Organizer and Chair: David Gilmartin, North Carolina State University
Discussants: David Gilmartin, North Carolina State University; Steven Poulos, University of California, Berkeley; Rajendra Bansal, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center; Lee Schlesinger, University of Michigan; Harjot Singh Oberoi, University of British Columbia; David Ludden, University of Pennsylvania
One of the most important institutional innovations in South Asian studies in recent years has been the establishment of community based fundraising campaigns for endowing academic chairs for the study of South Asia. Fundraising campaigns for the establishment of such chairs are currently underway at a number of academic institutions. These campaigns are important not only for bringing resources into South Asian studies in a time of tight budgets, but also for encouraging closer relations between South Asian studies programs and South Asian communities in North America. The campaigns have benefited universities financially, while affirming symbolically the ethnic and cultural identities of diaspora South Asians in American society. At the same time, the establishment of community endowed chairs has raised questions about academic autonomy and about the political directions of South Asian studies in North America. This Round Table, sponsored by the South Asia Council, will focus on both the prospects and problems raised by such campaigns.