Dates and times

The preliminary timings of the conference is Tuesday 20 April – Friday 23 April 2021, with sessions running between approx. 09.00 and 15.00 UK time (BST). More detailed timings will be available once the programme reaches draft stage.

Keynote speaker: Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali is a British Pakistani political activist, writer, journalist, historian, filmmaker, and public intellectual. He is a member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review and Sin Permiso, and contributes to The Guardian, CounterPunch, and the London Review of Books. He read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Exeter College, Oxford.

He is the author of many books, including Pakistan: Military Rule or People’s Power (1970), Can Pakistan Survive? The Death of a State (1983), An Indian Dynasty: The Story of the Nehru-Gandhi Family (1985), Street Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties (1987), Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity (2002), Bush in Babylon (2003), Conversations with Edward Said (2005), Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis Of Hope (2006), A Banker for All Seasons: Bank of Crooks and Cheats Incorporated (2007), The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power (2008), The Obama Syndrome (2010), Kashmir: The Case for Freedom (2011) and The Extreme Centre: A Warning (2015).

At BASAS 2021, Tariq Ali’s keynote lecture will be titled South Asia in Crisis.


As soon as the call for papers close, we will be working hard on assessing all submissions and collating all accepted papers and panels into a programme. When we have an estimated time frame for the draft programme launch we will update this page.

Graduate student paper prize

There is a prize for the best graduate paper at the conference, awarded by BASAS and worth £250, plus the opportunity to have the paper considered for publication in one of the BASAS journals. Postgraduates wishing to compete for the paper prize must a) have their paper abstract accepted; b) register for the conference, and c) submit a 5000-7000 word paper in advance of the conference. Further details of the time frames will be announced soon, but interested parties should expect that there will be a strict deadline for registration and submission of the 5000-7000 word paper.  

Call for papers

Edinburgh University will host the BASAS annual conference between Tuesday, 20th of April and Friday, 23rd April 2021. The conference will be held online in light of ongoing uncertainties and disruptions caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Panel and paper submissions for the 2021 conference are now accepted. 

As with the Southampton conference that had to be cancelled in 2020, there is no specific theme for the conference – we invite proposals from across humanities, arts and social sciences for both panels and independent papers within the broadest reach of South Asian studies, and including work on diasporas and the Indian Ocean world. We will automatically consider all abstracts passed on to us by Southampton.

Hatton, Sri Lanka I haven’t ever feel so f

Submission Guidelines

Panel proposals (150-200 word abstract)

We welcome proposals for panels dedicated to particular topics. Panels will last for 90 minutes with 3-4 papers in each. It is advisable that proposals allow sufficient time for the presentation of papers as well as discussion (panels with 4 papers have 15 minutes per paper, panels with 3 have 20). You will be responsible for constituting the panel. 

Panel proposals should include:

  • Title of session
  • Name, affiliation and contact details for session convenors as well as abstracts outlining scope of session (150-200 words)
  • Panel proposals are to be accompanied by individual paper abstracts for each of the proposed panel members (100-150 words).
  • Please note: Incomplete panel proposals will not be accepted. Panel organisers are expected to have confirmed speakers and chair prior to submitting.
  • The conference organisers may seek to add additional individual papers to accepted papers, in discussion with panel organisers.

Individual Paper proposals

Paper proposals should include:

  • Title of paper
  • Abstract (100-150 words)
  • Name, affiliation and contact details for presenter

Submission is by email to The deadline is 30 November 2020.

fruit stall India