New York University’s Department of History offers a Ph.D. specialization in the study of South Asia, but we are not accepting new students in 2022 and plan to resume admissions in 2023.
South Asian history has been the locus for key debates—from those on the origins of early trans-oceanic merchant networks to those on the making of new forms of imperial rule, on nationalism and decolonization, and on subaltern studies, postcolonialism, and globalization—which have had a broad comparative and methodological reach beyond the boundaries of South Asia. The history of early modern and modern South Asia has been approached by multiple perspectives, which are broadly represented by our South Asian history faculty, who offer temporally, spatially, and conceptually diverse approaches to graduate studies and prefer that student projects speak to processes beyond South Asia.
Our South Asia faculty’s research spans regional (north and south), linguistic (Bengali, Tamil, Hindi, Urdu), epochal (pre-modern and modern) and thematic (social, intellectual, cultural) divisions of historical studies. Our program encourages the forging of comparative and global approaches to the social, intellectual, and cultural history of South Asia. It builds upon and bolsters existing department interests in comparative and international history, imperial and post-imperial formations, social and intellectual history.
Beyond the department, graduate studies of South Asia at NYU galvanize the inter-disciplinary strength of faculty across NYU schools (Steinhardt, Arts and Sciences, Gallatin, Stern, Tisch, Law), departments (Anthropology, Media and Communication, Political Science, Sociology, Social and Cultural Analysis). and campuses in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi. With the help of colleagues inside and outside the Department of History, we encourage students to undertake methodologically innovative and interdisciplinary historical research based on multiple regional and linguistic archives.
South Asian Languages: At present beginner and advanced courses in Hindi, Urdu and Persian are offered at NYU. Columbia University and University of Pennsylvania offer a wider range of language training (Tamil, Telegu, Bengali) and there are several summer programs at various centers around the country. Students are expected to enter the program with demonstrable proficiency in at least one South Asian language.