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SCSNEI organises a seminar by Prof. Shahnaj Husne Jahan

SCSNEI organises a seminar by Prof. Shahnaj Husne Jahan

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SCSNEI organises a seminar by Prof. Shahnaj Husne Jahan
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Monthly Seminar Series: 2021-22

Special Centre for the Study of North East India
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi



Prof. Shahnaj Husne Jahan
Professor of archaeology; director of the Center for Archaeological
Studies and head of the General Education Department in the University of Liberal Arts


Time and Venue
3 to 5 PM, Friday, 6th August, 2021

Through Google meet at the following link:


Title of the Lecture

Cultural and Commercial Connections between Bangladesh and North East India


Abstract:  Archaeological record proves beyond doubt that a substantial part of cultural and commercial connections existed between Bangladesh and North East India. North East India includes Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim. Among these, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram share an international border of 1596 km with Bangladesh, an independent country since 1971. Since the southern coast of Bangladesh is open to the Bay of Bengal, it was a sole outlet of the landlocked regions of North East India and its neighbouring countries throughout history. This paper will present a strong empirical base on the nature of exchange between these regions during the ancient and medieval periods. Because commercial connection facilitates cultural diffusion, this paper will be significant for understanding socio-cultural and economic studies of the regions by demythicizing the cultural distance that exists today. If knowledge and power are intricately related, each facilitating the other, this paper will enhance the ability of the scholars of the two regions to act upon the action of the globalizing forces by strengthening inter-regional cooperation, in a manner envisaged by India’s Look East Policy and BIMSTEC, which seek to make best use of available synergies. This paper will also act as a key knowledge-based tool to demonstrate that the goals of India’s Look East Policy and BIMSTEC were actualized in the past by means of trade, and hence, it is a feasible dream for the immediate future.

About the Speaker : Dr. Shahnaj Husne Jahan is a professor of archaeology; director of the Center for Archaeological Studies and head of the General Education Department in the University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh. Her research interests’ lie in South and Southeast Asian archaeology, maritime archaeology, community archaeology, urbanization and ancient cities, South Asian art and architecture, Buddhist art and archaeology, Islamic art and archaeology, community based cultural heritage management and tourism, heritage law and policy. She is a lawyer at Dhaka BAR Association. She is a life member of many professional societies and a founder trustee and the director of the Centre for Heritage Studies (CenHerst). She obtained her MA in Islamic Art & Archaeology from the University of Dhaka in 1991, MPhil and PhD in Archaeology from the Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute (Pune, India) in 1997 and 2004 respectively. She has participated in numerous archaeological excavations and/or explorations in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia. Since 2008 she has been excavating Bhitargarh archaeological site and developed various strategies for socio- economic development of the local community and stimulating public interest in heritage preservation and management. She is regularly organizing heritage festival, seminar, workshop, discussion forum and training program for preserving and promoting tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Bangladesh. She has five books and many research papers published in renowned journals and edited volumes at home and abroad. She has travelled in Asia, Europe and North America. She was honoured with the Anannya Top Ten Award (2008), Asia Fellow Award (2010) and Sher-e-Bangla A.K. Fazlul Haque Smriti Padak (2014).


All are Cordially Invited

A warm welcome to the modified and updated website of the Centre for East Asian Studies. The East Asian region has been at the forefront of several path-breaking changes since 1970s beginning with the redefining the development architecture with its State-led development model besides emerging as a major region in the global politics and a key hub of the sophisticated technologies. The Centre is one of the thirteen Centres of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi that provides a holistic understanding of the region.

Initially, established as a Centre for Chinese and Japanese Studies, it subsequently grew to include Korean Studies as well. At present there are eight faculty members in the Centre. Several distinguished faculty who have now retired include the late Prof. Gargi Dutt, Prof. P.A.N. Murthy, Prof. G.P. Deshpande, Dr. Nranarayan Das, Prof. R.R. Krishnan and Prof. K.V. Kesavan. Besides, Dr. Madhu Bhalla served at the Centre in Chinese Studies Programme during 1994-2006. In addition, Ms. Kamlesh Jain and Dr. M. M. Kunju served the Centre as the Documentation Officers in Chinese and Japanese Studies respectively.

The academic curriculum covers both modern and contemporary facets of East Asia as each scholar specializes in an area of his/her interest in the region. The integrated course involves two semesters of classes at the M. Phil programme and a dissertation for the M. Phil and a thesis for Ph. D programme respectively. The central objective is to impart an interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of history, foreign policy, government and politics, society and culture and political economy of the respective areas. Students can explore new and emerging themes such as East Asian regionalism, the evolving East Asian Community, the rise of China, resurgence of Japan and the prospects for reunification of the Korean peninsula. Additionally, the Centre lays great emphasis on the building of language skills. The background of scholars includes mostly from the social science disciplines; History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, International Relations and language.

Several students of the centre have been recipients of prestigious research fellowships awarded by Japan Foundation, Mombusho (Ministry of Education, Government of Japan), Saburo Okita Memorial Fellowship, Nippon Foundation, Korea Foundation, Nehru Memorial Fellowship, and Fellowship from the Chinese and Taiwanese Governments. Besides, students from Japan receive fellowship from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.