Audio files

We are making available audio files of our seminars from May 2013 onwards. We will keep recent seminars on this page, older presentations will continue to be available on our iTunes U channel as podcasts (the seminars available here can also be downloaded from iTunes). The files on the iTunes U site are stored in the collection ‘Centre of South Asian Studies: seminars’ – if you want to receive all future files, then subscribe to the podcast and they will automatically download to your iTunes folder when they become available.

These files do not include the question and answer sessions at the end of the seminars, and in some cases sections of the presentation (particularly where a film or piece of music is played) we will cut sections from the audio track for copyright reasons. On occasion it will not be possible for us to make a seminar available at all if the speaker does not give us permission to do so.


Dr Mark Condos (Queen Mary, University of London),

Fear, violence, and the making of British power in India

Dr Condos investigates the representations of colonial British character. He argues that the commonly presented traits of stoicism and courage masked an underlying fear and vulnerability, and that the pervasive anxiety in British colonial society precipitated violence and led to the placing of absolute power in the hands of colonial officials.

The speaker was introduced by Professor Bob Anderson.

Duration: 39 minutes


Professor Su Su (Mandalay Technological University and a Charles Wallace Burma Trust Visiting Fellow),

The uniqueness of downtown Yangon

Professor Su examines the nature of the architecture and cultural heritage of central Yangon, arguing that, although both authenticity and integrity have to some extent been compromised, it still reflects the UNESCO World Heritage Convention Operational Guidelines – ‘The respect due to all cultures requires that cultural heritage must be considered and judged primarily within the cultural contexts to which it belongs’.

The speaker was introduced by Professor Bob Anderson.

Duration: 42 minutes


Harsh Mander,

Looking away: inequality, prejudice and indifference in new India.

Activist and writer Harsh Mander delivers the inaugural Centre of South Asian Studies Lecture on Public Policy, examining the creation, persistence, manifestations and invisibility of poverty in Indian society, and proposes how a compassionate society should respond to it.

Duration: 61 minutes


Dr Rochelle Almeida (New York University),

Britain’s Anglo-Indians: the invisibility of assimilation

Dr Almeida introduces the topic of her forthcoming book about Anglo-Indians in Britain and the ways in which the adjusted their identities to fit in with the country in which they found themselves.

The speaker was introduced by Dr David Washbrook.

Duration: 48 minutes


Dr Sajjad Hassan (Centre for Equity Studies – Missal, New Delhi),

South Asia’s Minorities – Rough road to citizenship

Dr Hassan investigates the challenges facing minority groups in South Asia, particularly in the face of majoritarian constructions of national identities. He advocates an increased role for states, working together regionally, in protecting and advancing the rights of religious, ethnic caste and linguistic minority groups.

The speaker was introduced by Professor Joya Chatterji.

Duration: 57 minutes


Professor Jonathan Spencer (University of Edinburgh),

The Kingsley Martin Memorial Lecture, 2016: ‘Three scenes from rural life: Cambridge to Colombo and back again, 1954 to 2016’

In the 1950s a small group of researchers initiated a conversation, fuelled by bouts of intense fieldwork, about land, kinship and social order in rural Sri Lanka. The research was revisited in the 1980s. The third scene in the lecture is contemporary, looking at how the rural has become synonymous with poverty and its pathological consequences – self-harm and suicide, alcohol abuse and violence. What links these scenes, and what will become the subject-matter for this lecture is, in Raymond Williams’ words, “a problem of perspective”.

The speaker was introduced by Professor Joya Chatterji.

Duration: 55 minutes


Dr Humeira Iqtidar (King’s College, London),

‘Tolerance in Islamic thought: South Asian innovations’

Dr Iqtidar introduces her work into piety and liberalisation in Islamic thought among migrant populations from the Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

The speaker was introduced by Professor Joya Chatterji.

Duration: 41 minutes


Dr Sudeshna Guha (Shiv Nadar University and Tagore Research Scholar, National Museum),

‘Looking into “Indian” pasts: archeology, history and ways of seeing’

In this seminar, Dr Guha critiques the ‘archaeology of origins’, which is on the rise within South Asia, and considers the practices and visual documents of archaeology as artefacts of history.

The speaker was introduced by Professor Joya Chatterji.

Duration: 44 minutes