Category Archives: Webinar

From the ‘Attila of the jungle’ to the ‘big cat’ of the Zoo: a study of a century of representations and reactions around Bengal tigers (North India and South-West Nepal)

Nolwen Vouiller (EHESS – ULiège) gave lectures on “From the ‘Attila of the jungle’ to the ‘big cat’ of the Zoo: a study of a century of representations and reactions around Bengal tigers (North India and South-West Nepal).
Abstract :
“If we had no tiger, what could you wrote?”, said Jagat on the 31st of July 2019, during my first three-month field trip to Nepal, during the monsoon season, on the border of Bardiya National Park, in the southwest of the country. This guide, like so many others, is passionate about the famous Panthera tigris tigris and does not hide it. However, seeing the tiger as a force of nature, as a king or as a big brother, is not unanimous. Over the decades and in different places, the Bengal tiger has been subjected to various human representations and has undergone direct (elimination, confinement, rescue, etc.) or indirect (actions on the environment, on its prey, etc.) treatments. I propose to focus this presentation on a part of my research, on this species specifically in its encounters with humans, by going through a century of history and politics where the tiger has gone from being a sought-after prey to a precious heritage to be saved and now, more and more, to a dangerous problem. The surroundings of Bardiya National Park, which have been my field for the past three years, will be my main focus, but I will not omit to base my presentation on the available literature concerning the tiger in the Tarai of Nepal more generally and in Northern India. I will do my best to highlight the ambivalence and opposing points of view among the populations during the major hypothetical phases mentioned above. The challenge is to understand how humans have organized and adapted, individually and collectively, until today, in the face of this impressive “cute killer”.
Philippe Ramirez (Centre d’études himalayennes – IrAsia) was the discussant for this session. The seminar was held on 21st October at 1:00 pm CET/ 5:30 pm IST at Aix-Marseille University in the Maison de la Recherche (room 2.44).

The use of social networks in rural South India – Cécile Mouchel – India Matters Webinar, Tuesday 7th June 1pm CET / 5:30 PM IST

The Association Jeunes Etudes Indiennes (AJEI) is pleased to invite you to its next presentation in the webinar series India Matters
Cécile Mouchel (Centre d’Etude des Mondes Africains, Asiatiques et Américains-Université Paris Cité) will examine how rural populations in India have mobilized their social networks in times of forced “social distancing”. Focusing on a rural region in Tamil Nadu, mixing Social Network Analysis (SNA), descriptive statistics and qualitative interviews conducted before the lockdown, during the lockdown and its aftermath, this presentation shows that kinship ties and caste-based relationships are still used as inescapable economic resources, especially when it comes to survive in this unprecedented worldwide economic and social crisis. The region under study has undergone profound changes in recent decades, combining the disappearance of agrarian forms of dependency and the strengthening of intra-caste interdependence among the lower caste group with a focus on access to credit and self-help to access employment. The crisis put these social networks to the test. Subsidized food, the main pro poor measure of the Indian government, prevented famine, even if it did not prevent severe malnutrition. Although kin and caste solidarity played a key role in helping households to survive, they did not prevent the resurgence of old forms of patronage.
The discussant for this session will be Frédéric Landy (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense, Institut Français de Pondichéry).

The session will take place on Zoom 7th June, 1:00 pm CET/ 5:30 pm IST.  :
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The Association Jeunes Etudes Indiennes (AJEI) is pleased to invite you to the second session of its 2022 webinar series India Matters.

On February 8thDaphné Reguiessé, Independent Researcher (PhD, Iuav University of Venice), will present “Trails of an Indian Community in Padova: Chasing the invisible migration of Indian students (re)shaping spaces in this Italian medium city”
This presentation shows the link between migration and urban transformation in terms of urban policies and social practices within a specific local territory: the city of Padova (North East Italy). 
Daphné Reguiessé will particularly focus on the question of Indian students-migrants in Padova through different angles -generally difficult to tie- while keeping a strong sociological base.
The session will be followed by a discussion by Andrea Drocco (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) and a QnA session.

The sessions will take place on Zoom 08th February, 1:00 pm CET/ 5:30 pm IST.
Please register at this link:

The 2022 AJEI India Matters webinar series will run from January to July.

12 January – Understanding Caste among Muslims – India Matters Webinar 2022

The Association Jeunes Etudes Indiennes (AJEI) is pleased to invite you to its 2022 webinar series India Matters.

On January 12thJulien Levesque will inaugurate this year’s webinar series with the presentation « Understanding Caste among Muslims: Classic Debates and New Scholarly Developments »

From colonial census administrators to social scientists, scholars have debated whether Muslims in the subcontinent can be said to have castes. In recent decades, the discussion also entered the political arena over the issue of reservations in India. This presentation will first sum up the key historical moments of the scholarly debates on Muslim caste since colonial times. The speaker will then turn to more contemporary scholarship to highlight its contribution and the avenues it opens for further research.

The sessions will take place on Zoom 12th January, 1:00 pm CET/ 5:30 pm IST. The presentation will be followed by a QnA.

No registration necessary. Link to join :

ID de réunion : 883 5678 2804

Code secret : 944169

The 2022 AJEI India Matters webinar series will run from January to July. A full schedule of speakers will be available shortly. 

7 June – Roland lardinois – epistemology of south asian studies in France

The last session of this year’s webinar “India Matters” took place on Monday 7 June at 13:00 CEST / 16:30 IST. Last but not least, this time we heard French sociologist Roland Lardinois drawing on his personal experience and extensive research to analyse the structuration of the field of Indian Studies in France. The talk is entitled : “The field of Indian Studies in France XIXth-XXIst century: genesis, structure, transformation

Abstract. The purpose of this paper is to present some considerations on the history of Indian studies in France and the evolution of this field of knowledge from the second half of the 19th century to the beginning of the 21st century. We will draw on the work we have done, focusing on the first half of the twentieth century, and then, using our personal experience, we will examine the transformations that this field has undergone since the 1960s up to the contemporary period. We will insist on methodological problems: should we speak of an Indian studies milieu, as we speak of a literary milieu, a field or a configuration, according to the concepts developed by Pierre Bourdieu and Norbert Elias? What do the terms Indologists and Indianists mean? Do we work on India or in India? 
Résumé. L’objet de cette communication est de présenter quelques réflexions sur l’histoire des études indiennes en France et l’évolution de cet espace de savoirs depuis la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle jusqu’au début du XXIe siècle. On se fondera sur des travaux que l’on a conduits, centrés sur la première moitié du XXe siècle puis, en recourant au témoignage personnel, on s’interrogera sur les transformations que cet espace a connu depuis les années 1960 jusqu’à la période contemporaine. On insistera sur des problèmes de méthodes : faut-il parler de milieu d’études indiennes, comme on parle de milieu littéraire, de champ ou de configuration, selon les concepts développés par Pierre Bourdieu et Norbert Elias ? Que signifient les termes : indologues, indianistes ? Travaille-t-on sur l’Inde ou en Inde ?
You might also consider checking these references : Roland Lardinois, L’Invention de l’Inde. Entre ésotérisme et science, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2007 ; trad. Scholars and Prophets Sociology of India from France 19th-20th centuries, Delhi, Social Science Press, 2013 ; « Maîtres à distance et distance aux maîtres : Sylvain Lévi, Louis Dumont et Pierre Bourdieu », dans François Raviez (dir.), L’image du maître spirituel, Arras, Artois Presses Université, 2019, p. 321-338
Watch the Webinar on our YouTube Channel here :

4 May – Social stratification in India with Floriane bolazzi

The fifth session of our webinar “India Matters” will take place on tuesday 4 May at 13:00 CEST / 16:30 IST and will deal with social stratification in India.
This time, we will welcome Floriane Bolazzi who is a post-doc researcher at the Department of Sociology and Social Research (University Milano Bicocca) where she is working on labour and social mobility issues. She will present some of the evidence reported in her thesis resulting from an original approach of mixed methodology and a wide-ranging analysis of the material and subjective dimensions of mobility and of their intersection. Since its independence (1947), India has undergone profound social, political, and economic transformations driven by the agrarian reforms in the 1950s, the Green Revolution in the 1970s and the neoliberal turn in the 1990s. While these changes have undeniably contributed to the economic development of the country, it is less clear to what extent better opportunities for social mobility opened up to individuals historically disadvantaged by their caste position. Previous large-scale studies of social mobility in India have been limited by the lack of intergenerational data and the impossibility to disaggregate administrative caste categories into jatis (birth-ascribed endogamous groups). Using unique individual-level data for the entire population of Palanpur, a village in Uttar Pradesh, surveyed seven times from 1958 to 2015, this presentation aims at verifying whether the social mobility has increased over time and whether caste, at the jati level, continues to prevail as a factor of social stratification.
Watch the recording here

India Matters – Alexandre Cebeillac – Geography of movements – 16 March

This time, the session will deal with the use of large datasets in Indian studies. To talk about that, we will host geographer Alexandre Cebeillac from the Université de Rouen. He almost has a decade of experience performing spatial analyses based on various data sources, from social media datasets to the census of India, often around urban-related issues. He recently defended a monumental thesis that focused on the use of online data in the study of mobilities and vector-borne diseases in Delhi and Bangkok. He has an extensive knowledge of India’s large datasets and knows it all about the difficulties in handling them. He will talk about it and expose some innovative methods he developed to work around some common data problems in Indian studies.

Watch the recording here : 


The French Youth Association for Indian Studies (AJEI) is pleased to invite you to the 4th session of its 2021 webinar series: India Matters on April 6th at 1:00 pm CET/ 5:30 pm IST.

This time, the online session will turn into a forum of associations. It will include representatives from the French Youth Association for Indian Studies (AJEI), the South Asia Research and Studies Venice and Turin Italy (Sarasvati Association), the French Academic Network on Asian Studies (GIS Asie), the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS), the European Association of Young Researchers on South Asia (EAYRSA), the French Association for Research on Southeast Asia (AFRASE), the Japanese Association of South Asian Studies (JASAS). They will each present the history, network, area of studies, and objectives of their respective associations.

The remaining time will be given to a Q&A session and a discussion on the relevance of the geographical area of these associations (India, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Asia, etc.) and the scale of their network (France, Italy, Japan, Europe, Young researchers, civil society, institutions, etc.).

Watch the recording here :


Lola Guyot (European University Institute) and Arnaud Kaba (University of Göttingen)  talk about the COVID-19 crisis in Sri Lanka and in India, focusing on its socioeconomic consequences and the management of the crisis by the national governments. They present the current research literature on the theme and the perspectives for French-Southasian research. 


Political scientist Khaliq Parkar is presenting a paper entitled « The Digital Geography of India’s Smart Cities Mission » :

India’s Smart Cities Mission (SCM) was launched in 2015 as a new centralized urban revival policy. Like similar interventions in the South, the SCM considers digital technology and data as the panacea for the future of urban governance, service delivery, and citizens’ participation through technocratic imaginations and help from private data corporations. The SCM further imagines cities as developing a “data culture”, where it can collect and utilize data for better governance strategies. The technological turn in governance strategies around the world can be understood as a permanent shift, and India is no exception – it has witnessed widespread use of information and communication technologies, globally networked IT firms, and dense mobile phone dissemination. Yet despite some laws, it has never had a cohesive policy related to data and its governance. This presentation attempts to unravel a ‘digital geography’* of the Smart Cities Mission through its data policy, institutions and technocracy under the ‘DataSmart’ strategy. Using an analysis of policy, institutions and data collected under the SCM, I will argue that the DataSmart strategy creates an imagination of ‘datafication’ and an ‘algorithmic turn’ in urban governance. I argue that the process of datafication in urban governance requires a comprehensive scrutiny of policies that shape this digital turn. I further argue that we need to implement frameworks of Data Justice to create democratic paradigms towards data in developing economies to further citizens’ rights in future technological interventions.

*Ash, J., Kitchin, R., & Leszczynski, A. (2018). Introducing Digital Geographies. In Digital Geographies. Sage.