Electrifying India

 New Book Sheds Light on Varying Success of India's Electrification Projects

Electrifying India
by Sunila Kale, assistant professor of international studies and South Asian studies.

"Electrifying India presents new research findings that make a significant contribution to current literature. The argument is novel and important. It addresses literature of specific relevance to India, and to the politics of development in particular, but it also speaks to larger questions related to the role of historical trajectories in explaining the ability of governments to adjust to market-oriented economic policy regimes."
—Rob Jenkins, City University of New York

Find out more about Electrifying India at Stanford University Press and Amazon

 Kashmir Violence a Manifestation of Underlying Instability

Cabeiri Robinson
, associate professor of international studies and South Asian studies at the University of Washington and author of “Body of Victim, Body of Warrior: Refugee Families and the Making of Kashmiri Jihadists” talks to Catherine Cheney for World Politics Review about the recent India Pakistan cease fire violations across the LOC.  "Robinson said that the area where this week’s violence occurred has seen numerous incidents of small arms and artillery fire across the LOC over the past eight months. But two aspects of these recent skirmishes set them apart from the usual cross-border exchanges..."   Read the full article here.

Exploring Indian Art and Architecture

Explore art and architecture from 1960s India and beyond via the library's online Gairola Collection of Indian Art and Architecture. Twenty-five hundred images from the vast collection have been digitized for online viewing.

The photographs were taken between 1950-2000, but most were shot between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s. The collection is a unique set of images that includes a significant representation of Indian art and architecture from the dynastic periods through the early 1960s. It is organized online by dynasty, location, and by more from this article about the Gairola Collection in the UW Libraries e-news.

Read about The Chandigarh Urban Lab, a project of UW Architecture Professor Vikramaditya Prakash, dedicated to creating a forum to understanding the contemporary Indian city in transformation. It is designed to support Indian and international students and scholars of architecture and urbanism interested in studying Chandigarh as a case-study...more

Read the Director's Welcome.

About The South Asia Center

The South Asia Center, Jackson School of International Studies, is a leading center for South Asian Studies in North America. It promotes knowledge about South Asia through innovative research, teaching and outreach to educational, civic, and business institutions and to the community.

At UW, over forty faculty across several colleges and professional schools focus their research on South Asia. Our library collection is one of the finest in the country. We have a long tradition of excellence in the teaching of Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and several Indo-Aryan languages from beginner to the most advanced levels. Sanskrit has been taught at the university for more than one hundred years.  The Center receives significant funding from the US Department of Education for graduate student fellowships, language instruction, scholarly activities and outreach. In recent years, the South Asia community in the Pacific Northwest has endowed several special scholarships and initiatives.

Research and Teaching

Research and teaching at the South Asia Center are centered around two interlinked foci:

Contemporary Politics, Culture and Development in South Asia
A distinguished group of faculty in the social sciences (anthropology, geography, history, political science, international studies and women’s studies) and in the professional schools (architecture, business, law, public affairs and social work) address issues of contemporary politics, culture, and development in South Asia. The group is renowned for its ethnographic and empirically-based research and its commitment to accountability, whether through community collaboration, policy oriented analysis, or transnational advocacy. Current clusters of interest include: water and natural resources; gender, violence and political identities; youth cultures and education; agrarian change; humanitarian relief and sustainable development; liberalization & privatization; urban politics and architecture; new economies; migration and diaspora; corporate social responsibility.

Languages, Literatures and Religions of South Asia
Faculty in the South Asian language programs are world class.  They are internationally prominent linguists, and they are passionate about the teaching of South Asian languages. Facility in multiple, often, little known, languages and literatures is the hallmark of a core group of faculty who study religious texts, performances, practices, and political formations. We are also unique in our coverage of the entire range of South Asian history from the ancient to the modern. Senior and junior faculty engage in archival and interpretive research aimed at understanding contemporary and historical, literary, and religious “traditions.” Current clusters of interest include: the Early Buddhist Manuscripts Project; Bhakti Studies; Ethnomusicology; Sikhism; Islam in South Asia.

In addition, faculty and students in the schools of  Architecture, Business, Engineering, Global Health, Law, Public Affairs,  & Social Work are actively engaged in professional training, research and practice with a focus on South Asia.

Degrees Offered

The South Asia Program offers a BA and an MA in South Asian Studies. PhD students with South Asia focused research interests and students in the professional schools can do joint graduate degrees. A minor in South Asian Studies and a BA in International Studies with a South Asia focus are also options.

Three reasons why students should come to the South Asia Program at the University of Washington:

  • First, the critical mass of faculty in the two areas--Contemporary Politics, Culture and Development and Languages, Literatures and Religions-- allows the student to pursue learning in an environment that exemplifies the benefits of interdisciplinary scholarship. Courses of study, seminars, discussion groups, and speaker series are designed to promote inter-disciplinary discussion and debate amongst faculty and students.

  • Second, the South Asia Center is closely committed to building a sense of community and purpose among faculty, staff and students. We have a very active reading group, a fortnightly chai for informal discussion, and a whole host of cultural activities. The sense of collegiality, friendliness and shared purpose at UW is unusual.

  • Finally, Seattle is a terrific place to live: it offers an enormous wealth of cultural activities and opportunities to engage with Non- Governmental organizations, there is a large and active south Asian community in the area, and the city is located in the Pacific Northwest close to wonderful countryside.


Upcoming South Asia Events

Stay informed about upcoming South Asia events by visiting our Events Page or

Follow us on Facebook.  facebook logo         









South Asia Center
University of Washington
303 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-4800 phone
(206) 685-0668 fax

Anand Yang, Director

Keith Snodgrass, Associate Director

Molly Wilskie-Kala, Program Coordinator

Nick Gottschall, Graduate Student Assistant

Robyn Davis, FLAS Coordinator

Sunila Kale, Graduate Program Coordinator