South Asia is a region of great linguistic, political and religious diversity that has a long tradition of intellectual exchange with other regions, in particular East Asia, the Middle East, East Africa and Europe. Research within this region has had a lasting impact on influential theoretical discussions in anthropology, most notably on postcolonial approaches and subaltern studies.
Our regional focus is on North and South India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and the wider Himalayas. As is reflected in our regularly offered lectures, our research interests deal with different thematic fields which play an important role not only in South Asia research, but also in anthropology in general. These are, among others, social and religious movements and conflicts, nationalism, colonialism, postcolonial studies, gender, migration, therapeutic pluralism, knowledge (trans)formation, secularism and non-religion, political processes and statehood, science and technology.
We also organize the South Asia Forum (SAF), which includes the SAF Newsletters and the SAF-Lecture Series. In addition, we regularly organize excursions to South Asia. Various South Asian languages can be studied from the Department of Indology at the Asia-Orient Institute. In addition, we collaborate closely with various institutions in South Asia, including Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi.