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About Us

Mission Statment

The Cornell University South Asia Program:

  • supports a comprehensive curriculum of undergraduate and graduate education, including the study of South Asian languages, and facilitates the development of courses and curricula on historical and contemporary South Asia.
  • enables the circulation of ideas, and scholarly and artistic practice, among an international community of intellectuals concerned with South Asia.
  • encourages connections among faculty and students from South Asian institutions and their Cornell counterparts, including engaged learning opportunities.
  • provides exposure to South Asia among a wider public through lecture series, conferences, exhibitions, publications, performances, and other forms of community engagement.
  • mobilizes resources at Cornell and externally, to support these responsibilities.

The South Asia Program (SAP) is an interdisciplinary hub for Cornell students, faculty, staff, community members, and academic visitors. It has over 50 affiliated faculty from across Cornell’s colleges, professional schools, and in the disciplines of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. SAP has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Title VI, South Asia National Resource Center (NRC), one of only seven in the US. Cornell offers 9 languages:  Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Sinhala, Sanskrit, Urdu, Pali, and Tamil.

SAP strategically supports campus initiatives related to South Asia by providing liaison between experts and facilitating campus activities in and on South Asia.  In doing so SAP supports the Global Cornell Initiative, including the growth of overseas learning opportunities for undergraduate students.

SAP sponsors a weekly seminar series with presentations by local, national, and international scholars. It also organizes an annual conference, and co-sponsors other workshops and conferences organized by Cornell faculty and students.  It collaborates with student organizations on campus to bring South Asian cultural and performance events to campus on a regular basis, enriching Cornell and the surrounding communities. SAP also has a significant outreach program which makes training on South Asia available to educators from K-12, community college, college, and schools of education.