Urbanizing Maoism: Thoughts on a peasant revolt

On Thursday 11 May 2017, 17.00 Dan V. Hirslund from the University of Copenhagen will hold a talk entitled: “Urbanizing Maoism: Thoughts on a peasant revolt in the age of neoliberalism” at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES seminar room, Finngatan 16, Lund). The event is open to everyone and as usual we will serve fika!

This talk engaged with the problematic of the transformation of peasant-based critiques of the state in contemporary South Asia, taking as its starting point the spectacular transformation of Maoism in Nepal after the peace process in 2006. While Maoism historically grows out of a critique of feudalism related to an agricultural political economy, the context of democratic or democratising nation-states based on liberal principles are posing formidable challenges in how to adapt to highly urban-centric and transnational elite structures of the state. In this talk, he will engage with the difficulties engendered by the Maoist shift from war to peace in Nepal in order to pose larger questions about how we might think of revolutionary critique and action today.

Dan V. Hirslund is a social anthropologist from the University of Copenhagen. He has specialised in the ethnography of urban Nepal where he has worked since 2008 and is currently engaged in a project on the precarisation of industrial work in the construction industry in Kathmandu. Dan is also working on questions of precarious labor in welfare economies with a book project on Danish society.

Nepal Tagged , , , , , , | 0

Talk on Mahatma Gandhi As a Communicator

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday 20 April 2017, 17.00 Dr. M.S Harikumar held a talk entitled “Mahatma Gandhi As a Communicator” at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES seminar room, Finngatan 16, Lund).

Apart from being a national leader and social reformer, Gandhi was a great communicator. More than any one else, he recognized that communication is the most effective tool to shape opinion and mobilize popular support. He was successful because he had a latent skill in communication that surfaced in South Africa where he had gone initially to set up practice as a lawyer. This gave him the clue to rally millions of his countrymen when he returned to India. Gandhi’s journalism belonged to an era when there was neither radio nor television. Such was the power of his ‘soul communication’ that whatever he said and wrote reached the farthest corners of this country within days and to the entire world thereon. Gandhi, in a journalistic career spanning nearly four decades, edited six journals. None, including Harijan and Navjivan, at first, could boast a circulation of more than a few thousand copies. But such was Gandhi’s grasp of the basics of mass communication that he ensured that his daily “outpourings of heart and soul” reached all.

Bio of M.S Harikumar

A Media professional turned academician, Dr. M.S Harikumar currently teaches at the Department of Communication and Journalism, University of Kerala, India. He has close to two decades of experience in the newspaper industry and was earlier Chief Sub Editor and Chief Reporter in Mathrubhumi daily which is one of the most circulated newspapers in India. His PhD thesis in Mass Communication was a seminal explorative study on the reader-editor gap with a special emphasis on the gate-keeping theories of Mass Communication. At the Department of Communication and Journalism, UoK he teaches Cyber Journalism, Development Communication and News Reporting at the Master level besides supervising PhD candidates of Mass Communication. He has published several popular articles as a professional journalist and many research papers as an academician. He is also a member of the International Relations Group formed by the Higher Education Council of Govt. of Kerala, India.

India Tagged , , , , , , , | 0

SASA announces travel grants to Lund University students

SASA, in collaboration with SASNET, announces a maximum of three travel grants for students that are planning for fieldwork in South Asia during 2017.

1280px-boarding_card_-_text_as_paths-svg

The grants will cover travel expenses for airline tickets for applicants to do fieldwork in a South Asian country for up to a maximum of 8000,- SEK. Students enrolled at Lund University who plan to do fieldwork in South Asia are eligible to apply. In order to do so, fill in the application form Microsoft Office document iconapplication_form_sasa_fieldwork_grant_2017.doc, enclose your CV, an up-to-date copy of your LADOK results and a statement from your supervisor approving the trip, and e-mail these to SASNET Communication Officer Elina Vidarsson at elina-maria.vidarsson@sasnet.lu.se no later than 31 January, 2017 at noon.

Applications will be ranked based on the quality of the project proposal, relevance of the research, grades of the applicant and the experiences as listed in the CV. We look forward to receiving your application!

Like the SASA Facebook page to stay updated on grant announcements and activities.

South Asia/Travel grant Tagged , , , , | 0

Environmental News Coverage

kerala-copyOn 2 February 2017, 17.00 Maggie Josephine, assistant professor from the Department for Communication and Journalism (DCJ) at University of Kerala, held a talk on Environmental News Coverage in Kerala, India.

Venue: the basement of Lund University External Relations building, Stora Algatan 4, Lund.

Maggie talked about her study entitled “Environmental News Coverage: A Review of Newspapers in Kerala”.

Abstract: Environmental news has become a signinificant area of concern to the communicators and any issues related to it acquires immediate media attention globally. The responsibility of media in shaping public opinion and beliefs and mobilising attitudes in favour of protecting environment should be an agenda of the media. Climate change is a global issue and international discussions are being held to face the challenges and minimise the destruction by timely interventions. India is also witnessing drastic climate changes for the past few years. Kerala is the state which is fast succumbing to the phenomenon of climate change and it is the task of the media to constantly monitor the changes and create awareness among the public of the need to adopt remedial measures to reduce the calamities created by human activities and urge humanity to aim for sustainable development. This study is an attempt to review the strategies of newspapers in reporting environmental issues and alerting the public about the various environmental challenges and the suggestions put forward to withstand it. This brief study will review how effectively the environmental issues are conveyed and posed before the public as a serious social problem by the newspapers of Kerala.

India Tagged , , , , , , , | 0

Home-rule and the Critique of Modern Society

On Thursday 20 October, 17-19 SASA continued its Fika Without Borders series with a lecture by Erik Ringmar, Senior lecturer in Department of Political Science at Lund University. He held a lecture entitled: “Home-rule and the Critique of Modern Society”. 

Photos from: Lund University and Wikipedia

Photos from: Lund University and Wikipedia

In his Hind Swaraj, Mohandas Gandhi was sharply critical of modern society as foisted upon India by the British. Yet this critique of modern society was itself quite a staple of conservative, romantic and reactionary thought in Europe itself. In his talk Erik Ringmar explored this connection, reflecting on the meaning of ‘home-rule.’

 img_20161024_103629img_20161024_103236

After the lecture, an Indian “Poha” inspired snack was served, prepared by some of the members of SASA.

Venue: the basement floor at Lund University External Relations (ER) building, Stora Algatan 4, Lund.

———————————————————————————
Fika Without Borders events were popularised by participants in the ”Social Innovation in a Digital Context (SIDC)” programme at Lund University 2013. The concept comes from the belief that a coffee table gathering can bring together people from all over the world. SASA has held these Fika Without Borders events once a month since 2013, and each time the focus has been on one of the eight South Asian countries.

Uncategorized Tagged , , | 0

Fika Without Borders: Nepal

On Thursday 29 September, 17-19 SASA continued its Fika Without Borders series with a lecture by Lalita Bashyal, PhD Scholar in Centre for the Study of Social System at JNU. She held a lecture entitled: “The Status of Women and Female Community Health Volunteers in Nepal”.
Photo: WHO

Photo: WHO

The status of women in Nepal is considered subordinate to men. Patriarchal values and customs embedded in religion, social customs and the laws continue to adversely impact women’s political involvement, employment in the public sphere, enrolment in higher education, and work performance. In this adverse environment Female Community Health Volunteers are recognized for contributing to improve the maternal and child health of Nepal. Female Community Health Volunteers work as a bridge between community and the health system of Nepal. Absenteeism of medical professionals is still prevalent in rural part of Nepal. In this meager situation, Female Community Health Volunteers role become vital in the rural health sector where more than 70% of the people reside. Hence this seminar will try to divulge the role and status of Female Community Health Volunteers working in the same community they belong to in order to improve health and status of women in Nepal.

After the lecture SASA served Samosas and tea!

Nepal Tagged , , | 0

Fika Without Borders Sri Lanka

Orjuela Camilla Globala studier Gšteborgs universitetOn Thursday 26 May, 17-19 SASA continued its Fika Without Borders series with a lecture by Camilla Orjuela, Associate Professor in Peace and Development Research at University of Gothenburg. She will hold a lecture entitled: Struggles about justice in post-war Sri Lanka.

It is now seven years since the long and brutal civil war in Sri Lanka ended. Many questions remain about how to deal with the county’s violent past. In September 2015, the Sri Lankan government co-sponsored a resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Council in which it committed to investigate human rights violations during the war. This lecture looks into how the process of transitional justice in Sri Lanka is proceeding. It looks at the challenges for reconciliation and the new and old conflicts that emerge in the struggles about post-war justice.

As usual we served delicious South Indian snacks and tea!

Venue: the basement floor at Lund University External Relations (ER) building, Stora Algatan 4, Lund.

Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , | 0

Talk on Sustainable Development

Photo by Framtidsjorden

A greenhouse in Ladakh, India (Photo: Future Earth)

On Wednesday 27 April, SASA welcomed representatives from Future Earth and The Swallows India Bangladesh for a talk on sustainable development. Around 50 people gathered for the seminar. The venue was as usual in the basement floor at Lund University External Relations (ER) building, Stora Algatan 4, Lund.

Future Earth (Framtidsjorden) and Swallows India Bangladesh (Svalorna Indien-Bangladesh) are two organizations both working for a socially just and ecologically sustainable development and are doing so by supporting and collaborating with local organizations in Asia.

Caroline Nordvall and Kajsa Sennemark Aldman from Swallows showed their documentary on agrarian challenges in India.

Caroline Nordvall and Kajsa Sennemark Aldman from Swallows screened their documentary, dealing with agrarian challenges in India.

During the afternoon interns from the organizations shared their experiences and knowledge of working with issues related to sustainable development in Asia and South America. Some of the topics were: “food sovereignty”, “the adaption to organic farming and its challenges” and “development paradoxes”.

After the presentation there were snacks from India and South America served – snacks prepared by the SASA board members.

Future Earth

Uncategorized Tagged , | 0

SASA announces travel grants to Lund University students for fall semester 2016

SASA, in collaboration with SASNET, announces a maximum of three travel grants for students that are planning for fieldwork in South Asia during the fall semester of 2016. The grants will cover travel expenses for airline tickets for applicants to do fieldwork in a South Asian country for up to a maximum of 8000,- SEK. Students enrolled at Lund University who plan to do fieldwork in South Asia are eligible to apply.
In order to do so, fill in the application form, enclose your CV and an up-to-date copy of your LADOK results, and e-mail these to SASNET Deputy Director Lars Eklund at lars.eklund@sasnet.lu.se  no later than April 10, 2016 at noon. Applications will be ranked based on the quality of the project proposal, relevance of the research, grades of the applicant and the experiences as listed in the CV. SASA and SASNET expect to announce a new round of fieldwork grants for those doing fieldwork during the spring for the spring semester 2017. Like the SASA Facebook page to stay updated on grant announcements and activities. For questions and more information contact Elina Vidarsson at elina-maria.vidarsson@sasnet.lu.se. We look forward to receiving your application!

Uncategorized Tagged , , , | 0

Bangladesh in focus for third Fika Without Borders seminar

mka_474SASA organised its third Fika Without Borders lecture of 2016 on Thursday 10 March. This time the focus country was Bangladesh. Around 30 people gathered for the seminar. Venue: Usual place at the Lund University External Relations building basement, Stora Algatan 4, Lund. See the Youtube video of the seminar.

Morten Koch Andersen, researcher at Dignity, the Danish Institute Against Torture in Copenhagen lectured on how human rights documentation and reporting is a dangerous and difficult practice in Bangladesh. A key challenge in human rights work is how to identify victims and document violations. In his presentation Andersen investigated how human rights activists in Bangladesh assist survivors of human rights violations and document violations and show how human rights activism and documentation unfold at the intersection of global discourses, national politics and local power configurations. Each level condition and circumscribe the ways in which human rights documentation is carried out, set the limits for gathering of information and delimit what is made public.

The presentation illuminated how documentation is carried out by a variety of human rights actors; local activists, national NGO’s and journalists, according to individual rationalities and thresholds of importance and urgency that define whether a violent incident become a case of human right violation. Each actor chose what, and what not, to document and filters information according to the need of the victim and their families, the political situation and the position of the actor in society.  It is the process of filtering of information that determines how incidents of violence, abuse and transgression become human rights cases. Filtering is about the ways in which human rights activists perform their work documentation and reporting on human rights.

As usual, SASA provided fika consisting of South Asian snacks during the event, this time rajma (kidney beans) and potato curry.

Uncategorized Tagged , , | 0