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Asia Brown Bag Seminar "Understanding the RSS" with Walter Anderson

Monday, September 16, 2019 - 12:30 to 13:30

Brown bag seminar with Walter Andersen on his and Shridhar Damle’s co-authored book entitled Messengers of Hindu Nationalism: How the RSS Reshaped India (2018). This book offers a view to the inside of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the organization that has molded the current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, as well as the party to which he belongs, the Bharatiya Janata Party. The book was published in 2018 by Hurst (UK), Penguin (India) and a Mandarin version is about to be released in China.  

Speaker: Dr. Walter Andersen, formerly Administrative Director of the South Asian Studies Program, School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, Washington D.C.
Commentator: Dr. Ravinder Kaur, Head, Centre for Global South Asian Studies, Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen.
Moderator: Dr. Stig Toft Madsen, Affiliated Researcher, NIAS, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen.

Speaker Bio:
Walter Andersen, born in New York City, did his graduate work at the University of Chicago where he received his doctorate, writing a dissertation on religious politics. This dissertation, based on extensive fieldwork in India, was turned into a book, The Brotherhood in Saffron.  He was a teaching intern at the University of Chicago, on the Political Science faculty at the College of Wooster, and taught at the University of Georgia.  He later joined the US State Department,  serving overseas in South Asia, including as special assistant to the US Ambassador to India, William Clarke, as well as in Washington, D.C., where he retired in 2004 as head of the Office of Research for South Asia.  Following that, he joined the faculty at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University where he became Administrative Director of its South Asians Studies Program.  Since 2010, he has also taught graduate International Relations seminars at Tongji University in Shanghai.    He has written extensively on religious politics and is now doing preliminary research on a book that will analyze the intersection of law and religion in India.  He is scheduled to retire from SAIS at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 school year.

Date: 16. September 2019, 12.30-13.30.
Venue: NIAS, room 18.1.08, CSS (Entrance E), University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Cph

Organized by NIAS & ADI

Love, Money and Obligation: Transnational Marriage and Local Complexity

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 12:30 to 13:30

Brown bag talk by Dr. Patcharin Lapanun, Khon Kaen University, Thailand.

Transnational intimacies and marriages between Thai women and Western men are a striking social phenomenon in Thailand, particular in the Northeast region or Isan. These marriages challenge binary views about materiality and intimacy within global relationships, perceptions of sexuality and marriage, gender relations as well as existing class divisions in the “local end” of these transnational connections. Based on their distinctive consumption practices and life styles, the women under this marital relationship constitute a new “class” which has challenged village hierarchical structure and put village elites into a vulnerable position. Similarly, transnational marriage often places local men in vulnerable positions by highlighting the idea of desired marriage partners as reliable providers who allow women to fulfil a Thai cultural obligation of ‘dutiful daughters’ who care for and support their parents. Both class and gender dynamics taking place in women’s natal village emphasize the complexities at the “local end.” The on-going transformations brought about by transnational marriage of village women are something the villages (and Thai people) have to come to term with.

Dr. Patcharin Lapanun is a lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology at Khon Kaen University, Thailand. She earned her PhD in Anthropology from Vrije University Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her research interests include transnational marriage and migration, global care regime, migration and ‘the left-behind’, gender and development.  

Patcharin’s recent book Love, Money and Obligations: Transnational Marriage in a Northeastern Thai Village (2019) explores the complexities of Thai-woman and Western-men marriages and consequences of such marriages on the dynamics of rural Thai communities, especially in terms of gender, class and family. She is also a co-author of the books “Cross-Cultural Marriage: Stage of Knowledge” (2007-Thai Language) and “Village-based Silk Production in Transition, Northeast Thailand” (2012). Her recent research articles include “Masculinity, Marriage and Migration: Farang Migrant Men in Thailand” (2018, Asian Journal of Social Science), “Masculinity, Matrilineality and Transnational Marriage” (2018, Journal of Mekong Society), “Mia farang: An Emergence of a New ‘Class’ in (Rural) Thai Society” (2015 - Thai language, a book chapter); “It’s Not Just about Money: Transnational Marriage of Isan Women” (2012, Journal of Mekong Society), “Social Relations and Tensions in Transnational Marriage for Rural Women in Isan Thailand” (2012, a book chapter).

The talk will be chaired by Oscar Salemink, Dept. of Anthropology

Time: 17 September, 12:30-13:30
Venue: NIAS, CSS Øster Farimagsgade 5, building 18, room 18.1.08

Feel free to bring your own lunch.

Organized by ADI & NIAS

Guest lecture: Xiangming Chen

Monday, September 30, 2019 - 13:30

Open event - all are welcome. More information on the event here.

CFP - Digital Asia 12th Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference & PhD Course

Monday, December 2, 2019 to Friday, December 6, 2019









Asia has the largest Internet population in the world in absolute numbers, and it is also at the forefront of digital developments in many fields, including governance, entertainment, and e-commerce. The region, however, encompasses a diverse digital landscape that reflects divergent histories, cultures, and socioeconomic and political realities. Proposals should focus on how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are used by, and affect, individuals and communities in their cultural, socioeconomic, and political lives.

We welcome participants from different disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, as well as from the field of area studies. We particularly encourage interdisciplinary approaches. Contributions are welcome that address topics in a particular Asian country, or engage in comparative research on several Asian countries and/or non-Asian countries.


Keynote Speakers

  • Larissa Hjorth, Distinguished Professor, ECP Director, Design and Creative Practice, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Pauline hope Cheong, Professor, Arizona State University, USA
  • Aim Sinpeng, Dr., Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Florian Schneider, Senior University Lecturer, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Deadlines conference:

  • 7 June 2019: Deadline for submitting abstracts (maximum 300 words)
  • 15 June 2019: Acceptance of abstracts by the organising committee
  • 15 August 2019: Deadline for registration
  • 1 October 2019: Deadline for hotel booking at discount rate at Elite Hotel Ideon. Single room 1159 SEK, Double room 1364 SEK (all prices including VAT). Please make your booking with the hotel at and mention the Digital Asia conference.

PhD Course
The conference will be combined with a PhD course where doctoral candidates will present and discuss their research projects with senior researchers as well as with fellow doctoral candidates. This PhD course will focus on theories and methodology when working with and on digital developments. Taking the questions, problems, dilemmas, and decisions of the individual research project as the point of departure, the focus will be on how to work with different sources, how to do fieldwork, how to integrate theory, and how to organise a thesis.

Doctoral candidates are also encouraged to present a paper at the main conference. This paper may not be similar to the methodology paper prepared for the PhD course. Students wishing to present a paper at the conference and to attend the PhD course must submit two abstracts.

Commentators for the PhD Course

  • Pauline hope Cheong, Professor, Arizona State University, USA
  • Larissa Hjorth, Distinguished Professor, ECP Director, Design and Creative Practice, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Aim Sinpeng, Dr., Department of Government and International Relations , University of Sydney, Australia
  • Stefan Brehm, Senior Lecturer, Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University
  • Nicholas Loubere, Associate Senior Lecturer, Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University
  • Astrid Norén Nilsson, Associate Senior Lecturer, Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University
  • Barbara Schulte, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Lund University
  • Marina Svensson, Professor and Director, Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University


  • 7 June 2019: Deadline for submitting abstract (maximum 300 words) and CV
  • 15 June 2019: Acceptance by organising committee
  • 15 August: Deadline for registration
  • 1 October: Deadline for submitting PhD paper, and confirming participation and hotel booking (booking for PhD students is done by conference organisers).

For more information please read the attached CFP and go to the conference website