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News from NIAS

Current SUPRA students at NIAS

Monday, October 27, 2014 to Sunday, November 9, 2014
Virpi Kamppuri, MA, University of Turku
Topic: Charity in China
Manon Carle, MA, Lund University 
Topic: Refining ‘Southern’ development cooperation: Looking at national-level NGOs’ engagement in Thai and Malaysian bilateral assistance

Virpi and Manon


New guest researcher at NIAS

Emilie Edelblutte is  a PhD scholar from the University of Lyon 2, she will be at NIAS till the end of the year.

Emilie writes
"My main research interest lies in questions of urban and political ecology in the megacity of Mumbai (India). At the nature/culture interface; I first studied the relations of powers within an urban National Park in Mumbai; focusing on the tribal populations and recounting the loss of their territorial rights, customs and resources. Later I studied the flood mitigation policies of Mumbai and risk perception through a geo-ethnographical and social approach.

Through the study of human/wildlife conflicts in the Metropolitan Region of Mumbai, my PhD currently investigates the complexity of environmental conflicts within an area where the confrontation between different ideologies of nature meets socioeconomic disparities characteristic of Asian megacities. To do so, I have a multi disciplinary approach, using conservation biology, ecology, animal geography as well as environmental justice. I am also using two complementary methods of (i) participatory mapping and (ii) monitoring of leopard with GPS collars; in order to compare the spatial strategies of wildlife and a large range of stakeholders. By spatializing and revealing the complex tensions that lie behind the simplistic dichotomy between nature and culture, these cartographic methods question the definition of zoning policies and integrated management of environment and human settlements."


New workplace student at NIAS

Line Sommer Søndergaard, student at the Department of Political Science, has just started as a workplace student at NIAS. Line will be with us for the next 6 months while writing her thesis.

Line’s thesis focuses on the cooperation between Denmark and China within the field of energy, climate and environment. The background of the thesis is the need in China for sustainable energy solutions and the long history of good bilateral relations between Denmark and China. The thesis is especially interested in the role of the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building as well as the Danish Ministry of Environment in a changing diplomatic landscape.


Current SUPRA students at NIAS

Monday, October 13, 2014 to Sunday, October 26, 2014

Natalia Mikhaylova, MA, Saint Petersburg State University
Topic: Formation of Political Discourse in Tibetan Newspaper Yul phyogs so so’I gsar ‘gyur me long (1949-1963)

Jinat Hossain, MA, University of Bergen
Topic: Consequences of using cosmetic surgeries for beautification: A case study of women cosmetic consumers in Dhaka city.

Natalia and Jinat

Current SUPRA students at NIAS

Monday, September 29, 2014 to Sunday, October 12, 2014

Khaleda Gani Dutt, PhD, Stockholm University
Topic: Engendering Gendered Spaces: Education for Rural Transformation - Qualitative case study in Rajasthan and West Bengal India

Kristian Kongshøj, PhD, Aalborg University
Topic: Social Citizenship in China and the Nordic countries

Khaleda and Kristian

New workplace student at NIAS

Matti Weisdorf, student at the Department of Anthropology, has just started at a workplace student at NIAS. Matti will be with us for the next 6 months while writing his thesis. 

Matti writes:
"A man of inconveniently many interests I finally found my anthropological and more general academic foothold in the cheerful world of crippling violence and post-war re-negotiation of life. More specifically I pursued my own research agenda by spending  half a year in and around a small  housing scheme for disabled government soldiers in the Northwestern province of Sri Lanka. Here, I interrogated how the official government discourse on the so-called heroes of the war - and the very tangible benefits that goes with it - was appropriated and, in turn, squared against the vexed and stigmatized identity of the disabled man to allow for new political and religious identities to emerge."

Current SUPRA students at NIAS

Håkon da Silva Hyldmo, MA, NTNU, Norway
Topic: Constructing cross-scale rationalities in forestry management:
A case study of REDD+ implementation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

Guro Samuelsen, Ph.D., Oslo University
Topic: Challenging structures of dominance? Understanding popular democracy and ‘new’ local leaders in contemporary North India

Håkon and Guro

Geir Helgesen gives talk at "Cool North – Cultural Diplomacy in the Nordic Countries "

Cool North – Cultural Diplomacy in the Nordic Countries was a conference organized by Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, a Berlin based NGO in cooperation with Baltic Development Forum, a leading think-tank in the Baltic Sea Region. The conference too place at Christiansborg, home of the Danish Parliament on September 8th and 9th and a wide range of societal leaders, politicians and government officials was present. Speaker of Parliament Mogens Lykketoft opened the conference, together with Danish Minister of Culture, Marianne Jelved ; former Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Miniasters, Halldór Àsgrimsson, and Dagfinn Høybråten, the present Secertary General. Read the presentation by NIAS’ director in the attached.

How can Asian Encounters help expose blind spots in sociological research?

During its 27th biannual conference, the Nordic Sociological Association (NSA) hosted the panel discussion Asian Encounters – Exposing or creating blind spots? Building on the theme of the conference – Exploring blind spots, the panel discussed the drawbacks and merits of studying Asia, as well as encounters between Asia and the Nordic countries.

With the purpose of spurring interest and also provide some hands-on insights and experiences informing and inspiring more research on Asia the panel discussed: What can we learn from Asia and what can Asia learn from us? Can the study of Asia reveal insights about our own societies and vice versa? Or do we by applying “Western” theory in the study of Asian societies create blind spots and thereby fail to understand social change in those societies?

SUPRA Nordic Scholarship for MA and PhD students Spring 2015

If you are working on a MA or PhD thesis during Spring 2015 and need some inspiration, literature or simply just time to write on your thesis, then NIAS has something to offer: the Nordic Scholarship!

The Nordic Scholarship covers inexpensive travel to Copenhagen, two weeks board and accommodation plus a working place at NIAS! A perfect chance to concentrate on your thesis, have inspirational talks with our researchers or collect material in Northern Europe's most comprehensive Asian studies library.

More information about SUPRA students' experiences at NIAS and practical information as well as application form.

NB: SUPRA scholarships are primarily for students from NNC member institutions.

Deadline for application: 1 October 2014

For more information, please contact