Raka Ray announced as new Dean of Social Sciences at UC Berkeley

We are proud to announce that Prof. Raka Ray, the former Director of the Institute for South Asia Studies, has been selected as the next dean of the Division of Social Sciences in the College of Letters and Science. We wish her all the best as she takes on this new role. Read more about Prof. Ray and her new role HERE.

Cal alum wins the 2019 AIIS Book prize for "At the Limits of Cure" - a book on tuberculosis in India

Congratulations to Bharat Venkat for receiving the 2019 Joseph W. Elder Prize in the Indian Social Sciences for his book, At the Limits of Cure. Bharat Venkat, who earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley, is an assistant professor in Anthropology at the University of Oregon; starting in July 2019, he will be assistant professor at UCLA’s Institute for Society and Genetics.

Cal's South Asia Art Initiative goes to Dhaka Art Summit

The Institute's South Asia Art Initiative is sending a team of scholars - Atreyee Gupta, Sugata Ray, Asma Kazmi, Sanchita Saxena, & Munis Faruqui - to the Dhaka Art Summit in 2020. The program, titled, "Indian Ocean Imaginaries as World History," will unfold in close collaboration with artists, activists, and art and architecture historians in Bangladesh. Read more HERE.

Announcing the Pirzada Dissertation Prize Winner for 2018

Many congratulations to Dr. Salman Hussain for his dissertation, Together Without Consensus: Class, Emotions and the Politics of the Rule of Law in the Lawyers’ Movement (2007-09) in Pakistan, completed at CUNY under Prof. Avram Bornstein. Award ceremony on April 26, 2019. Details here.

The 2018 issue of Khabar, our annual newsletter, is out!

Highlights include an award winning photo essay on sanitation workers in India, new publications by UC faculty and alumni, an opinion piece on Rahul Gandhi's UC Berkeley visit, and Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies' related news. Read Khabar HERE>>

Cal's Gadgil Lab: Making Water in India Safer for Drinking

A collaborative team of researchers led by UC Berkeley's Dr. Ashok Gadgil and Jadavpur University's Prof. Joyashree Roy have set up a very efficient and cost-effective system for providing safe and arsenic free water for just 60 paise per litre. Read more about their work HERE >>

Raghuram Rajan delivers the 2nd Bhattacharya Lecture

"Demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) are the two major headwinds that held back India’s economic growth last year," said the former RBI Governor in his Bhattacharya Lecture at UC Berkeley on Nov 9, 2018. Hear the lecture and see some pictures from the event <<HERE

New "South Asia Research Note" on Allan deSouza's New Book

What terms do we use to describe and evaluate art, and how do we judge if art is good, and if it is for the social good? In How Art Can Be Thought Allan deSouza investigates such questions and the popular terminology through which art is discussed, valued, and taught. Read more about the book HERE

ISAS Receives Two Federal Government Grants

We are very proud to report that in recognition of our work in making UC Berkeley a critical node for South Asian scholarship the U.S. Dept. of Ed. has renewed our NRC as well as FLAS awards for the next four years. Read more about receipt of these two grants HERE.

A Report on the BULPIP-AIPS Urdu Program in Pakistan

The BULPIP– AIPS Urdu Program in Pakistan is about to enter Year 5 of operations. Click HERE to read about the history of the program, the people who help run it and the people who have benefited from it, the program's spending patterns, curriculum, participation and learning statistics, and testimonials from a diverse group of past participants. 

RIP Prof. Saba Mahmood

Prof. Saba Mahmood passed away on March 10 after a prolonged battle with cancer. Prof. Mahmood, a powerful presence in the life of the Institute, played a key role in the creation of the Pakistan Studies Initiative and Urdu@Berkeley. We will all miss her profoundly. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her husband, son, family and to Saba's wide circle of friends. Read more HERE>>.

Announcing the Pirzada Dissertation Prize Winner for 2017

Many congratulations to Dr. William E. B. Sherman (Asst. Prof Religion, UNC-Charlotte) for his dissertation, "Mountains and Messiahs: The Roshaniyya, Revelation, and Afghan Becoming," completed at Stanford University under Prof. Shahzad Bashir. Award ceremony on April 26, 2018. Details here

Indian Ambassador to the US visits UC Berkeley

Navtej Sarna, the Indian ambassador to the United States, visited UC Berkeley on Feb 12. Drawn by UC Berkeley's famed library collections. the ambassador, who is a scholar of the Sikh religion, viewed parts of the South Asians in North America Collection (including documents of the Gadar party) and other holdings on Sikhism. Click here for media coverage of the visit.

Mourning Asma Jahangir

The Institute mourns the passing of Pakistan's most prominent human rights lawyer, Asma Jahangir. In 2013, we had the honor of welcoming Ms. Jahangir to campus as the inaugural speaker in our Mahomedali Habib Distinguished Lecture Series on Pakistan. In addition to her lecture, Ms. Jahangir also met with Cal students and members of the local Bay Area community. Click here for a video of the lecture. 


A new contest designed to highlight the untold stories of remarkable South Asian women who have effected change through their individual or collective work, ideas, or presence. Grand prize of $5000, a week in UC Berkeley. And much more. Deadline: January 15, 2018. For details and to apply click HERE>>

The 2017 issue of Khabar, our annual newsletter, is out!

Highlights include reports on cutting-edge research and socially impactful work being done in South Asia by Cal faculty and scholars, an excerpt from Prof. Pranab Bardhan's memoirs, and a welcome address from our new director, Prof. Munis Faruqui. Read Khabar HERE>>

Bob Goldman awarded the World Sanskrit Award for 2017

Professor of Sanskrit, Robert P. Goldman has been honored with the World Sanskrit Award for 2017 by the ICCR for his work on Sanskrit language and literature and for the completion under his direction of the translation of the Sanskrit epic poem, the Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki. Read more here >>

Announcing Prof. Munis D. Faruqui as the new Director of the Institute!

The Institute for South Asia Studies is thrilled to announce the appointment of historian of medieval India, Prof. Munis D. Faruqui as the new Director of the Institute for South Asia Studies and Sarah Kailath Chair of Indian Studies.

Read more HERE >>

Prof. Pranab Bardhan on the right-wing populist challenge

In the Boston Review, Prof. Pranab Bardhan argues that the populist challenges to liberal order across the world cannot be explained just by anger with market-driven inequalities but also stems from larger majoritarian perception of siege and victimhood. To read the full article, click HERE>>>

A Profile on 2016-2017 Chowdhury Center Fellow on Quality of Life, Sayah Bogor

Our 2016 Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center Fellow on Quality of Life in Bangladesh was recently featured in UC Berkeley News for her astounding journey from refugee to health researcher at UC Berkeley. Read more HERE>>>