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


Nov 8, 2013
Prof. Sankaran Krishna’s article in The Hindustan Times

Prof. Sankaran Krishna comments in the Hindustan Times on the protests against the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Colombo.  A political scientist, who is a postcolonial scholar, he has written extensively on ethnic identity and conflict and identity politics in India and Sri Lanka.  He is the author of Postcolonial Insecurities: India, Sri Lanka and the Question of Nationhood, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999. (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000) and Globalization and Postcolonialism: Hegemony and Resistance in the 21st Century, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2009.

Aug 28, 2013
Article by CSAS Director Monisha Das Gupta

Here is CSAS Director Professor Das Gupta’s recently published article in The Telegraph titled “Heart beats, gives courage,” on the rallies in Calcutta in protest of violence against women. 

CSAS Welcomes New Sanskrit Professor, Jesse Knutson

CSAS welcomes Professor Jesse Knutson to UH Manoa and to the CSAS community, who will be teaching Sanskrit this semester. For more information on his classes, please look under the course offerings panel on the main page. 


Jesse Knutson did his undergraduate study and MA in the department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, U.C. Berkeley; an additional MA and his PhD are from the department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago.

His research concerns the historical role of literary art, especially Sanskrit kāvya, in ancient and early medieval South Asia, as well as the comparative historical study of premodern poetry, poetics, and epigraphy more broadly.  Several of his published writings, as well as forthcoming monograph (Into the Twilight of Sanskrit Court Poetry in Bengal, U.C. Press), focus on the Sena court of 12th/13th century Bengal, where a literary salon in what is now Bangladesh seems to have implicitly reformulated its entire literary system in the context of the imminent breakdown of the old courtly world.  Current and future research aims to broaden and synthesize a comparative court-oriented study of the literary political map of early South Asia, and examine the medieval as a global category. 


“Translation, Comparatism and the Global South – XVI International Conference Forum on Contemporary Theory

Professor Subramanian Shankar is the convener of the XVI International Conference of the Forum on Contemporary Theory in India. The theme of the conference is: “Translation, Comparatism, and the Global South and will be held December 15-18 in Mysore, India. Abstracts are due by August 30, 2013. 

Mar 18, 2013
J. Watumull Scholarship for the Study of India

Applications for the AY 2013-2014 J. Watumull Scholarship for the Study of India are due on April 8. Continue reading

Feb 15, 2013
Prof. S. Shankar’s Book Receives Award

Prof. S. Shankar’s book, Flesh and Fish Blood, has been awarded “Honorable Mention” by the Rene Wellek Prize Committee of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA). Continue reading

Jan 29, 2013
Sankaran Krishna’s Op-Ed in the Hindu

Professor Krishna’s Op-Ed “The great number fetish, ” is published in The Hindu

Jan 18, 2013
Aaja Nachle Hawaii in the Community

Please check out these interviews with Dr. Sai Bhatawadekar, and performance of her group, Aaja Nachle Hawaii, performing in the community! 

1. KITV Morning News – 9th Jan - 
2. KGMB Sunrise Hawaii News Now – 11th Jan 
3. Hawaii Public Radio “Conversation” with Chris Vandercook – 14th Jan 
14:48 – 23:20 of 

4. Aaja Nachle Hawaii Performance at the Opening Reception of the Bollywood Film Festival: 
Dr. Bhatawadekar will also be singing, dancing, and giving a talk on Yash Chopra on the closing night of the Bollywood Film Festival, 1/24, at 7:30pm.

Dec 4, 2012
Aaja Nachle Hawaii – Hawaii’s own Bollywood/Bhangra dance troupe

Aaja Nachle! is Hawaii’s only Bollywood/bhangra dance troupe.We offer authentic and high-energy performances that would be sure to fire up a crowd for any occasion such as Indian or Bollywood-themed events, cultural programs, and weddings; we also offer consultation in planning these events, particularly on encouraging audience participation in the dance. We are passionate about everyone getting to experience the sheer bliss and excitement of this dance form and thus wish to create a creative space in the community through classes and informal dance events for anyone to come and learn what we know and enrich the group with their own talents. Balle balle!

For more information on classes and events, you can contact them at:

 or like their Facebook page, Aaja Nachle Hawaii!!

Oct 29, 2012
30th Annual Spring Symposium, “Sensing South Asia” – Call for Papers

The Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa invites paper and panel proposals on aspects related to its 30th Annual Spring Symposium

“Sensing South Asia”

Conference Dates: April 17-19, 2013, in Honolulu, Hawai’i

Deadline to submit proposals: January 15th, 2013

What happens when we approach social and natural worlds, the body, and affect through the senses?  How do disciplinary and interdisciplinary understandings of South Asia change if we consider that what and how we feel, hear, taste, smell, touch, see, and intuit are culturally and historically mediated?  The symposium invites scholars, artists, and practitioners to engage with the senses as portals to time, place, and social, cultural, and natural processes in South Asia.  We are particularly interested in research grounded in sensory relations and intersensory modalities that can generate new questions for various disciplines.  In this symposium, we want to explore what South Asian societies — and their histories, philosophies, everyday rituals and practices, and political economies — can offer to emerging theories and methods in sensory studies.  Participants are encouraged to perform or use new media as part of their presentations.

 The presentations could cover topics and themes such as:

  • Tactile, olfactory, and aural worlds; noise
  • Senses and the everyday
  • Sensory deprivation and overload
  • Sensory illusions

And, sensory aspects of:

  •  Caste
  • Asceticism
  • Ecstasy
  • Anxiety, pain, and trauma
  • Memory
  • Diasporas and belonging
  • Medicine and healing
  • Production and consumption
  • Technology, film-making, and marketing
  • Space, architecture, and design
  • Colonialism
  • National imaginaries, partition, war, civil unrest, displacement

Our panels will be anchored by keynotes delivered by the following distinguished scholars:

Robert Desjarlais, Anthropology, Sarah Lawrence College, and author of Sensory Biographies: Lives and Deaths among Nepal’s Yolmo Buddhists (University of California, 2003).  He is completing another book entitled, “Subject to Death: Life, Loss, and Mourning among Nepal’s Yolmo Buddhists.”

Uttara Asha Coorlawala, Dance, Ailey School and Barnard College, and is author of “It matters for whom you dance” in Dance Matters: Performing India on Local and Global Stages (Routledge, 2010).  She has published numerous journal articles theorizing embodiment, performance and experience in relation to culture. 

Nayanika Mookherjee, Anthropology, Durham University, author of The Spectral Wound: Sexual Violence and Public Memories and the Bangladesh War of 1971 (Duke University Press, Forthcoming).  She has published extensively in edited collections and in journals on the anthropology of violence, memory, the state and nation, ethics, and aesthetics.

Please send 200-word abstracts for individual papers by email to If proposing an entire panel, please also include a paragraph-length rationale and a proposed title for the panel. A limited amount of free lodging will be available to participants.

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