Centre for South Asian Studies

Critical conversations on South Asian worlds

The Lotus Temple in India against a blue and pink sky.

Understanding South Asia and the world

The Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS) is a global hub for critical conversations across the humanities and social sciences on South Asian worlds, both inside and outside the subcontinent.

Our affiliated faculty span departments and disciplines across the University of Toronto’s three campuses and pose South Asia as a key site for their research questions. We offer undergraduate and graduate teaching programs and host a wide range of public academic events.

Through research, teaching programs, and academic events, the CSAS weaves deep local knowledge, transnational methods, gendered readings, and cutting-edge theoretical investigation into a wide range of themes to help us better understand issues of global significance:

  • the workings of postcolonial democracy
  • law and activism
  • histories and contemporary configurations of the sacred and secular
  • political economy and cultures of capitalism
  • media, technology and the public sphere
  • the material and imaginative terrains of literary and visual cultures
  • the present life of ancient civilizations

CSAS events

Photo Credit: Tourists on the beach in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Text reads: Centre  for South Asian Studies 2022-23 Events Calendar
Photo: Tourists on the beach in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Macej Dakowicz, 2013

We host formal endowed lectures, workshops, conferences, and collaborations with other units across the university, featuring invited speakers both local and international. We also co-sponsor events with student groups, including the annual CSAS Graduate Symposium. View our complete 2022-23 event calendar here. To register for upcoming events and explore past events through the Asian Institute event database, please click the links below and filter Munk School Affiliation to "Centre for South Asian Studies."

Study with us

Detail from painting with the side and roof of a building, flowers, and birds flying in the sky.
Photo courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum.

As our student, you’ll learn from leading scholars in the field, join a close-knit and supportive community, and gain access to a wide range of experiential learning opportunities and research supports.

Scholarly resources

South Asian collections at the University of Toronto Libraries  

CSAS works closely with the University of Toronto Libraries to ensure that its resources reflect the teaching needs and research strengths of the University in South Asian Studies.

In 1968, Library partnered with the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Book Programme to ensure that monographs and journals in South Asian Studies published in India reached library shelves at the University of Toronto. These materials, along with those acquired through a relationship with Library of Congress established in the 1990s, are primarily in the languages of the region including Bengali, Hindi, Gujarati, Nepali, Pashto, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, Tamil, and Urdu, as well as in English. There are over 120,000 print volumes, including encyclopedic and multi-volume works, and over 150 journal subscriptions. In addition, the library has over 200,000 volumes on South Asian studies from around the world in English and other European languages.

Access the library's Research Guide for South Asian Studies resources. 

Nepal & Burma Studies reading groups

Nepal Studies Reading Group

This online reading group, hosted by Professor Christoph Emmrich, invites students and faculty of working on Nepal, the Himalayas, and more broadly South Asia to read and discuss the most recent, innovative, and influential academic literature in the field of Nepal Studies. The readings, mostly monographs, which are decided upon following suggestions by reading group participants, may range from textual to ethnographic and visual studies, covering literature, historical, anthropological, sociological, political, as well as art historical material, including visual works such as documentaries. Occasionally, the group is joined by the respective author for a first-hand account of the writing or editing process.

Learn about the 2023 schedule and readings, and how to join. 

Burma Studies Reading Group

Graduate students, faculty, and friends working on or interested in Burma come together once every three weeks during the fall and the winter term to read and discuss books and articles, usually from the fields of anthropology, archaeology, the arts, history, language, literature, media, political sciences, and sociology, occasionally joined by the authors and by immediate specialists. Participants propose and agree on the readings, both at the beginning of the academic year and from meeting to meeting.

Please contact anthony.scott@utoronto.ca to join this reading group in winter 2023.

Nepal & Burma Studies listservs

CSAS Director Christoph Emmrich hosts two open discussion listservs about activities in these fields at U of T:

Areas of focus - Victor Dementiev/Unsplash



Director, Centre for South Asian Studies


Event Coordinator, Asian Institute



Program Advisor and Communications Officer, Asian Institute