The South Asia Center

 The South Asia Center at the University of Pennsylvania supports faculty and student research, conferences, outreach, and other South Asia related activities across the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Penn’s professional schools and in the wider community. 

It is funded as a National Resource Center by the US Department of Education and by the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

The mission of the University of Pennsylvania's South Asia Center is to promote and advance the study of South Asia by graduate and undergraduate students, and to encourage the study and knowledge of South Asia in schools, colleges, and among the public.

The Center works to achieve its mission by:

  • Coordinating a wide range of course offerings in language, literature, religion, history or art, etc. Specialized issues are addressed through the University's research programs, professional schools, and interdisciplinary centers.
  • Conducting teacher training and outreach activities. Outreach is central to the Center's mission. Ongoing collaborations with other educational institutions, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad keep the Center in the forefront of academic and cultural developments.
  • Facilitating learning and research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students through fellowships and field research opportunities, both locally and abroad.
  • Maintaining an extensive resource base of library and web-based materials and Museum art resources. We offer affiliated visiting scholars the chance to use the University's libraries, and its museum, which holds an extensive South Asia collection. We also collaborate closely with the Indian and Himalayan section of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  • Supporting language study by graduate students through awarding FLAS and SASLI fellowships and by undergraduate students through coursework and internship opportunities, both locally and abroad

From 2014-18, Center activities will be guided by the following three objectives:

  • Identifying 21st century global skills and implementing these into area studies and disciplinary curricula
  • Expanding our institutional network of affiliated faculty and its impact on the study of South Asia in K-16 education, with particular attention to increasing the number from area community colleges and minority-serving institutions
  • Improving capacity to produce South Asia expertise in Penn’s professional schools, including in STEM fields through enhanced linkages with Indian educational institutions, and in the Graduate School of Education (GSE)