Distinguished research and graduate study of modern and contemporary South Asia

From Governor Generals to Freedom Fighters to Rhodes Scholars and everything in between, Oxford University has a rich history of engaging with the states and societies of South Asia, and with scholars and peoples from across the region. 

The Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme (CSASP) comprises various permanent academic members of staff, as well as teaching assistants, research associates and a permanent administrator.

CSASP currently runs the MSc in Contemporary India, and from October will be administering the new 12-month MSc in Modern South Asian Studies and 21-month MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies courses (both of which will be run in conjunction with the Faculty of Oriental Studies).  Students on each of these courses will have the opportunity to choose either the Contemporary India stream, or the Modern South Asia stream, and teaching will encompass scholars from both the Humanities and Social Science Divisions.

The MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies is now closed to new applications for entry in 2017.  The MSc in Modern South Asian Studies will be closing to applications at 12.00 noon (UK time) on Friday 5 May.

CSASP will also be participating in the departmental launch of the Area Studies DPhil programme for 2017-18.  This programme is now closed to applications for entry in 2017.  Applications for entry in October 2018 will be accepted from the beginning of September 2017.

CSASP has a growing post-doctoral community, which currently consists of a Newton Fellow, a Leverhulme Fellow and will soon also include a Marie Curie Fellow.  We also host occasional visiting scholars; recent research projects have included Masculinity in Indian Cinema, Gender in South Asia and Sports as Soft Power Diplomacy in South Asia.

We collaborate with the Development Studies department in running the weekly Contemporary South Asia Seminar Series. Recent Conferences organised by CSASP include: Pakistan - Political Economy of a Transforming Society; Punjab Research Group Conference; Caste in South Asia and its Diasporas; India under Narendra Modi: Reconsidering Indian foreign policy; and the Political Economy of Development in India. We run occasional Chatham House style events with closed invitation lists that enable students to ask more penetrating/revealing questions. Recent events have included discussions with a senior Pakistani military officer, a well-known BBC investigative journalist and a senior member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Office. In conjunction with Wolfson College, CSASP organised the inaugural Foreign and Commonwealth Office Oxford day on 8th February this year. We hosted 50 members of the FCO, Ministry of Defence and Department for International Development for a day of lectures and discussion organised by the CSASP staff.

CSASP hosts two annual staff and student exchanges, with Warsaw University (Poland) and the Lahore School of Economics (Pakistan) to which interested students are welcome to apply.

Other events we organise include tours of the Oxford Ashmolean Museum with a South Asia theme, termly Documentary Discussion evenings, with presentations by the director, the annual Malangs Essay Prize for an essay on a theme of relevance to South Asia and, in conjunction with Wolfson College, the Annual Sarfraz Pakistan Lecture now in its fourth year.


Latest News

Graduation 2016

As we move into the final term of the MSc in Contemporary India, and our current students are busy writing their critical theory essays, dissertations and preparing for their final exams, we thought these pictures of last year's graduation might be inspiring!


Play screening: Dara

Friday, 5 May, 2017 - 18:00
The Old Library, All Souls College

You are invited to a free film screening of the play Dara in Oxford at All Souls College, The Old Library  May 5th 6pm, with the kind permission of the National Theatre and Ajoka Theatre Pakistan.

Anwar Akhtar
Polly O'Hanlon
Edward Mortimer

South Asia Day: Commemorating 70 years of India's Independence with a Seminar on the theme Re-configuring power: looking back at the decades around independence

Tuesday, 23 May, 2017 -
09:00 to 18:00
Wolfson College

This year India celebrates 70 years of independence. The country appears to be in a critical phase, with the Hindu right steadily gaining support, both electorally and on the ground, in terms of popularity. The political and economic landscape is being slowly reconfigured.