Programs and Projects

Key Initiatives

South Asia Studies at UC Davis is a vibrant field of inquiry that encompasses multiple cutting-edge initiatives.

Pioneering Punjabis Digital Archive

In October 2016, the ME/SA Program launched the Pioneering Punjabis Digital Archive, a new resource that houses over 700 diaries, letters, photographs, films and oral histories documenting the history of Punjabi Americans in California over the last 120 years. The project is a collaboration with Yuba City’s Punjabi American Heritage Society.

Reimagining Indian Ocean Worlds

The “Reimagining Indian Ocean Worlds” Mellon Research Initiative brings together faculty and graduate students from across campus (Anthropology, Cultural Studies, African American and African Studies, English, Geography, Ethnomusicology, Linguistics and Religious Studies) at UC Davis. It grew out of an interdisciplinary Davis Humanities Institute Research Cluster on contemporary “Indian Ocean Imaginaries.” 

Religions of India Initiative

The Religions of India Initiative has drawn renowned scholars, artists and musicians to Davis over the last few years. The Department of Religious Studies has undertaken an initiative to build on its current strengths in the study of the religious traditions of India. This initiative seeks to advocate for the advancement and development of the academic study of Indian religious, literary, performance and visual traditions at UC Davis in its diverse manifestations.

South Asia by the Bay Graduate Student Conference

In April 2016, ME/SA hosted the fifth South Asia by the Bay Graduate Student Conference as part of a consortium with Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis. The conference featured 17 graduate students from England, Portugal, India, Pakistan, the Netherlands and the U.S. in which graduate students received in-depth feedback about their research projects.  

South Asia Matters 

South Asia Matters focuses attention on the historical and contemporary significance of South Asia as a whole, including the countries of Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma, Maldives and Bhutan. It also locates South Asia in dialogue with other world areas and places South Asia within comparative perspectives. Through workshops, symposia, guest lectures, student conferences, film screenings and other events, it engages with key issues and debates around science and technology, urbanization, religion, performance traditions, politics, language policies, cinema, post-colonialism, gender, youth cultures and other themes.

South Asia Without Borders

South Asia Without Borders aims to engage local South Asian communities in lectures, public events, conferences, and film screenings about South Asia within a multicultural and global perspective that fully reflects and embraces its diversity. Between 2016-2017, the Initiative attracted speakers from a broad array of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, as well as agriculture.  In the year ahead, South Asia Without Borders will attract prominent speakers nationally and internationally and will feature a South Asia Without Borders Film Festival in the fall 2017.