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The 24th ECSAS (European Conference on South Asian Studies) took place at the University of Warsaw from 27 to 30 July 2016.

Events and meetings

Wednesday 27th July

13:00-14:00 Welcome, Assembly Hall, Old University Library

The organisers of the conference and the representatives of the University of Warsaw welcome delegates to ECSAS2016.

14:00-15:30 Sponsored Panel (BGK) "Aspects of Cooperation between Poland and South Asia: Economic Relations in Practice", Room 308

The panel will focus on prospects for economic cooperation between Poland and the countries of South Asia. What is the business potential in individual markets? What are the most popular trade destinations? What are the investment opportunities?
We will consider:

  • the key role of science and innovation in modern economy - challenges to financial institutions (no hard assets, high volatility)
  • the importance of financing instruments in promoting cooperation between Central and Eastern Europe and Asia
  • where are we vs. where do want to be? What banks (in particular BGK) and KUKE (Export Credit Insurance Corporation) can do to stimulate cooperation between Poland and Asia?
  • the impact of cultural factors on economic cooperation. How European banks are different from Asian banks - challenges and opportunities

19:45-22:00 Welcome buffet dinner, New Warsaw University Library, Dobra street no. 56/66

The organisers of the ECSAS2016 have the pleasure of inviting all participants of the conference to a welcome dinner on Wednesday, 27 July 2016, at 19:45. The dinner will take place on the premises of the New Warsaw University Library, Dobra street no.56/66 (10 minutes' walk from the conference's venue), either in the Library's exhibition room or in the gardens, depending on weather conditions - the location will be confirmed a week before the conference.

Thursday 28th July

13:30-15:00 Keynote lecture by Sumit Guha (Professor of History, University of Texas), Assembly Hall, Old University Library

Asia, Europe and America in the Making of ‘Caste’
My presentation will look at the long history of what is often thought of as Southern Asia’s ‘peculiar institution’, caste, in the longue durée and across world history. It will focus especially on the first age of globalization, which was inaugurated by the Iberian voyages from the late fifteenth century. This intensified already ancient processes in which marked and bounded social entities (including castes), collided with each other in the course of political, economic, and environmental upheavals. The boundaries and membership of these entities could not remain unaffected. Furthermore, states – indeed colonial empires, grew in durability, size and reach through the past half-millennium. I will outline how these processes helped to shape the working and conceptualization of caste.  I will argue that an adequate understanding of South Asian society requires us not only to bring the state back into its social history; it must bring non-Hindus back in, too. Otherwise, we not only risk historical error but also encourage a politics that sees non-Hindus as alien to Indian society. In conclusion, I will argue for the continuing value of historical and Indological skills for an understanding of the present and the past.

Friday 29th July

17:30-19:00 EASAS General assembly, Assembly Hall, Old University Library

All members of the EASAS are invited to attend the association’s AGM.

19:30-24:00 A get-together, Dzik Club, Belwederska street 44A

All are invited for an informal get-together with light snacks and music. (The venue houses a well-supplied cash bar.)

Saturday 30th July

12:30-13:30 Final assembly, Assembly Hall, Old University Library