The Bhattacharya Lectureship on the Future of India, a lecture series that asks leading thinkers—scholars, artists, activists, political, economic, and social leaders—to address the possibilities and challenges for India in the future. The lectureship is supported by the Bhattacharya India Fund, a fund established in 2016 by Kimi and Shankar Bhattacharya, both longtime supporters of Bangla Studies at Berkeley and of the ISAS. In addition to the lectureship, the fund also provides funding to UC Berkeley graduate students to undertake research travel to India (two awards of $1000 each) or domestic conference travel for presentations on topics related to contemporary India (four awards of $500 each). More here.
The Indo-American Community Lectureship in India Studies enables ISAS to bring prominent individuals from India to Berkeley every other year to deliver a lecture and interact with campus and community members during a one to two-week stay. We are supported in this by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), which pays the visitor’s international airfare. The lectureship is an offshoot of the Indo American Community Chair in India Studies. More about past lecturers here.
The "Maharaj Kaul Memorial Lecture" is an annual lecture series on the theme of social justice. This lecture series has been established in memory of Maharaj Kaul (1940 - 2009), a UC Berkeley alum, tireless campaigner against injustice and for peace, founder of groups such as India Relief and Education Fund, and Coalition Against Coalition, and long-time supporter of ISAS’s mission and activities. More details about the Maharaj Kaul Memorial fund and vidoes of past lectures here.
The Mahomedali Habib Distinguished Lecture Series on Pakistan is named in honor of one of the leading figures in the history of the Habib family. In addition to successfully guiding the Habib family’s transition from India to Pakistan following independence in 1947, Mahomedali Habib laid the foundations for the House of Habib, a group of powerful business and financial companies. The group has a long-standing history of philanthropy and social service and is currently leading the establishment of Habib University, a liberal arts and sciences university, in Pakistan which aims to bridge the gap between global academia and Pakistan. Toward honoring the legacy of Mahomedali Habib – who was distinguished by his love for Pakistan and his deep commitment to education and philanthropy – the Habib family has decided to endow an annual lecture series in his name. Through this lecture series the Habib family aims to improve and diversify conversations about Pakistan in the United States as well as create opportunities for US and Pakistan-based scholars to dialogue. Details about this lecture series here.
The Rajendranath Das lecture in Bangla
The Rajendranath Das lectureship on Bangla Studies, commencing in 2008, is a part of the Berkeley Bangla Initiative, and was created by the generosity of Satyen Das, is a lecture series that will bring a prominent scholar of Bangla to speak at Berkeley annually. Dr. Sugata Bose gave the first Rajendranath Keynote Lecture during the Institute for South Asia Studies 23rd Annual South Asia Conference on February 15, 2008. Dr. Bose’s lecture was titled, “Different Universalisms, Vernacular Cosmpolitanisms: The Global Imagination of the Colonized.” Dr. Bose is an eminent scholar, currently the Director of the South Asia Initiative at Harvard University and the Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs. He has written extensively on modern South Asia and on the history of the Indian Ocean region.
The Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada Lecture on Pakistan derives from the Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada Endowment. The endowment, established by Rafat Pirzada and his wife, Amna Jaffer, and named after Rafat Pirzada’s father, Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada on the occasion of his 90th birthday, funds the Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada Dissertation Prize on Pakistan, an annual dissertation prize for the best work in the humanities, social sciences, law, or public health on Pakistan, the region that is Pakistan, or things to do with Pakistan. The Pirzada Lecture on Pakistan is designed around the winner of the S.S. Pirzada Dissertation Prize and takes place at UC Berkeley every spring. Details on winners here.
The "Sarah Kailath Memorial Lecture" is a lecture series on the theme of Women and Leadership. Our first Sarah Kailath Memorial lecture was by Kamala D. Harris, the current Attorney General of California. At the time of the lecture, she was San Francisco’s District Attorney, the first woman in San Francisco’s history, as well as the first African American and South Asian American woman in California to hold the office.
The Institute for South Asia Studies (ISAS) at UC Berkeley in collaboration with the Vedanta Society Berkeley (VSB) are proud to launch a new lecture series on religion in the modern world. Titled the ISAS-VSB Lectures on Religion in the Modern World, this series seeks to invite distinguished scholars of world religions to campus with the aim of improving and diversifying conversations about the role of religion in modern societies. Our first lecture in this series will be delivered by Prof. Robert A. F. Thurman, a recognized worldwide authority on religion and spirituality, Asian history, world philosophy, Buddhist science, Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, and H.H. Dalai Lama in Fall 2017. Details on lecture series here.