Academic Chairs


 

ISAS has successfully secured private and government funds to enhance South Asia studies at Berkeley. The Institute has raised money for four Academic Chairs.

Chair in Tamil Studies
The Chair in Tamil Studies was established in November 1997, with help from the academic and Tamil-American communities, to insure the continued teaching of Tamil language and literature in the United States and to encourage the use of state-of-the-art technology in the study of Tamil. The current chair-holder is George L. Hart, Professor of Tamil, in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies.

Indo-American Community Chair in India Studies
The Indo-American Community Chair in India Studies endowment was the result of a community-based campaign in 1990 and 1991. Helped significantly by the efforts of the Consul General of India in San Francisco, the Hon. Satinder K. Lambah, hundreds of members of the Indo-American community throughout California and the West made contributions to this endowment. The Chair was officially inaugurated with two brilliant guest lecturers in 1991-1992, by Nobel laureate physicist S. Chandrasekhar and former U.S. Ambassador to India John Kenneth Galbraith. In addition to Consul General Lambah, Ambassador Abid Hussain and UC Berkeley Chancellor Chang-lin Tien spoke at the Chair inaugural. Also during that year ISAS brought two short-term holders of the Chair to lecture for several weeks at Berkeley, legal scholar Upendra Baxi and sociologist André Beteille both from Delhi University. Since then the Chair has been held by economist Mrinal Datta Chaudhuri, political scientist Subrata Mitra, environmentalist Ramachandra Guha, political scientist Sudipto Kaviraj, literary critic Meenakshi Mukherjee and others. Professor Pradeep Chhibber was named Chair when he joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 2001.

Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies
The Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies was established by Thomas Kailath, and Vinita and Narendra Gupta in honor of Dr. Kailath's wife, Sarah Kailath, to enhance awareness and knowledge of issues relating to the Indian subcontinent. Further details about the chair and Sarah Kailath may be viewed here. The current Sarah Kailath Chair is Professor Lawrence Cohen, Chair, Institute for South Asia Studies and Professor, Anthropology and South Asian Studies. Professors Raka Ray, Robert P. Goldman and Thomas Metcalf previously held the Chair.

Quaid-i-Azam Chair in Pakistan Studies
The Quaid-i-Azam Chair of Pakistan Studies - named for Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the leader who founded Pakistan, also known by the title, "Father of the Nation," or "Quaid-i-Azam" - was established in May 1999 with the help of the government of Pakistan to encourage increased knowledge of Pakistan in the United States and to help forge better ties between American academics and their counterparts in Pakistan. The Pakistan government's Ministry of Education provides the funds for the chair-holder’s salary and other expenses. The Quaid-i-Azam Chair of Pakistan Studies is designated for a visiting scholar. It was held by Dr. Tariq Rahman in 2004.