Thursday, 25 April 2013

Why South Asia? British Academy, 17 May 2013

The conference Why South Asia? is to be held at the British Academy on 17 May 2013 from 9.45am until 5.30pm.

The British Academy is running a series of events to explore the current state and continuing importance of South Asian Studies in the UK.  The series opened with a lively roundtable discussion about the present state of the academic study of South Asian Studies in the UK and included an interdisciplinary conference on Space and Spatiality in South Asia (see

As the third of these events, Why South Asia?draws upon debates in the two earlier events to assess the wider relevance and value of South Asian Studies today. It looks beyond the South Asian Studies ‘community’ in the UK to seek to examine what on-going interest in the South Asia region means to a wider constituency of ‘users’ -- in government and NGOs, in research institutions, publishing and the media. It explores the relevance of the concept of South Asia to the social sciences and to issues of policy and engagement in the UK, and asks what can be gained from the study of South Asia elsewhere in Europe and experience and in South Asia itself. Speakers include  Jo Beall from the British Council; Amita Batra from Jawaharlal Nehru University; Gita Dharampal-Frick from Heidelberg University; Lucy Rhymer of Cambridge University Press; Nira Wickramasinghe from Leiden University; and Penny Brook of the British Library. The  provisional programme is set out below.

The conference is free and open to the public but places will be limited and prior registration is, therefore, essential. Please circulate details among your contacts. To register, or for further information, please email Debbie Soothill at

Dr. Debbie Soothill
International Senior Policy Adviser
The British Academy
10-11 Carlton House Terrace
London  SW1Y 5AH, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7969 5276

British Academy

Why South Asia? The Relevance of South Asian Studies Today

A Conference to be held at the British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH on 17 May 2013

Draft programme
9.45                 Coffee
10.00               Introduction and Welcome
Helen Wallace, Foreign Secretary, British Academy
10.15               Why South Asia?
                        David Arnold, Chair, South Asia Panel, British Academy

10.30 - 12.15   Session 1: South Asia and the Social Sciences
                        Chair: Lawrence Saez, Politics and International Studies, SOAS
Matthew McCartney, Director, Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme, Oxford
Mukulika Banerjee, Anthropology, LSE
Kunal Sen, Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester

12.15-1.00       Lunch

1.00-3.00         Session 2: The Uses of South Asia
                        Chair: Barbara Harris-White, Development Studies, Oxford
                        Penny Brook, Lead Curator, India Office Records, British Library
Lucy Rhymer, Commissioning Editor, Asian Studies, Cambridge University Press
Jo Beall, Director, Education and Society, British Council
Mark Robinson, Research and Evidence Division, DFID
Yolanda Foster, South Asia Team, Amnesty International

3.00-3.30         Tea

3.30-4.45         Session 3: International Perspectives
                        Chair: Christopher Bayly, Director, Centre of South Asian Studies, Cambridge
                        Gita Dharampal-Frick, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg
                        Nira Wickramasinghe, Asian Studies, Leiden
                        Amita Batra, School of International Studies, JNU, Delhi

4.45-5.30         Closing Discussion
                        Chair: David Arnold

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Amateur film-making in post-colonial India

"Le Centre d’Études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (CEIAS), Paris, is organising a seminar on the theme of  contemporary amateur filmmaking in India as part of its research programme ’Cultural industries, artistic and literary Indian scenes’. The seminar, titled “An intimate craft of national memory: amateur filmmaking in post-colonial India” will be presented by Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes (CSAS, University of Cambridge) on Thursday 4th April 2013. 
For details, see CEIAS poster: