come first serve.
The Lahore Biennale Foundation, the LUMS School of Education and the Harvard South Asia Institute present
An Evening dedicated to Music, Poetry and the Arts Misaq-e-Ishq: The Covenant of Love
Music and poetry recital by Ali Sethi
With Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim Religion and Cultures at Harvard University
And an introduction to the inaugural Lahore Biennale by Artistic Director Rashid Rana Location: Ali Institute of Education, Main Auditorium, Ferozepur Road
A music-and-poetry recital around the Sufi ideal of Love. Spanning many regions, languages and eras, the ensemble touches upon the works of regional masters and Sufi visionaries Amir Khusraw, Shams Sabzwari, Bulleh Shah, and Shah Abdul Latif.
Donations will be used to promote the arts and education.
This event is supported by
Institute for Policy Reforms
Ali Asani,Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures; former Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University
Our world is marked by difference. The inability to engage with and understand these differences has led to polarizations, tensions and conflict in many societies. In recent decades, these conflicts have been particularly acute and tragic when they are framed in religious terms. Illiteracy about the nature of religion has led to political climates that are crippling intellectually and threatening to the pluralistic fabric of society. This talk will discuss the importance of promoting literacy about the relationship between religion and culture as one of the essential pre-requisites for the well-being of societies and the project of democracy globally.
University Update Q&A with Harvard Vice Provost Mark Elliott, followed by reception
Location: Aqaba, Level P5, Club House, Peninsula Business Park,
Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400013, India
Free to attend. Business attire. For questions about this event please contact Vibha Kagzi MBA ’10 at email@example.com.
Cosponsored withHarvard Alumni Association, Harvard Club of India, Harvard Club of Mumbai, Harvard Club of Chennai, Harvard alumni community in Bengaluru, Harvard Business School India Research Center, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health India Center.