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Summer Schools 2011 at SAI

In 2011 the SAI offers a number of  summer schools. From August 1 - 26, 2011 the Department of Classical Indology offers its well-introduced Summer Schools Spoken Sanskrit and Nepali Intensive Course.  The department for Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures (Modern Indology) offers a summer school Intensive Course in Spoken and Written Urdu to be held from August 29th to September 16th 2011. New on offer are the Summer Schools Colloquial Tibetan conducted by the chair for Buddhist Studies, Prof. Birgit Kellner, Cluster Asia and Europe in a Global Context and Manuscriptology that is also organized by the Department of Classical Indology. Both summer schools are to be held between August 1st and August 26th. For further links and information click here.

Report: Doctoral Students Workshop "Hierarchy and Emancipation"

On Friday the 4th and Saturday the 5th of February, the department of History of South Asia (SAI, Heidelberg) conducted a workshop for young academics on the topic of “Hierarchy and Emancipation” in the premises of the South Asia Institute. The comparably open choice of two topics with such deeply differing normative connotations could only be coherent regarding the decided claim towards interdisciplinarity, under which the whole event had been set up. This claim was seized on and integrated in their own research by the participating PhD-students, themselves originating from different backgrounds within the multiple branches of the humanities.

On Friday, Prof. Martin Furchs (Max-Weber-Kolleg, Erfurt) in an opening lecture presented important findings of his highly influential research on Dalit movements in India: following the title - “Autonomy, Acceptance and Self-transcendence: Marginality and the project of social transformation” - Fuchs, premising action-theoretical approaches such as Axel Honneth’s  recognition theorem, pointed to the semantic ambiguity of the concepts “Hierarchy and Emancipation” as well as the difficulty within their theoretical and methodological functionalization .

During the second part of the workshop on Saturday, seven PhD-students  (Livia Loosen/Erfurt, Sebastian Pampuch/Berlin, Paromita Das Gupta/Zürich, Anna Ewers, Thomas Kuhn/both Frankfurt, Kai Fürstenberg, Milinda Banerjee/both Heidelberg) presented their research and empirical contexts, each from his/her own academical background. The different insights, developed from historical, psychological, sociological, anthropological and political science perspectives, were then brought together with the theoretical implications offered by the theme of the workshop.   

The discussions that followed the presentations facilitated a highly productive exchange that transcended the borders of the individual disciplines and could only be possible on the grounds of interdisciplinarity. The workshop could also be attended by students; an opportunity that was made use of by both graduates and undergraduates.

(Text: Rafael Klöber)

ZEIT Online Interview with doctoral student in anthropology Hasan Ashraf
Hasan Ashraf, Anthropologist from Bangladesh and doctoral student with Prof. William Sax at the deparment of Anthropology at SAI, and concurrently scholarship holder at the Clusters "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", was recently interviewed on transnational industrialization and stress with workers in Bangladesh by the ZEIT ONLINE
Seminar on Faiz Ahmed Faiz: A Revolutionary Poet of Pakistan

The Allama Iqbal Chair, South Asia Institute (University of Heidelberg) is organising a seminar on ‘Faiz Ahmed Faiz: A Revolutionary Poet of Pakistan’. Participants include Dr. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah, Dr. Christina Oesterheld and Dr. Qazi Abid.

Time, Date & Location: February 11th 2011, 3-5 pm, at SAI, Room 316.

Update on Election Prime Minister Nepal
Jhala Nath Khanal elected as new Prime Minister in Nepal
The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the largest party in parliament, pulled out from the prime minister race in the very last minute on Thursday and instead supported the candidate of the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninists). Bringing an end to the election debacle which started seven months ago and saw 16 unsuccessful election rounds. Yesterday, Jhala Nath Khanal assumed office after taking the oath of office administered by President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav. But, until today (Monday) no cabinet could be formed as no decision was reached between the UCPN (Maoist) and CPN (UML) over the portfolio allocation. Particularly the question of who will lead the Home Ministry is at issue.
There are not only differences between the two allies but also within the CPN (UML) itself.The party is divided over the coalition with the Maoists and the secret 7-point deal Jhala Nath Khanal signed with Pushpa Kamal Dahal. A lot of tasks are ahead of the new government. On May 28 the deadline for the drafting of the new constitution ends and the faith of the PLA combatants is still undecided. The secret 7-point deal suggest a new security entity where the combatants along with other security personnel from the police and army shall be integrated. The PLA combatants are stationed in cantonments since four years and are now monitored by a cross-party Special Committee. UNMIN, who had the responsibilities of arms monitoring after the decade-long armed-conflict left Nepal in mid-January as Nepalʻs government did not extend its mandate.
How Nepalʻs two neighbours, China and India, see the new alliance is of utter interest and importance to the ongoing peace process.

Links / News:
BBC - 3 February 2011 - ”Nepal: Jhalanath Khanal elected new prime minister
BBC - 3 February 2011 - ”Profile: New Nepal Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal
The Kathmandu Post - 3 February 2011 - ”Khanal is elected new PM“
The Kathmandu Post - 3 February 2011 -”India, China will be happy
The Kathmandu Post - 6 February 2011 - ”Allies at odds: Khanal is in, without a Cabinet“
The Kathmandu Post - 6 February 2011 - ”Maoist-UML agreement

Update and Links: Lars Stöwesand

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