Lady Caplan, Chair
Joyce Caplan is a Teaching Fellow at University of Edinburgh and a member of the General Council. Chair of several NGO’s including Poetry Association of Scotland, Children’s Classic Concerts and the medical Charity The Snowball Trust. Also a Board member of The Edinburgh Jewish Literary Society, ScottishPEN, The Edinburgh Burns Council, The Muriel Spark Society.
Lord Bruce, Vice Chair
Charles Bruce is active in the not-for-profit sector in conservation, the fine arts, and multiculturalism. He manages a family estate in Fife as a sustainable rural business centred on Broomhall House, an international destination and events venue. He chairs the Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust which is restoring the historic Scottish cemetery in Kolkata (Calcutta) as an exemplar of urban regeneration.
He is president of the Democracy Forum, which hosts regular seminars in London on human rights and political authority in several Asian countries including China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Myanmar. As patron of the Japan Society of Scotland he is a regular visitor to Japan.
As a former chairman of the Patrons of the National Galleries of Scotland he contributed to the appreciation of the fine arts by raising funds for the national collection. He is also involved in conservation of the built environment and helped establish the Scottish Lime Centre at Charlestown on the family estate, as Scotland’s leading training hub for masonry skills.
Educated at the universities of St Andrews and Dundee, he studied Economic History and Sustainable Urban Design. He is on the advisory council of the International Academic Forum (IAFOR), based in Osaka, and serves on the board of the Asia Scotland Institute. He is deputy chairman of the Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies and contributes to the journal, Gitanjali and Beyond.
Nandini Sen, Secretary
Nandini Sen, PhD, is an independent researcher (Social Anthropology) affiliated to organisations like Centre for South Asian Studies (University of Edinburgh) and Intercultural Research Centre (Heriot Watt University). Her book Urban Marginalisation in South Asia: Waste Pickers in Calcutta was first published by Routledge/ Taylor and Francis in 2018. In 2020 it has come back in paperback. It focuses on marginalisation and environmental well-being. It is now placed in 74 renowned libraries including British Library and National Library of Scotland.
Her paper Women and Gender in Short Stories by Rabindranath Tagore: An Anthropological Introspection on Kinship and Family was published in Anthropological Journal of European Cultures (2016) where she has significantly compared Tagore’s role in education and women’s emancipation with Scottish educationist and environmentalist Patrick Geddes’s work.
Neil Fraser, Treasurer
Neil Fraser is retired from being Senior Lecturer, School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh. He is the author of ‘Social Security through Guaranteed Employment, India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act’ Social Policy and Administration, Nov. 2015 and a contributor and advisor to A Confluence of Minds The Rabindranath Tagore and Patrick Geddes Reader on Education and Environment, Luath Press, 2018.
Gari Donn, PhD is the Founder and Executive Director of UN House Scotland, Chair of the UN Association Edinburgh and Hon Fellow of the University of Edinburgh. She has extensive research experience and publications on Education in the Middle East and in Commonwealth Countries, having held the post of Advisor for Higher Education at the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Her publications include: Education in the Broader Middle East: borrowing a baroque arsenal Symposium Books: Oxford 2013; Globalisation and Higher Education in the Arab Gulf States Symposium Books: Oxford 2010; Parliament, SEED and the Administration of Scottish Education’ in Bryce T. & Humes W. (eds) Scottish Education After Devolution (vol 3) Chapter 11, 113-122 Edinburgh University Press 2008
Gari has current collaborations with universities in India (Jindal Global University Law School and Ashoka University) and Pakistan (Aga Khan University, Karachi) as well as in South Africa, Canada, Oman (Sultan Qaboos University), China (Zhe Jiang Normal University (ZJNU), Linyi Normal University and Beijing Normal University), and Japan (Tokyo University). Since 1995, Gari has been a Justice of the Peace for the City of Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders JP Courts
Mridula Chakraborty, PhD has worked over thirty years as a chartered engineer and business consultant, involved in a wide variety of high-profile Innovation Projects. She has worked indefatigably in the community promoting Art and Culture and in supporting and managing socio-cultural activities serving Indians in and around Glasgow. She is a founder member of the Bengali Cultural Association established in 1971 to eliminate isolation of Indian Bengalis and saving them from Social Exclusion and promoting cultural heritage. She has been General Secretary and President of the Bangiya Sanskritik Parishad (Bengali Cultural Association), Glasgow, she is General Secretary of the Association for the Indian Organisation (AIO), on the Board of directors of the Peace Arts (a charitable performing arts and cultural organisation), a Committee member of East Renfrewshire Interfaith Group, Committee member of ‘Women Across the world’, the Glasgow Hindu Mandir and SEMSA (Scottish Ethnic Minority Sports Association, on the Board of Desi Bravehearts, promoting Indian classical dance and music and is a member of East Renfrewshire Interfaith Forum
Her awards include Hind Rattan Award (2008) by NRII (Non-Resident Indian) Welfare, Achievement award in Education (2009) from AIO contribution in the field of education in Science and Engineering and Social Cohesion and House of Lords award (2010) as a Global Non-resident Indian award for contribution to British Society in the field of Science and Engineering. She is the Chair of the Tagore Centre, Glasgow Branch based at Mitchell Library.
Murdo Macdonald is Emeritus Professor of History of Scottish Art (University of Dundee). He is author of Scottish Art in Thames and Hudson’s World of Art series. He is a former editor of Edinburgh Review. His book Patrick Geddes’s Intellectual Origins was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2020. He was appointed an honorary member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 2009, and an honorary fellow of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies in 2016.
Professor Stephen Gilbert Hillier OBE is Emeritus Professor of Reproductive Endocrinology and Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Medical Research Council Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh Medical School. His career at the University of Edinburgh spans over 30 years as researcher, teacher, postgraduate director, honorary consultant clinical scientist and senior academic leader. As Vice-Principal International, he led the University of Edinburgh’s internationalisation strategy ‘Edinburgh Global’, from 2008 to 2014. He was awarded an OBE in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list for contributions to international higher education.
Anindya Raychaudhuri, PhD is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK. He is the author of two monographs, Homemaking: Radical Nostalgia and the Construction of a South Asian Diaspora (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) and Narrating South Asian Partition: Oral History, Literature, Cinema (Oxford University Press, 2019). In 2016, he was named one of the BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinkers. His research interests include critical theory and Marxism, postcolonial studies, and memory studies. He is currently working on a cultural history of vertigo.
Bashabi Fraser, Director
Bashabi Fraser, CBE is Professor Emerita of English and Creative Writing (Edinburgh Napier University, Honorary Fellow at the Centre for South Asian Studies, the University of Edinburgh and Editor in Chief of the ScoTs journal, Gitanjali and Beyond. Her publications include Rabindranath Tagore, a critical biography (2019), Scottish Orientalism and the Bengal Renaissance: The Continuum of Ideas, Co-Ed., (2017), Confluence of Minds: the Rabindranath Tagore and Patrick Geddes Reader on Education and the Environment, Co-Ed., (2017) and A Meeting of Two Minds, the Geddes-Tagore Letters (2005; 4th Rvd Edn 2021). Bashabi is an Honorary Vice President of the Association of Scottish Literary Studies (ASLS) and on the Board of ScottishPEN.
Members of the Advisory Board for ScoTs
Professor Suranjan Das
Professor Suranjan Das, is currently the Vice-Chancellor of Jadavpur University and had been the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta for the period between 2008 and 2015. He was also a Professor of History at the Calcutta University. Professor Das is Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter. A graduate of Presidency College, Kolkata, Professor Das has a distinguished academic record — securing First Class First positions in BA (History Honours) and MA (History) of the University of Calcutta and D.Phil. degree of Oxford University. He specialises in South Asian History and Politics, especially identity politics, socio-cultural transformation and nation-building. He has authored six monographs, co-authored five books, co-edited six volumes and published thirty-three articles in refereed journals and edited volumes, which are widely cited.
Professor Das was a Distinguished Fellow, Australia India Institute, University of Melbourne, Honorary Professor at the Hull University, a Visiting Professor of the British Academy in 2000 and a Visiting Scholar, among others at the Maison Des Sciences De L’Homme (Paris), Mershon Centre of Ohio State University, the University of New Mexico, the University of Illionis at Urbana-Champaign and the Oxford Brookes University. He was President of Modern India Section of the Indian History Congress (2003) and the General President of the Punjab History Congress for the 2014 session. He is a recipient of many national awards and fellowships.
Professor Das has served in policy formulation bodies concerned with the higher education in India like the University Grants Commission, and Indian Council of Historical Research. He was Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees of Indian Museum, Kolkata, member of the Executive Committees of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, member of the Governing Council, Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi, and remains associated with the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Bengaluru, and governing boards of leading educational institutions of India.
Dr Nandini Bhattacharya
Dr Nandini Bhattacharya is Professor of English in The Department of English and Culture Studies,the University of Burdwan, West Bengal India. She is Project Director of the UGC SAP DRS II project entitled “Ethics of Border Crossing” of the Department of English and Culture Studies.Nandini is Visiting Professor of National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, teaching a course on Ethics, Law and Literature. She is also recipient of UGC National Research Fellowship Award, and Research Project Award of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata.and the curator of a permanent border crossing event exhibition in the Department of English and CS, The University of Burdwan. She is collaborating with the Department of History North Eastern Hill University, Shillong on a project on accessions and plebiscites as part of her studies on subcontinental partitions.
Nandini specialises in nineteenth century ideologies, and migration-border crossing studies.
She has consistently researched and published in nineteenth century Britain and the colonial subcontinental ideological interfaces. Her important books include:
1. R. K. Narayan’s The Guide: A Critical Companion (monograph)
2. Mulk Raj Anand’s Untouchable (edited and introduced)
3. “A Love Song to Our Mongrel Selves: Problematic of Identity in the Novels of Salman Rushdie (monograph)
4. Rabindranath Tagore’s Gora: A Critical Companion (Edited, Introduced and contributed)
5. The Annotated Kankabati: Translating A Modern Fairy Tale
6. The CBCS Handbook.
Nandini’s book Strange Familiarities exploring subcontinental epistolary cultures is in press (Orient Blackswan in 2021). She is currently working on Scottish ideological influences on Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar’s educational experiments.
Prof (Dr) Deb Narayan Bandyopadhyay
Prof (Dr) Deb Narayan Bandyopadhyay is the Vice Chancellor, Bankura University, West Bengal, India. He was Professor in the Dept of English, Burdwan University, India. He is also the Founder Director of the Indian Association of Scottish Studies at Bankura University and is the Secretary of the Indian Association for the Study of Australia, Eastern Region and Indian Association of Scottish Studies.
In 2001 he was invited to give a course of lectures on “Nineteenth-century Representations of Shakespeare in India” at the University of Vienna, Shakespeare Society of Vienna and the University of Salzburg. He also visited the University of Edinburgh; and he lectured at a seminar organised at Mansfield College, Oxford in 2002, with assistance from British Council. He was nominated for the Fulbright Exchange Summer Institute Program in 2003 and he worked at Northern Illinois University, University of Chicago and the State University of New York. He was awarded fellowships by the Australia-India Council in 2005 and 2006, and was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Monash University (School of English, Communication and Performance Studies) in 2007. He was the Visiting Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales (School of History and Philosophy) in 2010-12. He was the Honorary Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Monash University (School of English, Communication and Performance Studies, Australian and Indigenous Studies: 2009- 2018).
He has published and co-edited many scholarly books, and is the author of innumerable papers. He is also the international contributing editor of the Journal of American History (Indiana University, USA). He has been the Project Leader of a research project on Gerontology working in collaboration with the University of Swansea, Wales which has been funded by UKIERI (UK-India Education and Research Initiative), 2014-2016. He is also a creative writer and his poems have been published in different journals in India and abroad.
Peter is Professor of Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education at the University of Edinburgh. He is Director of the Global Environment and Society Academy, and the United Nations University Regional Centre of Expertise in ESD (Scotland). He teaches extensively indoors, outdoors across Scotland, through blended-learning and on-line, and was recently awarded the University of Edinburgh’s most prestigious award for sustained contributions to teaching, the Chancellor’s Award (2018). He and his colleagues conduct research in learning for sustainability and outdoor education, and particularly the relationship between these.
Since 1999 he has advised the Scottish Government on his fields, and chaired the Ministerial Learning for Sustainability Advisory and Implementation Groups (2011-2016). He has supported education and policy developments in a several other countries. He is an Expert Advisor to the UK Commission for UNESCO, to the Asia-Pacific ESD Network and the China Nature Education Network.
Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Chair of Europe’s biggest environmental education charity, the Field Studies Council. He was recently appointed by Ministers (2021-25) to the Board of NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage) and additionally to Chair of its Scientific Advisory Committee.
Academic Profile: www.ed.ac.uk/profile/peter-higgins
Rachel Caplan is passionate about the power of film as a spark for social change. She has over 25 years of experience as a film festival curator, event producer, and community engagement & impact specialist. In 2010, she created and launched the San Francisco Green Film Festival as the region’s first Environmental Arts event, with the vision of bringing communities together to share urgent stories about the climate crisis. In ten years, the festival grew to become a vital cultural cornerstone for environmental arts – one of the largest and most influential events of its kind globally, and a leading force for bringing complex green films and conversations into the mainstream. Before this Rachel was director of the International Ocean Film Festival, and held positions at the Edinburgh, London, and SF International Film Festivals, and as an international publicist for Paramount, Universal, and DreamWorks. In 2019, she was part of the team to launch the 1st London Green Film Festival, a 10-day free outdoor event in the heart of the city. Currently, Rachel is working on new Environmental Arts projects in Scotland. This includes events at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, and a new film festival launching in the Highlands in 2022. Rachel is Special Projects chair for the Green Film Network, an association of 30 environmental film festivals worldwide, and produced the 2020 GFN Awards (the ‘Green Oscars’). She has a M.A. in Cinema from the British Film Institute (BFI) and is a member of BAFTA.