Center for South Asian Studies | University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Director’s Message

A message from Monisha Das Gupta…

The Center for South Asian Studies is one of eight area studies centers housed in the School of Pacific and Asian Studies (SPAS). We are dedicated to developing student and faculty expertise and community interest in this diverse region, fueling cross-national research within South Asia, and encouraging projects that look at cultural and economic ties across regions. Our home at SPAS positions us to contribute to developing research and curricular projects that look at the historical and contemporary ties between South Asia and other regions in Asia and the Pacific.   

Our primary role has been to foster interest in South Asian Studies through programming.  These activities include showcasing the research of our more than 40 affiliated faculty and students, inviting scholars from other institutions in collaboration with departments across UHM to participate in the Rama Watumull Collaborative Lecture Series, and holding an annual Spring symposium.

In the last several years, we have been working to expand the Center’s instructional activities. We continue to strengthen our relationship with undergraduate and graduate students, inviting them to regard the CSAS as a resource that enriches the unique Asia-Pacific focus of the university. The instructional piece of South Asian Studies is carried on through the Asian Studies program, which offers South Asia focused courses every semester, and through admitting students to the MA program, which allows them to develop an interdisciplinary expertise in South Asian Studies. We continue to build bridges with faculty in the humanities, social sciences, and natural and bio sciences offering South Asia related courses or research opportunities as a way to reach out to students and cultivate their interest in South Asia. In recent years, the CSAS has entered into exciting collaborations with the Theatre and Dance Department to increase the practice and visibility of South Asian dramatic arts within and outside the university. In another signal of the efforts to promote South Asian Studies at UHM, the Study Abroad Center has established a partnership with the Ambedkar University in Delhi. The India Study Abroad program allows UHM undergraduates and graduates to spend the Fall semester living and studying in India’s dynamic capital city. 

As we grow as a Center, we continue to advance the central mission of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa as an institution that provides unmatched opportunities to learn and produce knowledge about Asia’s place in a rapidly globalizing world. The uniqueness of the CSAS rests on our engagement with the politics, economic trends, and social developments in South Asia and its diaspora from the vantage point of our location in the Pacific.

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