Directors & Staff

ICAS:MP is headed by two Directors, one each from the side of the Indian and German consortium members. They are supported by the team at the Delhi Office, and the admin teams at the Indian and German partner institutions.

Current Directors

Prof. Dr. Martin Fuchs

Prof. Dr. Shail Mayaram

Prof. Dr. Shail Mayaram

Shail Mayaram is Professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. She has been trained in the disciplines of history, political science and sociology at the Universities of Rajasthan, Delhi and Chicago. Her early books, Resisting Regimes: Myth, Memory and the Shaping of a Muslim Identity (Oxford University Press, 1997, 2nd edition 2017) and Against History, Against State: Counterperspectives from the Margins (Columbia University Press, 2003) explored state formation, resistance and identity over time from the thirteenth to the twentieth centuries.

She has been a member of the Subaltern Studies Collective and co-edited Subaltern Studies: Muslims, Dalits and the Fabrications of History (Oxford University Press, 2007). A collaborative project explored conflict and coexistence in Asian cities and resulted in The Other Global City (Routledge, 2009).

Mayaram’s work on intellectual decolonisation produced the edited volume, Philosophy as Samvada and Svaraj: Dialogical meditations on Daya Krishna and Ramchandra Gandhi. A forthcoming edited book is titled, Modernity, its Pathologies and Reenchantments: Essays in Honour of Ashis Nandy includes a substantial biographical and critical essay on Ashis Nandy and discusses the creativity of Aurobindo and Gandhi in metaphysics and politics (Orient Blackswan).

The interest in nationalism and violence led to the co-authored, Creating a Nationality: The Ramjanmabhumi Movement and the Fear of Self (Oxford University Press, 1995). A later work titled, Israel as the gift of the Arabs: Letters from Tel Aviv (Yoda, 2015) argues that the metaphor of the gift can enable a paradigm shift in thinking about the Palestinian question that is currently trapped in a spiral of violence and counter-violence. She has been working on transitions of Indian Nationalism over the last two centuries, broadly speaking from the Pax Britannica to the Pax Americana. Her book on the subject, which involves both historical and ethnographic methods, is nearly complete. Another book in the making is on Political and Non-political Islam.

The interest in Indian philosophy and religion has been reinforced by an involvement in a reading group of Sanskrit texts organised by the Parekh Institute of Indian Thought at CSDS. She is module coordinator of ICAS’ Module on History as a Political Category which hosted a Workshop on History and Democracy and proposes to convene a Conference on the Idea of Heresy in 2020.

Prof. Dr. Martin Fuchs

Martin Fuchs studied Anthropology, Sociology und Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures at the Universities Marburg, Heidelberg and Frankfurt/Main, and received his PhD from the University Frankfurt/Main. This was followed by teaching appointments at the Universities of Zürich, Heidelberg and the Free University in Berlin. At the Free University he also did his Habilitation (postdoctoral qualification). In the following years Martin Fuchs held teaching and research positions at the Universities of Paderborn; Heidelberg (South Asia Institute); Free University Berlin; Central European University, Budapest; and the University of Canterbury, Christchurch (New Zealand). Martin Fuchs was Founding Director of the New Zealand South Asia Centre (2008-2009). Since 2009 Martin Fuchs holds the Professorship of Indian Religious History at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies (Max-Weber-Kolleg) of the University of Erfurt.

Martin Fuchs was one of the initiators of the M.S. Merian-R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies “Metamorphoses of the Political” (ICAS:MP). He represents the University of Erfurt in the consortium and periodically acts as the German Co-Director of ICAS:MP.

The research interests of Martin Fuchs lie in Cultural and Social Theory; the Anthropology, Sociology and Religious Studies of South Asia; Social and religious movements; Dalits; Urban Anthropology and Human Rights issues.

Publications

Former Directors

 

Office Team

Dr. Laila Abu-Er-Rub  (Head of Administration)

works for ICAS:MP since November 2017. After a vocational training in advertising and music publishing, Laila Abu-Er-Rub studied Cultural Anthropology, Religious Studies (both at Heidelberg University) and Media Studies (University of Mannheim). During her study programme, she worked as a freelancer in event management, public relations and music marketing. While completing a PhD in Media and Visual Anthropology, Laila simultaneously coordinated one of the Research Areas of the Cluster of Excellence ‘Asia and Europe in a Global Context’ at Heidelberg University (‘Public Spheres’, 2012-2017) and the EU-funded HERA SINGLE project ‘Creating the “New Asian Woman” – Entanglements of Urban Space, Cultural Encounters and Gendered Identities in Shanghai and Delhi’ (2013-2016).
Contact Details  // (+ 91) 11 4007 1150 // abu-er-rub@mwsindia.org

Himanshu Chawla  (Programme Officer Event)

joined ICAS:MP in December 2015. He manages all ICAS:MP events and assists the Head of Administration. Before that, Himanshu Chawla completed his bachelors and masters in German Studies at Delhi University and worked in the field of research and development cooperation for a German Political Foundation.
Contact Details // (+ 91) 11 4007 1146  // chawla@mwsindia.org

Nikita Jaiswal-Shankar (Programme Officer Finance)

joined ICAS:MP as Programme Officer Finance in September 2018. She is in charge of all finance-related matters, and works closely with the programme officer event, Himanshu Chawla. Formerly, she headed the finance department of the German Embassy School in New Delhi where she gained extensive experience in budget administration. Nikita Jaiswal-Shankar completed her Masters in Business Administration from Symbiosis University, Pune.
Contact Details // (+ 91) 11 4007 1147 // jaiswal-shankar@mwsindia.org

Prateek Batra (Programme Assistant)

completed his bachelors in Science (specialization – Physics Honours) at Delhi University, and is currently pursuing his MBA from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi. He has previously worked for an event management company in the field of operations and administrative tasks where he used to take care of various accounts including German organisations and other industries across India. He joined ICAS:MP as a Programme Assistant in August 2018. His tasks include the co-management of ICAS:MP events, procurement and assisting in running the ICAS:MP office.
Contact Details  // (+ 91) 11 4007 1149 // batra@mwsindia.org

List of former Office Team Members with Links