Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

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Border Rituals and Transcultural Studies
Symposium: "Border Rituals and Transcultural Studies"

May 27, 2010 - May 29, 2010
Institute of Psychology, Bergheimer Straße 20, 69117 Heidelberg, Room 0014
Prof. Dr. William Sax, Head of Southasian Anthropology, and Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels, co-director of the Cluster, are hosting a symposium on "Border Rituals and Transcultural Studies". It brings together scholars from various disciplines to present their research results and discuss the significance of borders in South Asia.  
This event is organized by the Collaborative Research Center "Ritual Dynamics", Heidelberg and the DFG funded interdisciplinary research project "Changing Strategies of Resource Use: The 'Bhotiyas' in the High Mountain Border Region of Uttarakhand, India" (Prof.  Dr. W. S. Sax & Prof. Dr. Marcus Nüsser).
The increasing tempo of globalization has led some to predict a “borderless world of transcultural flows.” However, a glance at the map and a peek into the archives are sufficient to remind us that in the 20th and 21st centuries political borders have become more salient than ever, not only in terms of international politics, diplomacy, and conflict, but also with respect to cultural politics and self-identification.
Nowhere is this more evident than in South Asia, where the partition of India and Pakistan, the successful struggle for independence in Bangladesh, a large number of secessionist movements, and tense relations with China have demonstrated not only that borders are of continuing importance, but also that they are porous, creating opportunities for legal and illegal trade, for military posturing, and for varying strategies of self-representation vis-a-vis those on „the other side.“ These facts challenge naÔve versions of transculturalism, while making use of its more useful insights.
Thursday, 27th May
10:00 - 10:30 William Sax and Axel Michaels: Welcoming Remarks

10:30 - 11:30 Mona Schrempf (HU, Berlin): Reclaiming Place and Identity at the Sino-Tibetan Border Zone of Amdo: Tibetan Community Ritual, Local History and Chinese State Architecture (Chair: Harder)

11:30 - 12:30 JoŽlle Smadja (CNRS, Paris): New Environmental Boundaries in the Himalayas (Chair: Sax)

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch Break

13:30 - 14:30 Hans Harder (SFB 619): Impacts of the Indo-Bangladeshi Border on Hindu Rituals in Bangladesh (Chair: van Schendel)

14:30 - 15:30 Juergen Schaflechner (SFB 619): Contesting the Border: Sindhi Ritual and Identity in Sindh (Chair: Kreutzman)

17:30 - 18:30 Keynote Lecture by Willem van Schendel (University of Amsterdam): Beyond Marginality: Borderlands and Border Studies in South Asia
20:00 Conference Dinner

Friday, 28th May
09:30 - 10:30 William Sax (SFB 619): De-ritualizing Borders in the Divine Kingdoms of Rawain (Chair: van Schendel)

10:30 - 11:30 Lokesh Ohri (SFB 619): The Effects of new Borders on the Rituals of Mahasu (Chair: van Schendel)

11:30 - 11:45 Coffee Break

11:45 - 12:45 Christoph Bergmann (DFG Project NU 102/10-1): What happens if the Border is closed: On Ritual Mastery and Vertical Control (Chair: van Schendel)

12:45 - 13:45 Lunch Break

13:45 - 14:45 Martin Gerwin (DFG Project NU 102/10-1): Between Local Utilization Strategies and External Influences: The Restructuration of Natural Resource Use in the Borderland of the Kumaon- Himalayas (Chair: Harder)

14:45 - 15:45 Girija Pande (Kumaon University, Nainital): Region, Rituals and Imagined Borders: Reflections on Shared Heritage along the Indo-Nepal Border (Chair: Sax)

15:45 - 16:00 Coffee Break

16:00 - 17:00 Toni Huber (Humboldt University, Berlin): Ignore, Transgress, Exploit: Local Responses to the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Himalayan Highlands" (Chair: Kreutzman)

17:00 Final Discussion
Saturday, 29th May
10:00 - 13:00 Planning of Future Research Projects

13:00 Lunch (catered) 
Keynote Lecture Beyond Marginality: Borderlands and Border Studies in South Asia
Keynote Lecture
Beyond Marginality: Borderlands and Border Studies in South Asia

By Prof. Willem van Schendel
(University of Amsterdam)

27th of May, 17:30-18:30
Psychological Institute
Bergheimer Straße 20, Room 0014

This Keynote Lecture is part of the
Border Rituals and Transcultural Studies
Thursday to Saturday, 27. -29. May
Welcoming at 10 o´clock (same location)
Veranstaltungsankündigung:Metatheories of Knowledge and its Circulation between South-Asia and Europe: Concepts, Theories, and Models
Veranstaltungsankündigung: Prof. Dhruv Raina, der erste Inhaber des Heinrich Zimmer Chair for Indian Philosophy and Intellectual History wird ab 21. Mai den untenstehenden Kurs anbieten. Finden Sie alle Details dazu unten angefügt. Der Kurs wird auf Englisch durchgeführt, Anmeldungen bitte direkt an Prof. Raina.

Metatheories of Knowledge and its Circulation between South-Asia and Europe: Concepts, Theories, and Models

Conducted by: Prof. Dhruv Raina (JNU, New Delhi and Chairholder of Heinrich-Zimmer Chair for Indian Philosophy and Intellectual History)
Open for: Students at MA-level in particular from South Asia Institute, Philosophical Seminar and Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”.
When: Fridays, 10-12h, starting on May 21st 2010
Where: Karl Jaspers Centre, Gebäude 4400, Vossstraße 2, Room 112
Contact & Application:

Metatheories of Knowledge and its Circulation between South-Asia and Europe: Concepts, Theories, and Models

This seminar course explores the meta-theoretical frameworks underlying narratives of the circulation and transmission of knowledge between South-Asia and Europe. While emphasis shall be placed upon scientific knowledge, philosophical and other kinds of knowledge will also be the subject of the seminar readings. The course shall commence by surveying the variety of multicultural and postcolonial perspectives of the sciences commencing naturally with the standard accounts appearing in early Orientalist writings to more contemporary writings situated in modernisation and developmental theory. This would include a systematic exploration of models of osmotic transmission, colonial science and centre-periphery. Having framed the standard picture the readings will go on to explore the reverse commentaries commencing with the first accounts produced by South Asian scholars towards the end of the nineteenth century, and within similar interpretive frames,  continuing into the middle decades of the twentieth century: B. N.Seal (The Positive Sciences of the Hindus), Benoy Kumar Sarkar (The Hindu Achievements in the Exact Sciences), P.C. Ray (History of Hindu Chemistry), Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya (Lokayata; Science and Society in Ancient India); Abdur Rahman (Science and Society in Historical Perspective).
Other interpretive theories and models for studying the circulation of knowledge appear with the socialization of science from the 1970s onwards, commencing with the critiques of prevalent models premised on the idea of unattenuated osmosis. These would include those invoking ideas of cultural redefinition, neo-Gandhian readings that rejected the fact-value dichotomy and articulated a critique of Western civilisation and science (Ashis Nandy, J.P.S.Uberoi, Shiv Visvanathan). Initiated by different framings of “knowledge/power” the relationship between empire and knowledge of the colony is examined (Bernard Cohn,Chris Bayly, Zaheer Baber). This will be followed by a discussion of the variety of attempts to reframe the encounter in general terms (Gyan Prakash), in terms of studying concrete encounters in the sciences (Richard Grove, S.Irfan Habib, Christian Hartnack, Dhruv Raina, Kapil Raj) and re-visualising the encounter with Europe (Dipesh Chakrabarty). This raises the question of the different or possible multicultural or post-colonial perspectives of the circulation of scientific knowledge. The course will conclude with readings on the modes of translating Indian philosophy into the language of Western philosophy (Dayakrishna, B.M. Matilal and J.N.Mohanty) and the specific salience of Indian philosophy for the Western philosophical tradition (David Silberstein, and more recently Sundar Sarrukai). The seminar course would conclude with a discussion on transcultural history and the ways in which scholars working on transcultural histories have engaged with some key epistemic concepts.
For each of the seminars the students would be expected to have read 2-3 papers or 2 chapters of books to be provided by the course instructor.

Dhruv Raina is Professor of History of Science and Education at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is the first Chairholder of the Heinrich-Zimmer Chair for Indian Philosophy and Intellectual History at Heidelberg University. He studied physics at Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai and received his Ph.D. in the philosophy of science from Göteborg University. His research has focused upon the politics and cultures of scientific knowledge in South Asia. He has co edited Situating the History of Science: Dialogues with Joseph Needham (1999) and Social History of Sciences in Colonial India (2007). Images and Contexts: the Historiography of Science and Modernity (2003) was a collection of papers contextualizing science and its modernity in India. S.Irfan Habib and he co-authored Domesticating Modern Science (2004) which again addressed the encounter between modern science and the so called “traditional sciences” in colonial India. He has published papers on related subjects in journals of the history and philosophy of science, social studies of science and social and political history. Over the last couple of years he has been working on cultures of history and science policy in postcolonial South Asia, in addition to a decade long preoccupation with postcolonial theory of science and the historiography of Indian mathematics.

Padma Shree Award für Prof. Hermann Kulke
Anfang April hat Prof. Hermann Kulke, der mehr als 20 Jahre am SAI wirkte ehe er auf den Lehrstuhl für Asiatische Geschichte an der Universität Kiel berufen wurde, den Padma Shree Award erhalten. Finden Sie hier eine Kollage von Photos der Veranstaltung. Weitere Bilder und Berichte finden Sie auch auf der Seite der Zweigstelle Neu Delhi.

Informationsveranstaltung zu DAAD Stipendien (23.04.10, 9-11h, SAI E11)

Das Studiensekretariat B.A. Südasienstudien veranstaltet im Rahmen des Seminars "Reflektierte Praxiserfahrung II" eine öffentliche Sitzung zu Praktika in Südasien. Als Gastrednerin wird Frau Müller vom akademischen Auslandsamt der Universität Heidelberg über DAAD Stipendien informieren und Fragen von Studierenden beantworten. Interessierte aller Fachrichtungen und Studiengänge am SAI sind herzlich eingeladen.

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