South Asian Studies at Stanford

The Center for South Asia facilitates teaching and learning about the South Asian subcontinent, which encompasses the nations of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka. Specialists in Anthropology, Drama, Economics, Education, History, Literature, Music, Political Science, and Religious Studies among others comprise the faculty of CSA. The Center works with departments and other university units, as well as with student and community groups, toward the goals of increasing faculty strength, supporting research, expanding course offerings, building the library collection, and presenting programs and events.

The Center for South Asia at Stanford aims to promote the study of South Asia in a manner that reflects the position of the region in the world today. Our focus is on the colonial-modern and contemporary post-colonial South Asia.

South Asia is today an intimate and instantaneous part of our everyday global reality and cannot be studied as a self-contained area. South Asia is of critical importance in the world economy, South Asian communities and professionals are a significant presence in many parts of the world, and South Asian cultural production and aesthetics are firmly embedded in the global imagination and in the global marketplace. The long-term ambition of Center for South Asia is to give Stanford students and faculty access to world-class resources, cutting-edge research and a broad range of teaching on South Asia.

Our main intellectual ambition is to ensure that South Asia is a place from where modernity can be conceptualized in all its historical complexity. We want to ensure that debates and reflections on central categories of modern thought – capitalism, liberal democracy, the reflexive subject, jurisprudence and law, popular mass culture and its institutions, aesthetic cultures, the state, the public life of religion – include South Asia as a self-evident ground rather than merely a special case. We want to ensure that the vast storeho