The Higher Education Cell (HEC) of the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS), Bangalore, the British Library (BL), London and the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) are jointly organising Digital Knowledge Exchange workshops in India. This is part of a series of strategic engagements among researchers and institutions in the UK and India, to digitize and make the BL’s immense South Asia collections accessible online, and investigate the research opportunities that are thus enabled. A forthcoming workshop to be hosted and co-organised by the National Library, Kolkata on 6 and 7 January 2011, will discuss one such initiative: research opportunities surrounding the digitization of early Bengali materials. It is anticipated that this workshop will provide a model extendable to other Indian regions and languages.
The HEC is seeking to support up to 10 researchers to participate in this workshop. The HEC, in partnership with the hosts, the National Library, Kolkata, and the research partner, the School of Cultural Texts and Records (SCTR), Jadavpur University, will organise transport and accommodation for participants.
WHO THE WORKSHOP IS FOR: Applications are sought from researchers based in India with an interest in any aspect of Bengali language, history or culture AND /OR specialists in digital humanities who are interested in the transformative potential of digital resources more generally. We encourage applications that stimulate an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approach. Early printed Bengali material would have relevance for diverse fields such as science, medicine, law, politics, anthropology, sociology, etc. An inter-disciplinary engagement could genuinely create new fields of inquiry. Applications are also welcomed from early career researchers.
The details of the programme will be devised once the participants are known. We will ask all participants to prepare presentations for the workshop, but we will not be seeking formal research papers.
HOW TO APPLY: Applicants are asked to submit a short (2 page maximum) CV outlining their major research outputs or projects of relevance to this theme. They are also required to submit a one-page proposal which defines a research project that involves digitization of early Bengali material. The proposal should state the salience of such a project for innovative research.
Potential partnerships with UK researchers, who will also attend the workshop, will be explored during the workshop. The participation of the UK-based researchers will be coordinated by the AHRC, UK. Please find a link to their announcement here:
CLOSING DATE: Selection of attendees will be made by the HEC, the National Library, and the SCTR, Jadavpur University. The names of selected attendees will be announced in late November.
Copies of applications should be sent online to and also to by November 30, 2010. The email must be clearly identified by using the text: Workshop on Early Bengali Materials: Digitisation and Research in the email subject field.