Announcing Project South Asia (FWD)

Raveen Satkurunathan tawady at YAHOO.COM
Wed Mar 22 20:57:00 UTC 2000

From: Announcing Project South Asia <PSA at>
Subject: Project South Asia

Dear Fellow South Asianists:

I am writing to you today to let you know about a new,
freely-accessible on-line resource called Project South Asia that is being
developed at Missouri Southern State College with the aid of a two-year
federal  grant.

What is Project South Asia?

Project South Asia will be a free, Web-based library of post-secondary
teaching resources, specifically designed for use by undergraduates and
graduate students, as well as teaching faculty in the field of South
Asian studies.  It will create and introduce an innovative materials and
resource development program, designed to assist professors in advancing
the  study and teaching of South Asian history and culture across several
disciplines and at various levels throughout the post-secondary curriculum.
The two-year project will focus on developing on-line materials to support
courses in the following disciplines: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art
History, Economics, Geography, History, International Affairs,
Languages, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Sociology,
Theatre, and Women's Studies.

How will Project South Asia be of benefit?

Project South Asia will help stimulate faculty involvement and create
new faculty capabilities in many disciplines.  It will help improve the
teaching of existing courses (including those which may not normally
include units on South Asia) and aid in the development of new courses
in South Asian Studies.

Project South Asia will include these three major objectives:

· Creating linkages across academic departments and with other
institutions of higher education, both in the U.S. and in South Asia,
to support the goals of the project by stimulating a wider faculty
involvement. We will draw upon the strengths of current faculty members
at Missouri Southern who have teaching expertise in India and Pakistan,
while also drawing on the expertise found worldwide in the field of South
Asian Studies, especially but not exclusively among professors who teach at
smaller colleges and universities. We have already established an
editorial board for the project, which includes prominent specialists in
many disciplines, both in the United States and in South Asia.

· Creating an innovative South Asian Studies Website from which a
worldwide audience could gain easy access to information and resources
on the study and teaching of South Asia.   The Project South Asia Website
will be a comprehensive site (the first of its kind on the Internet),
designed to assist users in teaching and learning about South Asia by
providing a core of information for use in a wide variety of courses. Among
other items, the Website will contain an on-line historical dictionary of
South Asia, an encyclopedia of indexed on-line essays in each discipline,
annotated bibliographies of works in the field and other reference
materials, all produced by academic contributors from across the
country and indeed, the world. The essays will cover a wide range of
topics,  from an overview of the ancient Harappan civilization, to the
history of the Kashmir dispute and current Indo-Pakistani foreign
relations, to  discussion of the epic tradition in India.  The Website will
also contain an  extensive image bank of historical and contemporary South
Asia, and other resources designed to aid in teaching.  Among many other
items, it will include cultural materials such as images of political
figures, historical and contemporary cityscapes and landscapes, secular and
religious  architecture, the arts, and maps.  Documents, texts,
translations, and other primary sources will also be included, and will
comprise one of the main  strengths of the Website.  Other important
resources which will be available on the Website are course syllabi,
highlighting a wide range of courses, from those which have partial South
Asian content, like introductory World History, to more specialized,
advanced courses in South Asian history, politics, geography, art history,
archaeology, among others.  Finally, the Website will contain information
about the study and teaching of South Asian languages, especially Hindi,
and will have details about study  and internship abroad programs in South
Asia.  Our goal is to include materials that will be of utility to a wide
range of users, emphasizing those materials and resources that are not
currently available on the Internet, and are not easily accessible through
inter-library loan or other similar means.

More also needs to be done to diffuse teaching and learning about South
Asia at all levels of the college curriculum, focusing especially on
general education courses, in order to have an impact on the largest
number of college students possible, not just on those who may enroll in an
upper-division specialty course.  The Website will aid this process by
offering faculty materials and resources needed to incorporate South
Asian topics in the non-specialty courses they teach every semester.  In an
introductory World History course, for example, faculty could use
primary documents to illustrate the Indian experience with imperialism.  In
a comparative government course, faculty could make comparisons between
the Indian and Pakistani constitutions and that of the United States. In an
International Studies course, faculty could ask students to use the
Website to examine Indian economic development, the nature of the Kashmir
dispute, or changes in U.S. policy toward South Asia.  The range of courses
that could be affected is as wide and varied as the courses taught by the
faculty members who will use the Website and its resources.  The
project Website will be an invaluable electronic resource to teaching
professors by providing comprehensive and up-to-date materials on South
Asia.  It  will enable professors across the country, who may not have the
time or the financial resources to create their own course WebPages, to
utilize the Website we create and thus be able to "Web-enhance" their own
courses, making use of this new technology.  Our project will enable
faculty around the world to improve and enhance the South Asian content of
their courses, increase the number of students exposed to information and
ideas about South Asia, and thereby help advance this critical field of
international education.

· Creating a unique on-line journal, freely accessible through the
project Website, which will be devoted exclusively to promoting the study
and teaching of South Asia at the post-secondary level.  The electronic
journal will feature articles, written by teaching professors from across
the world, addressing issues and problems of course and curriculum
development relating to South Asia, from introductory courses in World
History and International Studies, to upper division specialty courses in
the field. The on-line journal will act as a forum for teaching professors
discussing new and innovative ways of infusing the study of South Asia into
the college and university classroom in a wide range of courses, and will
lay important emphasis on interdisciplinary teaching methods.  It will
contain sections dealing with the art and craft of teaching about South
Asia, the state of the field, notes and comments, review articles, and book
reviews. Unlike traditional print journals, for which rising paper and
printing costs are a factor, our on-line journal will provide more space for
discussion and thus serve to stimulate faculty involvement in the
project in ways that no print journal can.

How can you help with Project South Asia?

Although many parts of the Project South Asia Website will be built by
our in-house staff, we want the site to grow and to be useful to a wide
range of users, from undergraduate and post-graduate students to
specialists  in the field of South Asian studies.  We strongly encourage
those with academic credentials in South Asian studies (including faculty
members and advanced graduate students) to consider submitting a written
work or  other items for use on the site.  Our concern is the same as that
of our  users:
we want the site to be of high quality, contain academically reliable
information and interpretations, and to be a forum for those who study
teach about South Asia.

To maintain the academic integrity of the Project South Asia Website,
submissions should meet the general professional standards found in
more conventional academic works, such as journals, encyclopaedias, or
dictionaries, use primary sources whenever possible, and be accessible
an intelligent, but general academic readership at the undergraduate

Submissions may be in any of the following disciplines represented by
Project South Asia: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art History, Economics,
Geography, History, International Affairs, Languages, Literature,
Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Sociology, Theatre, and

Submissions to the Project South Asia Website can take a number of

· Article-length essays on topics of general interest to those in the
field of South Asian studies
· Photo essays
· Edited documents
· Images (slides, photos, maps)
· Research reports
· Case studies
· Interviews
· Dictionary entries
· Translations into English
· Original writings in South Asian languages for use in language
· Conference reports
· Workshop reports
· Literature reviews (review articles)
· Reviews of books, journals, film, video, and software
· Pedagogical studies, reviews of teaching materials, and course
will be considered for publication in Teaching South Asia, Project
Asia's on-line journal

Length of submissions may vary depending upon the type of submission.
General guidelines are as follows:

· Article-length essays (up to 10,000 words)
· Photo essays (up to 7,000 words)
· Edited documents (length may vary)
· Images (number submitted may vary)
· Research reports (up to 7,000 words)
· Case studies (up to 7,000 words)
· Interviews (up to 7,000 words)
· Dictionary entries (up to 500 words)
· Translations into English (up to 7,000 words)
· Original writings in South Asian languages (up to 7,000 words)
· Conference reports (500-1,500 words)
· Workshop reports (500-1,500 words)
· Literature reviews (up to 3,000 words)
· Reviews of books, journals, film, video, and software (up to 1,000
· Pedagogical studies, reviews of teaching materials, and course
will be considered for publication in Teaching South Asia, Project
Asia's on-line journal (maximum length varies)

Submissions generally should be previously unpublished, but if an
can secure permission for us to reprint an article or other item for
use on
the Project South Asia Website at no cost, we will consider that type
submission as well.  All written submissions must be made
preferably as an e-mail attachment in MSWord or WordPerfect.

Before submitting any manuscript, potential authors must make an
e-mail query of the project director, Dr. Karl J. Schmidt
(psa at, who will determine if the intended submission
within the general scope and goals of Project South Asia.

In your e-mail query, please include the following information:

· Full name, including preferred form of address (Ms., Mr., Dr.,
Professor, etc.)
· E-mail address
· Title or topic of intended submission
· Brief abstract of intended submission
· Type of submission
· Brief statement of academic credentials and background

After being accepted in principle by the project director, submissions
the form of essays, photo essays, research reports, case studies,
dictionary entries, translations into English, and pedagogical studies
be peer reviewed.  Referees will comment on content as well as how the
submission will best be placed on the Website.  This review process may
take 2-4 months.  All other submissions will be reviewed in-house by
Website co-editors.  This process can occur more quickly, taking no
than one month.

Once reviewed and accepted for publication, your work will appear on
Website within a month.  We will copyright all submissions under the
general copyright of Project South Asia (Copyright © 2000 Project South
Asia) unless you would prefer to hold the copyright in your own name.

In addition to submissions, we are also looking for suggestions for
should be included on the Website.  One of our first tasks has been to
develop a list of documents, images, and other items that we should
on the Website.  As our purpose is to offer teaching materials that
be of assistance to professors at the college level, what sorts of
materials should we include?  As you think about your own courses, what
South Asian-related documents, images, and other items would be useful
you and your students to have easy access to on-line?  In other words,
ancillary materials would enhance your own teaching about South Asia?
plan is to locate these materials, whether they are in archives,
in books, or wherever, and obtain or copy them for use on the Website.
bulk of these materials need to be in either the public domain
published before 1923 is in the public domain in the U.S.) or documents
images that Project South Asia can get permission to reproduce on-line
low cost.

Part of the Website will be devoted to course syllabi. Would you be
willing to send me copies of your course syllabi that contain South
material for posting on the site?  The syllabi do not have to be for
courses that are only about South Asia.  If you teach World History,
Literature, Asian religions, or other courses that contain some South
component, please submit those as well.  Part of our goal is to show
non-South Asian specialists that bringing a South Asian component into
their regular courses is possible.  If you can send syllabi, we would
prefer them sent as e-mail attachments.  If that is not possible, then
free to send them on disks through the regular mail.

We currently have a preliminary Website on-line.  Although it is only
the beginning stages, this preliminary site will give you some idea of
final scope of Project South Asia, and the promise it will hold as a
post-secondary teaching resource.  It can be accessed at:

Please feel free to visit the site and let us hear from you.

Yours sincerely,

Karl J. Schmidt, Ph.D.
Director, Project South Asia
Associate Professor of History
Missouri Southern State College
3950 E. Newman Rd.
Joplin, Missouri 64801-1595
E-mail: psa at

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