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India Collaborative at James Madison University

The India Collaborative at JMU includes twenty-plus faculty and administrators dedicated to promoting curricula, programs and events around the topic of India and South Asia (at home and abroad). Our aim is to connect JMU students, faculty and staff more efficiently to the rich and complex cultural heritage of this important part of the world. If you are interested in joining our meetings, please contact Lee Sternberger at

JMU On-Campus Organizations

Bhangra Dance Group

Bhangra is a JMU student organization that performs the traditional Indian dance from Punjab region of South Asia and incorporates Western musical technology and visual sensibilities.

South Asian Student Association (SASA)

The organization’s purpose is to spread awareness of South Asian cultures and histories at JMU and provide a platform to raise funds to support poor families in South Asia.

Organization of Indian Students

The purpose of this organization is to create awareness about Indian culture in a manner that genuinely represents the diversity and growth while disproving false stereotypes. To achieve these results the organization will hold events, including fundraising events for Indian non-profit organizations, and assist incoming international students from India who are having a hard time adjusting to life in Harrisonburg.

Gandhi Center

Gandhi Center is an organization that works to promote justice and nonviolence through education, scholarship and engagement. It is classified under the Justice Studies Department at JMU and offers a variety of programs to involve faculty, staff, students and the local and international community in receiving and spreading awareness of nonviolent means through learning and community engagement.

Scholarly Talks

Visiting Scholars from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 4:00 - 5:30 PM in the College of Health and Behavioral Studies Building Room 5040

Join us for brief remarks and conversation with Professors Konatambigi and Joshi.  Professor Aprana Joshi will speak about the unserved and unattended mental health needs in India, and the role of psycho-social telephone counseling service in the context of community mental health in India.  Professor Konantambigi will describe the values and ethos that influence the challenges faced by children living in urban and rural India, including "street children" and children and teens in institutions.

Study at JMU

South Asian Studies (SAS) Minor 

SAS is an upcoming interdisciplinary minor at JMU focusing on the world region that includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kashmir, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The program is premised on a broad and inclusive sense of South Asia that transcends any single national, religious, ethnic or disciplinary frame of reference. 

Study Abroad

Tropical Mammology in South India

Directed by Bisi Velayudhan and Pradeep Vasudevan, Biology

Students will learn about tropical mammals, especially large mammals such as elephants and understand the animal husbandry practices in rural and urban areas of Southern India.

Forbes Theater

No events currently planned.

International Organizations and Conferences

Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC)

CAORC is a group of organizations that includes American Institute of India Studies (AIIS) and American Institute of Afghanistan Studies (AIAS). It fosters and provides support for international research projects that focus on conserving and recording cultural heritage and understanding and interpreting modern societies. CAORC and AIAS provided support for JMU-organized Elphinstone Conference.

Elphinstone Conference

The inaugural Elphinstone Conference was held in London in November 2015 and focused on works of Mountstuart Elphinstone, John Malcolm and Charles Metcalfe and their intellectual legacy in Afghanistan, India, Iran, and Pakistan.

"Elphinstone II" is planned for April, 2017 and will be held in Mumbai, India at Elphinstone College.   The Conference will focus on Mountstuart Elphinstone and the Mediation of Global Forces and Local Agencies: Colonial Knowledge, National Histories and Public Higher Education in South Asia. The dual objectives of the conference are to reappraise the cultural, intellectual and scientific parameters of colonialism in South Asia as they were engaged and articulated by Mountstuart Elphinstone (1779-1859), and to examine the historical development and contemporary expressions of the colonial knowledge formations Elphinstone represents across the nation-states comprising this world region today.

Past Events

Erika Sawin: Teaching in India as a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM | Student Success Center room 1075

Erika Metzler Sawin just returned from spending six months in Puducherry, India, where she taught nursing and public health at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER). Erika will share her experiences living with her family in Puducherry, teaching, and forming relationships with her JIPMER colleagues. She will describe how the experience of being a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar has affected her life professionally and personally.