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).


Sarah Beckham

Associate Director, Center for South Asia


Dr. Sarah Beckham has previously served as the Hindi-Urdu Pedagogy Specialist for the South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI), South Asia Summer Language Institute (SASLI), and Project Global Officer (GO) programs at UW-Madison, and she has also been a Hindi Lecturer in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.  Beckham specializes in sound systems of South Asian languages, with a research focus on contact linguistics and loanword phonology in Marathi.  In addition, she is co-founding member of the Punjabi Boliyan Research Initiative (PBRI).