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Staffan Lindberg, Lund University

We have been very sad to learn that Staffan Lindberg (1943-2019), of Lund University, died earlier this month.

We have been very sad to learn that Staffan Lindberg (1943-2019), of Lund University, died earlier this month. His research concerned social change in rural India with a special focus on how social stratification (caste, class and gender) has changed during the last 50 years. His earliest publication, with Göran Djurfeldt, was Pills against poverty: a study of the introduction of western medicine in a Tamil village, 1975. He had an enduring connection to Tamil Nadu where much of his research was based and to which he returned repeatedly to work on caste change, women’s empowerment and agrarian transformations. More recently he published on how farmers organise and are organised in the period after the Green Revolution and with the increasing commercialisation of agriculture. His last paper was a presentation for a conference in Bangalore last December, on “‘Caste no bar’? Scheduled Castes and public policy in Tamil Nadu.” In between, he helped establish the Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET), developed Lund as a centre for South Asian studies, trained many students, led workshops and conferences, including hosting the European Conference there in 2004 – and so much more. He spent some months here in Edinburgh as a Visiting Scholar, becoming an active participant in seminars and an engaging conversationalist for colleagues. Staffan had a warm and welcoming personality, was supportive in his dealings with students and other scholars, and he did it all with a twinkle in his eye. He will be sorely missed.

Damaged fishing boat, Telwatte, July 2005