Indiana University Bloomington

India Gateway

Madhusudan and Kiran C. Dhar India Studies Program

East 2nd Floor, School of Global and International Studies, 355 N. Jordan Avenue, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405-1105 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

    Maria Sanchez Steenberger, Assistant Director, Dhar India Studies Program

    Kashika Singh, Hindi Instructor

    Tushnim Gangopadhyay, FLTA Instructor

    Mariyam Talaat, FLTA Instructor

    Anamitraa Chakraborty, Hindi Associate Instructor

    Katherine Cierniak, Associate Instructor


    Undergraduate Academic Advisor

    Olga Bueva





  • Events


    DISP Spring 2017 Language Events


    Mar 10, 4:00 pm    International Mother Language Day

    Hodge Hall 1055


    Apr 26, 6:00pm     South Asian Cultural Night & Students Talent Show

    GISB Auditorium



    DISP Spring 2017 Academic Lecture Series


    Feb 20, 7:00 pm   Deepa Iyer

    IMU Frangipani    Rising Up: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, & Sikh Communities in Post 9/11 America

                              Cosponsored with Asian American Studies Program


    Feb 23, 5:00 pm  Vamsi Vakulabharanam (UMass, Amherst)

    GA3067              Inequality Matters in the Indian Economic Boom since 1980s: Insights from a Political Economic Perspective


    Mar 07, 5:00 pm  Barbara Metcalf (Bhattacharya Endowed Lecture)

    GA2067              “The Saga of Siddiq Hasan: Erudition, Romance, and Jihad in Colonial India."


    Mar 09, 5:00pm   Constantine Nakassis (U Chicago)

    GA2067               Doing Style: Youth and Mass Mediation


    Mar 30-31            IU and Ambedkar University Symposium

                              New Delhi, India


    Apr 10, 5:00 pm  Dr. Faisal Devji (Bhattacharya Endowed Lecture)

    GA2067              “The Mahatma at War: How India Redefined the First Global Conflict”


    Apr 13, 5:00 pm   Saloni Mathur (UCLA)

    GA2067               “The Bauhaus in Calcutta: Reflections on Modernism in India”


    Apr 21, 10am-5pm "Contestation in South Asian Cities" Roundtable

    HH1055                Participants: Nikhil Rao (Wellesley), Eric Beverley (Stonybrook), Sapana Doshi (Univ of Arizona)



    DISP Spring 2017 Cultural/Music/Performance Events


    Mar 20, 6:00 pm Desert music evening with Lakha Khan

    GISB Atrium      


    Mar 23, 5:00 pm The Kabir Singers

    Hodge Hall 1055


    DISP Spring 2017 In Association with The Lilly Library


    Jan 12 - May 13        Exhibition “India, Empire, Nation: 200 Years of Indian History.

    Jan 26, 5:30 pm       Opening Reception & talk by Michael Dodson Lilly Library

    Feb 15, 4:00pm        Ulrike Stark (UChicago) Lilly Library When a Global Technology Goes Local: the material culture of print in Nineteenth-                                         Century India

    Feb 21, 4:00pm        Brian Hatcher (Tufts) Lilly Library The Joys and Challenges of Reading Rammohun Roy

    Apr 3, 4:00pm         Rebecca Manring Lilly Library Early Bengali published materials

    Apr 5, 4:00pm         Paul Losensky Lilly Library Charting Arabic in Full-Color Lithography: A Pedagogical Aid for Persian Speakers from                                               Nineteenth Century India in the Lilly Collection


    DISP Spring 2017 In Cooperation with IU Cinema


    Feb 4, 7 pm             Arshinagar (“City of Mirrors,” 2015)

    Feb 11, 7 pm             Kabali (2016)

    Mar 6, 7 pm             For the Love of a Man (2015), Talk by filmmaker Prof Joyojeet Pal

    Mar 25, 7 pm           Om Shanti Om (2007)

    Apr 17, 7 pm            The Man Who Knew Infinity. In partnership with The Mathematics Department





  • 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

    *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

    *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 2015 may use the earlier requirements for the PhD minor.  Please consult with the Director on this point.)

  • Languages & Courses


    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

    Ankurita Anu, 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 3:30 pm on Friday September 7, 2018. You must register in advance for the exam no later than August 15, 2018. Please fill out and return the registration form to Professor Rebecca J. Manring (


    Indic Language Proficiency Testing Registration Form »


    Other India Studies Courses

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


  • Links


    IU India Gateway in Gurgaon click here.

    IU Global Village: Living-Learning Center click here.

  • News


    Indiana University's Gateway in India is now officially open!!



    IU’s historic day in India


    The following guest post was written by Ryan Piurek, director of strategic communications at Indiana University Bloomington, while traveling in Delhi, India. 


    Fans of the popular sport of cricket here in India would call it a “six.” Hoosiers would call it a “homerun.”

    The new plaque for the IU India Office.

    The new plaque for the IU India Office.


    To anyone keeping score — including those here in Delhi, India, and folks back home in Indiana — Indiana University’s dedication Thursday evening of its new IU India Office, the first of the university’s two global gateway facilities (the other is in Beijing), would be deemed a game-changer and an important victory for a university on a continued quest to be one of the nation’s most internationally focused institutions of higher education.


    The IU-India connection


    While its new India center might’ve been officially introduced Thursday, IU is far from being a rookie player when it comes to India. Its connection with the country, in fact, goes back to the birth of modern India and even before then.

    The first Indian student to graduate from IU was Konigapogu Joseph Devadanam, who earned an undergraduate degree in psychology in 1930.

    In 1948, IU’s legendary 11th president Herman B Wells joined about 200 people from IU and the surrounding Bloomington community, as well as IU’s Indian students, to celebrate the first year of Indian independence.

    Over the next six-plus decades, IU has built a powerhouse program for the study of India, including its history, languages and culture. The Madhusudan and Kiran C. Dhar India Studies Program at IU Bloomington is one of only a handful of such programs in the U.S. Faculty members in the program, located within the School of Global and International Studies, are engaged in research and teaching about India’s history and culture, including contemporary politics, law, literature and business. It is directed by Michael Dodson, who serves as academic director of the new IU India Office.

    IU has also formed strong and productive partnerships with several of India’s top universities, including O.P. Jindal Global University, the University of Hyderabad, Symbiosis International University, Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Elite School of Optometry and SHODH: Institute for Research and Development. And the university is continually exploring the possibility of new and meaningful partnerships. IU President Michael A. McRobbie even worked a meeting in around the office dedication at Ambedkar University Delhi. Established in 2007, the fast-developing city-funded university is grounded in the humanities and social sciences and features a strong emphasis on teaching social responsibility.

    More than 1,100 Indian students are enrolled at IU campuses across Indiana. This figure represents a nearly 50 percent increase in the number of Indian students enrolled at IU over the past five years.

    Additionally, India is a leading destination for IU students pursuing an overseas study opportunity, with more than 100 students currently studying abroad in the country.

    Finally, there are about 4,300 IU alumni affiliated with India, who, along with the hundreds of scholars, dignitaries and students who have visited IU campuses, comprise IU’s ever-growing global community.


    A new era of collaboration


    The formal establishment of the IU India Office on Thursday evening in Gurgaon, a suburb of New Delhi and leading financial and industrial center, ushers in a new era in IU’s longstanding engagement with India. It also signals IU’s desire to work even more closely with leading Indian universities, businesses and other institutions, as well as the country’s social and cultural leaders.

    Outside of the IU India Office in Gurgaon.

    Outside of the IU India Office in Gurgaon.


    “IU’s presence in India is indicative of our desire to learn about India on its own terms and to begin an exchange that will benefit both India and Indiana and strengthen the connections between India and the United States,” McRobbie said just before officially dedicating the new office, which will serve as a hub for university activities in the country.

    Those activities will include scholarly research and teaching, conferences and workshops, study abroad programs, distance learning initiatives, executive and corporate training, alumni events and more. Indeed, many such events have already taken place since the 3,700-square-foot office, within the headquarters of the American Institute of Indian Studies, first opened its doors early last year.

    Fittingly, on the morning of its formal dedication, as workers scrambled to put the finishing touches on the evening ceremonial event, the newly refurbished office hosted a workshop on “The Safeguarding of India’s Documentary and Cultural Heritage,” led by IU Bloomington professor of Central Eurasian studies Ron Sela. The workshop, which brought together IU faculty and several acclaimed artists, historians and cultural directors from around India, was a shining example of how the university expects to dramatically enhance its engagement here, for the mutual benefit of its faculty and staff and their Indian colleagues.


    Soaring IU spirit


    IU spirit was already soaring high as the evening sun set over Gurgaon and office director Michael Dodson welcomed (in English and Hindi) the 70 to 80 guests in attendance to what would be a special ceremony and momentous occasion in IU’s history of internationalism.

    IU President Michael A. McRobbie formally dedicates the IU India Office.

    IU President Michael A. McRobbie formally dedicates the IU India Office.


    Indeed, it was truly a night to remember, as speaker after speaker — including Dodson; IU Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret; Michael Pelletier, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi; Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University Raj Kumar; the Honorable Deepender Hooda, a member of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament, and an alumnus of the IU Kelley School of Business; and, finally, McRobbie — shared his excitement and enthusiasm for the new office and the impact it would have on faculty, students and alumni in Indiana and in India now and in the future.

    “Ours is a shrinking world that demands we all work together, which makes me very proud that my university had the vision and took the initiative to launch this important new facility,” Hooda said.

    Hoosier pride was palpable as McRobbie unveiled a shiny new plaque commemorating the establishment of the IU India Office and then offered a toast to “the many future pathways of partnership that the IU India Office will help make possible.”

    “Dhanyavad and Shukriya,” McRobbie added, sharing a warm Indian “thank you” to all those who helped make the new office possible and those who celebrated in the special occasion.

    The president’s words alone would’ve been enough to send everyone home inspired and happy, but, the evening had one more memorable moment in store: a stirring and passionately delivered performance by acclaimed Indian classical musician and sarod virtuoso Ayaan Ali Khan, which put a marvelous coda on a milestone day for IU and its many alumni and friends here in the heart of India.