About Keith Snodgrass

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So far Keith Snodgrass has created 70 blog entries.

Student Research Symposium in Nepal: July 1 Application Deadline

Nepal_bannerThe first annual Student Research Symposium on Contemporary Issues in Nepal, jointly hosted by the University of Washington’s Nepal Studies Initiative, a four-year program funded by the South Asia Center, and the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies, will take place on September 12-13, 2016 at the Yalamaya Kendra in Patan, Kathmandu.

There are several annual conferences, panels, and speaking events in Nepal each year for faculty and advanced scholars, but there are few opportunities for students to showcase their work, gain experience engaging critically with their peers, and feature their own voice as emergent scholars of Nepal and South Asia.

This year’s theme is “Rethinking Resilience, Forging Futures.” From discussions of civil war and a post-conflict Naya Nepal beginning nearly a decade ago, to contemporary debates about constitutional federalism and ‘building back better’ following the devastating 2015 earthquakes, the idea of resilience has dominated contemporary discussions about Nepal. This symposium brings together students conducting research that critically examine the assumptions, tensions, and possibilities inherent in notions of resiliency in contemporary Nepal.

Please visit the symposium homepage for more information about the call for abstracts, due by July 1, 2016.

By |June 9th, 2016|Academic Opportunities|Comments Off on Student Research Symposium in Nepal: July 1 Application Deadline

Minnie Ray Chaudhury – Cybersecurity Spotlight: India’s Encryption Policy

Link to Minnie’s article

South Asia MA student Minnie Ray Chaudhury is a fellow at the International Policy Institute of the Jackson School, working on cybersecurity issues. In addition to writing this article, she presented at the May 23 BRICS on the Firewall: International Perspectives on Cybersecurity and Encryption event held at UW.

By |June 1st, 2016|News|Comments Off on Minnie Ray Chaudhury – Cybersecurity Spotlight: India’s Encryption Policy

Hannah Haegeland’s new piece in National Interest

South Asia Alumna Hannah Haegeland has contributed a new piece to National Interest regarding Nepal’s constitutional crisis and geopolitical concerns.

Link to article

By |May 24th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Hannah Haegeland’s new piece in National Interest

Anne Murphy: Open Letter on the apology for the Komagata Maru incident (17 May 2016)

Anne Murphy presented on her project with theatre troupes in Vancouver on three plays about the Komagata Maru incident. This public project seeks to enrich dialogues about this traumatic incident in the history of Canada, and examines the incident and the plays through the lenses utilized by various playwrights.
After Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a formal apology for this incident in the Canadian Parliament on May 18, 2016, Professor Murphy issued this letter, signed by many Canadian professors of South Asian Studies.

Link to page

By |May 20th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Anne Murphy: Open Letter on the apology for the Komagata Maru incident (17 May 2016)

Messy Urbanism

Understanding the “Other” Cities of Asia

Author: Manish Chanala, and Jeffrey Hou

Publisher: Columbia University Press

Year: 2016

Summary: Seemingly messy and chaotic, the landscapes and urban life of cities in Asia possess an order and hierarchy which often challenge understanding and appreciation. With a cross-disciplinary group of authors, Messy Urbanism: Understanding the “Other” Cities of Asia examines a range of cases in Asia to explore the social and institutional politics of urban formality and the contexts in which this “messiness” emerges or is constructed. The book brings a distinct perspective to the broader patterns of informal urban orders and processes as well as their interplay with formalized systems and mechanisms. It also raises questions about the production of cities, cityscapes, and citizenship.

About the Author

Manish Chalana is associate professor of urban design and planning at the University of Washington. His work focuses on urban design, urban history, historic preservation, and international planning and development.

Jeffrey Hou is professor and chair of landscape architecture at the University of Washington. He is the editor of Insurgent Public Space: Guerrilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary City.

By |May 6th, 2016|Faculty Publications|Comments Off on Messy Urbanism

Joyojeet Pal on “Accessibility Infrastructure and the Transition to Touchscreens: Evidence from Bangalore, India”

Video from recent event: “Joyojeet Pal on “Accessibility Infrastructure and the Transition to Touchscreens: Evidence from Bangalore, India”

Recent increases in access to smartphones has dramatically altered the accessibility landscape for people with visual impairments in parts of the Global South, where accessible technologies have historically been scarce. Examining ongoing transitions from button-based feature phones to devices with touchscreen interfaces in Bangalore, India, we explore the concept of an accessibility infrastructure that includes a broader set of factors that enable or inhibit the functional use of accessible technologies. We argue that the functional use of these technologies is difficult, if not impossible to extract from the larger social context in which they operate. Through the lens of social infrastructure for technology adoption – such as networks of users and technical support ecologies, we discuss ways in which touchscreens have changed the public participation of people with disabilities in important ways. On the flip side, we look at ways in which the same infrastructures can be barriers to the devices being used to their full potential.

Joyojeet Pal is an assistant professor at the School of Information at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His work focuses on social studies of accessibility in low- and middle-income countries, specifically in-depth qualitative examinations of access to technology and its impact on social inclusion. Some of his recent work has examined the use of social media in political action in India. He is the producer and researcher of the award-winning documentary “For the Love of a Man.”

By |April 29th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Joyojeet Pal on “Accessibility Infrastructure and the Transition to Touchscreens: Evidence from Bangalore, India”

Learn Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit and other languages at UW

2013 SA Langugages Bollywood eRegistration for fall quarter is the time to start your future by signing up for South Asian language courses! There are great opportunities to learn Bengali (more than 200 million speakers), Hindi (almost 500 million speakers), Urdu (99 million speakers), and Sanskrit.

Registration opens May 6th!
Studying South Asian languages also opens up opportunities to study abroad during summer or the academic year, and can make you eligible for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships, which can help fund your education.

The UW Department of Asian Languages and Literature offers courses from beginning to advanced level in all the languages mentioned above.

See our South Asian languages page for videos and more details.

By |April 27th, 2016|Academic Opportunities, Courses, News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Learn Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit and other languages at UW

Apply to the South Asian Studies Master’s Program

UW announces a special opportunity to apply to the South Asian Studies Master’s Degree Program for autumn, 2016 admission. The application deadline is June 1, 2016.

Three reasons to study South Asia at UW:Jantar Mantar Delhi

  • First, the excellence and breadth of our faculty and the interdisciplinarity of our program. In addition to graduate courses and intensive language training (Hindi, Urdu, Bangla, Persian) the South Asia Center hosts seminars, conferences, and cultural events throughout the year to promote interdisciplinary discussion and debate amongst faculty and students.
  • Second, our commitment to building a sense of community and purpose among faculty, staff and students. Both inside and outside of the classroom, we strive to foster a sense of collegiality, friendliness, and shared purpose at UW.
  • Finally, the vitality of Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest. The city and its surroundings offer an enormous wealth of cultural activities and opportunities to engage with NGOs; a large, diverse, and active South Asian community; and one of America’s fastest growing metropolitan economies.
  • Start your application here.  (go to “Begin Online Application to the Graduate School”)
  • You can find details about:

    For more information, contact South Asia Center Managing Director Keith Snodgrass at

    Our application deadline is June 1, 2016.

By |April 26th, 2016|Feature One|Comments Off on Apply to the South Asian Studies Master’s Program

Christian Novetzke on New Book

Christian Novetzke talks about his new book (co-authored with Andy Rotman and Will Elison) “Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood and The Nation” (Harvard University Press, 2016).

“This isn’t so much a book about a Bollywood film as it is about the Bollywood film. We were inspired by the hunch 9780674504486-lg(or maybe wild assertion) that Amar Akbar Anthony is actually the first Bollywood film. What we mean is that Amar Akbar Anthony perfects the genre known as themasala or “spicy” film, with its eclectic blend of song, dance, drama, action, romance, comedy, etc., and initiates a new filmic era.”

Join us for a celebration of this book, Thursday, April 21, 3:30 PM in Thomson Hall 317.

By |April 12th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Christian Novetzke on New Book

US-India Economic Relations

On Friday, February 26th 2015, the South Asia Center (Jackson School of International Studies) and Global Business Center (Foster School of Business) hosted a three-hour symposium. Panelists were experts from the government, academia and industry.

The welcome address was delivered by Dr. Sunila S. Kale, Director of the South Asia Center. She highlighted the Center’s commitment to teaching and expanding knowledge on South Asia, through a host of activities including such symposia, noting its role as a ‘forum for thoughtful debate, critique, and dissent’ on a range of issues concerning South Asia.

Panel I: Development Agendas and Legal and Commercial Frameworks

The first panel, featured Jonathan Bensky, President and CEO of Pacific Northwest Advisors, and Amrita Srivastava, a partner at Desh International and Business Law in addition to Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok. It was moderated by Professor Sunila S. Kale.

The Consul General of India, San Francisco, Ambassador Ventakesan Ashok, observed that a paradigm shift was developing in US-India economic relations. He outlined the geopolitical agenda and economic development policies of the current Indian government. He noted that the Indian economy has experienced 7.5% growth in the last year but that electronics manufacturing comprised only 25% of the GDP, which the government would like to increase to 45%. This is precisely why, he noted, the Indian government had launched Make in India, a national program focused on building manufacturing infrastructure in order to position India as a key electronics manufacturer in the international market. The Consul General observed that Make in India is the government’s flagship program that aims to build much needed infrastructure. These include: the Smart Cities program, which will facilitate the development of nearly 500 housing developments, since ‘affordable housing needs to accompany manufacturing’; the Digital India […]

By |April 8th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on US-India Economic Relations