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Space and Spatiality in South Asia

7-8 February 2013 The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH

The ‘spatial turn’ is now well established across the academic disciplines, with historians, anthropologists, political scientists and historical geographers exploring how concepts of space and scale - and their interconnections - might inform our understanding of a range of cultural and social formations.

The conference, convened by Professor Clare Anderson, showcased South Asian studies scholarship in this cutting edge research area, asked participants to think about what constitutes “South Asian Studies” as a field of enquiry.

The conference was opened by Dr Robin Jackson and Professor David Arnold FBA, followed by a Keynote lecture given by Professor Alan Lester, on Space and Place in British Imperial History Writing.

Sessions included: Borders and Border Making; Modernism, Architecture & Urban Space; Islands, Forests and Colonial Spaces: the Andaman Islands; Space & Scale in Rural, Everyday & Religious Life; Islands, Bays & Ports. The conference was closed with a roundtable discussion consisting of panel members and attendees, which sought to draw on the research presented in order to assess and gain further insights into the contribution of South Asian studies in the UK to wider academic endeavours.

This event formed part of a multidisciplinary British Academy initiative to interrogate the meaning and significance of South Asian studies in the UK. The series opened with a roundtable discussion in November 2012. Further events will include a workshop focusing on the study of South Asian languages in the UK. The results of a British Academy-commissioned study on UK A-level student motivations for studying South Asian languages will be announced at the workshop. For more information on forthcoming events please check back.


Dr Dibyesh Anand, University of Westminster

Dr Tariq Jazeel, University of Sheffield

Dr Markus Daechsel, Royal Holloway

Dr Robin Jones, Southampton Solent University

Dr Deborah Sutton, Lancaster University

Dr Sunil Amrith, Birkbeck

Roundtable Discussion Chair: Professor David Arnold FBA, University of Warwick