Skip navigation
The Australian National University

South & Southeast Asian
languages and culture

The global significance of South and Southeast Asia in political, economic, security and cultural terms is growing rapidly. Our department focuses on this growth and aims to stimulate and capitalise on renewed interest in these regions within ANU and in the broader Australian community.

The department offers the strongest concentration of South Asian languages (Hindi, Urdu and Sanskrit) in Australia. It has long experience in innovative teaching and learning technologies. South Asia staff pioneered video-conferencing teaching with University of Sydney a decade ago; flexible delivery programs for Sanskrit are now attracting unprecedented numbers of students from all over Australia. Students can elect to undertake part or all of their Hindi and Urdu programs in country. Intensive 4-6 week courses taught by ANU staff in India and the Year-in-India course, currently run in cooperation with Deshbandhu College in Delhi, provide the best environment for students to acquire a good command of spoken Hindi and Urdu.

Our major strengths also include development, customs and law in Timor, Muslims in Eastern Indonesia, Australia-ASEAN relations, Islam and globalisation, electoral politics in Southeast Asia, second language pragmatics, Austronesian and Papuan languages of Eastern Indonesia and Timor, gender, media, popular culture in Southeast Asia, peasant movements in Java, and the history of ideas in Malay society.

We have initiated new courses, held workshops and conferences and contributed to broader public debate on South and Southeast Asian issues. Our interests span anthropology, diaspora studies, devotional poetics, masculinity and Buddhism, Hindu traditions and literature, gender, labour, security and international relations.

Updated:  20 February 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language /Page Contact:  CHL webmaster