New York University’s Department of History offers a Ph.D. specialization in the study of South Asia. 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. The history of early modern and modern South Asia has been approached by multiple perspectives. Our South Asian history faculty offers a temporally, regionally, and conceptually diverse illustration of existing and emergent perspectives. Their research spans regional (north and south), linguistic (Bengali, Tamil, Hindi, Urdu), epochal (pre-modern and modern) and thematic (social, intellectual, cultural) divisions of conventional historical studies. The graduate 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 schools (Steinhardt, Arts and Sciences, Gallatin, Stern, Tisch, and Law) and departments (Anthropology, Media and Communication, Political Science, Sociology, Social and Cultural Analysis). With the help of our 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.
Workshops and Seminars: South Asian Studies at NYU provides is expansive academic opportunities, connecting faculty and scholars in many schools, and including weekly seminars and other events on most Fridays during the school year, as well as an annual conference, in February, on Global South Asia. We have an interdisciplinary Graduate Student Workshop specifically for students in South Asian Studies working in various departments and schools. A number of thematic other workshops provide students and faculty with a forum to present ongoing research, host outside speakers, and collectively read works of interest across regions and fields. Existing workshops organized by South Asia history faculty include Social Theory and History and the Global Café (administered by the Institute of Public Knowledge). We also strongly encourage students to participate in other South Asia related and trans-regional events at area universities.