The Berkeley Pakistan Initiative

The University of California at Berkeley is a global leader for the study of South Asia, and one of very few institutions in the United States to offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs focusing on numerous aspects of this vital region. As an integral part of the South Asia curriculum at Berkeley, interest in the study of Pakistan's history, politics, and culture is growing rapidly. We are strongly committed to strengthening our engagement with this subject in the years ahead.

Faculty with a special interest in this region:

Asad Ahmed (Near Eastern Studies), Gregory Max Bruce (South and Southeast Asian Studies),  Kiren Chaudhry (Political Science), Lawrence Cohen (Anthropology), Munis Faruqui (South and Southeast Asian Studies), Neil Joeck (Institute of International Studies), Asma Kazmi (Art Practice).


Pakistan-related Visiting Scholars

The Institute regularly accepts visiting scholars who are pursuing a research project on South Asia. In recent years visiting scholars have included Nosheen Ali (2010-2012), Niaz Murtaza (2012 - 2013) and Mona Kanwal Sheikh (Summer 2014).


Pakistan-related Course Offerings

Pakistan Related Course OfferingsOver the years, UC Berkeley has offered a wide variety of courses that have either focused on Pakistan or have included Pakistan related content. The courses listed below and repeated in the box on the right highlights some of these courses.  The course syllabus, as well as the videos used to supplement class discussion, for Nosheen Ali's class titled Re-Imagining Pakistan are available online.

  • Re-imagining Pakistan, Nosheen Ali
  • South Asia: Identities, Interests & Power, Jugdep Chima
  • Medieval and Modern South Asia, Munis Faruqui
  • Political Trends in Pakistan, Ishtiaq Choudhry
  • Islam in South Asia, Munis Faruqui
  • Religious Nationalism in South Asia, Munis Faruqui
  • Postcolonial Islam, Saba Mahmood
  • Peace & Security in S. Asia, Neil Joeck
  • The Short Story in Urdu Liternature, Munis Faruqui
  • The Af-Pak Colloquium, Kiren Aziz Choudhry

Pakistan-related Library CollectionsSouth and Southeast Asia library

The South and Southeast Asia Library (SSEAL) contains a large collection of books in Urdu (24,000), Punjabi (8,000), Sindhi (1050), Pushto (800), and Kashmiri (700). Most of these books were published in Pakistan. Our Pakistan-focused acquisition efforts have been rapidly increasing over the past years thanks to the interest of Adnan Malik, head librarian for the South Asia collection. A series of faculty-library initiatives have also contributed to additional growth in our already strong Pakistan-specific holdings.


Over the years, the Institute has offered diverse Pakistan-related programming. Some of the more recent events are listed below. 
Click the title link to view more information about the event, including video of many events.

Fall 2018

Spring 2018

Fall 2017

Spring 2017

Fall 2016

Spring 2016

Fall 2015

  • The Pakistan Paradox: The 3rd Mahomedali Habib Distinguished Lecture by Christophe Jaffrelot
  • Manto, A film by Sarmad Sultan Khoosat: A screening with Director present
  • Political Poetry in Contemporary Pakistan: An Evening with Pakistani Poet and Nonfiction Writer Harris Khalique
  • Learning from Lahore: A talk by Will Glover on the urban history of the city and the country across the long twentieth century

Spring 2015

Fall 2014

Spring 2014

Fall 2013

Spring 2013

Fall 2012

  • Under the Drones: Modern Lives in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands
  • 'The Evidence of Things Not Seen'?: An Artist's Explorations of Afghanistan's 21st Century Reconstructions and 20th Century Histories.
  • Afghans Look at 2014
  • Constructing “Home” in Transnational Spaces: The Case of Japanese-Pakistani Muslim Families
  • Partition of India: Debates in History and Literature

Spring 2012

Fall 2011

Spring 2011

  • The Redefined Dimensions of Baloch Nationalist Movement

Fall 2010

  • Breaking the Silence: Women in Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Afghanistan - A Unit of Analysis: Round Table Discussion
  • The Pakistan Flood Crisis: An Alternate Perspective
  • Islam, Youth and New Media

Spring 2010 and earlier

  • Hamid Mir -- The Resurgence of al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan" | Media
  • Abid Hasan Minto -- The Pakistani Crisis: On the current situation in the sub-continent and India-Pakistan Relations
  • Ahmad Salim --  Preservation and Promotion of Archives in Pakistan | Media
  • Huma Yusuf -- The War Against Terror : Five Reasons for the Persistence of Anti-Americanism in Pakistan
  • Alice Albinia -- Empires of the Indus: The Story of a River

On October 8, 2013, ISAS officially launched a Pakistan@Berkeley Initiative

Its long-term goals include hiring faculty who specifically work on Pakistan, broadening and deepening understanding of Pakistan by sponsoring talks and conferences on campus and across the Bay Area, promoting scholarly exchanges between UC Berkeley and educational institutions in Pakistan, raising funds for graduate fellowships (to train the next generation of scholars of Pakistan), and providing funding for Pakistan-specific courses at UC Berkeley.

Read more about this launch in the 2013 issue of Khabar, our annual newsletter. (pages 4 and 5)

We look forward to working with supportive individuals and organizations to accomplish these goals. For further information, please contact:

Sanchita Saxena, Executive Director 
Institute for South Asia Studies 
(510) 642-3608 
sanchitas@berkeley.edu

Munis Faruqui, Professor 
Dept. of South & Southeast Asian Studies 
(510) 643-9188
faruqui@berkeley.edu