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Centre for South Asian Studies: Events



BASAS Annual Conference 2021

In 2021 the Centre hosted the British Association of South Asian Studies annual conference in April. Although plans for an in-person event were advanced, the threat and uncertainty occasioned by the global Pandemic meant that the event was run online. Talks were scheduled on Zoom but a Conference Teams page was set up to allow for the more informal aspects that make attending conferences worthwhile. The event was a huge success with 200 participants from the UK, Europe, South Asia and the USA. Feedback was very positive overall. Whilst it is not the same as an in-person event, there were some huge gains in terms of accessibility (many more South Asian postgraduates were able to attend), and sustainability (no flying to attend a three day event). Full details of panels and talks may be found here BASAS Conference 2021 – 20 April – 23 April 2021 (, and you can watch Tariq Ali’s plenary here: Keynote lecture: Tariq Ali - South Asia in Crisis - Zoom

Past Events

South Asian Anthropologists Group (SAAG) 2012

"Persons, Bodies and the State in South Asia: Changing Concepts and Relations", 4-6th September 2012. The event was co-organised by Social Anthropology and the Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh hosted the SAAG conference. For details see:

Edinburgh hosted the annual BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES CONFERENCE on March 30th-April 1st 2009 with support from both the Schools of Social and Political Science and History, Classics and Archaeology. There were a total of 52 panels and in excess of 200 UK and international delegates attending, alongside a number of parallel events, including the annual meeting of the British Nepal Council and two British Academiy sponsored workshops. The keynote speaker was Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty (University of Chicago). The academic convenor for the conference was Dr Crispin Bates, assisted by Caroline Lewis. Details of the event are available here.


SAVAGE ATTACK: Adivasi (tribal) Insurgency in India, Royal Asiatic Society, London, JUNE 30th and JULY 1st 2008. This conference brought together historians attached to the 'Mutiny at Margins' project at Edinburgh University with anthropologists working on an ESRC-funded project on naxalism in tribal areas of contemporary India at Goldsmiths College, London. The organisers were Dr. Crispin Bates and Dr. Alpa Shah

A CONFERENCE on GENDER & POLITICS IN INDIA was held in Edinburgh on MAY 15th - 16th 2008. The conference's objective was to generate nuanced understandings of the encounter between gender identities and political practices and discourses. Distinguished speakers included Prof. Paul Brass (Washington University), Prof. Wendy Singer (Kenyon College), Mukhlikha Bannerjee (University College, London), Prof. Patricia Jeffery (Edinburgh), and Prof. Tanika Sarkar (JNU, Delhi). Proceedings from the conference have been published in an edited volume by Dr. Manuella Ciotti: Unsettling the Archetypes: Femininities and Masculinities in Indian Politics | Shalimar Books Indian bookshop (

'MUTINY AT THE MARGINS: new perspectives on the Indian Uprising of 1857' - this International conference was held in Edinburgh 23rd-26th July 2007. Participants included Alex Padamsee, Avril Powell, Ben Zachariah, Charu Gupta, Clare Anderson, Dirk Kolff, Devadas Moodley, Gautam Bhadra, Jan Peter Hartung, John Pincence, Kaushik Roy, Mahmood Farooqui, Michael Fisher, Nupur Chatterjee, Pritam Singh, Projit Mukherjee, Rajat Ray, Ruby Lal, Rosie Llewellyn-Jones, Satadru Sen, Sudhir Chandra, Tithi Bhattacharya,Vinayak Chaturvedi, and many others. There were related workshops before and after, including one to be held on July 27th at the Royal Asiatic Society in London. A parallel conference will also be held in India at Jamia Milia University, NEW DELHI, on NOVEMBER 5th-6th. 2007. For further details see

A conference entitled ENVISIONING THE STATE IN THE MODERN HIMALYAYAS was organised on January 10-11th 2007 at the University, with sponsorship from the Centre for South Asian Studies and the Scottish Centre for Himalayan Studies This is intended to be the first of a number of similar collaborative events between CSAS and SCHS.

The 13th WORLD SANSKRIT CONFERENCE was held in Edinburgh on 10th-14th July 2006. The event was organised by the International Association of Sanskrit Studies and the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at Edinburgh University. Sponsors include also the University's Centre for South Asian Studies. For details see: The conference had over 260 papers delivered in the academic sessions, as well as sessions of Sanskrit-medium discussion and a recital of modern Sanskrit poetry by some of the authors of the poems; there were nearly 400 participants (and around 450 people altogether, including accompanying persons) - making it substantially larger than any previous Sanskrit conference held outside India.

SAAG - (South Asia Anthropology Group)
The 2007 meeting of the South Asia Anthropologists' Group was hosted by the Department of Sociology and CSAS at the University of Edinburgh on 4th and 5th September 2007. The meeting focussed on aspects of inequality in South Asia, looking at the dynamic processes by which such inequalities are produced, reproduced, challenged and possibly overcome. Select papers from the conference were published in a special issue of JSAD: Journal of South Asian Development - Volume 4, Number 1, Apr 01, 2009 (

Damaged fishing boat, Telwatte, July 2005