Shimla panorama. Photo credit: Vincent Desjardins/Creative Commons

 

Now is the time to visit the Centre for Australian and New Zealand Studies at Himachal Pradesh University in Shimla. The Centre is rapidly becoming a touchstone for people-to-people contacts between Australia and India. It also doesn’t hurt that it is smack bang in the middle of the picturesque Himalayan foothills!

Founded in 2007, the Centre’s vision is to make Australia and New Zealand accessible to India and India accessible to Australia by building resources and promoting academic exchanges.

The nearby Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. Wikimedia Commons

 

Courses

The Centre’s real strength lies in their courses on Australian literature. They run courses on Indigenous literature, an Australian fiction program and Master’s programs in Australian literature.

Previous graduates have produced research on the writings of Tim Winton and comparisons between existentialism as found in the writings of Patrick White and the Guru Granth Sahib! If you want to visit the Centre for a semester abroad or if a full postgraduate program appeals, then check out the application process here.

Admissions at Indian universities can occasionally feel impenetrable for those unfamiliar with the system. It may then be a good idea to contact the Founding Programme Coordinator/Director, Professor Pankaj K. Singh, in advance for clarification of any concerns. Professor Singh can be contacted at either [email protected] or [email protected].

 

Visit

But you don’t need to study there to visit! The Centre actively encourages a range of academics, writers, artists, scientists, administrators to apply to conduct workshops on matters relating to Australia and New Zealand. These workshops are normally organised in conjunction with the Australia-India Council. To inquire about these workshops, contact Professor Singh or Professor Neelima Kanwar, who can be reached at [email protected], or [email protected].

These workshops have engaged topics as diverse Australian poetry, gender politics in Australia and India, and creative writing. Scholars from universities across Australia attend these workshops regularly.

 

Residencies

The Centre is also a nominated Global Collaborator as part of the Australian Asialink program. Artists and writers can apply for residencies at the Centre, which will facilitate networking with scholars, artists and writers within the university, the nearby Indian Institute of Advanced Study, and further afield. To learn more about the Asialink application process, see what Asia Options has to say about artist residencies in India.

The people-to-people links created by the Centre are an important resource in the Australia-India relationship. If the idea of studying and working on international friendships in the crisp Himalayan air appeals to you, then it is time to visit the Centre for Australian and New Zealand Studies.

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Felix Pal

Felix is completing his PhD in International, Political and Strategic Studies at the Australian National University. Since his first trip in 2008, Felix has travelled extensively through the region. Having studied both Hindi and Urdu, he regularly finds himself back in Delhi for work, research and travel.

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