The Department for History of South Asia and the South Asia Institute cordially invite you to the academic ceremony in honour of Prof. Dr. Gita Dharampal-Frick’s retirement on 6 July 2018 from 10 am to 5.00 pm at the Heinrich-Zimmer-Room at the South Asia Institute. The poster of the event is available here and the detailed programme here.
The celebrations begin with a festive part from 10 to 12 pm which is honouring Gita Dharampal-Frick‘s life‘s work, followed by academic talks by former students and colleagues from 1 to 5.30 pm. A literary reading (organised by the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures) and the yearly summer fest (organized by the Institute’s student council) will conclude the festivities.
Gita Dharampal-Frick was the head of the Department of History at the South Asia Institute (SAI) since 2002 and has left her mark on the institute as well as on the university in general. She filled positions in numerous academic and administrative bodies, was engaged in interdisciplinary research projects, initiated Indo-German collaborations and put her heart into teaching and conducting research. Whereas the impressive bibliography of Professor Dharampal-Frick’s works bears testimony to the latter, it has always been her original and critical mode of teaching that made her a students’ favourite at the SAI.
Having celebrated her sixty-fifth birthday in 2017, Gita Dharampal-Frick can look back on a fruitful academic career that exemplifies her own transcultural biography. Hailing from an Indo-British Gandhian family, she spent her childhood years in India as well as in England. After completing her undergraduate education at Manchester, SOAS (London) and Cambridge, she went on to receive her masters (1977) and PhD (1980) in Indology/History from the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris with the dissertation "La religion des Malabars. Tessier de Quéralay et la contribution des missionnaires européens à la naissance de l'indianisme". Professor Dharampal-Frick was habilitated with her seminal study on German accounts of India from the pre-modern era ("Indien im Spiegel deutscher Quellen der Frühen Neuzeit (1500–1750): Studien zu einer interkulturellen Konstellation") at Freiburg University, Germany in 1992. She was a Heisenberg Research Fellow with the German Research Foiundation, before she was appointed full professor and head of the Department of South Asian History at Heidelberg University
During her time at Heidelberg University, Professor Dharampal-Frick was involved in interdisciplinary and innovative projects like the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 619 “Ritual Dynamics” Socio-Cultural Processes from a Historical and Culturally Comparative Perspective (2005–2009), where she led the sub-project A7 “Ritual Transfer between South Asia and the West, 1600–2000”. Gita Dharampal-Frick was also a committed member of the Heidelberg Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context: The Dynamics of Transculturality.
Gita Dharampal-Frick's research interests are political, economic, social and (trans-)cultural history of South Asia (18th–20th c.), regional and local historiographical traditions (oral and pictorial histories), modernizing processes and movements of resistance in post-independence India, South Asia and the entangled history of the Maritime World between the Indian Ocean and the China Sea. Among her many important contributions to German-speaking historical scholarship on South Asia her pathbreaking work on the intercultural constellations in premodern Germany’s perception of India and her multifacetted analysis of the life and philosophy of M.K Gandhi stand out.