From the Director

Christoph Emmrich

Established in 1981, University of Toronto‘s Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS) fosters academic research, teaching and public discussion on South Asia, and through these, global questions. Now a constitutive unit of the Asian Institute at the Munk School for Global Affairs, and supported by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, with core faculty across the University of Toronto’s three campuses, the Centre is a key international hub for critical conversations across the humanities and social sciences on South Asian worlds, both inside and outside the subcontinent.

CSAS conversations also address incarnations of “South Asia” and its regions as objects of knowledge, from mythic to governmental, to geopolitical. The Centre’s programming thus reflects an interface of approaches that has distinguished South Asia research in recent years, weaving deep specialist and empirical knowledge, transnational methods, gendered readings and cutting-edge theoretical investigation. Delving into local contexts, CSAS programming addresses questions as wide-ranging as 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; and the present life of ancient civilizations.

The CSAS core faculty consists of scholars that pose South Asia as a key site for their research questions. They are members of the Centre’s official affiliated departments, which contribute to its teaching programs as well as members of other schools, departments and units, such as Forestry and Law. The Centre offers opportunities for specialized academic study, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

A lively venue for regular public and academic events, CSAS hosts a broad audience through formal lectures, brown-bag talks, workshops and conferences, as well as activities co-sponsored with student groups. The Centre is also an important node for conversations across the disciplines and the textured knowledge invaluable for new global academic initiatives. For its diverse programming, the Centre identifies invited speakers, both local and international, in synchronicity with its programming priorities. Established endowed lectures, public events such as the South Asia in the Media series and the annual Tamil Studies Conference, as well as high profile collaborative projects with other units across the university, are keystones of our programming. In its new initiatives, CSAS will bring South Asia specialists into conversation with specialists in other fields, enabling new channels for academic community-building among students and faculty alike.

The University of Toronto Libraries are also an integral part of South Asia research at Toronto. With a renowned collection, the U of T Libraries provide extensive access to a wide range of materials and primary sources on South Asia. Please see our Resources page for more information.

Read more about Christoph Emmrich, Interim Director of the Centre for South Asian Studies.


Giving to CSAS

CSAS programming bridges academic and public discussion. To support our work and projects, please donate to the “South Asian Studies Development Fund” through the Asian Institute at the Faculty of Arts and Science.

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