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Historian specializing in study of Awadh and Murshidabad
Vice President, the Cosmos Group
Associate Lecturer, University of Cape Town
Archivist-Independent Scholar

Date & Time

Thursday Thu, 12 May 2022


Location (for BIC Venue, BIC Hybrid and BIC Cafe)

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

The Cosmos Foundation’s website is devoted to multidisciplinary recovery of the ties between Black and South Asian communities. The “Black Story” exhibition features the work of five Bangladeshi artists’ projects. A heavily illustrated scholarly book documenting the history of Bengali-Black interactions across the globe is underway. Several movie projects are under consideration.

The session has three presentations. The first presentation by Rosie Llwellyn-Jones is titled King Wajid Ali Shah’s Africans: From Lucknow to Calcutta. The speaker’s study of Africans in Lucknow (including Hazrat Mahal the heroine of 1857-1858) was published in African Rulers and Generals in India. She is following up with a study of Africans who joined the deposed ruler to Calcutta. The second presentation is titled Initiatives of the Cosmos Foundation by Nahar Khan which delves into the past, current and future projects of Bangladesh based Cosmo Foundation. The final presentation is by Dr. Janie Cole. Her research interests include South African music and the anti-apartheid struggle (1948-1994), oral histories, music, protest and human rights. Further she looks at South African prison memoirs, particularly women’s writings and musical traditions.


Rosie Llwellyn-Jones

Historian specializing in study of Awadh and Murshidabad

Rosie Llwellyn-Jones is a historian specializing in study of Awadh and Murshidabad. She was awarded the MBE for her services to British-Indian Studies.

Nahar Khan

Vice President, the Cosmos Group

Nahar Khan is the Director at United News of Bangladesh and Vice President of the Cosmos Group. She is also Executive Director at the Bangladesh-based Gallery Cosmos and the Cosmos Foundation.

Janie Cole

Associate Lecturer, University of Cape Town

Dr. Janie Cole (PhD University of London) is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Cape Town’s South African College of Music and Research Officer for East Africa on UCT’s Mellon-funded project “Re-Centring AfroAsia: Musical and Human Migrations in the Pre-Colonial Period 700-1500 AD” (www.afroasia.uct.ac.za). Her specialty research areas are in 20th-century South African music, protest and prisoner resistance during the anti-apartheid struggle; Italian music, poetry and theatrical spectacle in the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods; indigenous Cape Khoekhoe musical heritage; and musical culture in the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia and transcultural encounters with Latin Europe and the early modern Indian Ocean world. She is the Founder/Executive Director of Music Beyond Borders, a platform for public musicology, engaged scholarship and digital humanities projects (http://www.musicbeyondborders.net/).

Kenneth X. Robbins

Archivist-Independent Scholar

Kenneth X. Robbins MD. is a psychiatrist and collector-archivist specializing in maharajas and other local and regional Indian rulers as well as Sufis and Indian minority groups, specifically Jews and African Muslims. Images of three hundred items from his Indian Princely States collections have been available from the American Committee for Southern Asian Art.

He is co-editor, with John McLeod, of the book African Elites in India: Habshi Amarat (Mapin, 2006) and co-curator, with Sylviane Diouf, of a New York Public Library Schomburg Center traveling exhibition Africans in India, which has been shown on five continents at dozens of venues, including the United Nations and UNESCO. Robbins has published many articles, organized scholarly conferences, and curated exhibits on India dealing with history, maharajas and nawabs, art, medicine, gender and women, Jews, philately, numismatics, and movies.