Indiana University Bloomington

India Gateway

Madhusudan and Kiran C. Dhar India Studies Program

516 N. Fess Avenue, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47408-3842 812-855-5798 |

  • Welcome


    Welcome to the Dhar India Studies Program


    The Madhusudan and Kiran C. Dhar India Studies Program at Indiana University Bloomington promotes original research and innovative teaching on all aspects of the Indian subcontinent. Although our more than thirty full-time faculty members work in a range of disciplines and with diverse regional interests, all share an enthusiasm for the study of South Asia. Faculty are engaged in research in the humanities, social sciences, language education, and also work in the creative disciplines, and possess expertise in a wide range of subjects ranging from South Asian religion and history to contemporary Indian politics, law, literature, business, and culture. We have specialists on faculty in Bengal, northern India, Tamil Nadu, the Tibetan plateau, and Maharashtra, to name but a few.


    We also have a diverse and talented undergraduate and graduate student community at Dhar India Studies who are able to take the opportunity to specialize in the Indian subcontinent through an undergraduate major and minor, as well as a Ph.D. minor. The study of South Asia at Indiana University Bloomington is facilitated not only by our world-class faculty, but also by extensive library holdings in English and Indian languages, a series of regular public academic lectures and cultural events, many study abroad opportunities in the subcontinent, as well as the chance to study a number of South Asian languages to an advanced level.


    The naming of the Madhusudan and Kiran C. Dhar India Studies Program honors the parents of Dr Sisir Dhar. Dr Dhar and his wife, Heather Dhar, have provided a generous endowment gift that underwrites the program's mission as a centre of excellence in the study of the Indian subcontinent. The Dhar family's support and confidence in our program, together with that of our many other individual donors, enables us to build upon our commitment to excellence in scholarship, teaching, and public engagement.


    We invite you to join us here at Dhar India Studies. Further information on our faculty members, courses, and public events can be found on this website, and please feel free to contact us at the email or phone numbers listed on our webpage.


    Michael S. Dodson Director, Dhar India Studies Program

  • Faculty


    The Dhar India Studies Program is an inter-disciplinary program that draws its faculty from various departments and other units on campus. We possess expertise in the humanities, social sciences, language education, as well as in the creative disciplines.


    For more details on our Faculty members please click here.


    Core Administrators

    Michael S. Dodson, Director of the Dhar India Studies Program

    Rebecca Manring, Director of Language Instruction

    Deana Hutchins, Assistant Director, Dhar India Studies Program

    Kazi Abu Bakar Siddique, FLTA Bengali Instructor

    Kwang Tae Lee, Graduate Assistant Dhar India Studies Program


    Undergraduate Academic Advisor

    Will Smith








  • Events


    Fall 2014 Event Series


    Thursday Sept 11, 5:00-6:30pm @ IMU Walnut Room : Indian Elections Roundtable       
    Majed Akhter (IUB), Srimati Basu (University of Kentucky), Mona Bhan (DePauw University), Arvind Verma (IUB)


    Thursday Sept 18, 5:00-6:30pm @ IMU Oak Room: Faculty Book Release Party and Reading 
    The City Son, Samrat Upadhyay (IUB English)


    Thursday Sept 25, 5:00-6:30pm @ IMU Sassafras Room : Lecture
    Naveeda Khan (Johns Hopkins University)            
    “The Call to Islam and Early Warning Systems in Bangladesh: The Mutual Absorption of the Religious, the Political and the Natural"


    Monday October 6, 6:30pm @ Neal Marshal Grand Hall : Rajasthani Desert Music Evening
    Lakha Khan and Dane Khan (music); introduction by Shalini Ayyagari (American University)


    Thursday Oct 9, 5:00-6:30pm @ India House : IU Alumni Event:
    Payal Shah (IU ‘11; University of South Carolina)                                              
    “Girls’ Education, Empowerment, and Marginalization in Gujarat, India: Inclusion, exclusion, or assimilation?”


    Thursday Nov 6, 4:00-5:30pm @ IMU Oak Room : Themester Event “Feast and Famine in India”
    Vinay Gidwani (University of Minnesota) : “Want and Waste: Poverty as Geography in India’s Cities”
    Followed by Screening of "Peepli (Live)" @ 6:30 pm, at IU Cinema (in partnership with Geography, IU Cinema, and Themester)


    Thursday Nov 13, 5:30-6:30pm @ India House : Lecture
    Thibaut d'Hubert (University of Chicago)
    "Soigner le mal par le mal: The generic features of the story of Prince Saif al-muluk and its recention around the Bay of Bengal"


    Thursday Nov 20, 5:00-6:30pm @ India House : Faculty Spotlight                                                 
    Keera Allendorf (IUB Sociology)
    "Schemas of Marital Change: From Arranged Marriages to Eloping for Love in the Darjeeling Hills”


    Thursday Dec 4, 5:00-6:30pm @ India House : Lecture
    Projit Mukharji (University of Pennsylvania)
    "Chemical Cosmologies: The Rasayanacharya and the Chemicalization of the Bengali Everyday"




  • Undergraduate

    Undergraduate Major in India Studies

    India is an important, dynamic part of today?s world. The India Studies major equips students to understand and become engaged with this complex and exciting region. The major is designed for undergraduate students on the Bloomington campus, including those in the various professional schools. The program offers a variety of courses dedicated to investigating the culture, literature, arts, philosophy, socio-political and historical dimensions of India. The program also offers training in several Indic languages at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. When combined with a major in International Studies, Communication and Culture, Anthropology, History, Religious Studies, Comparative Literature, Political Science, or Folklore, to name a few, the India Studies major gives students a competitive edge in the increasingly global market.



    Students pursuing a major in India Studies must complete a second major (B.A.) in a department of the College of Arts and Sciences. (Students completing a simultaneous second degree program in the College or through another school should check with their advisor for details.)


    ??Six credits through the fourth semester level of a modern Indic language, Sanskrit, or an appropriate substitute that must be approved in advance by the Academic Program Committee of the India Studies Program. Students demonstrating proficiency to a level commensurate with the completion of four semesters of coursework may substitute six credits from other India Studies courses.


    ??In addition to fulfillment of language requirements (specified above), completion of a minimum of 24 credit hours of India Studies courses, including the following:

    ??The India Studies ?core course??/p>

    ??At least one 3-credit course at the 300 level or above from the Literary and Performance Studies group

    ??At least one 3-credit course at the 300 level or above from the Philosophical and Religious Studies group

    ??At least one 3-credit course at the 300 level or above from the Social, Political, and Historical Studies group

    ??One 3-credit course (or equivalent) at any level

    ??Three additional 3-credit courses at the 300 level or above, at least one of which must be 400 level


    See the India Studies website for a listing of courses in each group.


    At the discretion of the Director, a student may receive credit for coursework taken under the auspices of a Study Abroad program. Other coursework taken at IU that involves a significant amount of student work related to India/South Asia, but without an India Studies course designation, may also be applied to these requirements at the discretion of the Director. Students wishing to receive such credit should consult their academic advisor and the Director of India Studies. Students must also complete the degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.



    Undergraduate Minor in India Studies


    Required Courses

    ??15 credit hours, chosen in consultation with the undergraduate advisor, including:

    ??The India Studies ?core course??/p>

    ??At least one course from the Literary and Performance Studies group

    ??At least one course from the Philosophical and Religious Studies group.

    ??At least one course from the Social, Political, and Historical Studies group.


    In consultation with the undergraduate advisor, two semesters of intermediate language coursework may be substituted for one of the requirements listed above (with the exception of the ?core course,??which is required of all students). No more than 6 credits of coursework may be taken at the 100 level, and at least 9 credit hours of coursework must be taken at the 300 level or above.


    Only two courses from a student's major may be counted toward the India Studies minor.


    All students in the minor program are strongly urged to study an Indic language at the earliest possible opportunity. India also has a rich English-medium cultural tradition (in such areas as literature, drama, and Third World studies, among others), so students may choose to focus their work on these English language traditions.

  • Graduate

    PhD Minor in India Studies



    4 graduate (i.e., 500-level or higher) courses, each of at least 3 credit hours.


    Credit will be awarded for courses listed as Dhar India Studies Program offerings, and may, at the discretion of the DISP Director, be awarded for additional, unlisted courses that have extensive content pertaining to India/South Asia.


    No more than 2 language courses may be counted toward the four course total; each course so counted must be taken at the second year (i.e., Intermediate) level or higher.


    Specific courses, as well as language requirements (if any) should be chosen in consultation with the Program Director.


    Ordinarily, only 1 course from the student?s major program may be counted towards the Ph.D. minor; this course may not simultaneously be counted toward other major or minor requirements.


    (students who matriculated prior to Fall 2013 may use the earlier requirements for the PhD minor.  Please consult with the Director on this point.)

  • Languages


    South Asia is home to literally thousands of different languages, including some of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Faculty members of the Dhar India Studies Program regularly provide in-depth instruction to undergraduate and graduate students in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, and Sanskrit. We offer classes in these languages from beginning through to advanced levels. Students may also pursue Persian or other languages appropriate to their course of study through the Department of Central Eurasian Studies.


    Language Staff

    Rebecca Manring, Director of Language Instruction; Sanskrit

    Kashika Singh, Lecturer in Hindi/Urdu

    Kazi Abu Bakar Siddique, Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant, Bengali


    Language Proficiency Testing and Certification

    Dhar India Studies periodically administers language proficiency tests in South Asian languages for undergraduate students. You must, however, register for language proficiency tests in advance. We can also arrange for proficiency certification for graduate students and faculty members in connection with grant applications, for example. The languages we can offer proficiency tests for include Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, Tamil and Urdu. Proficiency testing for those registered at other institutions can also be arranged for a fee. Watch this website for announcements of upcoming tests.

    International students who wish to use their native language (if their native language is not English) to establish foreign language proficiency should complete the Application for Establishment of Foreign Language Proficiency for Non-Native Speakers of English. Students interested in this option should complete the process as early in their undergraduate careers as possible. 


    Please contact the program's Director of Language Instruction for additional information.



    Upcoming Language Proficiency Tests

    Indic language proficiency exams will be given at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, August 22nd, 2014. You must register in advance for the exam. Contact Professor Manring ( for more information, and to register.


    Indic Language Proficiency Testing Registration Form »


    If you are interested in attending an upcoming language proficiency test, you must register with the Director of Language Instruction beforehand.

  • Courses


    For more information on courses related to India Studies for undergraduate and graduate levels of study, please click here.

  • News


    Thursday Sept 25, 5:00-6:30pm @ IMU Sassafras Room : Lecture Naveeda Khan (Johns Hopkins University)  ?The Call to Islam and Early Warning Systems in Bangladesh: The Mutual Absorption of the Religious, the Political and the Natural"