SAI | Newsletter No.8

 

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NEWSLETTER www.sai.uni-heidelberg.de No. 8, February 2016 WELCOME to this 8th edition of the SAI | Newsletter! CONTENT NEWS TEACHING RESEARCH PEOPLE BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS CONTACT We are more than happy to introduce Prof. Rahul Mukherji, who will join the SAI in summer 2016 and take over the Chair of Political Science as successor of Prof. Subrata Mitra. Prof. Mukherji’s last posting before coming to Heidelberg has been with the National University of Singapore. We look forward to having this internationally well-known scholar among us and cannot wait to his valuable contributions to the further developments at the SAI. Also well-known to the readers of this newsletter is Prof. Axel Michaels, who has received two prestigious prizes that we are proud to report – the Höffmann-Research Prize for Intercultural Competence (University of Vechta) and the Lautenschläger Research Prize (Heidelberg University). Finally we are looking forward to the arrival of Prof. P. Sahadevan from the Centre for South Asian Studies, JNU, whose stay as a DAAD guest professor is scheduled for the summer term 2016. Due to the size of this newsletter – with 34 pages it surpasses all previous numbers – we cannot but hint at the numerous contents you will find inside. They range from the introduction of a new MA course Communication, Literature and Media in Modern South Asian Languages to news from the library (e.g. start of FID or Fachinformationsdienst Südasien), from reports on research in such diverse fields as environmental change, water resource management, documents from pre-modern South Asia to recent developments in our branch offices New Delhi and Kathmandu and last but not least six pages of news on “people” that is all those personalities that shape (or had shaped) the life and work at the SAI as well as recent publications which demonstrate the thriving intellectual life at the Institute. SOUTH ASIA INSTITUTE Im Neuenheimer Feld 330 69120 Heidelberg T: +49-6221-54 89 00 F: +49-6221-54 49 98 M: info@sai.uni-heidelberg.de www.sai.uni-heidelberg.de Dr. Martin Gieselmann Executive Secretary Prof. Dr. Stefan Klonner Executive Director | Page 1

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NEWSLETTER www.sai.uni-heidelberg.de No. 8, February 2016 • Indo-German Dialog on Excellence in Research and Innovation • Scientification and Scientism in the Humanities • Fieldwork for Hera Funded Project Single in Delhi • Elderscapes. Ageing in Urban South Asia • Single Women in the City: Workshop in Delhi Prof. Dr. Michaels received the Lautenschläger Research Prize NEWS • Prof. Dr. Michaels received the Lautenschläger Research Prize • Professor Rahul Mukherji - New Head of the Department of Political Science • New Home for SAI/HCSA Branch Office in New Delhi • Fachinformationsdienst Asienwissenschaften started • SAI HelpNepal on International Photofestival • New in CrossAsia - the Naval Kishore Press Bibliography • New in CrossAsia Journals - Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies • Resumption of Lecture Series at the Kathmandu Office PEOPLE • Min Xie - New Research Fellow • Jivanta Schöttli as Interim Professor • Habilitation by Karin Polit • Nadine Plachta Elected Vice President in the Board of GZK • Christiane Brosius: Fellow at the MarsiliusKolleg • Welcome to Prof. Monica Singhania • Award for Aditya Ghosh • Poster Award for Judith Müller • Höffmann-Research Prize for Intercultural Competence 2015 to Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels • P. Sahadevan as DAAD Guest Professor • Guest Researcher at Department of Geography • Obituary for Manuel Sarkisyanz • Obituary for U Tin Htway TEACHING • New Master at the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures • SAI-Students won Essay Writing Competition • South Asia Institute’s Graduation Ceremony 2015 • Two Pakistani Research Scholars at the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures • Student Information Day • First Semester Introduction and Master Brunch Rahul Mukherji - New Head of the Department of Political Science RESEARCH • Global Environmental Change in the Himalayan Region: Controversies, Impacts, Futures • Conference on “Gemstones in the first Millennium AD. Mines, Trade, Workshops and Symbolism” • Studying Documents in Pre-modern South Asia and Beyond: Problems and Perspectives • Sustainable Water Resource Management: Perspective from Europe and South Asia | Page 2 BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS • New Publications by William Sax • New Translation of Nepal’s Chronology • Juliane Dame: Food Security in High Mountain Regions • Article by Subrata K. Mitra and Radu Carciumaru • Axel Michaels: Homo Ritualis • Article by Marcus Nüsser, Johannes Anhorn and Thomas Lennartz • Book Launch at University of Delhi Jivanta Schöttli as Interim Professor Obituary for U Tin Htway

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SAI Newsletter No. 8, February 2016 CONTENT NEWS ► Prof. Dr. Michaels received the Lautenschläger Research Prize ► Professor Rahul Mukherji new head of the Department of Political Science ► New Home for SAI/HCSA Branch Office in New Delhi ► Fachinformationsdienst Asienwissenschaften started ► SAI HelpNepal on International Photofestival ► New in CrossAsia - the Naval Kishore Press Bibliography ► New in CrossAsia Journals - Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies ► Resumption of Lecture Series at the Kathmandu Office NEWS Prof. Dr. Michaels receiveD the Lautenschläger Research Prize Source: Heidelberg University TEACHING RESEARCH PEOPLE BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS CONTACT Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels, head of the department of Cultural and Religious History of South Asia at the South Asia Institute and director of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”, received the Lautenschläger Research Prize endowed with 250,000 euros. The honour is bestowed on an “internationally recognised research personality who is the embodiment of outstanding achievement in research,” explained Dr. h.c. Manfred Lautenschläger, the award’s sponsor and honorary senator of Heidelberg University. In his work on the cultural and religious history of South Asia, Axel Michaels combines text studies and ethnographic research in a unique way, and thus established a new area of research known as “Ethno-Indology”. The award ceremony for the most highly endowed research prize from a private sponsor in Germany was hold on 4 December 2015. The Lautenschläger Research Prize is awarded every two years for special accomplishments in leading-edge research. The distinction is intended to honour scientists from Heidelberg University as well as other national and international researchers with special ties to Ruperto Carola through scientific cooperation. Entrepreneur Manfred Lautenschläger established the award in 2001 to foster active researchers in the discovery process. An interdisciplinary board of internationally networked scientists selects the potential prize recipients, who can be nominated for the Lautenschläger Research Prize from any discipline. Prof. Michaels’ research is focused on the practice and history of Hinduism in India and the religions of Nepal, in particular rituals and festivals. His work also includes the study of sacred maps and religious geography of Benares as well as Hindu asceticism. The laws of ancient India and legal literature of pre-modern Nepal are other areas of interest. From 2002 to 2013, Prof. Michaels served as spokesperson for the “Ritual Dynamics” Collaborative Research Centre, which he was instrumental in founding. The researcher has been a member of the directorate of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” since 2007, and is acting director of the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) founded at Ruperto Carola in 2013. He also directs the “Documents on the History of Religion and Law of Premodern Nepal” research unit of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. | Page 3

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SAI Newsletter No. 8, February 2016 Professor Rahul Mukherji - new head of the department of political science The South Asia Institute is pleased to announce that Professor Rahul Mukherji will succeed Prof. Subrata K. Mitra at the Department of Political Science starting in June 2016. Subrata K. Mitra was Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science at the South Asia Institute from September 1994 to 2014. Rahul Mukherji has been an Associate Professor in the South Asian Studies Programme located within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore, since 2008. He is also Honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of South Asian Studies and has served as Head of Research of the institute in recent times. He completed in 1999 his Ph.D. at the Department of Political Science at Columbia University, New York. His dissertation focused on “A Path to Trade and Investment Liberalization.” Prior to his Ph.D. he graduated at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Rahul Mukherji maintained a lively interest in the political and economic aspects of development working on India’s economic transition to globalization and market orientation, the welfare of its citizens and the delivery of public services and South Asian regionalism. His research demonstrates that development is a political and economic process. The political and economic aspects of development are so deeply intertwined that they cannot easily be separated from each other. He has a deep interest in comparative work on South Asia, the rest of Asia and other parts of world. He taught at the Hunter College of the City University of New York between 1996 and 1998; at the University of Vermont in 1999; and the Jawaharlal Nehru University between 2003 and 2008. His teaching areas are globalization, political economy, development, foreign economic economic relations, India, South Asia. He has also edited India’s Economic Transition (Oxford University Press, 2007) and co-authored India Since 1980 (Cambridge University Press, 2011) with Sumit Ganguly. His most recent books are the Oxford India Short Introduction to The Political Economy of Reforms in India (2014) and Globalization and Deregulation: Ideas, Interests and Institutional Change in India (Oxford University Press, 2014). He is editorially associated with journals such as India Review, Pacific Affairs and International Studies Review. CONTENT NEWS ► Prof. Dr. Michaels received the Lautenschläger Research Prize ► Professor Rahul Mukherji new head of the Department of Political Science ► New Home for SAI/HCSA Branch Office in New Delhi ► Fachinformationsdienst Asienwissenschaften started ► SAI HelpNepal on International Photofestival ► New in CrossAsia - the Naval Kishore Press Bibliography ► New in CrossAsia Journals - Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies ► Resumption of Lecture Series at the Kathmandu Office TEACHING RESEARCH PEOPLE BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS CONTACT | Page 4

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SAI Newsletter No. 8, February 2016 New Home for SAI/HCSA Branch Office in New Delhi On December 16th, 2015 Heidelberg Centre South Asia moved into its new headquarters at the German House for Research and Innovation, 2, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi 110021. Heidelberg Centre South Asia (HCSA) functions as a branch office of the South Asia Institute (SAI), the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” and of Heidelberg University in New Delhi, India. HCSA is also part of the “Deutsches Wissenschafts- und InnovationsHaus” (DWIH, the German House for Research and Innovation) - a joint endeavor of the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to intensify international cooperation. HCSA shares the building with other DWIH consortium partners such as DFG, Freie Universität Berlin, University of Cologne, ForschungsZentrum Jülich, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft and Indo-German Chamber of Commerce. CONTENT NEWS ► Prof. Dr. Michaels received the Lautenschläger Research Prize ► Professor Rahul Mukherji new head of the Department of Political Science ► New Home for SAI/HCSA Branch Office in New Delhi ► Fachinformationsdienst Asienwissenschaften started ► SAI HelpNepal on International Photofestival ► New in CrossAsia - the Naval Kishore Press Bibliography ► New in CrossAsia Journals - Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies ► Resumption of Lecture Series at the Kathmandu Office TEACHING RESEARCH PEOPLE BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS CONTACT FID Asienwissenschaften STARTED by Nicole Merkel-Hilf As already reported in the last SAI newsletter in the short notice “From SSG to FID?” the South Asia Institute, the University Library of Heidelberg and the Berlin State Library had collaboratively submitted a proposal for a “Fachinformationsdienst Asien” to the German Research Foundation (DFG). The “question mark” can now be replaced by an “exclamation mark” since the DFG has approved our proposal. For the coming three years the three institutions will – in close exchange with the scientific community – build up new information services for Asian Studies. These will be accessible via the portal CrossAsia. The University Library and the South Asia Institute are responsible for South Asia, while the Berlin State Library is in charge of East Asia, Central Asia and South East Asia. Our focus remains on collection building with print as well as electronic materials based on current trends in research as well as the wishes and needs of researchers. By developing better search and order options user will have quicker access to relevant material (print, electronic or open access). Another emphasis will be on developing the three Open Access platforms CrossAsia-Repository, CrossAsia Journals and CrossAsia Books further by implementing additional functions such as high quality Print-on-Demand options or annotation tools. See the press release by the DFG from 21.12.2015 as also the article by Nicole Merkel-Hilf: Ausbau des asienwissenschaftlichen Informationsangebots – CrossAsia –Fachinformationsdienst Asien geht an den Start” published in Südasien-Chronik. | Page 5

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SAI Newsletter No. 8, February 2016 SAI HelpNepal on International Photofestival by Christiane Brosius CONTENT NEWS ► Prof. Dr. Michaels received the Lautenschläger Research Prize ► Professor Rahul Mukherji new head of the Department of Political Science ► New Home for SAI/HCSA Branch Office in New Delhi ► Fachinformationsdienst Asienwissenschaften started ► SAI HelpNepal on International Photofestival ► New in CrossAsia - the Naval Kishore Press Bibliography ► New in CrossAsia Journals - Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies ► Resumption of Lecture Series at the Kathmandu Office TEACHING RESEARCH PEOPLE BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS CONTACT From the 3rd-9th November, the first international photography festival in Nepal took place, where SAI Help Nepal contributed with the exhibition “Patis in Patan”. The project was conducted by Prof. Christiane Brosius (Professor of Visual and Media Anthropology, Heidelberg University), the artist and curator Sujan Chitrakar and the researchers Rajendra Shakya and Dikshya Karki. One of the most unique and yet sidelined sites in contemporary urban Nepal are the pati (Newari: phalcha). There is no other space that is as public, dynamic and available for multiple use, and for a variety of social groups, as this arcaded platform. As the nodal points of Newar culture, patis have a meandering history, often undergoing many architectural and social changes. Many also have a daily rhythm that invites use by different local groups. It is a ritual-site, a site for gatherings and leisure, used as shelter, shop or storage. But it is also a site that has been closed down or off, and silently vanished. After the earthquake, it has been seemingly rediscovered as a supportive institution, a much-needed island of momentary relief and solidarity. With this curated walk, we wanted to include, and allow the viewer to see through, the eyes of local groups, of elderly senior citizens and youth, unfolding a panorama of the city’s past, present and possible future. A future that considers intangible and tangible heritage as a central ele- Posters of the exhibition ment of post-earthquake Kathmandu. Several patis have been selected as entry-points into these time-lapse excursions. Based on joint research, and supported by local communities and students from Kathmandu University, Brosius, Chitrakar and Shakya have developed visual, spatial and audio narratives for the sites. The patis form a curated walk through Lalitpur, and cover a fascinating range of everyday culture captured in personal histories and memorabilia, collective memories and religious practices, filled with photographs and conversations. Patis in Patan is part of a larger and long-term collaborative initiative including members of Heidelberg University, Kathmandu University and KVPT. It aims at facilitating and nurturing knowledge about the rich cultural practices of urban Nepal for research and teaching. | Page 6

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SAI Newsletter No. 8, February 2016 New in CrossAsia - the Naval Kishore Press Bibliography by Nicole Merkel-Hilf CONTENT NEWS ► Prof. Dr. Michaels received the Lautenschläger Research Prize ► Professor Rahul Mukherji new head of the Department of Political Science ► New Home for SAI/HCSA Branch Office in New Delhi ► Fachinformationsdienst Asienwissenschaften started ► SAI HelpNepal on International Photofestival ► New in CrossAsia - the Naval Kishore Press Bibliography ► New in CrossAsia Journals - Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies ► Resumption of Lecture Series at the Kathmandu Office The Naval Kishore Press was founded in Lakhnau in 1858 by Munshi Naval Kishore (1836-1895) and grew in the following decades to one of India’s most important publishing houses. During Naval Kishore’s lifetime the press published c. 5.000 titles covering literature in Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit on subject as diverse as religion, education, medicine, school-books, translations of English classics, etc. The Library of the South Asia Institute at Heidelberg University holds with its 1.316 titles issued by the Naval Kishore Press (742 titles on microfilm) a representative cross section of the Press’ publications. The “Naval Kishore Press Bibliographie” serves as a bibliographic database for records of books and journals published by the Naval Kishore Press and aims to provide access to bibliographic records of titles that are distributed in libraries worldwide. The bibliography is still under construction and contains currently c. 1.360 entries. TEACHING RESEARCH PEOPLE BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS CONTACT New in CrossAsia Journals - Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies by Nicole Merkel-Hilf | Page 7 The journal Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies (EJVS), edited by Professor Michael Witzel, Harvard University, publishes research contributions in the field of Vedic studies since 1995. The EJVS was designed as an open access journal from the beginning and was hosted on the homepage of Professor Witzel. In agreement with the publisher, the journal was “moved” to CrossAsia Journals in order to improve the long-term archiving, the citation by allocation of DOIs and the search options. Currently the Heidelberg server offers the years 2011-2015. In the next weeks, the years to 1995 will also be accessible online. The project is implemented in the context of the DFG funded project “CrossAsia Fachinformationsdienst Asien” and is part of the Heidelberg focus on “Electronic publishing in Open Access”.

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SAI Newsletter No. 8, February 2016 Resumption of Lecture Series at the Kathmandu Office by Nadine Plachta CONTENT NEWS ► Prof. Dr. Michaels received the Lautenschläger Research Prize ► Professor Rahul Mukherji new head of the Department of Political Science ► New Home for SAI/HCSA Branch Office in New Delhi ► Fachinformationsdienst Asienwissenschaften started ► SAI HelpNepal on International Photofestival ► New in CrossAsia - the Naval Kishore Press Bibliography ► New in CrossAsia Journals - Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies ► Resumption of Lecture Series at the Kathmandu Office TEACHING RESEARCH PEOPLE BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS CONTACT | Page 8 After a temporary disruption due to the earthquakes that hit Nepal in April and May 2015 the lecture series of the South Asia Institute’s Kathmandu Office started again in September. The lectures series provides a forum for local and visiting scholars to present their work and interact with the larger public. Davide Torri, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Cluster Asia and Europe at the Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies, reopened the event with the presentation "On Shamanism: A Brief Introduction." Torri explored the concept of shamanism, which is a much-debated term in anthropology and religious studies, and highlighted how the word has been used to describe several religious phenomena from different contexts: from Siberia, where the word was first used and registered, to South America; from Finland to Australia; from indigenous traditional healers to western neo-Shamans; from cave art to the Internet. "But what exactly is a shaman?" Davide Torri asked. The talk focused on some of the main characteristics, ideas, and recurrent themes usually associated with it. Torri also portrayed current research findings from Nepal, especially from the Helambu region. In January, Michelle Grocke talked on "The Health Impacts of the First Road in Humla District." The medical anthropologist from the University of Montana explained how the first road to ever be built into Humla has connected this once-remote Himalayan region to a market in China. She drew attention to villagers now purchasing almost all of their household goods and much of their food from across the border due to easy accessibility and low costs. During the presentation she discussed the health impacts—specifically in regard to villagers’ food security, nutritional status, and well-being—that have come as a result of this road development. Preliminary results of Grocke's research indicate that most villagers perceive their current food security as being significantly higher than in years past, as the road is being utilized to increase both food stocks and dietary diversity. These caloric gains, however, are coming at a steep price. Nutrient composition analysis illustrates that abrupt increases of sugar and trans-fat consumption from these ‘new’, market-purchased foods has led to a decrease in nutrient density, and a consequential heightened risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. Michelle Grocke's data also suggest that there is a high level of variability in nutritional status both among and within villages based on factors such as socioeconomic status, gender, and age. In her presentation, she examined how new market access, afforded by the new road, impacts villagers’ health, and assessed which segment(s) of the population are experiencing negative biological health outcomes as a consequence of this rapid environmental change. Michelle Grocke gathered data for this study during 10 months of ethnographic research in 2014/15. The lecture series now takes place irregularly, considering that normal life in Kathmandu has at times almost come to a standstill due to the unofficial economic blockade caused by agitating Madeshis with the support of the Indian government in response to the new constitution. The next lecture will be in March, with a talk on the Arun-3 and Melamchi hydropower projects by Matthäus Rest from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. The SAI Kathmandu Office Lecture Series are held at Yalamaya Kendra, Patan Dhoka, Lalitpur.

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SAI Newsletter No. 8, February 2016 CONTENT NEWS TEACHING ► New Master of Arts at the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures ► SAI-Students won Essay Writing Competition ► South Asia Institute’s Graduation Ceremony 2015 ► Two Pakistani Research Scholars at the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures ► Student Information Day ► First Semester Introduction and Master Brunch TEACHING New Master of Arts at the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures The Department Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures offers a new master degree program starting with winter semester 2015/16. The M.A. in Communication, Literature, and Media in Modern South Asian languages focuses on the study of languages, literature, and various media discourses (texts, manuscripts, movies, internet and audio sources) in Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, and Tamil. Two variants of the course are offered. One option aims to advance skills in two already acquired languages, while the other offers the possibility to start with a new language in addition to an already learnt one. During the programme, students will engage with books, magazines, newspapers, audio-visual materials, and academic literature in the languages offered by the department. In addition the students will be introduced to methods of text analysis, literary studies, religious studies, and cultural theory. With an in-depth understanding of topics related to the South Asian region, graduates from the M.A. programme are qualified to enter a number of professions, such as cultural and media related occupations, translation, cross-cultural training, scientific research management, and similar fields. The M.A. enables graduates to enrol in subsequent PhD programmes. It is scheduled over four semesters and is a full time study programme. SAI-students WON Essay Writing Competition by Gautam Liu RESEARCH PEOPLE BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS CONTACT Two students of the department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures, Samantha Kanna and Rebecca Hadank-Rauch (picture: third and fourth from right), have won the first and second places respectively in an Essay Writing Competition in Hindi organized by the Embassy of India, Berlin to commemorate the World Hindi Day on January 11, 2016. The topic of their essays was: My favourite Indian festival. The awardees were honoured for their language skills in Hindi and asked to read out their essays in the Indian Embassy. | Page 9

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SAI Newsletter No. 8, February 2016 South Asia Institute’s graduation ceremony 2015 On December 11th, 2015, the South Asia Institute’s annual graduation ceremony was held in the Heinrich Zimmer reading room in the SAI library. The hall was full of family, friends and faculty members who had come to celebrate with the graduates. Many graduates returned to SAI to be honoured. The ceremony was opened by Dr. Martin Gieselmann, SAI’s Executive Secretary, welcoming the graduates, their family and friends, the faculty, and all other guests. Prof. Dr. Axel Micheals, head of the Cultural and Religious History in South Asia department, conducted the ceremonial lecture that followed the opening address. The lecture was entitled “Die Geschichte der Erdbeben in Nepal” and gave an overview of the history of earthquakes in Nepal. After this Prof. Dr. Stefan Klonner handed over the degree certificates to each graduate in turn. The graduates also received a small gift which included a poem in Hindi and Urdu written exclusively for the graduates by our Hindi lecturer Gautam Liu. Throughout the evening the speeches were interspersed with classical and modern Indian dance performances by Swarali Paranjape (PhD student at SAI). The ceremony was concluded by graduate Adrian Seeger who gave the students’ final words. After the ceremony there was a champagne reception held coinciding with the SAI winter party allowing everybody a chance to relax. The Ceremony was organised by the Registrar Dr. Lars Stöwesand, Betony Laybourne and Melani Aloysious. Photo: Lars Stöwesand CONTENT NEWS TEACHING ► New Master of Arts at the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures ► SAI-Students won Essay Writing Competition ► South Asia Institute’s Graduation Ceremony 2015 ► Two Pakistani Research Scholars at the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures ► Student Information Day ► First Semester Introduction and Master Brunch RESEARCH PEOPLE BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS CONTACT | Page 10 The graduates of the South Asia Institute and Executive Director Prof. Stefan Klonner (on the picture left)

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SAI Newsletter No. 8, February 2016 Two Pakistani Research Scholars at the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures by Christina Oesterheld CONTENT NEWS TEACHING ► New Master of Arts at the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures ► SAI-Students won Essay Writing Competition ► South Asia Institute’s Graduation Ceremony 2015 ► Two Pakistani Research Scholars at the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures ► Student Information Day ► First Semester Introduction and Master Brunch RESEARCH PEOPLE BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS CONTACT In 2015, two doctoral candidates from Pakistan joined the department financed by a scholarship of the the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. Mr. Muhammad Tariq Ilyas Dogar joined the South Asia Institute on the 21st April 2015. He is working on a PhD project titled “A Critical Study and Research of Elements of Tragedy in Modern Urdu Poetry. A Special Study of Noon Meem Rashid, Majeed Amjad and Faiz Ahmed Faiz” at the Department of Urdu, International Islamic University Islamabad. During his stay in Heidelberg he studied theoretical literature on the aesthetics and rhetoric of tragedy, contributed a session to an MA course on modern Urdu poetry and presented parts of his thesis in the department’s research colloquium. In addition to working on his own subject he also looked at several rare Urdu manuscripts and early prints in libraries of Heidelberg and Madrid to explore opportunities for critical editions and research. Mr Naqeeb Ahmad Jan from the University of Peshawar arrived in Heidelberg on the 28th August 2015. His research deals with a critical assessment of translations from Pasto into Urdu commissioned by the Pashto Academy, Peshawar. Through our university libNaqeeb Ahmad Jan and Christina rary he gained access to a wealth of material on translation studies Oesterheld on the SAI excursion which is not available in Pakistan which will prove very useful in formulating the theoretical foundation of his thesis. He gave a presentation on his home region, the Swat Valley, in the department and offered instruction on Urdu calligraphy to the participants of our beginners’ course in Urdu. On the request of the German Red Cross/Landesverband Sachsen he provided Pashto captions for pictograms to be used in receptions centers for refugees and revised the badly translated Urdu versions. Both guests joined us on many occasions, such in the SAI outing, at guest lectures and visits to the canteen. In October 2015 they also travelled to Istanbul in October to take part in an International Urdu Conference celebrating the 100th anniversary of Istanbul Tariq Ilyas and Christina Oesterheld on University’s Urdu Department. the SAI excursion In the last week of January our Pakistani guests returned to their home country taking with them fond memories of Heidelberg and the South Asia Institute. | Page 11

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SAI Newsletter No. 8, February 2016 Student Information Day On the 18th November Heidelberg University hosted the annual Open Day for prospective bachelor students. The event was very well attended with around 4000 students coming. SAI ran a stand from 9:00 to 16:00 advertising the Institute and the study programmes on offer. At the stand, prospective students could also enjoy a warm cup of chai that was made by SAI’s Student Union for the event. Bernhardt Beitelmair and Vinojan Vijeyaranjan at the infor- During the aftermation stand noon, SAI had a 45 minute slot in which to present the Institute. Dr. Roman Seiler and Rafael Klöber gave a talk entitled “To Study at the SAI”. This was followed by two students, Hannah Bley and Hinkel Günkel, sharing their experiences. First Semester Introduction and Master Brunch This year’s First Semester Introduction was held on the 6th and the 7th of October, 2015 for the Bachelors students. It began with a breakfast, organised by the Student Union, for all students, new and old, giving them a chance to get to know each other. This was followed on the first day with a general introduction to the Institute, the course of study and a presentation of the languages taught at SAI. On the second day, each department gave a presentation to the students giving an overview of the faculty and the courses on offer in the winter semester. The programme was concluded with a pub crawl organised by the Student Union in the Altstadt. For the Masters students a brunch was organised on Thursday 29th October. This was a great opportunity for all the master students to get to know each other outside of classes. There was a large variety of food on offer; cakes, bread, fruit and much more. A lot of students attended and enjoyed the food and lively conversation. Photo: Melani Aloysious Photo: Susanne Schmidt CONTENT NEWS TEACHING ► New Master of Arts at the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures ► SAI-Students won Essay Writing Competition ► South Asia Institute’s Graduation Ceremony 2015 ► Two Pakistani Research Scholars at the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures ► Student Information Day ► First Semester Introduction and Master Brunch RESEARCH PEOPLE BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS CONTACT | Page 12

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SAI Newsletter No. 8, February 2016 CONTENT NEWS TEACHING RESEARCH ► Global Environmental Change in the Himalayan Region: Controversies, Impacts, Futures ► Conference on “Gemstones in the first Millennium AD. Mines, Trade, Workshops and Symbolism” ► Studying Documents in Pre-modern South Asia and Beyond: Problems and Perspectives ► Sustainable Water Resource Management: Perspective from Europe and South Asia ► Indo-German Dialog on Excellence in Research and Innovation ► Scientification and Scientism in the Humanities ► Fieldwork for Hera Funded Project Single in Delhi ► Elderscapes. Ageing in Urban South Asia ► Single Women in the City: Workshop in Delhi RESEARCH Global environmental change in the Himalayan Region: Controversies, Impacts, Futures by Radu Carciumaru PEOPLE BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS CONTACT Heidelberg University, jointly with Freie Universität Berlin and in partnership with TERI University, organized a three-day international conference on “Global environmental change in the Himalayan Region: Controversies, Impacts, Futures” between November 6 and 8 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The conference was a part of the regular activities organized by the German House for Research and Innovation (DWIH) in India and brought together scholars, researchers and practitioners from diverse disciplines to share their findings and exchange ideas on this multidimensional topic. It offered an opportunity to establish sustainable research networks, produce joint publications and conduct collective fieldwork and covered a wide range of topics from analysing historical records of climate change, remote sensing of environmental change, socio-hydrology and changes in the cryosphere to direct and indirect impacts of climate change, human development in the Himalayan region and so on. The conference was inaugurated on November 6 by Professor Marcus Nüsser, Chair, Geography Department, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University with a keynote on Environmental Changes on a Himalayan Scale. The keynote was based on extensive fieldwork and a series of historical and repeat photographs from different Himalayan regions. The conference was attended by over 150 scholars, not only from India and Germany, but also from Nepal, Bhutan, Japan, Australia and France. Parallel to the conference, HCSA organized a unique exhibition on “repeat terrestrial photography” that identifies changes of glaciers, vegetation, land use and urban development in the Himalayan region. Under the title ‘Environmental Change on a Himalayan scale’ it consisted of photographs by Professor Marcus Nüsser. The exhibition took place at Open Pal Court Gallery, India Habitat Centre, between November 06 and 09. “Repeat terrestrial photography” technique has made visual comparison possible, to identify changes in the glaciers and patterns of vegetation, land use and urban development. Bi-temporal comparisons between historical photographs, paintings, maps and repeated photographs; satellite imagery and topographic maps, demonstrated these changes in the Nanga Parbat area, north-western Himalayas, through Ladakh and Nepal to Sikkim. The exhibition had an overwhelming resonance and will be shown in 2016 at other locations in India (e.g., Jamia Millia Islamia and Delhi University) as well as in Nepal and Pakistan. | Page 13

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SAI Newsletter No. 8, February 2016 Conference on “Gemstones in the first Millennium AD. Mines, Trade, Workshops and Symbolism” by Kerstin Sobkowiak CONTENT NEWS TEACHING RESEARCH ► Global Environmental Change in the Himalayan Region: Controversies, Impacts, Futures ► Conference on “Gemstones in the first Millennium AD. Mines, Trade, Workshops and Symbolism” ► Studying Documents in Pre-modern South Asia and Beyond: Problems and Perspectives ► Sustainable Water Resource Management: Perspective from Europe and South Asia ► Indo-German Dialog on Excellence in Research and Innovation ► Scientification and Scientism in the Humanities ► Fieldwork for Hera Funded Project Single in Delhi ► Elderscapes. Ageing in Urban South Asia ► Single Women in the City: Workshop in Delhi The BMBF-funded research-project on early medieval gemstone jewellery “Weltweites Zellwerk / International Framework” organized an international conference, which was held at the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz between the 20th and 22nd October 2015. It brought together researchers from the fields of archaeology, art history and philology as well as from the field of archaeometry. The conference sought to explore the different aspects of ancient gemstones, their manufacture, their trade as well as their usage and their meaning by highlighting the respective facet in one of three sessions. The first session “Mines and Trade” focused on historical maritime and continental trade connections as well as the present-day organization of mines. Borayin Larios, a former member of the project “Garnet in South Asia: Historical and archaeological sources” situated at the South Asia Institute, gave a presentation about “Elusive gemstone mines: The red garnet industry in contemporary Rajasthan” including video footage from his research trip in Rajasthan. The papers of the second session “Gemstone Working” highlighted the production and the techniques of medieval gemstone workshops in Africa and Europe. The third and concluding session shed light on a further, non-operational aspect of precious and semi-precious stones by addressing “The Value and the Symbolic Meaning(s) of Gemstones”. Jörg Gengnagel chaired this session, Kerstin Sobkowiak gave an introduction and a summary. Each session contributed to fruitful and inspiring interdisciplinary exchange between the participating researchers. The lectures were recorded and the respective audio-files as well as the presentations and posters can be accessed via the project-blog at http://zellwerk.hypotheses.org/. Additionally, all papers will be included in the forthcoming conference proceedings. Photo: Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz / S. Steidl PEOPLE BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS CONTACT | Page 14 Participants of the International Conference

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SAI Newsletter No. 8, February 2016 Studying Documents in Pre-modern South Asia and Beyond: Problems and Perspectives by Simon Cubelic CONTENT NEWS TEACHING RESEARCH ► Global Environmental Change in the Himalayan Region: Controversies, Impacts, Futures ► Conference on “Gemstones in the first Millennium AD. Mines, Trade, Workshops and Symbolism” ► Studying Documents in Pre-modern South Asia and Beyond: Problems and Perspectives ► Sustainable Water Resource Management: Perspective from Europe and South Asia ► Indo-German Dialog on Excellence in Research and Innovation ► Scientification and Scientism in the Humanities ► Fieldwork for Hera Funded Project Single in Delhi ► Elderscapes. Ageing in Urban South Asia ► Single Women in the City: Workshop in Delhi PEOPLE BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS CONTACT Around thirty scholars met at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities from 4-6 October 2015 to discuss recent research on documents of pre-modern South Asia. The conference was organized by the Research Unit “Documents on Religion and Law of Pre-modern Nepal” which has been conducted by the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities since 2014. One of the main objectives of the conference was to contextualize the increasing production of documents during Nepal’s “long twentieth century”, i.e. the Śāha and Rāṇā periods, within pre-modern South Asian administrative and legal cultures. Twenty presentations grouped in six panels ranged thematically from indigenous traditions of Nepalese historiography, the legal, ritual and religious practices of 19th century Nepal, deeds and diplomatics of different pre-modern South Asian regional cultures to digital methods of European diplomatics and archival research. Furthermore, archival experts from Nepal and Switzerland reported about the situation of archives in Nepal after the earthquake, the implications of archival practices for community identities and recent developments in digital archival infrastructures. Speakers included among others Diwakar Acharya (Kyoto), Monika Boehm-Tettelbach (Heidelberg), Polly O’Hanlon (Oxford), Timothy Lubin (Lexington) and Alexander von Rospatt (Berkeley). The conference proceedings will be published by Universitätsverlag Winter in the series “Akademiekonferenzen”. | Page 15

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