The Centre of South Asian Studies

The Centre of South Asian Studies is a world-renowned, and exceptionally vibrant, research centre. It serves all faculties and departments in the University whose teaching and research touches on the regions of South and Southeast Asia. Its rare library collection and unique archival collection of papers, films and photographs attract scholars from around the world.  In addition to its core staff,  it hosts several affiliated and visiting scholars.  Academic staff from various parts of the University run its Committee of Management.

Established in May 1964, the Centre is primarily responsible for promoting within the University the study of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Burma/Myanmar, but over the last 25 years, has extended its activities to include Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines and Hong Kong within its remit.

South Asian studies are well represented in the different Faculties of the University – especially History, Anthropology, Social and Political Studies, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Divinity and Geography – and they benefit enormously from the research environment the Centre provides for academic staff and graduate students.  The Centre’s ‘community’ includes approximately 350 scholars in the University who have a direct interest in South and Southeast Asia together, and  over 80 graduate students working within the area, including students of its own top-ranking MPhil in South Asian Studies. In addition, approximately 200 students from the region studying for higher degrees in Cambridge visit the Centre to attend  film screenings, exhibitions, informal discussions and public lectures.

The Centre holds a weekly research seminar programme during term and organises occasional workshops, public lectures and conferences. Each term, a distinguished scholar is invited to present a  lecture in the seminar series names after one of its previous directors – B.H. Farmer, Gordon Johnson, Rajnarayan Chandavarkar and Sir Christopher Bayly.  An annual Kingsley Martin Lecture is presented by a leading scholar on one of the subject areas covered by the Centre. There is also a recently-instituted Centre of South Asian Studies Public Affairs Lecture.

The Centre works with other universities and similar centres to promote research in South and Southeast Asian studies in Cambridge and the wider world, to preserve and archive manuscripts, to build research networks and collaborations and encourage innovative scholarship of the highest standards.

For general enquiries email:  or phone: 01223 338094


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