South Asian Literature, Culture, and Media

The AMCM program encourages graduate students to study literature, cinema, and other cultural phenomena from South Asia through an interdisciplinary framework that incorporates analytical methods ranging from classical philology to contemporary theories of literary and cultural studies. It also allows for comparative engagements with other literary traditions, especially those of other Asian regions and those that have otherwise historically intersected with Indian forms of thought and practice in ancient or modern times. We engage with the historical constitution of the region, how it has related to other geographies, and the consequences this has had for the way in which South Asia figures in the world of knowledge today. Our program also includes contemporary theoretical reflections on questions of cultural form, representation, history, power, language and mediations that have arisen transnationally. The department currently offers courses that are designed to advance reading in primary texts, evaluating commentaries, producing translations and attaining proficient knowledge of social, cultural and political contexts relevant to the objects of study.

Students are trained to work on literary and cultural productions read through a diverse array of theoretical and conceptual approaches. These include but are not limited to:

  • Indian cinema studies
  • Modern South Asian literatures
  • Subaltern studies
  • Dalit literature
  • Postcolonial posthumanities
  • Gender and sexuality studies


Visit the department's faculty page for information about current faculty members who specialize in South Asian literature, culture, and media.

Resources and Activities

In conjunction with AMES and AMCM, there are a handful of established institutions at the University of Minnesota that foster research and activities that relate to South Asian studies scholarship.

  • AMES Library of South Asia

    The AMES Library of South Asia supports teaching and research across the arts, humanities, and social sciences on South Asia (the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka along with related aspects of Tibet) and South Asian diasporas. They are one of the strongest such collections in the world, with materials ranging from rare colonial-era manuscripts, books, pamphlets and art, to collections of current books and journals that are both broad and deep. English is the principal language, but Ames broadly collects literature in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu; and they collect selectively in Assamese, Baluchi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Oriya, Pashto, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, and Sindhi.
  • South Asia Seminar
  • AMES Colloquium Series

    This colloquium series presents an opportunity for scholars working on some aspect of Asian and Middle Eastern cultures to come together, share work in progress, and engage in discussions about issues of theory and methodology that have relevance across national, regional, and disciplinary boundaries.