The Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies (ScoTs) was first established in November 2011 at Edinburgh Napier University with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
ScoTs became a Charitable Trust on 18 September 2020. Registration no: SC050485
It remains a Scottish Research and Culture Centre dedicated to Scottish-Indian collaboration and global engagement. It is a Scottish Centre which is a hub for international collaborative research and culture.
ScoTs Mission Statement
Rabindranath Tagore is world-famous for his poetry, songs and dramas, but he was also a profoundly important educator and a deeply perceptive environmental thinker, the type of thinker that the world needs today. Tagore shares a great deal with his friend the pioneering ecologist Patrick Geddes, whom he described as having ‘the precision of the scientist and the vision of a prophet; and at the same time the power of an artist to make his ideas visible’. Tagore’s appreciation of Patrick Geddes is instructive because it reminds us that Tagore was himself not only a great educator but, like Geddes, one of the great interdisciplinary educators.
One of the roles of The Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies (ScoTs) is to stress Tagore’s educational achievement and its importance for the world today. In doing so we are fortunate to be based in Patrick Geddes’s homeland of Scotland, working in a way that is informed by the local and international achievements of both Geddes and Tagore.
The Board of Trustees:
Joyce 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.
Charles 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; ‘Career Guidance in Oman: establishing a centre and the use of action research as a tool for capacity building’ in Large Scale School Reform and Social Capital Building (eds) Ian R. Haslam, Myint Swe Khine and Issa M. Saleh Routledge 2013
Parliament, SEED and the Administration of Scottish Education’ in Bryce T. and Humes W. (eds) Scottish Education After Devolution (vol 3) Chapter 11, 113-122 Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh (2008); ‘Teacher Qualification and Instructional Delivery Modes at the Preschool Level in Nigeria’ in Journal of Early Teacher Education 30(3) pgs 230-246 July 2009
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.