As part of the Freigeist Fellowship, the Volkswagen Foundation recently approved the research project of Dr. Jürgen Schaflechner (former member of the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures at the South Asia Institute, now Freie Universität Berlin - Department of Politics and Social Sciences - Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology). The project focuses on "The Populism of the Precarious: Marginalization, Mobilization, and Mediatization of South Asia´s Religious Minorities“.
In this project, Jürgen Schaflechner wants to examine, how religious minorities in India and Pakistan use practices, often associated with populism to make their demands for inclusion and equal opportunities heard by focusing on Christian, Hindu, and Sikh Minorities in Pakistan as well as Muslim Minorities in India.
The Freigeist-Fellowships of Volkswagen Foundation are directed at unusual and courageous thinkers from all disciplines in the first four years after their PhD. The expression reflects the openness of the program in terms of profession, the selected researchers should think beyond and overpass the known.
Information on the project:
Populism is one of the most debated issues in politics today. Referring to movements both on the left and on the right, such as Brexit, Trumpism, or Podemos, as "populist" gives the impression that we are witnessing a global trend. When political analysts speak about a global rise in populism, however, they often base their assumptions exclusively on European or US American events. The project looks at how religious minorities in India and Pakistan use practices often associated with populism to make their demands for inclusion and equal opportunities heard. Focusing on Christian, Hindu, and Sikh minorities in Pakistan as well as Muslim minorities in India, it first explores the reasons behind their marginalization. In a second step, it analyzes the politics that emerge out of such precarious conditions. This will help to understand how religious minorities unite in solidarity with other, often similarly marginalized, communities and how they seek to present themselves as "the people" entitled to certain rights. In these dynamics, media practices play a crucial role to establish and sustain the popularity of their demands. In short, the project aims to contribute to a better understanding of populist practices by including South Asian political landscapes.
More information on the project and the fellowship is available here.
Applications are invited by M.A. and Ph.D. students of the South Asia Institute and of the Centre for Asian and Transcultural Studies for research scholarships to stay up to 6 months at the Banaras Hindu University and Indian Institute of Technology of the BHU, India. The scholarships will include a monthly stipend and international travel costs and will be awarded on merit. The scholarships aim to give the researchers an opportunity to participate in the academic activities of the BHU or IIT (BHU) and profit from the intellectual exchange with scholars and students there.
During their stay, the students can attend BHU and IIT (BHU) courses, and work on their thesis with co-supervision from academics at the hosting institution. The scholarships are sponsered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) under its program “A New Passage to India” and are administered within the framework of the close cooperation / MoU between the South Asia Institute (SAI) of Heidelberg University, the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), and the Indian Institute of Technology of the BHU (IIT(BHU)) in Varanasi, India.
Applications should be submitted as one .pdf file to email@example.com and should include:
- Motivation letter: explain what you expect from your stay at BHU/IIT (BHU). Indicate also the preferred lenght and period of your stay, in line with the program guidelines.
- Curriculum Vitae
- Reference letter from a professor of the SAI/CATS
- Abstract of your research and/or mention of your field of interest
Application deadline: 15th November 2019 for research stays between April 2020 and March 2021.
For more information, please visit the SAI Homepage: https://www.sai.uni-heidelberg.de/abt/IND/npi/npi.php, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org