The 2014 Barbara Harriss-White Dissertation Award
30 July 2014
Each year, CSASP awards the Barbara Harriss-White Dissertation Award to the writer of the most outstanding dissertation from the MSc in Contemporary India.
The students this year made it an extremely difficult task for the Examinations Board, with the high quality of work which was submitted.
We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s award is Anyusha Rose.
Her submission on Kerala’s human development paradox was judged to be of an excellent standard and was awarded an impressive mark by all of the examiners for the MSc in Contemporary India.
The dissertation can be read in full, along with a selection of other dissertations which also received distinctions, on the research pages of our website.
India's NGO Backlash - An article by Ram Mashru
24 July 2014
Read Ram Mashru's latest article on India's covert war against NGOs in Foreign Policy magazine.
Ram graduated from the MSc in Contemporary India in 2013, with distinction, and currently works as a South Asia Research Assistant at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. His eBook, Human InSecurity: Fear, Deprivation and Abuse in India, was published by The Diplomat in December 2013.
Barbara Harriss-White's letter on Informal Economy
16 July 2014
The Hindu newspaper has today published a letter from Professor Barbara Harriss-White, discussing the commentary by Professor S. Gurumurthy on the implications of the budget for India's informal economy.
Professor Harriss-White is a Senior Research Fellow at the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme and Emeritus Professor of Development Studies, University of Oxford.
The Malangs South Asia Essay Prize
16 June 2014
We are pleased to announce the launch of The Malangs South Asia Essay Prize 2014, generously sponsored by the Malangs Dining Society (founded 1962).
The essay should be focussed on some aspect of South Asia, from a current student in any academic department in Oxford up to 5,000 words in length.
The essay can but need need not have been already submitted for assessment.
The winner will be judged by a small inter-disciplinary panel of South Asianists and will be awarded £250 along with an invite to attend a prize dinner later this year.
Essays should be submitted to email@example.com no later than June 28th.
Can pandas fix the China-India relationship?
11 June 2014
"Panda diplomacy is about far more than the transfer of a bear from one country to another."
Dr Kate Sullivan and MSc in Contemporary India Student (2013-14) Liu Nan explore this activity in The Indian Express.
Lifelines: A Short Video Portrait from the Himalayas
4 June 2014
We are pleased to announce the release of a short (15 minute) video documentary, titled 'Lifelines'. This film is based on research carried out by the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford.
Dr Jane Dyson says of the film "this is one man's story of juggling responsibilities and fighting for dreams, both for himself and his community."
A Modi Landslide? Article by Babak Moussavi
2 June 2014
CSASP would like to congratulate current MSc in Contemporary India student, Babak Moussavi for his excellent analysis of the recent Indian elections A Modi Landslide? posted on the South Asia Masala website.
Warsaw Conference: India in International Relations
30 May 2014
A number of CSASP students, studying for the MSc in Contemporary India, organised a trip to Warsaw to attend the conference India in International Relations – Polish and European Experienceon May 22nd 2014, and to present their own theses to students attending the Centre for Contemporary India Research and Studies at the Institute of International Relations, University of Warsaw.
Professor Matthew McCartney and Dr George Kunnath were presenting at the conference on ‘Policy Priorities for India in 2014: the importance of comparison and history’ and ‘India’s Persisting Internal Conflict: The Maoist Insurgency and Counterinsurgency’ respectively.
The four-day visit started with a welcome tour of the University by Prof. Marta Kicińska-Habior, the Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Quality of Teaching and Learning, this was followed by a drinks reception. The main conference event taking place on day two of their visit.
Day 3 gave the students the opportunity to take part in a student conference, where they were joined by MA and PhD students from Warsaw University to present and discuss their theses. This culminated in a roundtable dinner, focussing on the recent Indian elections.
There was still time for some fun on the trip with a whole day dedicated to sightseeing and a special mention has to be made to Warsaw student Anna Rochala, who took the group to visit the Jewish Uprising Museum.
Kieran Sandhur, one of six students who travelled to Warsaw said of the visit “Although the conference to Poland abounded from light-hearted, non-committal conversation with Dr. Zajaczkowsi (Deputy Director for Academic Research and International Cooperation at the Institute of International Relations) on his visit to Oxford earlier this year, our time there proved to be incredibly enriching- both academically and culturally. We had the opportunity to listen to a variety of intellectuals speak about different aspects of India, including H.E. Mr Artur Nowak-Far, Undersecretary of State, H.E. Madame Monika Kapil Mohta, Ambassador of India to Poland, Prof. Subrata K. Mitra from Heidelberg University and Dr. Manish Thapa from Tribhuvan University to name a few. We also had the chance to present our own theses to scholars, which offered us insight from perspectives outside of our Oxford focus.”
Speaking on behalf of the group, Kieran continued “We would like to say dziękuję to the University of Warsaw for their hospitality, especially to the students who shepherded us around Warsaw for three days, showing us the local joints and putting up with our “punctuality”. We look forward to being able to reciprocate such kindness and hope this was just the beginning of a successful partnership between universities. “
The Visual Anthropology and Contemporary South Asian History Conference
13 May 2014
Kalyani Ramachandran (Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology), Ratika Yumman and Angela de Francisco, (current students on the MSc in Contemporary India), recently represented the University of Oxford in the Visual Anthropology and Contemporary South Asian History Conference held at Cambridge University. The conference, organized by the Centre of South Asian Studies, featured special contributions by Prof. Alan MacFarlane (University of Cambridge) and Prof. Elizabeth Edwards (De Montfort University). It hosted both international scholars and postgraduate students from different regions and disciplines to explore modern South Asian history through visual research methods.
Students attending this conference had the opportunity to join a pre-conference workshop dedicated to ‘Writing South Asian history with visual research methods’. Prof. Marcus Banks and Dr Motrescu-Mayes advised on the methodology used by ten postgraduate history students who worked with unique visual records selected from the collections held by the CSAS. The research findings and short visual essays produced during the workshop were presented and discussed during a special conference panel chaired by Prof. Banks.
Angela de Francisco expressed her gratitude to Dr. Motrescu-Mayes for organizing and facilitating such a rewarding conference: “using visual research methods brings us closer to people’s experiences, help us to empathize with them and allow us to imagine their realities in a far more comprehensive way. I enjoyed all the panel sessions and I thank Dr. Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes for giving us this opportunity learn and interact in this conference.”
SIAS Student Party beats the bad weather blues!
13 May 2014
The first ever cross-unit SIAS student party was held on Thursday May 8th at Bevington Road. Despite the torrential rain driving the whole event inside, it didn't manage to dampen spirits. We had an amazing turnout with great contributions from SIAS units.
African Studies clinched the prize for the best table decorations however this was a close run competition with CSASP just missing out.
The prize for best food went deservedly to REES, with a special mention for the Georgian contribution.
A huge thank you to all students and staff who got involved so enthusiastically and let's hope this is the first of many!
The curious craze for political parties
12 May 2014
Pradipti Jayaram (MSc Contemporary India 2011-12) has published an article in the Hindu's Business Line online newspaper concerning political parties in India. For the full article, please see their website.
Is India a Responsible Nuclear Power? - A new Policy Report by CSASP's Kate Sullivan
28 April 2014
In a new policy report for the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, CSASP's Kate Sullivan finds that India's record on responsible nuclear behaviour is mixed, but an increasingly positive one.
14 March 2014
Devkaran Bhatty was part of the Oxford Blues team who took on Cambridge in the annual varsity squash match earlier this year. Although the team were beaten by Cambridge, CSASP staff and students would like to congratuate Dev on receiving the Oxford Man of the Match award!
Press Release - Informal Economy Missing from Climate Change Debate
25 February 2014
The ESRC has today published a press release entitled Informal Economy Missing from Climate Change Debate.
The release, which can be seen in full below, is based on the current research project Greenhouse gas emissions, technology and work in production and distribution systems: rice in India which is funded by the ESRC and led by Professor Barbara Harriss-White, Senior Research Fellow at CSASP.
CSASP Cheers on Squash Hopeful
17 February 2014
Staff and students within the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme will be cheering on MSc in Contemporary India student Devkaran Bhatty when he takes on Cambridge as part of the Oxford Blues annual varsity squash match next Saturday. Before coming to Oxford, Dev ranked seventh on the Indian Men’s squash circuit, and won the US Skill Level National Championship in 2009. Amidst a hectic study schedule, Dev also finds time to excel in chess.
OxFID 2014 - Oxford's biggest conference on International Development
13 February 2014
Tickets are on sale for the Oxford Forum for International Development, taking place at the Said Business School on the 21st-23rd February 2014.
The theme this year is Global Gamechangers and among the high-profile speakers attending are Rebeca Grynspan (UN Development Program and former VP of Costa Rica), Mark Goldring (CEO of Oxfam) and Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba (Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth).
Visit their facebook page or website for more information and to buy tickets.
Workers and Owners at Odds - a seminar presented by Dr Azam Chaudhury
11 February 2014
On Thursday 30th January, 2014, Dr Azam Chaudhury of the Lahore School of Economics gave a seminar to CSASP students, entitled Workers and Owners at Odds: Innovation and Incentives in Pakistan.
This seminar was part of the Contemporary South Asia Seminar Series, jointly organised by the Department of International Development and CSASP, funded by a grant from the Faculty of Oriental Studies.
Haggling Hindi Students Drive a Hard Bargain
11 February 2014
Students of Hindi today (10th February 2014) tried their hand at bargaining for silk saris, colourful kurtas and shimmering scarves in a make-shift ‘Indian clothing store’ as part of the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme’s course “Hindi ‘in situ’”. The shopping experience was the third of five role play events that feature in the innovative course, which uses drama sessions to reinforce language learning and encourages students to regularly make the transfer from classroom to language context. The recruitment of five talented Hindi-speaking role-play actors has been made possible by a project-funding award granted by the Teaching Audit Committee of the Social Sciences Divisional Board.
Delhi: Mostly Harmless: One woman's vision of the city
29 January 2014
Congratulations to Liz Chatterjee on the publication of her book Delhi: Mostly Harmless: One woman's vision of the city.
Liz graduated from the MSc in Contemporary India in its very first cohort and, amongst other things, is now a teaching fellow on the course.
The book is already receiving great reviews and can be purchased on Amazon.
Towards an International Society of the Future Workshop
13 January 2014
This event took place at St Antony's College on Thursday 16th and Friday 17th of January 2014.
Full details can be found in our research pages.
Podcasts of the event will be published shortly.
Ram Mashru - Human InSecurity: Fear, Deprivation and Abuse in India
10 January 2014
Congratulations to Ram Mashru on the publication of his book entitled Human InSecurity: Fear, Deprivation and Abuse in India. Ram studied for the MSc in Contemporary India, graduating in 2013.
The book has been published by The Diplomat and is available to download from Amazon.
"Reports on India’s chronic social and political evils have become impossible to avoid. Commentators have treated them as distinct problems, but this habit of compartmentalising issues has obscured the many complex and interconnected factors that drive the stories of fear, deprivation and abuse in India. Ram Mashru drills beneath the news reports to identify these factors. The book takes a novel approach by relying on theory, and Human Security is adopted as a lens to examine India’s persistent social and political challenges. Ram explores three case studies – inter-ethnic violence, displacement and torture – to produce compelling answers to the questions, "What are the causes of insecurity in India and what should be done about them?"
The Ethics of Taking Sides - Dr George Kunnath in Conversation
28 November 2013
What kinds of ethical dilemmas are faced by researchers engaging in fieldwork contexts marked by conflict? CSASP anthropologist Dr George Kunnath reflects on this and other ethical questions in the latest issue of Current Anthropology. His ground-breaking article, ‘Anthropology’s Ethical Dilemmas’ reflects on the choice anthropologists face over whether or not to ‘take sides’ when working with vulnerable communities amidst armed conflict. Dr Kunnath’s candid and often moving reflections draw from his long-term ethnographic research in India, set against the backdrop of the ongoing Maoist insurgency and counterinsurgency. His article elicits responses from top scholars in field, within the journal’s Forum on Public Anthropology. The result is a comprehensive and novel conversation that contributes significantly to scholarship on the ethics of anthropological engagement.
Dr Kate Sullivan honoured at University Teaching Awards
27 November 2013
Dr Kate Sullivan was recently rewarded for Excellence in Teaching at the annual University Teaching Awards ceremony which took place at Rhodes House.
The award will support her Hindi "in situ" language classes.
For more information on the event, please visit the Wolfson College news page.
Speak Hindi? Feel like a little drama?
31 October 2013
We are seeking five Hindi-speaking role-play actors to help teach Hindi through drama in five events across Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity terms. If you have a very high level of Hindi fluency and a flair for the dramatic, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to apply. A full briefing will be given and the role-play actors will be paid for their time. The closing date for applications is 6 November 2013.
A Trip to the Ashmolean
24 October 2013
The Ashmolean Museum’s University Engagement Programme (UEP) was established in 2012 with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to further the partnership between the Ashmolean and the University’s faculties, and to enhance the impact of cross-disciplinary teaching and learning at Oxford. Building on the rich tradition of object teaching at Oxford in traditional subjects such as Archaeology and History of Art, the programme’s three Teaching Curators foster innovative course collaborations across a wide range of departments, teaching with objects from the Museum’s world-class collections to offer valuable additional perspectives to students as they develop critical understanding of their chosen topics. The UEP is keen to engage students and faculty in the Museum, which is a great resource for almost any period of study. Dr Mallica Kumbera Landrus, one of the teaching curators at the Ashmolean, led 18 of us through the galleries and object handling sessions on Wednesday 23 October.
For further information on the UEP, please visit the Ashmolean website or email email@example.com
Teaching award makes way for Hindi drama
18 October 2013
The Teaching Excellence Awards scheme – run by the Teaching Audit Committee of the Social Sciences Divisional Board – has granted a project-funding award to Dr Kate Sullivan of the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme. Below, she talks about what the award means for her course, Hindi ‘in situ’ – An introduction to Hindi for fieldworkers and researchers and its students.
What does this award mean for your course?
We’re thrilled to receive this award because it now allows us to transform our beginner’s Hindi course into something much more exciting and dynamic. We’ll now be recruiting native speaker ‘actors’ to engage our students in a series of role-play situations. Through these drama sessions, students will be immersed in simulated “in-country” experiences, such as browsing and bargaining in an Indian clothes shop, hailing a rickshaw, or participating in a village council meeting.
How do you think drama will factor into the learning process?
I think that many people who have tried to learn a language – myself included – tend to find it hard to transfer what they learn in the classroom to an actual ‘live’ language setting. The alternation between normal classroom activity and drama sessions in our course is intended to simulate that transition. This will hopefully encourage students to think constantly about how they are going to apply what they learn and should keep their language-learning goals clear and tangible. And since the drama sessions will allow students to test their ability to communicate within defined situations, it will hopefully keep their motivation levels high, too.
Is this the first time you will be using drama to teach language skills?
I actually had enormous fun teaching an intermediate Hindi language course at the Australian National University in 2009. This was a multimedia course entitled Filmi Hindi, which required students to watch Bollywood films and analyse language use within them. Their final assessment involved writing and performing their own (abbreviated) Bollywood script, which was just fantastic. It was certainly the success of this experience that made me consider using drama as a teaching method in Hindi ‘in situ’.
What kind of student is participating in the course and why do they want to learn Hindi?
The course meets the needs of graduate students, both at the doctoral and the masters level, who are planning fieldwork or any other kind of visit to Hindi-speaking regions and wish to develop basic Hindi literacy and conversation skills. Many of the students on the course are also studying for our MSc in Contemporary India. What an understanding of Hindi can offer them—apart from help with the practical considerations of travel—is a new appreciation of everyday life, thought and meaning in some important parts of India. This kind of thinking is in keeping with what we do here in Area Studies – that is, we generally try to understand the world from various vantage points, rather than simply gaze from afar.
Dalit and Adivasi 'Incorporation' in the Indian Economy
17 October 2013
Professor Barbara Harriss-White will be speaking at a book launch and panel discussion in New Delhi at the Jawaharlal Nehru University on Thursday October 17th.
She will be introducing the book "Dalit and Adivasis in India's Business Economy: Three Essays and An Atlas" by Sudha Pai. The book launch will be followed by discussion on exclusion and inclusion of Dalits and Adivasis in India.
For more information, please see the event schedule.
Hindi 'in situ' class sign up time extended
11 October 2013
The Hind 'in situ' language classes which start on Monday October 14th are still available for booking.
The booking period has been extended until the morning of Monday 14th, so please visit the Hindi page of our website for more information and Weblearn for bookings.
Hindi language classes are now available
10 October 2013
Hindi "in situ" is an introduction to the Hindi language for fieldworkers and researchers which offers to provide a basic ability to read, write and speak the language as it is used in everyday life in India. The course is being offered by Dr Kate Sullivan and classes will commence in Week 1 of Michelmas Term.
Please see the Hindi Language page for more information.
Wolfson South Asia Research Cluster
7 October 2013
The Wolfson South Asia Research Cluster will be holding its monthly informal lunch meeting on Wednesday, 9th October, (week 0) at Wolfson. Please join us in hall at 12:45pm. Lunch will be on a pay-yourself basis and anyone with an interest in research on South Asia is very welcome.
For more details contact: Matthew.McCartney@area.ox.ac.uk.
SIAS twitter feed launch
3 September 2013
SIAS is on twitter (@SIASOxford). Please follow us to get notified about news and events from across the school.