Aleeshah Nasir presents original research at the Ackland

May 12, 2019
Undergraduate Aleeshah Nasir presented her research on the role and complex relationships of the epic heroine Sita in three different literary versions of the Ramayana–the classic Hindu version, a Buddhist version, and a dramatic adaptation by a famous Sanskrit playwright–at the Ackland Museum’s Spring 2019 Student Showcase. She argued that although Sita appears differently in these texts, still has deep relevance and is a source of inspiration to many South Asian women. A first-year at Carolina, Aleeshah impressively completed this research project for an advanced seminar, ASIA 522.

Four Asian Studies Majors Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

March 8, 2019

Four Asian Studies majors will be inducted into Alpha of North Carolina Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest honor society in the U.S.

Congratulations to Hannah Balser, Scott Diekema, Wenwen Mei, and Takoda Ren.

DAS faculty social

February 18, 2019

Faculty in the Department of Asian Studies gathered to socialize and relax on February 14th. Professors Uffe Bergeton, John Caldwell, Mark Driscoll, Ji-Yeon Jo, Pamela Lothspeich, Morgan Pitelka, Afroz Taj, Claudia Yaghoobi, and Nadia Yaqub, plus department Accounting Technician Angelika Straus gathered at Linda’s for good cheer. 

Arabic summer courses

January 23, 2019


  • Intensive courses for introductory Arabic studies
  • A full academic year (8 credit hours) will be covered over the two summer sessions
  • Classes meet five days per week from 9:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m
  • Visiting student application opens February 4, 2019
  • Summer School registration begins March 18, 2019
  • FLAS funding eligible

FLYER: UNC Arabic Summer Courses 2019

First Session (May 15-June 20)

  • Elementary Arabic I (ARAB 101, 4 credit hours) Introduction to written and spoken Arabic. Includes introduction to both Modern Standard Arabic and a dialect. No prerequisite.

Second Session (June 24-July 30)

  • Elementary Arabic II (ARAB 102, 4 credit hours) Continued introduction to, and development of, written and spoken Arabic skills. Prerequisite: ARAB 101 or departmental placement.

On-campus housing available on request
Program is available to current UNC students, incoming freshmen, students from other universities, community members, and rising high school seniors
For more information about Arabic Studies at UNC Chapel Hill, please visit

Professor Lothspeich to serve in MLA’s Delegate Assembly

January 10, 2019

Associate Professor Pamela Lothspeich has been elected a delegate for Women and Gender in the Profession in the Delegate Assembly of the Modern Language Association, the largest professional organization for scholars of language and literature in the U.S.  She will be serving in this capacity for a three-year term beginning in January 2019.

Advanced Hindi-Urdu Student Presents Poetry at Conference

December 3, 2018

One of the department’s advanced Hindi-Urdu students, Denton Ong, presented his original Hindi poetry at a major Hindi literature conference in Boston. The conference, “Hindi Manch Rashtriya Mahostav (Hindi Manch National Convention)” is the first of its kind in the United States to feature Hindi learners alongside native language poets and creative writers. Attendees included the Consular General from India. Denton wrote his poems in Professor Afroz Taj’s HNUR 306 course as part of a creative writing assignment.

Student Panel on Partition at the FH&N Conference

December 3, 2018

On Saturday, December 1, four students in Professor Lothspeich’s Asia 331/PWAD 3331/HIST 335 “Cracking India: Partition and its Legacy in South Asia,” presented papers on the panel “Gendered Violence at the Time of India’s Partition,” at the Feminisms Here and Now conference organized by graduate students at UNC. The papers of Azba Wahid, Laurel Cunningham, Aashka Patel (Asian Studies major and honors student), and Hannah Feinsilber all dealt with different aspects of the violence women faced when India gained Independence in 1947 and new borders were drawn, creating Pakistan and precipitating mass migrations and upheaval. The panel was well-attended and closed with a lively Q&A.

Professor Lothspeich offers new course: The Beauty and the Power of the Classical Indian World

November 24, 2018
A new course in Asian Studies, for both undergraduate and graduate students* in Spring 2019: 
ASIA 522—
The Beauty and the Power
of the Classical Indian World
Taught by Professor Pamela Lothspeich
Tuesday, Thursday 11:00-12:15, 115 Murphey Hall
Fulfills GenEds LA and WB, and there are no prerequisites!
Ashoka Pillar from Sarnath, India
This course investigates the classical Indian world through texts in Sanskrit and other classical languages (translated into English). In the classical period (circa 300 BCE -1200 CE), Sanskrit was the language of choice for many Indian elites—kings, priests, scholars, and artists—used to convey knowledge and delight audiences, even as the populace continued to speak and develop literatures in various regional languages. In this course, we’ll explore Sanskrit literary culture, and a number of “rival” classical literary traditions in languages like Tamil, Telugu, and Pali. Readings include primary sources like poetry and drama, and works of aesthetic theory from the classical period. These primary sources will be supplemented with recent scholarly writings  on themes such as “vernacularization,” i.e. the historic transition from a predominantly Sanskrit literary culture to one of diverse vernacular literatures. This course will have a seminar format.
*Graduate students will have additional readings and assignments, including a more substantial research paper.