Meeting Minutes - 2 April 2011

posted Apr 22, 2011, 10:17 PM by International Association of Women Archaeologists Working in South Asia   [ updated Apr 23, 2011, 12:25 AM ]

The meeting we held in Sacramento at the Society for American Archaeologists Annual Meeting was small and brief, but good. In attendance were: Jennifer Campbell, Alison Carter, Katie Lindstrom, Theresa Raczek, Uzma Rizvi, Gwen Kelly and Robert Simpkins. 

We talked about refining and revising the mission statement, in particular the need for a much shorter mission statement, so that it will fit in the space provided on funding applications.

We discussed the upcoming formalization of the organization into a non-profit, professional, membership based structure, and discussed some aspects of drafting the by-laws. No specific decisions were made, we just had some general discussion. 

We also discussed the nature of the challenge of including men, and communicating that men are welcome, given the name of the organization. We polled the men in attendance (Robert) and found out that at least some men may be interested to participate, especially if specifically invited to attend, and especially when they seek some understanding about how to improve the gender-related dynamics of doing archaeology in South Asia.

We also talked about ways to increase international membership and participation, as our current member bases are biased towards the United States and India, with fewer members in other South Asian countries, and very few from other non-South Asian countries. It was primarily suggested that we hold our annual (or semi-annual) conferences at different venues in institutions around South Asia, not just India, to promote membership and participation. We're still obviously open to more suggestions on that topic.

Membership Update: currently 124 Members in 8 countries, (Bangladesh-1, Canada-1, India-77, Pakistan-1, Poland-1, Sri Lanka-4, United Kingdom-4, United States-35). 

Based on these discussions moving forward, we are drafting a set of by-laws which will include a charter for an elected board of directors, including president, secretary, treasurer and 4-6 at-large members of the board.  In addition the president and the executive board will have an advisory board of 6 members. (The advisory board is currently composed of Dr. Kathleen Morrison, Dr. Smriti Haricharan, Katie Lindstrom, Gwen Kelly, Kelly Wilcox and Kanika Kalra.)   Committees will also be formed for conferences, publications and awards. Some committees may be formed by election, others on a volunteer and ad-hoc basis. The organization will function much like other professional associations with a dues structure that will be tiered based on standing (student, post-doc, faculty, etc.) and on country/currency. We will also have a structure for accepting philanthropic donations, and seek grants from outside sources to fund various activities, such as conferences, workshops, etc.

I have since drafted the following revised and much shorter version of the mission statement. It is still open for revision and comment:

The International Association for Women Archaeologists Working in South Asia (IAWAWSA) is a non-profit organization and professional association dedicated to promoting and supporting archaeological research in South Asia, especially research by women, and to promoting gender equity in the field of South Asian archaeology. We aim to support these goals by fostering international collaboration and mentoring relationships, by building a community of scholars at all stages of life and career. We provide services to members in the form of conferences and workshops and other opportunities for professional development and the dissemination of knowledge and the results of research.  We seek to engage the public on issues of preservation and stewardship, and the importance of increasing our conservation of, and knowledge about, our global human heritage in South Asia. 

Feel free to comment below, or contact me (Gwen) at

Post-Doc at Bowdoin College, Maine (USA)

posted Feb 1, 2011, 9:27 PM by International Association of Women Archaeologists Working in South Asia   [ updated Feb 1, 2011, 9:30 PM ]

Subject: Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Bowdoin College - Art History (Asian)

Dear colleagues and friends,

Please circulate this ad for a new postdoctoral fellowship at Bowdoin.  Note that Bowdoin has very strong and generous support for teaching and research beyond the stipulated funds mentioned in the ad.

Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowships at Bowdoin College

Bowdoin College is pleased to accept applications for one and two-year, post-doctoral fellowships in the humanities and humanistic social sciences supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. These fellowships support the academic careers of recent Ph.D.s with opportunities to continue their research while gaining valuable experience as teachers in a small liberal arts college setting. In particular, Bowdoin seeks scholars whose research and teaching can connect across disciplines. Fellows are expected to teach three courses each academic year and contribute new courses to the Bowdoin curriculum.

Applicants for the Mellon fellowships must have completed their Ph.D. no earlier than January 1, 2009. Candidates who expect their Ph.D. by June 30, 2011 should provide documentation from their home institution confirming this schedule. Applicants must possess a demonstrated commitment to excellence in teaching and research.

Bowdoin College accepts only electronic submissions. Applications should consist of a completed application profile, cover letter, curriculum vitae, writing sample (maximum 25 pages), the names of three referees and proof of Ph.D. or letter substantiating that all degree requirements have been met. Please visit to apply.

The fellowship carries a stipend of $50,000 plus benefits, as well as a $5,000 research and travel fund.

Bowdoin invites applications in the following fields and interdisciplinary areas:

Environmental Studies (Humanities or Environmental Ethics)
Africana Studies (History)
Religion (Modern Christianity)
Art History (Asian)
Government (IR or Comparative - China/East Asia)

Review of applications will begin March 1, 2011.

A highly selective liberal arts college on the Maine coast with a diverse student body made up of 29% students of color, 3% International students and approximately 15% first generation college students, Bowdoin College is committed to equality and diversity and is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage inquiries from candidates who will enrich and contribute to the cultural, socio-economic, and ethnic diversity of our college. Bowdoin College does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, religion, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin, or disability status in employment, or in our education programs. For further information about the college please visit our website:

Dr. Asma Ibrahim, Archaeologist : Grave Digger of a Different Kind

posted Aug 24, 2010, 9:46 AM by International Association of Women Archaeologists Working in South Asia   [ updated Aug 24, 2010, 9:56 AM ]

Dr. Asma Ibrahim is an IAWAWSA member, and a wonderful archaeologist working in Pakistan. She was recently profiled on the blog: KARACHIWALI by authoRumana Husain

‘Garhay murday ukhadna’ is a saying in Urdu, which could be closely equated with ‘let bygones be bygones’. Literally meaning ‘to dig up buried bodies’…and implying at the same time, that it is inappropriate to do so. Dr. Asma Ibrahim, the thirty-something, only woman archaeologist of our country working actively in the field, does just that! However, she cannot let bygones be bygones and get away with it too. She has been working extremely hard to create a niche for herself in this difficult and challenging domain of work. Archaeology - a science which enables entire nations to look back in history, learn from it, and also take pride in their heritage."

“What prompted you to choose this unusual career?” I could not help asking her. In Pakistan, we are fortunate to have even prehistoric sites, but unfortunately we are neither good custodians of our heritage nor do we, as a nation, have much knowledge about them. “After I graduated from the D.J. Science College, I got hooked up on Darwin’s theory and history, and wanted to explore these more. I therefore decided to study archaeology for my Master’s and later completed my PhD in 1998 from the Karachi University. My doctorate thesis was about the Indo-Greek coins - in the area of numismatics (the study of coins).” 

Click here to read the rest! 

Women in Archaeology in the News

posted Aug 5, 2010, 9:05 AM by International Association of Women Archaeologists Working in South Asia   [ updated Aug 5, 2010, 9:57 AM ]

On 24th July, 2010, the following article came out in the Indian Express (Tamil Nadu Edition - Edex Supplement). 

Meeting Notes

posted Aug 3, 2010, 1:59 PM by International Association of Women Archaeologists Working in South Asia   [ updated Aug 3, 2010, 4:00 PM ]

Dear Members, 

On the 31st of July, 2010, we held a meeting and seminar at Fulbright House in New Delhi. 

First I would like to thank Fulbright/USIEF for generously allowing us to use their space. Second, I would like to thank those attending, and especially those who presented, including Kanika Kalra, Uthara Suvrathan, Vinayak Inramjas, Dr. Supriya Varma, and Dr. Shanti Pappu. 

After a few hiccups with the AV system, we got started, with me (Gwen Kelly) giving some introductory remarks about the goals of the organization. Following this, all attending introduced themselves, and we began brainstorming for ideas about more goals, such as events that the organization should try to sponsor/organize in the future. 

I presented the following goals/ideas:

  • IAWAWSA should be a network to connect people with shared interests, to give support and advice to young scholars.
  • IAWAWSA can and should begin organizing small workshops for students in India (at least to start, then in other places) on subjects such as pottery drawing and analysis, lithic analysis, and grant proposal writing.
  • IAWAWSA will try to obtain funding in order to be able to offer grants/fellowships in the following categories: conference travel, pre-dissertation research, doctoral dissertation research, doctoral dissertation write-up, and post-doctoral research. 
  • IAWAWSA might consider starting/sponsoring a journal.

Some of the ideas raised by those attending were:
  • IAWAWSA should sponsor/organize an annual conference on South Asian Archaeology. It was suggested that next year's conference may be hosted by the Center for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.
  • IAWAWSA should organize workshops on materials identification, GIS/Mapping, Photoshop/Illustrator for Archaeological Illustrations, and ASI Rules and Regulations. 
  • IAWAWSA should create/maintain a website/discussion boards with topics including research/fieldwork opportunities, the problem of plagiarism, and any other topics the members may find useful. 
  • IAWAWSA should consider the creation of a database for site information, including geo-spatial data, as well as information on the status/destruction of sites.
  • IAWAWSA should consider the creation of a public database of publications/citations and theses, including PDFs where/when possible.
I/We will begin working on these goals right away.  Please contact if you are interested in helping to organize any events or work on these projects. 

Below are some pictures of the presentations:

                    Kanika Kalra talking about Harnol.

Vinayak Inramjas reading his paper on Bone and Ivory Objects from Indor Khera.
         Uthara Suvrathan talking about regional authority at Banavasi and Gudnapura.

 Dr. Supriya Varma talking about Excavations at Indor Khera.

Dr. Shanti Pappu on Heritage Management and Paleolithic sites in Tamil Nadu.

Thank you again to the presenters and attendees. You all made the meeting and seminar a success!!
            Gwen Kelly 

Annual Conference on South Asia, Oct 22-25th, 2009

posted Oct 7, 2009, 5:18 PM by International Association of Women Archaeologists Working in South Asia   [ updated Oct 8, 2009, 8:28 AM ]

The full schedule of events is available here: Annual Conference on South Asia. The conference is hosted by the University of Wisconsin, Madison, every year in October. What follows is a summary of Panel times, titles and presenters, presenting on topics related to Archaeology. A PDF version is available here




Session 1: Friday, October 23, 2009 

8:30 - 10:15AM


Location: Senate Room A - 1st Floor


“Crossroads Through Time:  Tracing Networks and Interregional Relationships

Across South Asia”


Organizer and Chair: Namita Sugandhi, City University of New York


Brad Chase, Albion College

“Connecting the Dots? Harappan Subsistence Organization in Gujarat”


Katie Lindstrom, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Harappan Style Ceramics from Gola Dhoro, Gujarat: Defining Inter-Site”


Namita Sugandhi, City University of New York

“Connecting Early Rajasthan:  Network Perspectives and the Chatrikhera Research Project”


Alison Carter, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Trade and Exchange Networks Between South Asia and Cambodia During the Early Historic Period: Preliminary Results From an Examination of Stone and Glass Beads”


Brian Wilson, University of Chicago

“Colonial Foundations: Culture and Ethnicity in the Interpretation of Roman Trade at Arikamedu”




Location: Capitol Ballroom B - 2nd Floor


“Histories of Urbanization and Urbanism: Papers in Honor of James Heitzman (supported by Nagara, Center for Urban Studies, History and Culture, Bangalore)” (Part I)


Organizers: Smriti Srinivas and Leslie C. Orr

Chair: Smriti Srinivas, University of California, Davis


Jason Hawkes, Cambridge University

“Stupas in the Rural Environment, Exploring the Relationships Between Buddhism and Urbanism Outside of the Urban Sphere”


Padma Kaimal, Colgate University

“What Did Medieval Kanchipuram Look Like?”


Kenneth R. Hall, Ball State University

“Urban Networking and Hierarchy in Cola-era South India:  The Importance of James Heitzman’s Scholarship on Temple-Centered Urbanism”


Sunil Kumar, School of Oriental and African Studies

“The Many Courts and Cities of the Delhi Sultans”


Session 2: Friday, October 23, 2009

10:30 AM - 12:15 PM


Location: Senate Room A - 1st Floor


“Multidisciplinary Approaches, Interdisciplinary Meanings:  Unravelling the Archaeological Record in South Asia” (Part I)


Organizer and Chair: Jennifer Campbell, University of Toronto


Dennys Frenez, University of Bologna

“The 'Lothal Revisitation Project': A Multidisciplinary Research Program Designed to Reconsider the South-Easternmost Hub of the Indus Civilization on the Arabian Sea.”


Gregg M. Jamison, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Contemporary Steatite Carving in Udaipur, Rajasthan”


Teresa Raczek, University of New Hampshire

“Collaborative Ethnographic Archaeology: Combining Oral History and Archaeology in Rajasthan.”


Heather Walder, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Assessing Stone Carving Technology and Community Involvement in the Production of the Ashokan Rock Edicts”


Mudit Trivedi, Univeristy of Chicago

"Revisiting Kausambi: Archaeological Perspectives on Identity, Complexity and Process in the Formative Ganga Basin"




Location: Capitol Ballroom B - 2nd Floor


“Merchants, Women and Kings in Medieval and Early Modern South India: Papers in Honor of James Heitzman” (Part II)


Organizers: Smriti Srinivas and Leslie C. Orr

Chair: Whitney Cox, School of Oriental and African Studies


Daud Ali, School of Oriental and African Studies

“Inscriptional Prosopographies: Merchant Lineages in Medieval South India”


Srilata Raman, University of Toronto

“The Righteous King in Chola Historiography and its Reflection in Medieval Tamil Bhakti”


Gita V. Pai, University of California, Berkeley

“The Power to Gift: Kingship in an Nāyaka State”


Davesh Soneji, McGill University

“Concubines, Copper Plates and Colonial Authority: Temple Inscriptions by Women in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century Tanjore”


Session 3: Friday, October 23, 2009

1:45 - 3:30 PM


Location: Senate Room A - 1st Floor


“Multidisciplinary Approaches, Interdisciplinary Meanings:  Unravelling the Archaeological Record in South Asia” (Part II)


Organizer and Chair: Jennifer Campbell, University of Toronto


Gwendoyln O. Kelly, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Craft Production and Technology During the Iron Age to Early Historic Transition in Tamil Nadu”


Lars Fogelin, University of Arizona

“Ignoring the Problem: Individual and Group Ritual in Early Buddhist Rock-Cut Chaityas in South Asia”


Jennifer Campbell, University of Toronto

“Mughal, Sikh and British; An Entwined History of Space and Place and Meaning”


Matthew Milligan, University of Texas at Austin

"Towards a Grammar of Representation: Buddhist Stupa Architecture in the Sanchi Reliefs"


Discussant: Heather M.-L. Miller, University of Toronto


Session 4: Friday, October 23, 2009 

3:45 - 5:30 PM


Location: Senate Room A - 1st Floor


“The Application of Scientific Technologies to Archaeological Research”


Organizer and Chair: Mary Davis, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Mary Davis, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Using GIS at Harappa”


Randall Law, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Is it possible to source fired steatite artifacts using INAA?”


Laure Dussubieux, The Field Museum of Natural History

“Trade Patterns in South Asia as Revealed by the Study of Ancient Glass Bead Compositions”


Brett Hoffman, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The Analysis of a Metal Assemblage: Examples from Harappa”


Friday, October 23, 2009

5:30pm - 6:30pm


Location: Senate Room A – 1st Floor


Meeting of IAWAWSA

The International Association of Women Archaeologists Working in South Asia



Friday, October 23, 2009

8:00 - 9:00 PM 

Keynote Address


Location: Wisconsin Ballroom


"The Local and the Global: Exploring Deep South Indian Histories Through a Fine Lens"


Dr. Carla Sinopoli, Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan


Historical constructions of ancient India often rely on limited and poorly theorized evidence to draw very broad conclusions.  Small numbers of royal inscriptions and scarce and poorly understood material remains are used to create vast narratives – of sequences of empires and of ideological and sociopolitical transformations playing out at a subcontinental scale.  In this talk, I step back from these ‘global’ constructions of ancient India to take a close look at a small part of southern India, which variously moved in and out of the large dramas portrayed in our big narratives.  In so doing, I hope to illustrate how consideration of the material evidence of lived lives of the inhabitants of the Tungabhadra river region of northern Karnataka can add richness to our understandings of long term historical changes and distant pasts.


Session 5: Saturday, October 24, 2009

8:30 - 10:15AM


Location: Senate Room A - 1st Floor


“Architecture and Landscape: Perspectives from the Medieval Deccan, South India, and Sri Lanka”


Organizer and Chair: Robert Simpkins, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Mahalakshmi Ramakrishnan, Jawaharlal Nehru University

"Beyond the Politics of Conquest: Brahmanical Iconography and the Cultural Landscape in Polonaruva, Sri Lanka"


Robert Brubaker, University of Arkansas

“Regional Geopolitical Processes and the Creation of Vijayanagara’s Urban Landscape”


Pushkar Sohoni, University of Pennsylvania

“Gardens and Pavilions: Palaces of the Nizam Shahs”


Robert Simpkins, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The Mysterious Milestones of Andhra Pradesh”


Location: Capitol Ballroom A - 2nd Floor

“Pakistan and the Debate on the Nature of the State”

Organizer and Chair: Roger Long, Eastern Michigan University

Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Archaeology of the Prehistoric and Early Historic Periods in the Northwest Subcontinent: The Relevance to Contemporary Pakistan and India”


Session 8: Sunday, October 25, 2009 

8:30 - 10:15AM


Location: Senate Room A - 1st Floor


“The Lost Fourth Century CE in India: An Ending, a Beginning, or a Transition?”


Organizer: Robert Brown, University of California, Los Angeles

Chair: Daud Ali, University of Pennsylvania


Sonya Quintanilla, San Diego Museum of Art

“Phantom Kings, Dynastic Heroes, and Innovations in Iconography in Jain and Brahmanical Sculpture of the Fourth Century”


Nicholas Morrissey, Sydney University

“Out with the Old, in with the New:  Gupta Hegemony and the Transformation of Buddhism in Early Medieval India”


Kurt Behrendt, Metropolitan Museum of Art

“The Not So Lost Fourth Century in Gandhara:  Sculptural and Architectural Evidence”


Robert Brown, University of California, Los Angeles

“Is the Sarnath Style Gupta-Period Buddha Image an Innovation?”


posted Sep 23, 2009, 7:34 AM by International Association of Women Archaeologists Working in South Asia   [ updated Sep 23, 2009, 7:36 AM ]

The Annual Conference on South Asia
Madison, Wisconsin

Please join us:
Friday, October 23, 2009
5:30pm - 6:30pm
Senate Room A, Concourse Hotel

Everyone is invited to join us for our first meeting of
the International Association of Women Archeologists Working in South Asia!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Facebook Group

posted Sep 15, 2009, 9:21 AM by International Association of Women Archaeologists Working in South Asia   [ updated Sep 15, 2009, 9:23 AM ]

We have a Facebook group for IAWAWSA which provides another great venue for connecting with other members.  We hope you'll join us there!  

1-8 of 8