South Asia Overview

The South Asia region is the new vibrant center of global transformation, carrying with it the hopes and challenges of a fourth of humanity. It encompasses the tremendous richness of regional cultures and peoples in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and the Maldives and their overseas communities.

South Asia Studies at UC Davis

South Asia Studies at UC Davis is a close-knit community of interdisciplinary scholars in the social sciences and humanities that combines expertise in the histories, languages, literatures, arts, religions, ecologies, cities and cultures of South Asia and its extensive overseas communities around the world. South Asia is an inclusive term that encompasses the tremendous richness of its regional cultures and peoples and overseas communities. Today more than 100 UC Davis faculty members enjoy research and educational ties with South Asia, many of whom are regional experts. UC Davis students can enroll in almost 50 courses on South Asia in the humanities, social sciences and languages, including courses in Hindi/Urdu, Arabic, and Persian. This year a generous donation led to the Mohini Jain Presidential Chair in Jain Studies that will expand our offerings in this ancient religion and philosophy that is a vital contemporary practice among communities in South Asia and in the diaspora. Last year, a private and generous donation from Bita Daryabari established a Presidential Chair in Persian Language & Literature; the Persian language has played a historically significant role in the sub-continent and is used by communities in the region today. UC Davis enjoys an active student body, with numerous Indian, Sikh, Pakistani, Afghan and other student organizations on campus that organize speaker and cultural events, and who are eager for further studies of South Asia. We plan to grow South Asia Studies on an ambitious scale over the coming decade in order to fully address the beauty, innovations, potential, and challenges of this vital and complex world region.