Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Announcing the Center for Contemporary South Asia

September 6, 2016


Dear Colleagues, Students and Friends,

This fall, we start as the Center for Contemporary South Asia (CCSA), a new institutional entity based at the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs.  CCSA joins together the Brown-India Initiative and the South Asian Studies concentration. For five years (2011-2016), the Brown-India Initiative created an interdisciplinary hub for the study of contemporary India at Brown, and since the 1980s, the South Asian Studies program has run the undergraduate concentration in the field and sponsored various programs and activities. The intellectual resources of the two programs are now merged, which will allow us to study problems and issues in the region in a more comprehensive manner.

The Watson Institute seeks to pioneer a new approach to regional studies for the 21st century, which the Center will follow. Anchored in the social sciences, this new approach will be problem driven, comparative and multidisciplinary. Our interdisciplinarity will include sustained interaction with the humanities on one hand and the disciplines such as public health on the other.

I will direct the new Center, and Leela Gandhi, John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English, will be the new associate director.

Our seminars, lectures and events will continue to bring leading scholars, literary and artistic figures, policy makers and public intellectuals to the campus. We will not only be focused on teaching and research, but will also be involved in public engagement.  Our events for the semester are listed on the events page of this website. Come and join the excitement of our new conversations and the novel perspectives presented by our events and programs.

Ashutosh Varshney,
Director, Center for Contemporary South Asia
Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences
Professor of Political Science
Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs