Visiting lecturer Professor Agnieszka Kuszewska - political scientist and an admirer of South Asian music
Visiting lecturer Professor Agnieszka Kuszewska will be teaching a course on Asian politics (“Contemporary challenges in South and East Asia" SHRG.03.018) at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies. The lectures will be held between the 3rd and 5th of May. The course is open for registration on the study information system.
We asked Agnieszka a few questions to get to know her a bit more.
What brings you to Tartu?
A: I visited Tartu as a tourist in 2016 and I really loved the city. This time I am here though a Erasmus+ programme which intends to connect scholars and enable them to teach at different universities.
What is your main research field?
A: My research field are international relations, security challenges and human rights, especially in contemporary South Asia. I have 13 years of experience at teaching about South Asia - mainly the position of India and Pakistan in international affairs and the history of India-Pakistan relations.
What are you working on currently?
A: The processes of radicalization in India and Pakistan, the analysis of Kashmir conflict.
What can one expect to learn in the upcoming lecture?
A: The course objectives are to give basic understanding of the challenges of contemporary South and East Asia. It introduces various issues in the region, the strategies of superpowers and the problem of radicalization and terrorist threats. It will provide students with a better understanding of the political and strategic map of the world, solutions to international conflicts, and provide them with scenario building abilities. It is aimed at fostering a problem-solving attitude and the ability of analytical thinking.
In your opinion, what are the most important/impactful recent developments in South or East Asia?
A: The escalation of the situation in Kashmir, jingoistic policies of India and Pakistan, and terrorist threat.
In Estonia, we have been having various public conferences about Asia and the need for experts who speak the languages and understand the culture. The universities are now opening new MA programs for Asian studies. How would you describe the situation in Poland? Is Asia a concrete focus of the university or even the state?
A: South Asian studies are developing particularly at Warsaw University and Jagiellonian University (Kraków). Asian studies covering East Asia and Southeast Asia have already become very popular.
I have heard that South Asian classical and semi-classical music is your passion. Furthermore, you are a foreign contributor for Phaser, a Pakistani music magazine. How did this become your hobby?
A: Many years ago, I had the opportunity to listen to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. While travelling to South Asia I attended many music events and met some of the most renowned artists. I developed cooperation with the music magazine. I write articles about Poland-Pakistan music projects where folk musicians of both countries play together and record CD’s. It is called Music without Borders. I strongly support the idea of music as the element which should be used in cultural diplomacy in order to build bridges in contemporary world which is becoming more and more radicalized.
Anything else you would like to add?
A: I am really looking forward to meeting the students at Tartu University and seeing this wonderful city again!
Agnieszka Kuszewska is Professor of Political Science at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Institute of Social Sciences) in Warsaw. She is also South Asia expert at Poland–Asia Research Centre, member of European Association for South Asian Studies and a board member of Polish Association of International Relations. Her research and teaching focus on international relations, conflict and security studies, political and social challenges of contemporary India and Pakistan and human rights (especially in Kashmir).
Written by Mart Veliste, 02.05.17