Center Staff

Center for South Asia Staff

B. Venkat Mani

Director, Center for South Asia; Professor, Dept. of German, Nordic, & Slavic


I received my BA (Honors) (1993) and MA (1995) in German Studies from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Ph.D. in German Studies from Stanford University (2001). In addition, I attended the University of Vienna, Bogazici University in Istanbul, and the Freie Universität, Berlin. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on 19th to 21st Century German literature and culture, world literature in translation, migration in the German and European context, book- and digital cultural histories, and theories of cosmopolitanism, globalization, post-colonialism, and transnationalism. I founded and co-directed UW-Madison’s World Literature/s Research Workshop (2007-2016). My publications include Cosmpolitical Claims: Turkish-German Literatures from Nadolny to Pamuk (University of Iowa Press, 2007) and Recoding World Literature: Libraries, Print Culture, and Germany’s Pact with Books (Fordham University Press, 2017). In addition I have co-edited three volumes and I am the co-editor of the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature (2018). Recent Awards and Grants include Alexander for Humboldt Foundation’s Fellowship for Senior Researchers [2011-12; 2013; Host institution: Institute of Book Studies, University of Leipzig], and Andrew Mellon Foundation’s, Mellon Sawyer Seminar in Comparative Cultural Studies Grant for the project, “Bibliomigrancy: World Literature in the Public Sphere” (2014-16), and UW-Madison’s Kellett Research Award (2017-20).


Lalita du Perron

Associate Director, Center for South Asia


Dr. Lalita du Perron has been the Associate Director of the Center for South Asia since 2009 when she moved to UW-Madison from London.  She serves as the Academic Director of the South Asia Summer Language Institute (SASLI) and the South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI). Du Perron has her PhD from the Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia from SOAS, University of London, and held an AHRC Post-doctoral Fellowship at SOAS in the Department of Music from 2002-2006.

Du Perron specializes in the study of the lyrics of North Indian classical vocal music. Her first book, “Hindi Poetry in a Musical Genre: Thumri Lyrics” was published by Routledge in 2007. A two-volume book, co-authored with Nicolas Magriel, entitled “The Songs of North Indian Art Music”, was published by Manohar in 2013. She is currently working on a project exploring sexual harassment culture in North India.

Du Perron teaches a FIG “Gender and Sexuality in South Asia” in the Fall semester, and an online survey course of India in the Spring.

Andrea Fowler

Program Assistant


Samina Hossain

Program Assistant


Bradley Grochocinski

Conference Coordinator