UM Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

The University of Michigan is launching a regular series of Research Webinars in Sikh and Punjab Studies. Each webinar will be centered around 2 or 3 scholarly presentations/lectures followed by Q&A. The first webinar will take place on Saturday, January 30th, 2021 starting at 9.00 a.m. sharp. Speakers for the first meeting include:
Session 1:  9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. EST

(i) Professor Ian Talbot (University of Southampton, UK);
Paper Title: “Region, Religion and Locality: Rethinking the Punjab Unionist Party 1923-1947”

Session 2: 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST
(ii) Professor Gurharpal Singh (Emeritus – University of London, SOAS)
Paper Title: “The Making of the Indian Constitution and the Sikhs: A preliminary analysis”

Session 3:  11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  EST
(iii) Professor Ilyas Ahmad Chattha  (Lahore University of Management Sciences)
Paper Title: “Border Cities: Partition and Contraband trades between Lahore and Amritsar”


MA Flyer 12-11-20.jpg

South Asia Institute <>

The Master of Arts in South Asia Studies at Columbia University

The MA in South Asia Studies at Columbia University offers students an interdisciplinary curriculum that may be tailored to their individual interests and goals. The curriculum combines core seminars with a specialization (at least four courses) in an area of focus chosen by the student, and electives in an array of fields across Columbia University.  The MA may be completed in as little as one year of full-time study; students may attend part-time as well.

Students, working with the MA Director, may shape an area of focus on a topic (Gender, Sustainabilty, Visual Culture, etc.), on a country or region, or a discipline, or an historical period, according to their individual research interests, or may build a broad knowledge of South Asia across multiple disciplines as a foundation for future graduate study.

Visit our Website at <> for information about the MA program, the South Asia Institute, and Columbia University. Contact the MA Program in South Asia Studies

For additional information and questions about the Master of Arts in South Asia Studies, and to discuss how the MA can be used to meet your research and training goals, please contact Professor Katherine Ewing, at

Community Events

Fall Quarter 2020

“Exploring Logics of (Non)Violence in Sikh Thought”                                            Featuring Arvind- Pal S. Mandair, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor                 Friday, December 4 3:00- 4:30pm PST

Register/ Zoom link :



   UCSD  Presents "ALL  IZZ  NOT  WELL"


13th Annual Festival of Music and Dance by Indian Fine Arts Academy San Diego

March 29th to April 5th, 2020

Indian Fine Arts Academy of San Diego is happy to announce our 13th Annual Festival of Music and Dance from March 29 to April 5, 2020.

As part of this year’s festival, we celebrate a number of legends such as Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar’s 100th birth anniversary, Padma Bhushan RK Srikantan’s 100th birth anniversary, Padma Bhushan lalgudi Jayaraman’s 90th birthday,  and Padma Bhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan’s 90th Birthday.

We are also featuring several distinguished artists for the first time in our festival including K.J.Jesudas, Vishwamohan Bhat, Ajoy Chakraborty, Lalgudi Srimathi Brahmanandam, Priyadarshini Govind and many others.

Full Events Schedule can be downloaded here.

Subscribe to IFAASD here.

Visit the IFAASD website for ticket purchases and more information here.

SAAC - South Asian Arts Council

Feeding a Thousand Souls

April 27, 2019 (Sat) 10.30am – 12.30pm at The San Diego Museum of Art Boardroom

Feeding A Thousand Souls is an exploration of the KOLAM, a women’s ritual art performed daily by thousands in Tamil Nadu, S. India. This lecture by Dr. Vijaya Nagarajan will traverse the multiple fields of knowledge that a traditional ritual art form is embedded within: ritual, design, mathematics, poetics, philosophy, and ecology. It is a rich example of how oral knowledge traditions contain multitudes of ways of being.


Vijaya Nagarajan is an associate professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and in the Program of Environmental Studies at the University of San Francisco . In addition to teaching at the University of San Francisco, she has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard University. She is currently Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. Vijaya’s academic interests weave among the fields of Hinduism, Environment, Gender, Ritual, and the Commons. Vijaya has been devoted to the environmental movement for several decades in both India and the Bay Area. She is the co-founder of The Recovery of the Commons Project and the Institute for the Study of Natural and Cultural Resources, where she has co-organized events with a large range of scholars, activists and artists.


To register for this event, please click here


FREE for SAAC Members, $5 for Students & Youth, $10 for SDMA Members, $15 for Others.



Sat, Jan 19, 2019: Dr. Ravinder Reddy, Arms and Armour of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka: Types, Decoration and Symbolism.
10:30 am, San Diego Museum of Art Boardroom.
Presented by the South Asian Arts Council. Register for event here (Free for SAAC members, $5 for students, $10 for Museum members, $15 for others).

Event will be followed by a book signing at the museum store by Dr. Reddy.


Past Community Events

Nov 15-18, 2018: South Asia-related talks (highlighted below) at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Theatre Research  (Westin Hotel, San Diego)

CP2. Arousing Protest
Nov 16, 9:00 am – 11:00 am, California Ballroom
Chair: Karen Jean Martinson (Chicago State University)

  • Laura Farrell-Wortman (University of Arizona)
    “Arousing Equity: ‘Waking the Feminists’ as a Case Study in Collective Action in Theatre”
  • Vivek V. Narayan (Stanford University)
    “Care, Caste, and Gender: A Performance Ethnography of the Dalit Women’s Society in Kerala, South India”
  • Bryan Schmidt (University of Minnesota)
    “The Settler Colonial Politics of ‘Festive Arousal’: A Performance Genealogy”

CP4. Embodied Arousal
Nov 16, 4:45 pm – 6:45 pm, California Ballroom
Chair: Aaron Thomas (Florida State University)

  • Paige Johnson (Barnard College)
    “Under Stage Lights: The Affective Visibility of Waria Divas in Indonesia”
  • Ariel Nereson (State University of New York, Buffalo)
    “Head in Trousers: Prosecuting Arousal in the Trial of The Pleasure Man”
  • Aparna Dharwadker (University of Wisconsin)
    “From Brothel to Theatre: Prostitutes, Performers, Performances”
  • Jisha Menon (Stanford University)
    “Arousing Dissent: Naked Actors in Manipur”



Nov 2-8, 2018: MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A. documentary, limited engagement.

Witness the extraordinary rise of M.I.A. , from refugee to pop star.
Opens Friday, 11/02 at Digital Gym
“Inspires deep respect for the fierce and independent artist she is, a person whose voice is necessary, now more than ever.” – LA Times
“The time feels suddenly ripe for the West to reassess her perspective anew, to see not irrelevance but foresight.” – Vulture
FOR SOCIAL MEDIA: Refugee. Immigrant. Artist. Musician. Truth-teller. It’s finally time to hear @MIAuniverse’s story. @MIAdocumentary opens at @DigitalGymSD 11/ #MIADOC

Host a Screening / Spread the Word

Buy tickets from Digital Gym.
Watch trailer for documentary here.



Sun, Oct 28, 2018: Asha ki Diwali annual fundraiser dinner.
5-9 pm, Royal India, Miramar, San Diego.
Presented by Asha for Education.







Sat, Oct 20, 2018: 11th Annual Festival of Lights and 4th Annual Festival of Dolls
1 pm – 8: 30pm, Balboa Park.
Free Admission for children under 12; Others $5 per person.
Presented by San Diego Indian American Society and San Diego Museum of Art.






Sat, Oct 13, 2018: Sowparnika Balaswaminathan (UC San Diego, Anthropology) The Past, Present and Future of the South Indian Bronzes of Swamimalai and their Makers.
10:30 am, San Diego Museum of Art Board Room.
Presented by The Committee for the Arts of the Indian Subcontinent at the San Diego Museum of Art.
In order to register, please click here.
PRICE: FREE for CAIS Members / $ 5 for Students / $10 for Museum Members / $15 for all others.




Sat, Oct 6, 2018: Professor Vijay Kumar Kaul (Department of Business Economics Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Delhi, India), China’s Belt Road Initiative (OBOR): Its Strategic, Economic and Security Implications for India. Moderator: Prof. Sthaneshwar Timalsina, SDSU
5:00 PM – 7:30 PM, Zable Hall, Alliant University, 10455 Pomerado Road, San Diego, CA 92131
Snacks/light dinner will be served.
Please RSVP to Professor Sunil Kumar (SDSU)
Talk Abstract: China’s $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), earlier known as OBOR (one Belt one Road), aims to improve its connectivity with as many as 65 countries, including Europe. This initiative has been equated with Marshal Plan or 21st Century Silk Road etc. However, concerns have been raised in India and globally whether BRI is a form of economic imperialism that gives China too much leverage over other countries. In this talk, Professor Kaul will address the following questions:
• Is BRI a new growth strategy, using globalization as an opportunity and old Silk Route as a brand, to build China-centric 21th century Empire?
• Are Chinese attempt at building a new International Financial Architecture a step toward creation of Chinese hegemony?
• Are the strategic and security concerns of India and other Asian countries in Chinese neighborhoods genuine and serious?
• Are the proposed Asia-Africa Growth Corridor and other maritime initiatives undertaken by India an effective balancing strategy?
Prof. Vijay Kumar Kaul is the head of Department of Business Economics and Dean of Faculty of Applied Social Sciences and Humanities at the prestigious University of Delhi, India. His research is focused in the areas of Geo-economics and Geopolitics, Economic Transition and Performance, Knowledge Economy in Global Context, Public Policy and Business, India’s Diversity and Globalization. He is an author of 3 books, around 70 research articles and numerous conference presentations. Dr. Kaul is visiting USA at the invitation of UC Berkeley to speak on ‘India’s National Technology Strategy’. He has served on many Government of India and international expert committees.



Friday, Oct 5, 2018, 7:30 pm: Sangita Kalanidhi Chitravina Ravikiran concert, Breathless Slides & Breating Rhythms. Also featuring Nadha Brahma Kala Ratnam Delhi Sunder Rajan on Violin, Sangita Kalanidhi Trichy Sankaran on Mridangam.
Calit2 Auditorium (Atkinson Hall)
Tickets: $30 (before Sep 15); $35 (after Sep 15) at
Presented by Indian Fine Arts Academy of San Diego.








Sat, Sep 29, 2018: Youth Festival of Indian Classical Music and Dance with Chief Guest Venkatesh Ashok, Consul General of India.
8 am – 8:45 pm, David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre, Jeiwhs Community Center, La Jolla.
Free Event.
Presented by Indian Fine Arts Academy of San Diego





Saturday, Sep 29, 2018: Sindhu Thirumalaisamy (Film maker & Artist, UC San Diego), Film screening and presentation, Different Colourful Designs.
2: 30pm, San Diego Museum of Art Rotunda.
Presented by The Committee for the Arts of the Indian Subcontinent at the San Diego Museum of Art.
In order to register, please CLICK HERE
PRICE: FREE for CAIS Members / $ 5 for Students / $10 for Museum Members / $15 for all others.


This special traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution explores the heritage, experiences and diverse contributions of Indian Americans in the United States. Exhibit runs April 27th, 2018 to July 8th, 2018.
Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation was created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
See more information here.



Jun 9, 2018: EPIC TALES FROM ANCIENT INDIA exhibition opening
San Diego Museum of Art.

Epic Tales from Ancient India will feature more than 90 works of art from the Museum’s world-renowned Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of Indian paintings. It will introduce viewers to paintings of India and its sub-continent. These paintings will be given contexts by their various narratives based on the classical literatures of India and South Asia. The exhibition will feature five sections consisting of several literary categories and will represent the major schools of South Asian painting from the 16th through the 19th century. The stories include the Bhagavata Purana, ancient tales of Lord Vishnu and his various incarnations; the Ramayana, recounting the adventures and battles of Hindu god, Rama; the Ragamala, stories entailing music, love, and seasons; and works of Persian literature, including the Shahnama, an epic tale illuminating the cultural and geographic breath of Iran, and its heroic rulers.

The San Diego Museum of Art’s Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of Indian paintings was assembled by Edwin Binney 3rd (1925–1986), an heir to the Crayola fortune. It consists of more than 1,400 works of art created during the 12th through 19th centuries at the Mughal, Deccani, Rajasthani and Pahari courts. The collection of Indian and South Asia paintings came to the museum in 1990, and is one of the largest and finest private collection of South Asia paintings outside of India.

For more information, visit the SDMA website here.


2:00–5:00 p.m., San Diego Museum of Art Museum Boardroom.
Presented by the Committee for Arts of the Indian Subcontinent, San Diego Museum of Art.
Robert Elgood has a BA in Islamic History from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London University, where he is now a Research Associate, and a D.Phil. from Oxford University in Indian Anthropology. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Asiatic Society.


Presented by the Committee for Arts of the Indian Subcontinent, San Diego Museum of Art
2:00–5:00 p.m., San Diego Museum of Art Museum Boardroom
During the 15th century, Sikh philosophy emerged as a reformist movement in India, predominantly in the lands that became Pakistan in the partition of 1947. By the 19th century, the Sikh kingdom established a strong secular formidable rule that the expanding British East India Company, was stalled from further westward advances. In 1947, with Indian independence…the British divided the country between India and Pakistan on religious demographics.
Amardeep Singh is a child of the partition – his parents were uprooted from their homes that became Pakistan. Amardeep’s pioneering research serves as a link for posterity to an almost forgotten yet rich cultural legacy.
Amardeep Singh, author & photographer, lives in Singapore. With an undergraduate degree in Engineering, he pursued a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Chicago and was the Asia Pacific Regional Head for Revenue Management at American Express. He has passionately maintained pursuits in literary and creative arts as another facet of his personality. During his extensive travels through Pakistan, Amardeep started documenting his explorations in a book, Lost Heritage: The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan followed by a sequel in 2017 titled The Quest Continues: Lost Heritage: The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan. His two books are rich in photographs and story line. Autographed books will be available for purchase at $100/book.



Sat, Jan 20, 2018: The Cosmic Dance of Indian and Buddhist Deities, Lecture by Dr. Forrest McGill
3pm at San Diego Museum of Art, Museum Board Room.
Presented by the Committee for the Arts of the Indian Subcontinent at the San Diego Museum of Art








Oct 21, 2017: A Collage of Classical Dances
Presented by the Indian Fine Arts Academy of San Diego





Oct 17, 2017: Asha for Education – San Diego Diwali Fundraiser.
Presented by Asha for Education San Diego Chapter



Oct 4, 2017: Introduction to Indian Classical Music
6:30-7:30 pm, University Community Library, Community Room
South Indian classical vocalist Devesh Vashishtha will present a live, interactive lecture-demonstration on the history of Carnatic music. He’ll provide an overview of its intricate melodic and rhythmic patterns and multiple improvisational forms. Devesh will be accompanied on the mridangam by Naveen Basavanhally and on the violin by Roshan Mandayam.

Presented by San Diego Public Library, University Community Branch




Sept 10, 2017: Sitar concert by Ustad Irshad Khan
Presented by the Committee for the Arts of the Indian Subcontinent at the San Diego Museum of Art