The Berkeley Pakistan Initiative

Pakistan Initiative logo

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.

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.

Photograph of a decorated truck in Pakistan

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 Library Collections

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.

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

Munis D. Faruqui

Anirban Gupta-Nigam

Pakistan-related Course Offerings

Over the years, UC Berkeley has offered a wide variety of courses that have either focused on Pakistan or have included Pakistan related content. These include:

  • 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