South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

Kannada Studies Initiative

The Kannada Studies Initiative seeks to raise funds to support the teaching of the Kannada language and Kannada-related events and programs at the University of Texas at Austin. For more than 50 years, UT has supported the study of South Indian languages and cultures. In spite of its obvious importance and student interest, however, we have not yet been able to offer Kannada. More critically, it has only rarely and sporadically been offered anywhere in the US. The Kannada Studies Initiative seeks to fill this gap locally and nationally. Karnataka’s rich religious, political, and literary history are just the beginning of the treasures made available through a knowledge of Kannada.

With the help of Kannadigas and Kannada supporters everywhere, we hope to ensure a future for Kannada studies in US universities and schools. Furthermore, one of our central goals with this initiative will also be to create resources not only to help university students learn this important language, but also to help younger students everywhere have access to high-quality learning materials. The South Asia Institute is thrilled to be working with Kannada language supporters in Texas and the US to give Kannada a permanent home at UT-Austin that will serve students everywhere.

Over the next five years, our campaign will raise funds to create an endowment to establish Kannada Studies at UT. In one year, we have raised more than $128,000, but we need your help to reach our initial goal of $250,000.

We have just recently received a pledge from a donor who will match all contributions for Kannada Studies up to $25,000. Your gift will go twice as far! Please make your tax-deductible gift today:

Kannada Studies Events, Programs, and Milestones at UT

The Kannada Studies Initiative has begun to support new events and opportunities for the study of Kannada and Karnataka at UT. The following chronological list describes the major programs and events sponsored through the initiative, as well as the major gifts that made them possible.

Summer 2021
First-Year Kannada I & 2 taught for the first time during the summer sessions by Dr. Naresh Keerthi

December 2019
Sharada Krishna Rao Family Kannada Studies Excellence Fund established by Satish Rao, Anuradha Rao, and Harish Krishnarao

September 2019
First-year Kannada I taught by Mr. Srini Raghavan, with equal funding from the Austin Kannada Sangha and the South Asia Institute

June 2019
Major gift to the general Kannada Studies Fund by Prof. Sumit Guha

March 2019
Uma and Dr. Shivakumar Bavikatte Family Kannada Studies Fund established by the Bavikatte family

September 2018
Prof. Prabhudev Konana and SAI Director Don Davis presented at the 10th AKKA World Kannada Conference in Dallas, TX

September 2018
Visit by Prof. Vanamala Viswanatha, on her monumental translation from medieval Kannada of the Harishchandra Kavyam, published as The Life of Harishchandra (Murty Classical Library of India, Harvard University Press, 2017)

May 2018
KoChe Kannada Studies Fund established by Prof. Prabhudev Konana