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SAI Event Type : Conferences and Symposiums

Sat, February 10, 2018 - Sun, February 11, 2018

India Conference 2018

The India Conference is one of the largest student-run conferences focusing on India in the USA. It takes place at the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, and is organized by graduate students at Harvard University.

In 2018, the India Conference will be celebrating its 15th anniversary. The conference will bring together business leaders, entertainment professionals, government officials, philanthropists and many others.

SAI is a co-sponsor of this event.

Conference Website

List of Speakers

Sat, Feb 10, 2018

Sun, Feb 11, 2018

Conference Poster with pictures of the speakers
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Fri, February 2, 2018 - Sat, February 10, 2018

The Dhaka Art Summit

Professor Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Harvard University will be on two panel discussions at the Dhaka Arts Summit (DAS) in February 2018.

The first panel is titled “Rising Oceans and Conflict: From Bangladesh to Planetary Scale.” This panel brings together artists, architects, and curators, to locate Bangladesh and the rising waters of the world’s oceans at the frontier of global climate change. The panel will explore the agency of cross-disciplinary research on oceans and investigative tools of Forensic Architecture for gathering and presenting evidence on environmental destruction.

The second panel is titled “Diving deeper into Bangladesh, the Oceans, the Pacific, and Forms of Justice.” This discussion between artist, architect, academic, politician and curator draws links between environmental and political violence connected to the exhibition a beast, a god, and a line and artist Nabil Ahmed’s research on Bangladesh and the Pacific.

The Dhaka Art Summit (DAS) is an international, non-commercial research and exhibition platform for art and architecture related to South Asia. With a core focus on Bangladesh, DAS re-examines how we think about these forms of art in both a regional and an international context. Founded in 2012 by the Samdani Art Foundation—who continue to produce the festival—in collaboration with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, DAS is hosted every two years at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. 

Rejecting the traditional biennale format to create a more generative space for art and exchange, DAS’s interdisciplinary programme concentrates its endeavors towards the advancement and promotion of South Asia’s contemporary and historic creative communities. Led by Chief Curator Diana Campbell Betancourt, local and international guest curators from leading institutions are commissioned to conduct research across South Asia, unlocking new areas of inquiry to build collaborative group exhibitions and experimental writing initiatives, as well as film and talks programmes.

For each edition of DAS, Bangladeshi artists shortlisted for the Samdani Art Award exhibit their work under the guidance of an international guest curator. Organised in partnership with the Delfina Foundation, the Award has created an internationally recognized platform for the work of young Bangladeshi artists. Many shortlisted artists have later exhibited in international exhibitions and institutions, including the 11th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2016); curated by_vienna, Austria (2016); 11th Shanghai Biennale, China (2016); 4a Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Australia (2017); and Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (2017).   

Expanding this support further, DAS 2018 will introduce two new platforms. The Samdani Artist-Led Initiatives Forum will recognize the importance of Bangladesh’s independently established and self-funded art initiatives by providing space and curatorial support for these groups to showcase their work during DAS. The Samdani Architecture Award invites architecture students across Bangladesh to submit proposals for the design of DAS 2018’s Education Pavilion. The winning individual or group will construct a pavilion to house DAS’s rich educational programming—including lectures, events, workshops, and dialogues—which is currently being developed by an international curriculum committee.

All of DAS’s exhibitions are supported by an ambitious commissions programme, which invites internationally acclaimed contemporary artists related to South Asia to create new work. Past commissions include Lynda Benglis, Simryn Gill, Po Po and Pablo Bartholomew, along with and some of the most exciting emerging names from the region: Ayesha Sultana, Waqas Khan, Munem Wasif, and many more. 

Celebrated for its critically acclaimed exhibitions by local and international arts professionals, many of DAS’s past projects have toured internationally to venues and festivals, including the Berlin Biennale; the Gwangju Biennale; the Singapore Biennale; the Queens Museum, New York; Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; the Office for Contemporary Art Norway; and the San Jose Museum of Art, USA; to name just a few. 

In an effort to encourage international arts professionals to travel to Bangladesh to develop exhibitions that include the work of South Asian artists, a new DAS Research Fellows programme has been launched to support artistic research in Bangladesh between each edition of DAS. This initiative has supported the work of curators from Tate Modern, London; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; to name just a few.

Free to the public and ticketless, DAS 2016 drew over 138,000 local and 800 international visitors across its four-day duration. Extending its duration to nine days, the fourth edition of the summit, DAS 2018, will be held from February 2–10, 2018. For the first time in its history, DAS will seek to create new connections between South, South East Asia, and the Indian Ocean belt, exhibiting artists from Thailand, Malaysia, Madagascar, the Philippines, and several other countries.


SAI is a research partner of The Dhaka Art Summit.

Fri, Feb 2, 2018

Sat, Feb 10, 2018

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Fri, January 5, 2018 from 10:00am - 04:00pm  /  Yalamaya Kendra: Patan Dhoka: Lalitpur

Buddhism in Nepal, Past and Present

 As part of the Nepal Studies Program, Leonard van der Kuijp, Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, will lead a conference titled “Buddhism in Nepal, Past and Present.” Based on medieval documents and modern practice, this conference will explore the spread and development of Buddhism in the India-Nepal-Tibet corridor.


“Buddhism in Nepal, Past and Present”

JANUARY 5, 2018
10AM-12PM, 2-4PM
Yalamaya Kendra, Patan Dhoka, Lalitpur


Conference Schedule:

Naresh Man Bajracharya
Professor of Buddhist Studies and Vice Chancellor of Lumbini Buddhist University, Nepal

Kurtis R. Schaeffer
The Frances Myers Ball Professor of Religion, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

Nirmal Man Tuladhar
Professor of Linguistics and Chair of Social Science Baha, Nepal

Todd T. Lewis
Murray Distinguished Professor of the Arts and Humanities, Professor of Asian Religions, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, USA

Siddhartha Tuladhar,
Senior Research Officer of New ERA, Pvt. Ltd., Nepal 

Leonard W.J. van der Kuijp
Professor of South Asian Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 10:00am

Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 04:00pm

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Thu, October 12, 2017 at 04:00pm to
Sun, October 15, 2017 at 12:15pm  /  CGIS South, Tsai Auditorium S010  /  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

American Council for Southern Asian Art Symposium XVIII

ACSAA Symposium web banner

October 12 – October 15, 2017

Harvard South Asia Institute is proud to co-sponsor the biennial American Council for Southern Asian Art Symposium. ACSAA symposia serve as opportunities to meet colleagues, reconnect with mentors and graduate school cohorts, and share one’s current research with the field. From senior scholars to graduate students, ACSAA symposia are one of the primary ways ACSAA members gather and support one another, share ideas with a group of like-minded colleagues, and participate in the ACSAA community. We are looking forward to welcoming you all in Boston/Cambridge, MA!

ACSAA 2017 Organizers

Jinah Kim, Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art & Architecture
Laura Weinstein, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy curator of South Asian and Islamic Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

About the ACSAA

The American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the study and awareness of the art of South and Southeast Asia and the Himalayan regions. In addition to periodic symposia, usually held every two years, ACSAA pursues these goals through various projects, including its annual bulletin, bibliographies, a color slide project, a microfiche archive and outreach materials. Since its incorporation in 1967, ACSAA has grown from its original fifteen members to an organization of some three hundred individuals and institutions. ACSAA is formally affiliated with the College Art Association (CAA) and the Association of Asian Studies (AAS).


For more information about this conference, please visit our website:

Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 04:00pm

Sun, Oct 15, 2017 at 12:15pm

COST: $50-$180

CGIS South, Tsai Auditorium S010
Harvard University

1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

MFA, Mabel Louise Riley Seminar Room (Meeting Room 156)

465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115

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Fri, September 15, 2017 from 06:00pm - 08:00pm  /  Kings College London  /  Strand London WC2R 2LS UK

Looking Back, Informing the Future: The 1947 Partition of British India


Harvard South Asia Institute (SAI) and King’s India Institute invite you to a program on The 1947 Partition of British India.

Join us in London for a special event to mark the 70th anniversary of the Partition of British India and launch SAI’s major research project in one of the most important global hubs for the South Asian diaspora and the city in which many of the decisions of 1947 were made.

We have much to learn from the Partition about the complexities of large-scale human migration and resettlements. Such lessons can inform current cross-border displacement and the corresponding growth of urban settlements and cities.

Reception: 6:00-6:30pm
Panel discussion: 6:30-8:00pm

Sona Datta, Writer and Broadcaster
Tarun Khanna, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Jennifer Leaning, T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University
Ian Talbot, Department of History, University of Southampton
Discussant: Louise Tillin, Interim Director, King’s India Institute

RSVP to Hasit at

Fri, Sep 15, 2017 at 06:00pm

Fri, Sep 15, 2017 at 08:00pm

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Sat, August 19, 2017 at 09:00am to
Sun, August 20, 2017 at 06:00pm  /  Dubai, UAE

Workshop on the Liberal Arts in Higher Education

The Harvard South Asia Institute (SAI) Workshop on the Liberal Arts in Higher Education is a forum for faculty, administrators, and leadership from universities across South Asia, the Middle East, and neighboring regions (Central Asia and East Asia) to explore ways in which universities may develop a liberal arts education program for undergraduate students, while fostering such objectives as sustainable development; social inclusion and peace; and cooperation across national boundaries among individuals, institutions, and governments. These goals are essential to addressing shared global challenges and to realizing opportunities to advance human well-being. Universities, as institutions that prepare future leadership of societies, have a unique role to play in the achievement of these goals, educating students as global citizens who can understand, value, and contribute to the common good.

The inaugural event of the Harvard SAI Liberal Arts Education Workshop will be held on August 19-20, 2017, at the Ismaili Centre in Dubai, with the aim of launching a consortium of stakeholders committed to a robust and vibrant future of liberal arts education. This workshop will allow Harvard SAI to initiate a multi-year engagement convening on an annual basis for collaboration, knowledge sharing and the exchange of ideas.


This workshop is available for university faculty, administrators, and leadership only. Please include your title, affiliation, and university email when you register.


Register by Friday, July 7. Learn more here.

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Wed, May 3, 2017 - Thu, May 4, 2017  /  Thompson Room, Barker Center

2017 SAI Symposium, MAY 3-4: South Asia: Migrations and Transformations

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.

Learn more and register.

Wed, May 3, 2017

Thu, May 4, 2017

Thompson Room
Barker Center

12 Quincy St
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Sat, April 15, 2017 from 08:30am - 05:00pm  /  Harvard Graduate School of Education

South Asia ConnectED Conference

Cosponsored Event

South Asia ConnectED

April 15, 2017, 8:30 a.m – 5:00p.m, HGSE

South Asia ConnectED is the first ever South Asia-centric education conference at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Explore catalyzing for scale in education policy, social change and education technology with leaders from South Asia. Join John Floretta (Associate Director of Policy for J-PAL), Sridhar Rajagopalan (founder, Educational Initiatives), Sanjli Gidwaney (Director, Design for Change, USA) and many others.

Opening remarks: Tarun Khanna (Director, SAI; Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School)

Register here for free:

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This conference has been organized by the HGSE South Asia Education Initiative, a student body at HGSE, which aims to build a bridge between students and faculty at Harvard and beyond with education practitioners and academics in South Asia. It is co-sponsored by the South Asia Institute.


Sat, Apr 15, 2017 at 08:30am

Sat, Apr 15, 2017 at 05:00pm

Harvard Graduate School of Education
Gutman Conference Center 1,

Gutman Library
6 Appian Way
Cambridge MA 02138

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Sat, March 25, 2017 from 01:00pm - 06:00pm  /  CGIS South, S020 Belfer

Asian Borderlands: the First Annual Symposium

Cosponsored Event

This is the first meeting of a proposed annual conference of a research network that will meet every year at a different university, our other partner institutions being Chicago, Columbia and Cornell. Graduate Students from Harvard and beyond will convene to discuss a range of historical topics about border-making and border-crossing in various parts of early modern and modern Asia. The topics are of interest to students of South Asian, South-east Asian, Indian Ocean and East-Asian history. All are welcome to join us for the presentations and subsequent discussions, and no registration is required.

Along with the public conference, there are a series of paper workshops and closed-door roundtable discussions with faculty experts on various relevant topics on Friday, March 24. These sessions are restricted to faculty and graduate students. Interested graduate students should email for the reading list/ packet for the Friday workshops, with which some familiarity will be expected. Harvard faculty from all departments are most welcome to attend all sessions on both the days.

Sponsored by the Asia Center, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, History Department, Inner Asian and Altaic Studies, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, South Asia Institute, and Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. 

Sat, Mar 25, 2017 at 01:00pm

Sat, Mar 25, 2017 at 06:00pm

CGIS South, S020 Belfer
Harvard University

1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA 02138

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