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Committee on Southern Asian Studies/South Asia Language & Area Center

This is an archived copy of the 2012-13 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Chair, Committee on Southern Asian Studies

  • William T. S. Mazzarella

Interim Director, South Asia Language and Area Center

  • John D. Kelly 

Associate Director, South Asia Language and Area Center & Committee on Southern Asian Studies

  • Irving Birkner

Members: Faculty and Emeritus Faculty

  • Muzaffar Alam, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • E. Annamalai, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Daniel Arnold, Divinity
  • Kali Charan Bahl, South Asian Languages & Civilizations Emeritus
  • Elena Bashir, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Mandira Bhaduri, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Philip V. Bohlman, Music
  • Mark Bradley, History
  • Yigal Bronner, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Dipesh Chakrabarty, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Steven Collins, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Thibaut d'Hubert, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Wendy Doniger, Divinity
  • Sascha Ebeling, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Gayathri Embuldeniya, Comparative Human Development
  • Philip Engblom, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Leela Gandhi, English
  • Jason Grunebaum, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Isa Hussin, Political Science
  • Ronald B. Inden, History Emeritus
  • Matthew Kapstein, Divinity
  • John D. Kelly, Anthropology
  • Alan Kolata, Anthropology
  • Nisha Kommattam, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Spencer Leonard, Harper-Schmidt, College
  • James Lindholm, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Mark Lycett, Anthropology
  • Rochona Majumdar, South Asia Languages & Civilizations
  • McKim Marriott, Anthropology Emeritus
  • Colin P. Masica, South Asian Languages & Civilizations Emeritus
  • Kaley Mason, Music
  • William Mazzarella, Anthropology
  • Kathleen Morrison, Anthropology
  • Choudhri M. Naim, South Asian Languages & Civilizations Emeritus
  • Constantine Nakassis, Anthropology
  • Karma Ngodup, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Ralph W. Nicholas, Anthropology Emeritus
  • Martha Nussbaum, Law
  • James H. Nye, Library
  • Emily Oster, Booth School
  • Poornima Paidipaty, Harper-Schmidt, College
  • Vasudha Paramasivan, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Maureen Patterson, Library Emeritus
  • C. Ryan Perkins, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Tahera Qutbuddin, Near East Languages & Civilizations
  • Frank E. Reynolds, Divinity Emeritus
  • Laura Ring, Library
  • Lloyd I. Rudolph, Political Science Emeritus
  • Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, Political Science Emerita
  • John Schneider, Medicine
  • Clinton B. Seely, South Asian Languages & Civilizations Emeritus
  • Richard Shweder, Human Development
  • Daniel Slater, Political Science
  • Paul Staniland, Political Science
  • Ulrike Stark. South Asian Language & Civilizations
  • Kaushik Sundar Rajan, Anthropology
  • Richard P. Taub, Comparative Human Development
  • Gary Tubb, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Christian Wedemeyer, Divinity
  • Norman H. Zide, South Asian Languages & Civilizations Emeritus

Affiliates: Faculty and Emeritus Faculty

  • Paul Friedrich, Anthropology Emeritus
  • Heshmat Moayyad, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations
  • John Perry, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations Emeritus
  • Robert M. Townsend, Economics
  • John E. Woods, History

The University of Chicago is one of the leading centers for the study of Southern Asia. Countries in which we have scholarly expertise include in South Asia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and Tibet (as an autonomous region); and in Southeast Asia, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia (Kampuchea), East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Chicago’s Southern Asia strength is built around two related bodies: a federally-funded Title VI South Asia Language and Area Center (SALAC), the Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS) made up of faculty across the University who share teaching and research interests in Southern Asia.

The University of Chicago Committee on Southern Asian Studies and the South Asia Language and Area are separate, but closely aligned, organizations promoting the study of South and Southeast Asia at the University of Chicago.

The Committee on Southern Asian Studies is an interdepartmental and interdivisional committee that coordinates research and teaching dealing with the countries of South and Southeast Asia. The committee works cooperatively with the South Asia Language and Area Center, inaugurated in 1959 with grants from the Ford Foundation and the United States Department of Education under the National Defense Education Act, Title VI.

The center (SALAC) and the committee work to enhance opportunities available to scholars both in the United States and in South and Southern Asia and to foster intellectual and scholarly communication and inter-disciplinary collaboration among the students and faculty at the University of Chicago and the wider Chicago and Southern Asian Studies communities.

The committee and the center do not offer degrees, but cooperate with the several departments, committees, and schools within which specialized work on South or Southeast Asia may be combined with a degree program. These include the College; the Departments of Anthropology, Art History, Comparative Human Development, Comparative Literature, Economics, English, History, Linguistics, Music, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and South Asian Languages & Civilizations; the Committees on History of Culture, International Relations, and Social Thought; in the Divinity School, the fields of History of Religions, Church History, Philosophy of Religions; and in the Law School, International and Comparative Legal Studies.

A joint A.M. in Southern Asia Studies/M.B.A. is administered through the Booth School of Business and the Division of the Social Sciences. Advanced degree programs with specialization in Bengali, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Pali, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan, and Urdu languages, literatures, and civilizations are available in the Department of South Asian Languages & Civilizations. Persian and Arabic are available through the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations. A limited number of fellowships, scholarships, and grants in aid are awarded by the committee in support of training or research dealing with South or Southeast Asia. Students in all disciplines interested in training in South Asian languages may also apply for Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships under Section 602 of Title VI of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended. For further information, please write to the Director of the South Asia Language and Area Center.

The University of Chicago Library has a very strong and well balanced collection of South Asian books, government documents, journals, and maps. It includes extensive holdings in all South Asian languages, as well as publications on the subcontinent from major publishing centers around the world. The library has been a comprehensive participant since 1962 in the Library of Congress Foreign Acquisitions Program for South Asia. The library s membership in the nearby Center for Research Libraries, and in its South Asia Microfilm Project (SAMP), provides ready access to additional valuable research materials. The library’s South Asia Collection staff coordinates acquisition and processing, and provides specialized reference service. A smaller collection of Southeast Asian materials is limited to Western language works on the area from Burma to the Philippines.