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Governing India: What do we know and need to know?
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Welcome to Abraham Ahkter Murad

The History Department is pleased to welcome Abraham Akhter Murad, who will be part of the South Asia Institute as a DAAD Fellow until November 2021. He is an academic researcher in the social history of North India and Pakistan in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is a core member of the Centre for Governance and Policy, Lahore, Pakistan where he co-founded and helps arrange Pakistan's largest academic literary festival, Afkar-e-Taza ThinkFest. He is also a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Governance and Global Studies, Information Technology University, Lahore, Pakistan. As a DAAD Fellow at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University, Mr. Murad will be working on his research project 'Christianity in Colonial Punjab: Consolidation and Indianisation, 1910-1940.'

He recently published a book roundtable on Pippa Virdee's "From the Ashes of 1947: Reimagining Punjab" for which he organised, edited, and wrote an introduction. It also has review articles by Uttara Shahani (University of Oxford), Emily Keightley (Loughborough University), Manav Kapur (Princeton University), Ilyas Chattha (LUMS), and a response essay from Pippa Virdee (De Montfort University).


Prof. Harun-or-Rashid is professorial fellow for the Bangladesh Chair at South Asia Institute

The South Asia Institute is pleased to announce Dr. Harun-or-Rashid as new guest lecturer for the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman professorial fellowship for the Winter Semester 2021/2022. Dr. Rashid is professor of political science and former vice-chancellor at National University of Bangladesh. His work includes Bangladesh politics, governance and constitutional development.

The Bangladesh Chair Professorial Fellowship is established to promote exchange between the SAI and academic institutions in Bangladesh, expanding and strengthening visions of the country and its development in South Asian research. The visiting professorship is projected for Bangladeshi researchers who are affiliated with disciplines represented at SAI, which include geography, history, modern South Asian studies, cultural and religious history of South Asia, political science, development economics and anthropology. Professor Rashid was selected unanimously by an eight-member jury board, including a representative from Heidelberg University.

The Bangabadhu Chair was instituted in 1999 to foster research cooperation in the region, and was reinstated in 2019 in a cooperation effort between Heidelberg University and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh.

Please read here the official press release of Heidelberg University.


Welcome to Ofer Peres

The Department of Cultural and Religious History of South Asia is pleased to welcome Dr. Ofer Peres who will be part of the South Asia Institute until August 2022. Dr. Ofer Peres is a scholar of South Asian religions and literature. His main fields of interest are Vedic myth and ritual, purāṇic Hinduism, south Indian bhakti traditions, and early modern Tamil Śaivism. In his research, he examines the functions of textual adaptations and translations, and their role in cultural and religious transitions. As a Minerva Fellow at the South Asia Institute, Dr. Peres will be working on his research project: “Contesting Realities: Narrative Adaptation as Ideological Discourse in Medieval India.” In addition, he will be pursuing another project, entitled “The Rise of the Dark Planet: The Early-Modern Origins of the Cult of Saturn in South Asia.”



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