OSCE ‘Transitional Justice Autumn School’ for young researchers in Tirana, Albania

From 25-30 November 2018 we dedicated the OSCE ‘Transitional Justice Autumn School’ for young researchers in Tirana, Albania, in memoriam to Chandra.

Chandra and I had been jointly designing this seminar over the summer and she was very enthusiastic about it, as with all the work she liked to do in the area of Transitional Justice.

We all missed her, I missed her… but her spirit and ideas for this School have been with us during the whole week.  This is to you, Chandra!

Greetings from all of us & Anja Mihr

Chandra Sriram Human Rights Section Global South Travel Grant

The Human Rights Section of ISA invites applications for the first annual Chandra Sriram Human Rights Section Global South Travel Grant. This is a competitive grant based on merit and need intended to assist scholars with accepted papers at ISA 2019 with expenses related to attending the convention in Toronto. Applicants must be members of the Human Rights Section and be working or studying at an academic or policy institution in the Global South. We define “Global South” as defined by the ISA Global South Caucus Charter, Art. 4, section 5ai, which includes: Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Africa, the Middle East/North Africa and developing Eurasia.

We welcome applications from students, faculty and practitioners. We particularly welcome applications from graduate students and/or early career scholars. The selection committee reserves the right to award more than one grant in a given year, or not to award a grant if no suitable applications are received.

To apply please submit the following as a single pdf attachment:

  • Name, title, institutional affiliation and contact information
  • CV
  • Accepted abstract for ISA 2019
  • 300 word statement addressing the following:
    • How will this award enhance your research or career trajectory?
    • Have you applied for an ISA Travel Grant?
    • Describe your efforts to secure support from your home institution and external grant support
    • Indicate how much financial support you are requesting (up to a maximum of $500)

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

All application materials should be e-mailed in one file directly to the chair of the Grant Committee, Dr. Bethany Barratt, before midnight Eastern time on December 10, 2018. The committee will make its decision as soon as possible and the awardee will be informed of their award on or before January 30, 2018.


Source: https://www.isanet.org/Programs/Awards/Sriram-HR-Grant

On Celebrating Chandra’s Too-Short Life (Jo Spear)

This weekend a number of us gathered in London to celebrate Chandra. There was a poignant boat ride to scatter her ashes, which others can talk about, and a gathering of celebration on Sunday. As we are all list-consumers nowadays, here is mine from that event:

  1. Carolyn (aka Cha Mommy) was amazing

Now we know where Chandra got her strength from. Carolyn was brave, cheerful, charming and funny. What a role model! And she wears a sparkle well!

  1. Chandra’s friends/family all loved her with a passion

Chandra had a big impact on us all – from expanding our food palates to guiding our approaches to Research Ethics to showing us how to be a good mentor. She taught by example across the span of her activities. Funnily enough though, no one said they had been influenced by her distinct fashion choices…

  1. Chandra seems to have been mellowing

Despite her loudly and oft stated dislike of children, she was bringing presents for the kids of her dear friends and even agreeing to be in the same room as their progeny. This was a shocker!

  1. I have never been to a life celebration featuring a Drag Queen act before

This was probably true for most everyone in the room (please tell us more if that was not the case…) Watching Johnny Woo – knowing that Chandra appreciated her so much – was a real treat! And she worked the room so well, supported Carolyn, made us all laugh, and got everyone dancing. A Class Act.

  1. The celebration drew lovely friends from far and wide – Singapore, America, Continental Europe and elsewhere

What an international gathering we were! Others who could not make it sent messages or were acknowledged. We all made new friends that night; and connected some gossip!!

  1. The friends who organized the evening were amazing

They knew what Chandra deserved and we all needed and gave us the space to laugh, cry, remember, understand. They deserve our profound thanks.

  1. As we are in an age of (millennial) self-realization…

I admit I can never be as fine a person as Chandra (or wear heels as high as Johnny Woo). We are all both broken and comforted by the celebration of Chandra’s too-short life.

Jo Spear

Diamond Ashiagbor

I first met Chandra in October 2010, on our first day as new members of staff at SOAS, University of London – together with Amanda Perry-Kessaris. The three of us immediately bonded over the slightly haphazard induction to a new workplace, and Chandra continued to provide droll commentary on the ups and downs of working at SOAS. She was a firm and principled colleague – and a great companion to share cocktails with. Reading the other testimonials reinforces my sense of Chandra’s capacity for deep and sustained friendships, and also how committed she was to supporting – and bringing the best out in – others’ research.

Amanda and I have had an exotic cocktail in Chandra’s honour and memory, which we hope she would approve.

Diamond Ashiagbor

Phil Clark

Chandra was one of the most giving people I ever worked with – always keen to read a draft, organise a panel, involve you in a grant application, assemble an edited collection – thankless roles that benefited others. She was generous and gregarious – always in the thick of the action (long after the conference had ended and the real conversations started in some dingy bar in Nairobi, Sarajevo or east London). Her warmth and zest and love of community will be massively missed. 

Phil Clark

Elizabeth Letcher

I met Chandra in our very first days of law school. I was part of a nerdy group of young women, who took law school and the politics of law school and, for me, awakening into a new kind of academic experience very, very seriously. Chandra moved on the edges of our little clan, standing out for many reasons. It wasn’t just the crazy hair or velvet purses or the scandalous leggings that said “f—k” all over them, worn to seminars taught by storied old men. It wasn’t just that she was so young (I remember after our final first-semester exam, we couldn’t go to a bar for drinks; Chandra may have already had a master’s from Chicago, but she wasn’t yet old enough to drink legally). What made her stand out most was that while she was serious, she didn’t take the crazy, artificial self-importance of law school seriously. She was going to engage with it on her own terms, and call bullshit when she saw it.

I love that about her. I think one facet of her bullshit intolerance became her complaining shtick, one she elevated to near high-art stand-up comedy. Another was channeled into battles with academic bureaucracy. But most was channeled into her work. It didn’t feel from the outside like a passion so much as an innate drive to do the work she was doing. I simply can’t imagine her doing anything else.

I’m still haven’t fully absorbed that she’s gone. I’ll miss the wonderful conversations, hearing about her impossibly life-absorbing work. I’ll miss visiting her in London, where she always took such wonderful care of me: took me to the best food shopping, the latest restaurants, cooking together for and with her always-amazing friends (Wayne, remember that meal so beautiful we photographed it, years before that was a thing?) the nights out. I never felt so cosmopolitan as when I was with her.

Her intensity. Her silliness and irreverence. The eyebrow arched over the rim of the martini glass. I will miss her so, once her departure becomes real to me.


Editorial Board of Peacebuilding

The Editorial Board of Peacebuilding is very saddened by the passing of Chandra Lekha Sriram. Chandra was a much valued colleague, contributor, and friend to many of us and always impressed with her academic brilliance. She will be greatly missed professionally and personally.