The University of Chicago is one of the leading centers for the study of Southern Asia. Countries in which we have scholarly expertise include in South Asia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, East Timor, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka; and in Southeast Asia, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia (Kampuchea), Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tibet (as an autonomous region), and Vietnam.
Chicago's Southern Asia strength is built around two related bodies: a federally-funded Title VI South Asia Language and Area Center (SALAC), and the Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS) made up of faculty across the University who share teaching and research interests in Southern Asia.
The focus of the Committee, which is supported through a university endowment, is to support and implement faculty and student academic and research projects that broadly encompass the study of South and Southeast Asia.
SALAC is designated as South Asia National Resource Center (NRC), supported by the U.S. Department of Education under Title VI of the Higher Education Act of 1965. NRC designation supports the study of South Asia in several areas, including: teaching of several South Asian languages: Bangla, Hindi/Urdu, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu; community and outreach in areas needed to provide full understanding of the South Asian region; acquisition of printed materials and other media such as films, essential to instruction and research on South Asia; outreach and consultative services on a national, regional, and local basis; maintaining relations with overseas institutions of higher education and other organizations that contribute to the educational and scholarly mission of SALAC. The center's activities also include a significant component of public education about South Asia facilitated through the South Asia Educational Outreach Project.
The South Asia Language and Area Center (SALAC) and The Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS) work to enhance opportunities available to scholars both in the United States and in South and Southern Asia and to foster intellectual and scholarly communication and inter-disciplinary collaboration among the students and faculty at the University of Chicago and the wider Chicago and Southern Asian Studies communities.
To these ends SALAC and COSAS sponsor a variety of activities including colloquia, workshops, conferences, public lectures, film series, cultural events, and other programs that promote understanding of the cultures and societies of South and Southeast Asia.
Brian Ashby, Program Assistant
South Asia Language & Area Center
5848 S. University Ave., Kelly Hall 104
Chicago, IL 60637