"It’s my great honour to give this year’s Foundation Dinner speech, and my first. May I start with personal thanks, from Sara and me, to all of...
Interdisciplinary South Asia Research
The South Asia Research Cluster at Wolfson is the natural home for the study of South Asia in Oxford, with a wealth of South Asia scholars and a truly interdisciplinary approach, encompassing development economics, poverty and human development, anthropology, international politics, political sociology, history, and literature.
India's Informal Economy and Climate Change
In the response to climate change, the role of informal economies has been largely ignored. Yet in countries like India about two-thirds of the economy and 90% of all jobs are unregistered. This ESRC-DFID sponsored pilot project aims to bring the informal economy into debates about climate change.
The two-year project, headed by political economist Professor Harriss-White, willl develop methods to model the environmental impact of production in the informal economy (summarised in terms of CO2 emmissions), focusing on the livelihood processes involved in rice production and distribution that produce greenhouse gases.
The research will investigate:
- less damaging alternatives to rice production methods;
- how to trade-off incommensurable attributers such as costs, greenhouse gases, and the quality of jobs;
- how technological inventions diffuse in informal economies;
- how unorganised labour makes gains in the informal economy;
- and why government policy is unenforceable.
The project will integrate several fields of knowledge currently growing separately – policy, science and technology, labour studies, value chain analysis, life cycle analysis and rice.
Barbara Harriss-White discussed this project on 25th Jan 2012 at Wolfson College as part of the South Asia Work in Progress Roundtables.
Indian and Pakistani Migration and Diaspora
Dr Kaveri Qureshi's research on Indian and Pakistani migration and diaspora in Britain has spanned anthropology, oral history, public health and social policy. In 2012 she is beginning a new ESRC-funded research project on marital breakdown among South Asian couples in Britain, which will involve further cross-disciplinary work between anthropology and socio-legal studies. Her research was recently featured in an article in the Big Issue.
Her doctoral work on migration and ageing examined life histories of industrial workers from Pakistan, and engaged with critical public health and anthropology. Subsequent work took forward her interest in life histories through collaboration with colleagues at Sussex University on migration stories of Indian Punjabis and Pakistanis in Britain, as well as Gujarati Khojas who came to Britain after the Ugandan exodus.
Tibetan and Indo-European Cultural Studies
While his teaching position was in Social Anthropology of South Asia, Dr Nick Allen has crossed the usual disciplinary divides in two main directions. Firstly, as a fieldworker in the Himalayas, he studied two somewhat Hinduized groups speaking outlying Tibeto-Burman languages. This directed his attention northwards from India towards Tibetan Studies, as well as stimulating an interest in the historical significance of linguistics and language families.
This macro-historical orientation led him to explore the position of the Sanskritic Hindu tradition within the controversial field of Indo-European Cultural Studies, for instance by comparing the Mahabharata and Homer. In one sense such exploration belongs to ancient history, but in another it concerns the Indian sense of national identity, with its contemporary political overtones.
Industrialisation in Contemporary Nepal
Dr Mallika Shakya’s work, based on fieldwork in the garment shop floors of Nepal and subsequently among the leading business communities in the Nepal-India border towns,combines economics with anthropology to develop understanding of the industrialisation process in contemporary Nepal. She explores economic actions embedded in broader social and political trajectories that have been evolving over centuries, and argues that ethnography should be informed by history.
Her notion of embeddedness is not entirely motivated by profit, as the school of rational choice would have it, nor is it strictly about social organisation as a conventional anthropological lens sees it. Dr Shakya's research makes the case that the field of economic anthropology should draw on economic scholarship for matters of policy and pragmatism, and on anthropology for localisation of practice.
Profesor Elleke Boehmer's work focuses on cross-border collaborations between nationalist groups since 1860, including interactions between India and Ireland, such as that of Rabindranath Tagore and WB Yeats.
Her research moves across conventional disciplinary boundaries between English, History and Cultural studies in order to investigate how these intercultural and interpolitical conversations took place. More recently, she has drawn on philosophical theories of friendship and of the visual in order to explore the experience of Indian travellers to England in the later 1800s and early 1900s.
15 June 2018Sir Tim Hitchens' Foundation Speech11 June 2018Tim Hitchens honoured by The Queen
Congratulation to Sir Tim Hitchens, who has been appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in the Queen's Birthday Honours...4 June 2018How a Wolfson PhD student became a finalist in MasterChef UK 2018
Dr Nawamin Pinpathomrat is one of Wolfson’s PhD students, who finished as a finalist on MasterChef UK 2018 while researching a cure for...
Lectures and Seminars18 - 18Jun JunThe Isaiah Berlin Digital Archive: A test case for the development of on-line re...Monday 18 June - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
A workshop organized by the Wolfson College Digital Research Cluster (DRC). 2-4 pm, Monday 18 June, in the Buttery, Wolfson College, preceded by lunch in the Hall and followed by tea.
Courses and Workshops22 - 22Jun JunChina’s One Belt One Road and its implications for South AsiaFriday 22 June - 10:00am to 6:00pm
China’s $800 bn investment in land communications (the belt) and sea routes (the road) is perhaps the biggest infrastructure project the world has ever seen. It will have impacts on transport and trade, on industrial competitiveness and market access, on development finance and debt, on geopolitical and military relations.Parties and Dinners23 - 23Jun JunThe Wolfson Gaudy and Syme Legacy Society Lunch (by invite only)Saturday 23 June - 12:30pm to 3:00pm
We would be delighted if you could join us for the Annual Gaudy and Syme Legacy Society Summer Lunch taking place on Saturday, 23 June to welcome our new President Mr Tim Hitchens CMG LVO to Wolfson. We will announce the schedule of the day in due course. Please note this event is by invitation only.