Honorary Degree Recipient Romila Thapar on the Historical Traditions of Early North India

6/9/10: Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons, who presented historian Romila Thapar with an honorary degree at the University’s 2010 Commencement ceremonies, began her remarks this way: “Scholar and transformative force, you have made it your lifelong mission to uncover India’s rich early past. In doing so, you have articulated the case for tolerance and humanity by exposing the uses and abuses of history.” Continue reading Honorary Degree Recipient Romila Thapar on the Historical Traditions of Early North India

Commencement Forum: It’s a Girl! The Meaning of Being a Woman in an Indian Society

Beloved Daughters: Photographs by Fazal Sheikh, currently on display in the David Winton Bell Gallery, focuses on the situation of women in rural India. In conjunction with the exhibition, this Year of India forum will address the cultural construction of women in India as daughters, married women and widows. Professor of Anthropology Lina Fruzzetti will discuss issues of dowry and marriage for both Hindus and Muslims. What does it mean to be a widow? Who is a marginal person? And what are the alternatives for women in an Indian society?

Following the forum, there will be an informal reception to celebrate Brown’s 2009-10 Year of India–a program of major public lectures, cultural events, academic conferences, and other explorations of India and its dramatic rise on the world stage.

Location: List Art Building, Room 120, 64 College Street.

Commencement Forum: Honorary Degree Recipient Romila Thapar

Romila Thapar, professor emerita of ancient Indian history at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, India, is a world-renowned scholar who revolutionized the study of early Indian history. She will speak on “The Past as Recorded in Early North India.”

The prevalent view is that Indian civilization lacked a sense of history and therefore wrote no history. This lecture will attempt to explain why this view came to prevail, why it is legitimate to question it, and how we can recognize the variety of ways in which historical consciousness was expressed in early India.

Location: List Art Center, Room 120, 64 College Street.
Read more about Professor Thapar and the other 2010 honorary degree recipients here.

Odissi Dance Presentation by Neeta Pal ’09

“Odissi Dance: Bodies and Stories Unbound”
Neeta Pal ’09 will present Odissi, an Indian classical dance form originating in Orissa, India. Neeta has spent the past year studying at the Orissa Dance Academy (ODA) in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, on a Fulbright Creative and Performing Arts Fellowship. ODA is one of the largest institutions of Odissi dance in the world.

Apart from performing, Neeta will share her observations about Odissi as a lens onto globalized India, addressing issues such as the promotion and consumption of classical dance and the evolution of dance as livelihood, spiritual practice and entertainment.

ATT New Media Fellow to Document Grassroots School in Gurgaon

5/21/10: This summer, Sarah Kay ’10, a modern culture and media concentrator, will travel to Gurgaon, India, to document the story of Pragati, a grass-roots public school for underserved children. Sarah is one of eleven students in the University’s first cohort of AT&T New Media Fellows, a group which will help to launch the Watson Institute’s new Global Conversation website. Continue reading ATT New Media Fellow to Document Grassroots School in Gurgaon

Related Event: Young Researchers Meet

A large number of new Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs), IITs and Central Universities have been started recently in India. All these institutions and existing academic institutions require outstanding faculty members in mathematics and computer science. The primary goal of this meeting is to inform junior faculty, post-docs and senior graduate students in the US about academic opportunities available in India and motivate them to return to India. A delegation from India representing a wide cross-section of institutes and universities will make presentations on various aspects of an academic career in India. Prof. K. R. Sreenivasan of NYU, the former director of ICTP, Trieste will present an external perspective of challenges in science in India. Younger participants will also make brief presentations on their work.
Hosted by the Division of Applied Mathematics. More information available here.

Minister Advocates Change for Muslims in India

5/13/10: In his keynote address at the recent conference, Six Decades of Indian Democracy, the Honorable Salman Khurshid, Minister of State for Minority Affairs, called for leadership development among India’s Muslims and increased Muslim representation at the highest levels of Indian government. Having arrived directly from parliament, Khurshid combined a sweeping survey of pivotal moments in the history of Indian Muslims with a forward-looking discussion of policies that could improve the political status of India’s largest minority group.
Continue reading Minister Advocates Change for Muslims in India