South Asia @ UNSWSouth Asia @ UNSW

Combining strengths in South Asian studies

South Asia @ UNSW

UNSW Arts & Social Sciences has a vibrant network of scholars who research and teach in South Asian studies across a number of new and traditional humanities and social sciences disciplines, including:

  • anthropology
  • history
  • development studies
  • politics
  • international relations
  • media and literary studies
  • gender studies
  • race and ethnicity
  • the study of border regions, insurgency and militarism

Together, we conduct seminars and organise workshops to discuss research, working with established research clusters in the Faculty such as Imperial, Colonial and Transnational Histories, Asian Media Cultures and Globalisation and Governance.

Our activities align with the UNSW 2025 Strategic Plan which strongly supports research relevant to the Asia-Pacific/Indo-Pacific regions and a committment to building collaborative institutional and scholarly links with India.

Call for Papers - Encounters Within and Across South Asia

Workshop to be held at the University of New South Wales, Sydney

13-14 July 2017

Paper proposals are invited for a two day workshop on the theme of ‘Encounters in South Asia’. Encounters can be generative, sites for the production anew of relations, subjectivities, histories, communities, possibilities, and political-economic structures. They can also be destructive, producing conflict, friction and dispossession. Encounters can range from the everyday fleeting ones, such as an encounter with a stranger in the street, to the ones with the state through a government official. Encounters can also be prolonged, developing over years or centuries, such as the encounter of diasporic communities with majority populations. In encouraging the examination of different kinds of encounters, and different perspectives on similar encounters, the workshop will be an opportunity to develop new frameworks and understandings. The workshop will itself be an encounter between colleagues and between disciplines producing potentially transformative knowledge.

Please submit your abstract of up to 250 words to by 15 February 2017. Decisions will be communicated by 28 February 2017.

A pre-workshop Masterclass will be held for postgraduate students. Travel grants of up to $250 will be awarded to students on a competitive basis. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for a grant when submitting your abstract.

The workshop is being funded by the South Asian Studies Association of Australia. A small registration fee will be charged to off-set the costs of catering.

SASAA member academic: $30

SASAA member student: Free

Non-member academic: $40

Non-member student: $20

We are pleased to announce that the funding will facilitate the participation of Professor Akhil Gupta (UCLA Anthropology), and Professor Purnima Mankekar (UCLA Gender Studies). Other potential participants (to be confirmed) include Professor Ursula Rao (Anthropology, Leipzig University) and Professor Ashutosh Varshney (Director of the Centre for Contemporary South Asia, Watson Institute, Brown University).

Affiliated staff


Staff associated with South Asia @ UNSW are actively involved in a range of national and international activities including conferences and other special events.

Events at UNSW

For a full list of upcoming and past South Asia events at UNSW, visit out events calendar.

View related events

Other activities

Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Kolkata Literary Fesitval

Associate Professor Kama Maclean spoke on the panel 'Lest We Forget: Rescuing Lost Histories' at the Appejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2017.

For more information visit the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival website

Strategic narratives of India's Rise

Wednesday 21 September 2016
Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, Wales

Dr Monika Barthwal-Datta will discuss how policy elites are (re)producing India as a 'rising' power to shape its identity in global politics, and in order to pursue specific foreign policy goals in relation to India at the domestic and international levels. 

Visit the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, website for more information.

Rising Powers and the EU - Seminar on Chinese and Indian Foreign Policy

6th September 2016
The Centre for European Politics, Surrey UK

Dr Monika Barthwal-Datta presented at a recent seminar on China and India's emerging foreign policy hosted by The Centre for European Politics on 6 September. 

Visit The Centre for European Politics website for more information.

Oceanic Conference on International Studies 2016

Dr Monika Barthwal-Datta co-convened a panel on 'Re-thinking Conflict, Peace and Security in IR: Perspectives from South Asia’ at the Oceanic Conference on International Studies (OCIS) 2016 annual conference in July with Dr Shweta Singh from South Asian University in New Delhi.

For more information visit the OCIS website

Publications and journals

South Asia Journal coverSouth Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies

UNSW is the home of South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, supporting its editor, Associate Professor Kama Maclean, in publishing interdisciplinary scholarly research on the region. Published since 1971, the journal was the first in South Asian studies and it maintains a proud tradition of publishing innovative, peer-reviewed articles, in four issues per year.

Australian Asian Studies Association South Asia Series

UNSW is also the host of the Australian Asian Studies Association South Asia book series edited by Professor Duncan McDuie-Ra and published by Routledge.

Teaching and research

UNSW Arts & Social Sciences offers two undergraduate courses on South Asia – Modern India (ARTS2210) and Powerful India (ARTS3212) – offering critical opportunities for research training (including honours) and student mentoring in the field, unavailable at any other institution in Australia.

Our network also collaborates to supervise higher degree research students that fall into our respective areas of expertise.

Recent and current higher degree students

  • John Zubrzycki: ‘Transnational exchanges in magical knowledge and methodologies, India and the west’
  • Mayuri Sengupta: ‘The Politics of Development among the Reang of Tripura’
  • Rabia Gul Ali: ‘Women and Empowerment Initiatives in Chitral, Pakistan'
  • Yvette Selim: ‘Transitional Justice in Nepal’
  • Matthew Wilkinson: ‘Sovereignty and Masculinity in Nagaland’
  • Roanna Gonsalves: ‘Up Sky Down Sky Middle Water: A collection of short fiction and Writers v/s Money: Negotiating the field of Indian literature in English'
  • John Solomon: ‘Identity Evolution in the Diaspora: the Gradual Disappearance of Untouchability and the Negotiation of Tamil Ethnicity in Singapore, 1819-1965’
  • Nayana Bibile: 'Cartographies of Resettlement: The Performativity of Containment and the Ontological Uncertainties of Certainty'
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