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Events and Seminars

South Asia Seminar Series 

CISAR organizes a lively ongoing seminar series on all topics related to South Asia. The seminar series brings in a range of scholarly speakers from all over the world on diverse topics including History, Language and Literature; Indian economy and Development; Contemporary Politics and Democracy; and Environment and Technology. In addition to scholarly talks, CISAR seminar series includes talks by journalists, activists and NGO professionals working on different aspects of contemporary South Asia. The center also organizes informal brown-bag discussions on contemporary developments in South Asia that are of interest to a broader audience.


Since 1966, the South Asian Colloquium of the Pacific Northwest (SACPAN) meets has met on an annual basis and has offered faculty and graduate students from British Columbian Universities the opportunity to meet with their counterparts from the University of Washington and other universities and colleges to discuss matters of mutual interest. The core program of SACPAN (typically) held in the weekend at the end of February/beginning of March is a day long conference with research papers by faculty from universities in Northwest and from around the world. Events around SACPAN include a graduate student research conference that is held on the Friday before the main conference. SACPAN alternates its location between Seattle and Vancouver, with UBC hosting the event in even years.

Hari and Madhu Varshney Conference

For a period of 5 years (2005-2009) CISAR is the host to an annual thematic conference on South Asia. The conferences, organized by CISAR faculty, bring together world’s leading researchers on a specific topic and theme of interest. Past conference topics have included, Growth and Development in the Indian Economy (2005), Environmental Challenges facing Indian Cities (2006), South Asian Ethics (2007). In Spring 2008 CISAR will host a conference on South Asian Arts and Performance. The final conference in 2009 will focus on Arts and Literature of the Punjab. The conference program includes a major public lecture aimed at a lay audience by a notable scholar. In 2005, the lecture was delivered by Dr. Subhashish Gangopadyay (Director, India Development Foundation, New Delhi) on the Indian Economy. In 2006, Prof. Darshini Mahadevia (School of Planning, Ahmedabad) addressed the audience on Indian Cities. In 2007, Dr. Dipesh Chakrabarty spoke on the legacy of colonialism in India.

Annual Prem Goel Memorial Lecture

The Annual Prem Goel Memorial Lecture on the art and culture of South Asia is delivered by a prominent academic, public intellectual or artist. The lecture is aimed at the broader South Asian community in the lower mainland of British Columbia. The lecture has been delivered in by:

  • 2005: Anita Rau Badami, Prominent Canadian Author.
  • 2006: Arvind Panagariya, Professor of Economics, Columbia
  • 2007: Akhil Gupta, Professor of Anthropology, UCLA.
  • 2008: Parimal Patil, Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University
  • 2010: Laurie Patton, Professor of Early Indian Religions, Emory University

Events and Seminars Calendar


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