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Exchange Programme “New Directions in Active Ageing”

Aug 25, 2016

A new cooperation programme between Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies/ South Asia Institute at Heidelberg University with Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, aims at enhancing “active ageing” and “age-friendly cultures” in both India and Europe through various forms of knowledge exchange. Profs. Christiane Brosius (HCTS), William Sax (SAI) and Andreas Kruse (Gerontology) are representatives of the programme at HCTS/SAI.

In recent years, the issue of ageing has been discussed widely. Alongside rapid urbanization and climate change, many consider it to be one of the most fundamental problems of this century. This demographic shift in the development of a “graying world” creates great challenges for societies and is associated with many risks and problems. But it also involves new possibilities and opportunities. To take advantage of these, it is necessary to develop new directions in active ageing and age-friendly culture.

With this purpose, the exchange programme “New Directions in ‘Active Ageing’ and ‘Age-friendly Culture’ in India and Germany” has been established as a joint project of Heidelberg University and Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. Various research themes will be explored within the programme frame. Several of these will be facilitated through the HCTS: Environmental gerontology, with a particular focus on urban environs and urbanization, migration processes and transnational care systems, especially transnational migration, media representations and the use of media for scholarly work and the introduction of nursing homes in India. Collaborative interdisciplinary research on “Ageing in a Transcultural Context” with particular emphasis on South Asia has already been conducted at the HCTS from 2013 to 2016. The aim of this project is to further expand the focus through extensive exchange of faculty and research-based teaching in Heidelberg and Delhi.

The initiative is funded in the context of the framework of Indo-German Partnership in Higher Education (IGP) by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the programme comprises faculty, M.A. students, doctoral candidates and post-doctoral fellows. Relying on a mix of research, teaching, and discussion, it ensures that new trends and critical ideas about active ageing and age-friendly culture come into focus. During the funding period, July 2016 to June 2020, the programme not only develops research profiles on themes related to "Active Ageing" and "Age-Friendly-Culture" through pilot projects and PhD research, but also develops and implements an innovative teaching profile through a series of prominent lectures, spring- and summer-schools, and the incorporation of the “Film Festival of Generations”, organised by Dr. Michael Doh (Gerontology).

In this programme, the faculty fom HCTS, SAI and the Institute of Gerontology is represented by Prof. Dr. Christiane Brosius, Prof. Dr. William Sax, and Prof. Dr. Andreas Kruse. Christiane Brosius holds the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology at the HCTS. Prof. Sax is Speaker of Research Area C "Knowledge Systems" and Head of the Department of Ethnology at SAI (HU). Andreas Kruse is the director of the Institute of Gerontology, and is accompanied by his colleague Dr. Michael Doh.

The Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) is a central institute of Heidelberg University. Building on the structures established by the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", it assembles outstanding scholars from all over the world and from any discipline to engage in an interdisciplinary dialogue with a focus on the dynamics of global transcultural processes.

The HCTS and the SAI are represented through the Heidelberg Centre South Asia, which functions as a branch office of the South Asia Institute (SAI), the Cluster "Asia and Europe" and Heidelberg University in New Delhi, India. It is part of the “Deutsches Wissenschafts- und InnovationsHaus” (DWIH, the German House for Research and Innovation) and led by Mr. Radu Carciumaru (resident representative) and Mr. Suboor Bakht (deputy director).

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is one of the top universities in India. Located in New Delhi, it is known for leading faculties and research emphasis on liberal arts and applied sciences. Various collaborations have been undertaken between the two universities in the past decade.


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