Major Research Activities

UC Santa Cruz is ideally positioned to advance the scholarship of South Asia:

Geopolitics: UC Santa Cruz faculty combine expertise in economics, history, and social sciences to illuminate the influence of trends within South Asia on international power structures.

Environment and sustainability: Since its inception, UC Santa Cruz has been a leader in the field of environmental studies. South Asia presents an enormous laboratory for analysis of common challenges arising from climate change and habitat loss.

Societal issues pertaining to gender, religion, caste, and class: UC Santa Cruz is a pioneer in studies of inequality, well-qualified to study questions of gender inequality, poverty, and religion in South Asia.

The effects of the diaspora: South Asia’s diverse global diaspora has created profound economic, political, scientific, and cultural effects worldwide. Yet it is understudied. Our researchers explore how these transnational populations are rediscovering their heritages and what it means to be part of a community that defies geographic boundaries.

History: The center’s research and educational programs illuminate the intellectual and social history of the region and its implications for contemporary world events.

Culture and fine art: The center promotes performances and the study of fine art, music, dance, and food across South Asian cultures. Drawing on social justice interventions such as street theater as well as classical and experimental art forms, and commercial works like Bollywood, UC Santa Cruz faculty explore what art reveals about social power.