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 now administers the new 12-month MSc in Modern South Asian Studies and 21-month MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies courses (both of which are run in conjunction with the Faculty of Oriental Studies).  Students on each of these courses 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.

Both the MSc in Modern South Asian Studies and the MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies are now closed to applications for entry in October 2018.  The courses will open for applications for entry in October 2019 at the beginning of September 2018.  Please note that the deadlines for applications are 12.00 noon (UK time) on Friday 16 November 2018 and 12.00 noon (UK time) on Friday 25 January 2019.  The MSc and MPhil Modern South Asian Studies will not be participating in the March round of applications for entry in 2019.

CSASP also participates in the new Area Studies DPhil programme. This programme is also now closed to applications for entry in October 2018 but will open for applications for entry in October 2019 at the beginning of September 2018.

CSASP has a growing post-doctoral community, which currently consists of a Leverhulme Fellow and 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

Barbara Harriss-White contributes to article in the Guardian "Buzzwords and tortuous impact studies won't fix a broken aid system"

Barbara Harriss-White is among fifteen leading economists, including three Nobel winners, who argue that the many billions of dollars spent on aid can do little to alleviate poverty while we fail to tackle its root causes.