The Department offers the widest coverage in Europe of research and teaching related to the languages, literatures and cultures of the principal countries of South Asia: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The Department’s primary commitment is to eight languages (Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Nepali, Pali, Punjabi, Sanskrit, and Urdu) and their literatures and cultures. It also offers language instruction in Sinhala and Tamil.
Research and teaching draw heavily upon the resources of the Library’s extensive South Asia collection, and is closely connected with the work of other SOAS departments.
The research interests of the Department’s members include: Vedic texts and Sanskrit epics; Islam in South Asia; nationalism and linguistic identity; medieval Hindu devotional texts; twentieth century fiction in South Asian languages; postcolonial literatures; Bengali, Hindi, Nepali and Urdu poetry; Indian cinema and popular cultures; the South Asian diaspora; Sikh history and literature; Mughal history; and translation.