• DSCN0672.JPG
  • DSCN0673.JPG
  • DSCN0687.JPG
  • DSCN0692.JPG
  • DSCN0693.JPG
  • prof_hari_vasudevan.jpg

Workshop: Discovering Europe

Ideas, experiences and reflections from an Indo-European Mobility Consortium,
University of Calcutta, 6th & 7th of April, 2017

Jawaharlal Nehru mused in 1946 – just before India’s Independence – that

India was in my blood. ... And yet I approached her almost as an alien critic, full of dislike for the present as well as for many of the relics of the past that I saw. To some extent I came to her via the West and looked at her as a friendly Westerner might have done. I was eager and anxious to change her outlook and appearance and give her the garb of modernity. And yet doubts rose within me. (The Discovery of India, p.50i)

Having studied in Britain, he later confessed that his English education changed his view on India and subsequently he went on a great voyage to discover India – her diversity, but more importantly the unity within. As he wrote:
Though outwardly there was diversity and infinite variety among our people, everywhere there was that tremendous impress of oneness, which had held all of us together for ages past, whatever political fate or misfortune had befallen us. The unity of India was no longer merely an intellectual conception for me: it was an emotional experience which overpowered me. That essential unity had been so powerful that no political division, no disaster or catastrophe, had been able to overcome it. (ibid. p.59)

This first-hand experience resulted in the coining and frequent usage of his famous dictum: Unity in Diversity. The same vision, in its Latin form In Varietate Concordia, has been adopted by the European Union as its official motto in 2000 – alongside other symbols like the flag or anthem – indicating an entanglement and closeness of ideas of India and Europe / EU.

Given the specific Indian angle of this Erasmus Mundus consortium enabling mobilities from India to Europe, this workshop invites reflections on the impact of contemporary encounters with Europe. How have prolonged stays in one of the six European partner universities – in academic environments and beyond - influenced the view of Europe and the EU member countries respectively. In which ways have the subjectivities of the fellowship awardees evolved, their response to Europe as an idea and their material experience of it, and how they negotiated the ambivalence of Europe as former colonisers and Europe as a cosmopolitan space. How have ideas of Europe and experiences of Europe interacted, challenged, mediated or changed each other? How has Europe surprised or revealed its darker sides – the underbelly of Europe in times of refugee crisis, Brexit and new border controls?

We also invite contributions and interventions on the processes of “Indianization” of Europe, for example the indirect extension and acceptance of Indian administrative categories (reservation categories) to European universities based on EU-India agreements as well as the “Europeanisation” of Indian academia (e.g. credit transfer etc.). How has Erasmus Mundus through its consortia of partners impacted beneficiaries as well as institutions on all levels in a scenario where both Europe and India are deterritorialized and consistently cross-pollinated each other? Does the gaze/viewing of each other leads to reimagining of the Indian self as well as a “discovery” - a new look and take on – Europe?

We invite titles and short abstracts (not more than 200-300 words) till 6th of March 2017. Please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. IBIES consortium will cover travel and accommodation for the selected papers.