The new website of the DAAD funded cooperation project “New directions in ‘Active Ageing‘ and ‘Age-friendly Culture‘ in India and Germany“ between Heidelberg University and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is now online. The aim of the project is the academic exchange on ‘active ageing‘ and ‘age-friendly culture‘ promoted by the development and implementation of an innovative teaching profile, eg. workshops, winter and summer schools and the International Film Festival for Generations in India and Germany.
Participants from Heidelberg University are the Institute of Gerontology (Prof. Andreas Kruse, Dr. Michael Doh), the South Asia Institute (Prof. William S. Sax, Dr. Martin Gieselmann), and the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (Prof. Christiane Brosius). The New Delhi partners from Jawaharlal Nehru University include the Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies (Prof. Minati Panda), the Centre for the Study of Social Systems (Prof. Surinder Jodhka), and the Centre of Social Medicine & Community Health (Prof. Mohan Rao).
Prof. William Sax, Head of the Department of Anthropology and currently Executive Director of the South Asia Institute, recently gave a series of lectures at Harvard University, Columbia University, and the City University of New York.
For the CUNY Graduate Studies Centre and Harvard Anthropology Department, Sax gave a lecture entitled, "The Birth of the (Exorcism) Clinic: medicine, modernity, and the Jinn", which was based on his recent research on Muslim healing in Europe, and conducted under the auspices of Heidelberg's Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe". In this lecture, Sax applied a Foucauldian analysis to the rapid growth of certain forms of Muslim healing throughout the world, and particularly in Europe.
For Columbia University and Harvard's South Asia Institute, Sax gave a lecture entitled "Divine Kingdoms of the Western Himalaya: collective agency and divine intentionality." This lecture was based on research that Sax has conducted for over 25 years, on the pre-colonial polities of the Western Himalayas. He is currently writing a book on this topic which will, when complete, be his fourth Monograph about the region.
Sax said that the most gratifying part of his lecture tour was he discovered that undergraduates throughout the USA are still reading, and being inspired by, his books, even though some of them were written nearly 30 years ago.
Springer recently published the new book „A Transnational Feminist View of Surrogacy Biomarkets in India“ by Sheela Saravanan (Department of Anthropology). Further information is available here.
This book takes a reproductive justice approach to argue that surrogacy as practised in the contemporary neoliberal biomarkets crosses the humanitarian thresholds of feminism. Drawing on her ethnographic work with surrogate mothers, intended parents and medical practitioners in India, the author shows the dark connections between poverty, gender, human rights violations and indignity in the surrogacy market. In a developing country like India, bio-technologies therefore create reproductive objects of certain female bodies while promoting an image of reproductive liberation for others. India is a classic example for how far these biomarkets can exploit vulnerabilities for individual requirements in the garb of reproductive liberty. This critical book refers to a range of liberal, radical and postcolonial feminist frameworks on surrogacy, and questions the individual reproductive rights perspective as an approach to examine global surrogacy. It introduces ‘humanitarian feminism’ as an alternative concept to bridge feminist factions divided on contextual and ideological grounds. It hopes to build a global feminist solidarity drawing on a ‘reproductive justice’ approach by recognizing the histories of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, age and immigration oppression in all communities. This work is of interest to researchers and students of medical sociology and anthropology, gender studies, bioethics, and development studies.