The Center for South Asia (CSA) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison continues to provide resources for a greater understanding of South Asia on the local, regional, and national levels in five significant ways: 1) through faculty specialization, teaching, and research on South Asia in 16 disciplinary departments; 2) by increasing the U.S. pool of South Asia experts through specialized training of students at the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Master of Arts (M.A.), and Ph.D. levels; 3) by increasing the U.S. pool of experts in South Asian languages through intensive South Asian language instruction from the elementary to advanced levels in five modern languages and two classical languages during the academic year; 4) by serving as the host institution and organizing center for the South Asia Summer Language Institute (SASLI), offering nine modern and one classical language each summer to B.A., M.A., Ph.D. and non-degree students; and 5) through a vibrant, goal-oriented outreach program that focuses on K-12 teacher training, business, media, and the general public.
The Center's activities during the next four years will include continued support for the teaching of Hindi, Urdu, introduction of Pashto (years three and four), and support for courses focusing on Islam, Hinduism, and the political and cultural history of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Center will develop a new Interdisciplinary M.A. program in South Asian Studies and develop new courses on South Asian culture and language to meet the needs of several types of students, including those in Business and Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) (Army, Navy, and Air Force).
Four new faculty with South Asia focus are targeted for hire in 2006-2010: South Asian Legal Systems (Law School), a Modern South Asian Historian (History), a Persian or Islamic culture position (department to be determined), and an Islamic Art Historian (Art History). Additionally, the current vacancy in Tibetan Buddhism is a priority remaining to be filled and the Center has requested seed money to support potential hires in Geography, classical South Asian Art History and Civilizations, and South Asian Islam.
Major emphasis will be placed on the development of improved language teaching during the academic year and in the summer language program SASLI through continued pedagogy training, the standardization of computer Unicode fonts, the use of web-based teaching resources, and the development of national standards for language proficiency testing.
Increased funding for library resources and the development of improved systems of access and delivery for print, audio and video materials will continue to be an integral component to the Center's mission. CSA will continue to collaborate with professional schools and local K-12 institutions to prepare teachers for teaching about South Asia.
With institutional support CSA will coordinate with other National Resource Centers (NRC)/Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Centers at Wisconsin to carry out a comprehensive external review of all the Centers using a professional evaluation agency focusing on quantifiable, outcome-measure-oriented data. This agency will also evaluate our data collection methods and make recommendations for improved procedures.