Journal of South Asia Women Studies

The Asiatica Association

Editorial Note by Enrica Garzilli

Bagchee Associates (, the best book dealer for Asian Studies, supports this publication and the Asiatica Association ( Some of Bagchee's customers include The British Library, National Library of Australia, Wellcome Institute Library and Bibliotheque National De France.

Since 1990, Bagchee Associates has provided personal, professional book selling services to academic libraries and to individual in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. As a supplier of scholarly Indian materials and collection management services, Bagchee Associates provides a range of services to libraries and individuals, including:

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Bagchee Associates screens over 10,000 new Indian titles each year and maintains a database of approximately one million Indian titles. In addition, it stocks in excess of 1,00,000 volumes of the latest scholarly titles. Internet access to the title database of volumes is available to Bagchee Associates customers via BAOBI, its global online bibliographic information service. The Site also has an online catalog of different subjects.

Bagchee Associates
Kalyan Nagar, Pansila, West Bengal 743 180, India
Tel: +91-33-5532225 Fax: +91-33-2482973

I want to remind you that you can see and buy (US$ 27) our book Journal of South Asia Women Studies -- 1995-97, Milan: Asiatica Association, 1997, via our page.

If you live in Boston and surroundings, you can also buy the book in the Harvard Bookstore, in Massachusetts Avenue near Harvard Square, Cambridge MA, 02138, USA.

During this one and half year after our last publication, the journal has become part of the larger Asiatica Association. We had to organize this journal and the International Journal of Tantric Studies into a structure which was able to manage our over 1,000 members and 2,000 WWW readers per month. We had to face and try to solve two main problems: easy management of the mailing lists, the ftp server and the WWW pages by two people only (myself and our Technical Editor, Dr. Ludovico Magnocavallo), and partial covering of the expenses (without taking into account our time and our technical skills that have to be often updated with large investments of money and time).

We also wanted to offer readers the possibility to contribute in person to the effort of the journals (by writing sections of the journal itself) , and the projects we have in mind: the NINA fonts for Devanagari, of which the first printable version is on our ftp server.

They have been already used by Andre Signoret in his French-Sanskrit Dictionary. Our Technical Editor, Dr. Ludovico Magnocavallo, will revise them in a few weeks thanks also to your testing.

A long-term project we have in mind is a specialized library on our subjects made by the books given by our readers. You should provide the Asiatica with books and/or money to buy them, we will provide each of us with the physical space for the library, the access to it, and the management of it.

In order to realize these projects and to be able to distribute books, in May 13, 1997 we established the Asiatica Association, a non-profit, non-governmental, cultural association to promote and diffuse the study of Asian cultures.

A Brief History of the Asiatica Association. When I started the electronic journals I was working at Harvard University with Michael Witzel, the Wales Professor of Sanskrit. He had just started publishing the excellent Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies, of which I am the Managing Editor. We planned the International Journal of Tantric Studies, of which he is the Managing Editor, and we started utilizing the Harvard Computer Facilities. Soon after the beginning, the first telephone calls arrived from the administration checking on us. Moreover, Harvard technicians were incredibly slow to open our mailing lists -- they usually took 2-3 days to open a new email account. Then a letter arrived: due to internal politics, a dean asked me to refrain from working on the journals as the Editor-in-Chief or the Managing Editor.

At that time Dr. Ludovico Magnocavallo, our Technical Editor, was one of the system administrators of Arcadia, the computer laboratory at the Polytechnic of Milan in Italy. He offered to move our sites and mailing lists to Arcadia and we enthusiastically agreed. Furthermore, in June 1995 we established the new electronic Journal of South Asia Women Studies, a few months before the First International Conference on Dowry and Bride Burning in India (Sept. 30 - Oct. 2, 1995). Soon after, Dr. Magnocavallo left Arcadia to find a paying job. The director of the laboratory did not want to let him go. The result was that a couple of months later the director, without informing us, asked somebody to delete our mailing lists and close our site. However, we had already copied the members' accounts. It was easy to move them to our present, commercial provider.

Since Autumn 1995 we have been there. We learnt the lesson, and we are now totally free and independent from any institutions, even though sometimes we collaborate with them. This means that we can choose the contributions, format, collaborators and the editors we like. The only people who can control our production are our readers. Our electronic journals have two main perquisites: rapidity of diffusion (the time from the first approach with authors and publication has never been longer than a couple of months), and autonomy (nobody imposes his/her policy on us). We have to pay for the provider and the copy editor though.

Due to the great success of our journals, we decided to collect the issues, to edit and to print them, and to distribute them as hard copy volumes. We established the Asiatica Association as a non-profit, non-governmental, cultural organization, to give a formal and legal framework to our work. We also decided to expand our work. The Asiatica Association is open to all bona fide scholars whose interest is the knowledge of Asian countries and the encounter between Asian values, Human Rights values, and Western values. The association has been established on May 13, 1997 according to the Italian law.

Our Aims and Purposes.

The Asiatica Association is a non-profit, non-governmental, cultural association, which has been established to promote and diffuse the study of the Asian cultures. It is open to all bona fide scholars whose interest is the knowledge of Asian countries and the encounter between Asian values, Human Rights vakues, and Western values.

Through the Asiatica Association we publish, in a fairly inexpensive form, our electronic and hard copy journals, monographs, translations, new editions, reports, conference volumes, collection of papers, catalogs, and whatever serves our purpose. We distribute our worldwide publications via the Internet and via traditional means of diffusion such as commercial distributors, libraries, public institutions, established publishers, and so on. The Asiatica Association also acts as a coordinating and communication center to connect people, information, ideas and resources.

The Asiatica Association is a structure established to facilitate collaborative, creative, scholarly action. Working together, we all share resources and create a whole, from which we will all derive benefits than would otherwise be impossible. Everyone should take responsibility for advancing the mission: the scholarly study of Asian cultures in order to create an international debate on the subject, and create a channel of communication between science and media, between scholarly production and NGOs activities, and between religious thought and/or ethical thought.

We hope that the discussion we stimulate between the readers of the journals will involve the members of the association and extend to all interested people. The members of the association will meet every other year via the Internet to decide the main features of the association, such as its budget, conferences, and new proposals. When you join the Asiatica association, you become a member of the world community of professional or amateur scholars. Working together, we identify what is most wanted and needed in the Asiatica community, and set about to make it so.

When you join the association, members assume responsibility for advancing the mission: to help people help the Asiatica help people.

Membership Options.

The Asiatica Membership Program is designed to make joining the association fully accessible to everyone. Choose the level that best suits you, and feel free to upgrade at any time. All fees are life membership fees, unless otherwise stated (such as in the case of campus-wide access to the WWW distribution).

A life membership for individuals starts from US$ 35 up. This is designed for those who believe in the Asiatica Association and want to pay an annual fee. They will receive via email and WWW one of the two journals they choose, the International Journal of Tantric Studies or the Journal of South Asia Women Studies.

Please read our membership options and how to pay on our page.

There is also an option for campus-wide access requests. In fact, we have already received requests by a consortium of major American universities, two consortiums of American colleges, and one American college.

What Happens if I DO NOT subscribe to the Asiatica?

If you do not subscribe to the Asiatica Association you will receive by email the announcements of the journal, and the table of contents. You will be not able to download our WWW issues.

You will be able to use the JSAWS mailing-list writing *to the whole JSAWS list ( or * to ask scholarly questions, or to get in touch with scholars. If I receive mails addressed to me in person I will not, as I have always done, send them to the whole list.

You do not need to unsubscribe or re-subscribe to any list, or to write to me.

How Can I subscribe to the Asiatica?

You can send us by fax your Visa card number specifying

  1. your name as stated on the card
  2. your email account
  3. your password for www access
  4. the expiration date of your card

Fax: +39+2+8938 1555 addressed to the Asiatica Association
Please also notify me by email of the payment adding your full name and title.

We will subscribe you to the list of members who will receive the full current and past issues, both via email and on WWW. You will become members and every other year you will take part to an Internet (short) meeting to decide on the main features of the Association. In the meeting, you will be notified of the budget and the expenses, and any relevant change. You will also be able to propose any relevant change -- that will be voted. Of course, you can also decide not to take part to the meetings.

Our aim is to create a corpus of biannual scholars who will be in charge of the reviews, of the recruitment of (good) papers, of writing the various sections of the journal itself. Who, in short, will be not only a passive scholar but an active member of the journal and of the Asiatica.

Authors of papers and reviews are automatically life members of the Asiatica Association.

We open the fourth year of the JSAWS publications with the paper The Peasant Women's Movement in the Philippines: Alternative Perspectives on Development, by Dr. Ligaya Lindio-McGovern of Indiana University, Kokomo. The Author has gathered the data presented in the paper in 1989 and 1996 during her fieldwork in the Philippines. We also publish the paper review Pretty Plant in Arid Soil: Misogyny and Genteel Morality in Satyajit Ray's Charulata, by Dr. Narasingha P. Sil, Professor of History at Western Oregon University.