Sounding the Night

South Asia MA Alum Nick Gottschall recently worked with the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) to profile Jazz Musician Aakash Mittal as he studied and toured India as an AIIS fellow. See the video below:

AIIS is currently accepting applications to the same Fellowship program Aakash Mittal participated in.

By |February 24th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Sounding the Night

Professors Kale and Novetzke Featured in The Wire


Professors Sunila S. Kale and Christian L. Novetzke have written an article on the intersection of Yoga and Politics, in the form of ‘political theology’, which has been published in The Wire. Professors Kale and Novetke are currently working on a book about this very topic, due out in 2018.

Read the article here.

By |January 28th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Professors Kale and Novetzke Featured in The Wire

Fellowships for Undergraduate & Graduate Students

SAS from banner square-ishApply now for fellowships for the 2016-2017 Academic Year and for Summer, 2016. Both graduate students and undergraduates are eligible for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships (details) (application); domestic and international graduate students are eligible for the Frank F. Conlon Fellowship (details) (application).

By |November 23rd, 2015|News|Comments Off on Fellowships for Undergraduate & Graduate Students

Director’s Welcome 2015

Welcome from the South Asia Center:  

As the new Director of the South Asia Center, it’s a pleasure to welcome everyone to the start of a new year at the University of Washington. I’m honored to follow in Anand Yang’s footsteps at the Center and over the next few years I look forward to working closely with students, faculty, and staff to strengthen the study of South Asia at UW. I’m also eager to collaborate with individuals and organizations in Seattle and Washington to share our passion and knowledge about the region with a wider audience.

Last year was a great one for the South Asia Center. The Center advanced its mission to educate and enrich the wider public about South Asia through activities like the Newspapers in Education Series and through events like the Voices of Partition, which provided a space to remember and reflect on the enduring significance of 1947. We are eager to build on these initiatives and launch several new ones.

An accomplished group of students received South Asian Studies master’s degrees in June 2015 and this fall we welcome a new cohort of students. Our language programs continue to provide rigorous training in Hindi, Urdu, Bangla, Persian, Sanskrit, and Pali and many of our students are supported in their language study with fellowships from the Foreign Languages and Area Studies Program from the Department of Education. Students on campus have the opportunity to learn about the most important aspects of South Asia through an extensive roster of classes. One of the highlights of our undergraduate curriculum is our study abroad program in the Indian Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.

During the last few years many of our South Asia […]

By |October 25th, 2015|Feature One, News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Director’s Welcome 2015

Symposium on Human Rights and the Politics of Film Making

A two-day symposium on Human Rights and the Politics of Film Making is being hosted by the UW Jackson School’s South Asia Center in conjunction with Tasveer’s 2015 Seattle South Asian Film Festival feauturing notable film makers from South Asia.

The symposium will examine issues of human rights and film making in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. Presenters include Thenmozhi, Bindu Menon, Shoba Rajagopal, Sanjay Kak, Bidisha Biswas, Deepti Misri, Bruce Kochis, Alka Kurian, Ramya Vijaya, Prasanna Withanage, Hemal Trivedi, Sonora Jha, Rakesh Sharma, Sangita Gopal, Meenakshi Rishi, and Shreerekha Subramanian.

The schedule is available here.

By |October 12th, 2015|News|Comments Off on Symposium on Human Rights and the Politics of Film Making

2015 Incoming Graduate Students

Loritta Ying Ping Chan
BA, Economics & South Asian Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Originally from Hong Kong, Loritta will begin at UW in the fall to begin her MA in South Asia Studies, where she plans to study Hindi. Having approached development from an economic perspective as an undergraduate, she wants to dwell deeper into its cultural and societal dimensions. This includes how caste and value systems influence identity formation, and how these shape the notions of development.

Regarding her reasons for pursuing an MA in South Asia Studies she says:

“As I pursue my future aspirations in academia, I hope my research in the ‘softer’ dimensions of development will ultimately complement research institutions and policy-makers in devising more effective, targeted strategies to help those in need – by understanding what it is that guides their actions.”

Mariam Sabri
BA, International Relations, Mount Holyoke College

mariam sabriMariam is interested in knowledge in nomadic societies including forms of informal knowledge, means of knowledge acquisition, sites of knowledge interchange and formalization of knowledge. A native Urdu speaker, she has also studied Persian, Pashto, and Russian. At UW she hopes to continue studying Persian and to learn to read and write the Devanagari script.

On why she wants to attend UW:

“I am interested in taking an interdisciplinary approach to deepening my knowledge of South Asia at the graduate level. JSIS and UW’s diverse array of language offerings and coursework on themes that relate to my research interests, renowned South Asia faculty, and the flexibility of taking classes across disciplines and regions make it an ideal program.”

She has worked in higher education in Pakistan for the last five years […]

By |September 17th, 2015|News|0 Comments

Cabeiri Robinson on Humanitarian Jihad and the Problem with Essentializing Islam

Professor of South Asia Studies Cabeiri Robinson has spoken with the UW Simpson Center about her research on Humanitarian Jihadists for her book in progress, Fault Lines: Humanitarian Jihad, Humanitarian Business, and the Making of a Post-Conflict Tourist Industry in Northern Pakistan.

In this video she discusses the change in mindsets among young Kashmiri militants in the aftermath of the horrific 2005 earthquake.

Watch the video and read more about her research at the Simpson Center.


By |September 11th, 2015|Faculty, News|Comments Off on Cabeiri Robinson on Humanitarian Jihad and the Problem with Essentializing Islam

Explore South Asian Resources at the Henry Art Gallery

The Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington houses 1,800 costumes and textiles from the Indian subcontinent, representing 24 states in India and Pakistan. This forms an important resource for the study of the rich variety of woven, printed, dyed, and embroidered textile traditions in cotton and silk and the linguistic, ethnic, and caste relationships that define the social matrix.

The major portion of these objects came from the Elizabeth Bayley Willis collection, donated by Ms. Willis herself and Virginia and Prentice Bloedel. Ms. Willis, a curator and world traveler, made numerous trips to India from 1952 to 1964, collecting mostly contemporary textiles directly from the artisans who made them. During those years she was serving as an advisor to the Indian government on the presentation, marketing, and export of handicrafts and textiles. Willis documented pre-industrial village craft traditions, helped preserve traditional modes of textile production, and encouraged local industry. She intrepidly traveled thousands of miles under sometimes difficult conditions, visiting over 150 weaving centers, many in remote areas.

This collection is viewable digitally online by way of our online collection, but student researchers are welcome to make an appointment and view the physical collections in person. You can use the advanced search function to find all the objects from a particular geographic location by using the “Origin(s)” field. If you’d like to sign up for an account, you can save objects of interests in personal groups. There is also a mini-site devoted to the Costumes and Textiles Collection, with a specific section on India and Pakistan.

We welcome researchers to make use of this, and all the collections that comprise the Henry’s permanent collection in person by making an appointment at the […]

By |August 10th, 2015|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Photo essay about the missing girls in India

2015 South Asia MA alumna Jessica Bachman is studying Bengali in Calcutta this summer, and recently provided photographs for The Guardian on new public art highlighting the crisis “the missing girls in India” who are forced in prostitution.

Each year in India tens of thousands of girls go missing in a country where an estimated 1.2 million children work in the sex industry. Many are abducted by commercial sex traffickers and forced into prostitution. Missing, a nationwide public art project launched by the artist Leena Kejriwal as a memorial to victims of sexual slavery, now has hundreds of participants in cities across India.

missing girls

View the rest of the photo essay here.


By |August 3rd, 2015|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Professor Manish Chalana on his research in India

Professor Manish Chalana recently returned from field work in India. He was supported by the Senior Research Fellowship from the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) in 2014 to work on developing a book length manuscript on the history, theory and practice of historic preservation in India from the British Colonial up to the present times. Read on below to learn about his field research and plans going forward.

The full scope of the project involves tracing the history of historic preservation in India, elucidating the major themes within that history, considering issues of memory and its role in colonialism, nationalism, and regionalism, exploring the relationships between Indian preservation practice and international preservation communities, and addressing how the expanding mandate of historic preservation globally and its increasing integration with community planning have played out in India. The methods rely heavily on archival research and case studies selected from around India to illustrate these themes.

I began work on the Fellowship in October 2014 out of Delhi with an affiliation with the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA). I am an alumnus from SPA so it made it easier to connect with faculty and re-familiarize myself with the resources and the work that the Department of Architectural Conservation has been doing with regard to historic preservation. I co-taught the advanced thesis studio for the final year Masters in Architectural Conservation Student, which allowed me time to interact with students and reflect on the changing historic preservation practice in the country. At SPA I worked directly with Professor Nalini Thakurm who’s the grand dame of preservation in India. Much of the 5-months that I spent there were based in Delhi where I spent considerable time sifting […]

By |July 8th, 2015|News|0 Comments