South Asia professors recognized for teaching excellence and service

Three South Asia-affiliated faculty were recently recognized for excellence in teaching, contributions to their field, and service.

The Secretary of the Faculty named J. Mark Kenoyer (Anthropology) and Gurindar Sohi (Computer Science) as two of four recipients of the prestigious Hilldale Award.

J. Mark Kenoyer

Gurindar Sohi









Kenoyer is also the recipient of a WARF Named Professorship. Mitra Sharafi (Law) was named as a recipient of the Romnes Faculty Fellowship. Kenoyer and Sharafi are among thirty-three faculty members awarded fellowships for 2018 for their ongoing research.

Mitra Sharafi

Please join us in congratulating them on their outstanding achievements.

Focus on India


UW-Madison’s International Division and Center for South Asia have partnered to bring you “Focus on India,” a semester-long program highlighting, encouraging, and catalyzing the current and potential collaborative work being done between UW-Madison faculty, staff, and students and Indian institutions and individuals. The Kickoff Reception will be on Thursday, September 22 from 5:00-7:00PM at the University Club at 803 State St. on Library Mall. If you have any questions about this event or about Focus on India, please contact Anjali Sridharan at or (608) 263-1392, otherwise please RSVP by September 15 via the evite so that we can welcome you on that date.

Read more about the initiative online

Funding Available for SAFLI

In 2016-17, Boren Scholarship and Fellowship applicants have the opportunity to study Hindi or Urdu as part in the South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI). Boren Scholars and Fellows selected for this initiative will receive funding for intensive language study and cultural immersion, beginning with a summer 2016 domestic program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, followed by an overseas program in India. The SAFLI program is appropriate for applicants with no language proficiency, as well as those with intermediate or advanced proficiency in Hindi and/or Urdu. Visit the website for more information.

The Influx of Stout Thews and Thighs: Afghan Labor Migration to British India, c. 1850-1930

War Dance of the Afghan Coolies

Today, the global Afghan diaspora contributes billions of dollars to the economy of Afghanistan. Many of those settled abroad rely on manual labor and remit much of their earnings to their families. This paper examines the history that phenomenon. Using archival documents, Warner reveals how Afghan manual laborers who traveled to British India in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century played an important role in imperial development projects as laborers and contractors. These seasonal migrants not only helped build the Raj, but also helped mitigate regional economic decline.

H. William Warner is a Ph.D. Candidate in the History Department.He focuses on modern South Asian history with special attention to migrations and diasporas. His dissertation concerns the Afghan diaspora in British India and relies on research at the National Archives of India.