About the Center

The Center for South Asia supports extensive research, academic study and outreach relating to the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet.

There are over twenty faculty who devote their work full-time to research and teaching on South Asia. Over 50 courses each semester are offered by these faculty with at least 50% concentration on South Asian studies. In addition, through the Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia, the Center for South Asia lends both research and fiscal support for the teaching of such South Asian languages as Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan (both modern/spoken, and literary), Telugu, Tamil and Nepali.

Outreach Director
Rachel Weiss has been with the Center for South Asia since September 2001. Rachel received a BA in Art History with a focus in Asian Art and MA in South Asian Studies in which she focused her studies on Religions of India at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Rachel served as the Project Director for two Fulbright Hays Group Projects Abroad to India in the summer of 2003 and summer of 2005, in which she led a group of educators from the state of Wisconsin to India on a curriculum development project. Rachel coordinated a 2-week program in India and served as the co-chair for the Wisconsin Rural Leadership’s program in India (January 2008), providing a group of Wisconsin’s leaders with an in depth educational program.

After high school, Rachel’s first experience in South Asia was on a semester-long program in Kathmandu, Nepal -Sojourn Nepal. As an undergraduate, Rachel studied in Madurai, Tamilnadu on the University of Wisconsin’s College-Year-in-India program and studied Tamil language and researched a caste of traditional potters, studying their art and religious traditions. After graduate school, Rachel received an academic year AIIS Fellowship to study Tamil Language in Madurai, Tamilnadu. Rachel remained in Madurai for two additional years, serving as the “Monitor” for the College-Year-in-India, Madurai Program.

K-16 Outreach
At the Center for South Asia we provide access to resources for teaching about South Asia at the K-12, secondary, and post-secondary level and to the community at large. As a part of our federal mandate, all outreach services are free of charge.

We can assist teachers and community leaders in designing programs on a number of aspects of the arts, civilizations, cultures, geographies, history, and languages of South Asia.

If you would like to schedule a visitor to come to your classroom to talk about South Asia, show slides, or give a lecture on various topics, please contact rweiss@southasia.wisc.edu at least one month in advance.

K-16 Educators
The outreach coordinator along with CSA faculty offer teachers’ workshops, seminars, scholarship access grants, and other opportunities for learning about South Asia. If you would like to be informed of such opportunities please email rweiss@southasia.wisc.edu to be put on our “outreach” mailing list.

Documentary Films
The Center for South Asia has been a leader in documentary filmmaking on South Asia, distributing the most extensive and diverse collection of documentary films on South Asia in North America. These films are available for purchase in VHS format. Many have in-depth companion film guides for use by educators. There are more than thirty documentary titles appropriate for secondary, post-secondary, and community use, a religions of South Asia lecture series, and two documentaries appropriate to the middle grades. Complete information on each film can be found on our web site at southasia.wisc.edu.

We are offering a special to educators from the State of Wisconsin. With proof of endorsement from your school, we will sell our documentaries for the nominal cost of $20.00 for the video and film guide (regular institutional cost is $145.00).

Mission Statement
It is the mission of the Center for South Asia to encourage scholarly discourse, appreciation, and understanding of South Asian cultures and issues. We are committed to providing hands-on assistance and useful materials at the local, regional and national levels.