The University of Würzburg's Centre for Modern India Studies, IPS India Forum and the Chair of International Relations and European Studies are part of ICAS:MP Centre of Advanced Studies which has been established in New Delhi. The first ICAS:MP planning meetings and plenary session took place in October 2015 in Delhi with all members of the India Forum taking part. An official Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian and the German side was signed in 2016.
The M.S. Merian – R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies ‘Metamorphoses of the Political’ (ICAS:MP) is an Indo-German research collaboration of six Indian and German institutions funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). ICAS:MP combines the benefits of an open, interdisciplinary forum for intellectual exchange with the advantages of a cutting-edge research centre.
Located in New Delhi, ICAS:MP critically intervenes in global debates in the social sciences and humanities. Bringing together more than 70 scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and through its innovative modular and network structure, ICAS:MP generates sustainable research cooperation among leading social science and humanities scholars from India, Germany and other countries who investigate similar research problems rather than necessarily the same region.
Scholarly exchange and joint exploration within ICAS:MP are defined by a shared interest in examining the shifting boundaries, historically contingent content, and intellectual lineages of the twentieth-century ‘political’. It is thus not another initiative to strengthen ‘Area Studies’, but rather serves as a centre of advanced international research.
Through its innovative modular and network structure, ICAS:MP aims at generating sustainable research cooperation among leading humanities and social science scholars from Germany, India and other countries who investigate similar research problems rather than necessarily the same region. Scholarly exchange and joint exploration within ICAS:MP will be defined by a shared interest in examining the shifting boundaries, historically contingent contents, and intellectual lineages of the twentieth-century ‘political’. By working comparatively, ICAS:MP will highlight the overlapping yet distinctive trajectories of political processes that have unfolded over the globe.
The modules invite visiting senior and junior fellows to pursue research questions linked to the module topic. Module research activities include Fellows Lecture Series, regular Workshops and Conferences, and the development and execution of exploratory ‘Pilot Research’ projects to test the feasibility of new research questions and to explore new avenues of research collaboration.
ICAS:MP has three main interconnecting components which serve together as an International Centre of Advanced Studies and as an active and internationally visible research centre:
- Firstly, we offer an extensive fellowship programme for internationally renowned senior and outstanding postdoctoral fellows
- Secondly, in order to ensure that these fellows will be integrated into a vibrant research environment, a modular research structure has been developed
- Thirdly, in order to guarantee coherence of ICAS:MP’s academic development and ensure its international visibility, an overarching Core Module has been established and is led by an Indian and German Directors, nominated in a rotating system.
The Würzburg Centre for Modern India Studies, IPS India Forum and the Chair of International Relations and European Studies are – together with our partners in India – mainly involved in the Thematic Module “The Challenge of Gender”, encompassing aspects such as theoretical and international relations perspectives on gender equality in Indian polity, politics and foreign relations, gender perfomativity in ritual, literature and media, and the effect of educational programmes with the aim of empowering women and reducing gender inequalities.
Together with colleagues from IPS, the University of Würzburg and other universities, Dr. Philipp Gieg, Anja Zürn as well as former professor Prof. em. Gisela Müller-Brandeck-Bocquet and former staff member Timo Lowinger have organized conferences and workshops and have published edited volumes in the framework of ICAS:MP.
From IPS, three researchers are members of the Module Committee:
ICAS:MP is the first International Centre of Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences abroad that is financed by the German Ministry of Education and Research. ICAS:MP has its main location in New Delhi.
The centre is organised collectively by an Indo-German consortium consisting of:
- Centre for Modern India Studies (ZMIW), University of Würzburg
- Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS), University of Göttingen
- Centre for the Studies of Developing Societies (CSDS), Neu-Delhi
- Centre the Studies of Social Sciences Calcutta (CSSSC), Kolkata
- Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), Neu-Delhi
- Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt
- Max Weber Foundation, Bonn, with its German Historical Institute London (GHIL)