News about the Subir & Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies
at UC Berkeley - Fall 2019
Fall 2019
Dear Friends,

Welcome back to Berkeley! Hope you all had a wonderful summer. 

Event highlights this semester include a lecture and demonstration by artist Ali Asgar (Tara), a co-sponsored book launch at New York University, a New Directions in Bangladesh Studies symposium featuring new books by young authors, a Chowdhury Center distinguished lecture by Dr. Shahidul Alam, and a joint conference on accountability in global supply chains with Kings College, London. 

A quick round up of all our events lined up for this semester are:

  1. Tue, Aug 27, 2019
    Marzana Kamal | Wives Left Behind: Impact of International Labour Migration on Wives in Bangladesh
    12-2 p.m. | 10 Stephens Hall
  2. Mon, Sept 16, 2019
    Amitav Ghosh | On Climate Change, Literature, and Art
    12-2 p.m. | 10 Stephens Hall
  3. Tue, Sept 24, 2019
    Rebecca Whittington | Tug-of-Ear: The Play of Dialect in Modern Bengali and Tamil Literature
    5-7 p.m. | 10 Stephens Hall
  4. Tue, Oct 15, 2019
    Ali Asgar (Tara) | In Between Lands and Territories: Love, Loss and Survival
    5-7 p.m. | 10 Stephens Hall
  5. Sat, Nov 9, 2019
    The Chowdhury Center Distinguished Lecture for 2019 by Shahidul Alam
    5:30-7:30 p.m. |  Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

  1. Tue, Oct 21, 2019
    Labor, Global Supply Chains, and the Garment Industry in South Asia: Bangladesh after Rana Plaza
    5:30-7:30 p.m. | Kaufman Management Center, Room 55, 3rd floor, MC building, NYU Stern School of Business
  2. Tue, Nov 5, 2019
    New Directions in Bangladesh Studies: Recent Scholarship and New Publications
  1. Fri, Nov 22 – Sat, Nov 23, 2019 
    Critical Perspectives on Power, Accountability and Agency in Global Supply Chains
    9 a.m.-5 p.m. |  The Dickson Poon School of Law, Kings College London
  1. Fri, Oct 11, 2019 - Sun, Oct 13, 2019
    The Kingdom of Cards: An English adaptation of Tagore's "Tasher Desh" presented by EnActe Arts
    Multiple Show Dates & Times |  Cubberley Theatre, Palo Alto
All our events are video recorded and made available on our website. Please scroll to the bottom of the sidebar on the right to see a list of newly added videos.

Student Funding
The Chowdhury Center provides several scholarships to Berkeley students for conducting research to improve the lives of those in Bangladesh. For 2019, the Malini Chowdhury Fellowship on Bangladesh Studies was awarded to Patrick DeSutter, Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology, for his research titled, Engineering the Border: Islands of Containment and Mobility in Bangladesh. Shikha Bhattacharjee, a Ph.D. candidate in Jurisprudence and Social Policy was the recipient of the Subir Chowdhury Fellowship on Quality of Life in Bangladesh for her research titled, Construction and Governance of Migration Corridors: Within Bangladesh; from Bangladesh to Jordan and Lebanon; and from Ethiopia to Lebanon and Jordan.

The Live Life Like Tarishi Scholarship Award for 2018, an award that provides for a single grant of $2000 to UC Berkeley undergraduate students with a demonstrated commitment in the field of South Asian history, society, languages, and culture, was awarded to Rimon Tanvir Hossain (a BA candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies & Legal Studies​) for his essay titled, Bhalo koreh pora lekha koro! (Study Hard!). ​Rimon hope​s​ to use the scholarship to fund the first issue of ​The Bengal Gazette, which was launched in April 2019. The Bengal Gazette serves as a platform for the narratives and discussions of Bengali UC Berkeley students in future generations, who will continue the footprint of the Bengal Gazette on the UC Berkeley campus community​. The award ceremony took place on Friday, February 22, 2019. See a podcast of the presentation ceremony HERE.

Working Groups
On Bangladesh or Bangladesh Studies
The Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies is pleased to launch a new interdisciplinary working group for graduate (MA and PhD) students whose research focuses on any aspect of Bangladesh or Bangladesh studies. The goal of this group is to connect students from across campus who are focused on Bangladesh as a part of their research program, as well as to serve as a forum to exchange ideas about fieldwork, conference opportunities, publishing, jobs, etc. The first meeting was held on Friday, September 20th from 12-2 pm in 10 Stephens Hall. For more information, or if you would like to join this group, please contact Patrick DeSutter at

(Cal's Working Group on Bangladesh Studies. From L: Patrick DeSutter, Helen Pitchik, Saika Belal, Samira Siddique, Eshana Masud, Yoshika Crider)

On the Rohingya 
Since August 2017, Burmese security forces have been carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State forcing over half a million of them to flee to neighboring Bangladesh to escape killings, arson, and other atrocities. This mass migration has resulted in one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. The Rohingya Working Group meets regularly to develop ideas and collaborations to further our collective work related to the Rohingya crisis. To join this group please sign up HERE.

Related initiatives
The Tagore Program on Literature, Culture and Philosophy at UC Berkeley honors Rabindranath Tagore by fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of his life, legacy and the historical moment in which he lived. The proposed Tagore Program will also augment other allied programs under the Institute for South Asia Studies such as the Chowdhury Center and will provide many opportunities for collaboration with institutions in Bangladesh where Tagore spent many years of his creative life. For more information please see HERE

The Dickson Poon Transnational Law Institute (TLI) at King’s College London and the Chowdhury Center are pleased to hold the first of a conference series on Critical Perspectives on Power, Accountability and Agency in Global Supply Chains that will take place on 22-23 November 2019 at King’s College London. This conference series follows a number of events previously held by TLI, as part of a larger research project that seeks to resituate the global supply chain as a multifaceted research object between theory and practice.

New Book Announcement: Labor, Global Supply Chains, and the Garment Industry in South Asia: Bangladesh after Rana Plaza. Edited by Chowdhury Center Director, Dr. Sanchita B. Saxena, this book argues that larger flaws in the global supply chain must first be addressed to change the way business is conducted to prevent factory owners from taking deadly risks to meet clients’ demands in the garment industry in Bangladesh. Using the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster as a departure point, and to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future, this book presents an interdisciplinary analysis to address the disaster which resulted in a radical change in the functioning of the garment industry. More HERE

Publications by recent Chowdhury Center fellows include:
To see all Chowdhury Center publications, please go HERE.

Newly added articles include: Past Events
As always, all Center events are video recorded and made available for viewing on our website. Newly added lectures may be viewed in the sidebar on the right.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our many events this semester!

Sanchita B. Saxena
Director, Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies

The Chowdhury Center Distinguished Lecture for 2019
Shahidul Alam

Saturday, November 9
5:30-7:30 p.m
Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

presented by EnActe Arts
The Kingdom of Cards: An English adaptation of Tagore's "Tasher Desh"

Fri, Oct 11 @ 8p
Sat, Oct 12 @ 2p
Sat, Oct 12 @ 6p
Sun, Oct 13 @ 2p
Sun, Oct 13 @ 6p

$15-$50. Use code KOCISAS for a 20% discount!

Sanchita B. Saxena
Labor, Global Supply Chains, & the Garment Industry in South Asia: Bangladesh after Rana Plaza

Mon, Oct 21, 2019
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Kaufman Management Center, Room 55, 3rd floor, MC building, NYU Stern School of Business

Shikha Bhattacharjee, 2019 Subir Chowdhury Fellow on Quality of Life in Bangladesh

The Subir Chowdhury Fellowship is a wonderful opportunity for me to conduct field research in Bangladesh. The fellowship will make it possible for me to document the experiences of migrant women garment and domestic workers, first hand. This support will not only advance my dissertation research, but also provide insight into the challenges migrant women face and pathways to safeguard their rights during their migration journeys.

More testimonials HERE

Academic freedom under pressure in Bangladesh

By Dr. Mubashar Hasan
Originally published in East Asia Forum

#MeToo Bangladesh: the textile workers uniting against harassment
By Jennifer Chowdhury
Originally published in The Guardian

Clampdown on Rohingya Refugees

By Editorial Team, Human Rights Watch
Originally published at

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
UC Berkeley · 10 Stephens Hall · Berkeley, CA 94720 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp