The Telugu Studies Initiative


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The Telugu Studies Initiative supports instruction in Telugu language and literature at BerkeleyWith nearly 73 million Telugu speakers in, India, Telugu is the most widely spoken Dravidian language and the second-most spoken language in India.  As of June 2014, there are two Telugu-speaking states in India: Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State. Its rich literary heritage includes famous writers such as Kandukuri Viresalingam Pantulu and Guarajada Apparao.

The Telugu language program at Berkeley currently:

  • Enables young Indian Americans to appreciate and participate in Telugu culture
  • Ensures that the Telugu language and its rich heritage are studied by future generations of scholars from all backgrounds
  • Creates new and innovative materials to enhance the study of Telugu
  • Increases Berkeley’s library holdings in Telugu literature
  • Raises funds to bring Telugu scholars, artists and performers to the Bay Area

Click image for further information & giving opportunities

Milestones Reached

By summer 2007, the community had raised sufficient funds to enable CSAS to hire and train a  who has started teaching Telugu language courses since Fall 2007

Fall 2016Establishment of the Telugu Society of America (TELSA) Summer Studies Research Award
Spring 2014Words in Action (a performance by UC Berkeley Telugu language students)
August 2008Two Telugu courses appear in UC Berkeley catalog
July 2008$300,000 milestone reached
August 2007First Telugu class started at UC Berkeley with 12 students
July 2007Temporary Telugu Instructor Hired
December 2006$20,000 milestone reached
June 2006Town Hall Meeting in Milpitas

Goal of the Telugu Studies Initiative

In the future, we would like to recruit a full-time lecturer to offer beginning, intermediate, and advanced Telugu courses on a permanent basis; support an annual public lecture on Telugu language, literature, or society; and hire an advanced graduate student part-time to catalogue the growing number of Telugu manuscripts coming to the library from India.

Also, critical to Telugu Studies is the culture of the Telangana region. Our hope for the initiative is that it will in the future include a program on Telangana culture, literature, perhaps even studies on the Telangana dialect.

For more information on giving opportunities, please contact:

Sanchita Saxena
Executive Director, Institute for South Asia Studies
Director, The Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies
(510) 642-3608