The Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES, pronounced see-sayms), promotes teaching and scholarship on South Asia and the Middle East and fosters a greater public understanding of these globally influential regions. For over fifty years, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has recognized the importance of South Asian and Middle Eastern studies by supporting student and faculty projects related to the region. Through study abroad programs, language instruction, and faculty teaching and research, the campus offers students a variety of learning opportunities to engage with South Asian and Middle Eastern cultures, histories, and societies. The public engagement events that we host are free and open to the public. CSAMES offers undergraduate minors in South Asian Studies and Islamic World Studies and a Master’s of Arts degree with a concentration in South Asian or Middle Eastern Studies.
CSAMES works with more than a dozen departments and affiliated faculty of over 75 members, who bring to the Center their expertise and diverse areas of interest. With the help of these members of the faculty, CSAMES organizes a variety of events, including a weekly noontime lecture series, conferences, symposia, and film series. CSAMES supports affiliated faculty who teach the languages spoken in our regions and has funded positions in Arabic, Hindi, Persian, Turkish, Sanskrit, Urdu, and Bengali. At CSAMES, we bring together a broad and extensive program that address topics such as social movements, religious beliefs and transformations, cultural identities, literary traditions and criticism, urbanization, political economy, nationalism-state formation, and gender relations.
Since its establishment in 1983, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Center a Title VI and multiple years of Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages (UISFL) grants. Additionally, the Center has received major grants from private institutions such as the Social Science Research Council, the Institute of Turkish Studies, and the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center.
For a printable version of the information provided on this page, view the CSAMES brochure (opens in a new window).