AIIS is Awarded an American Overseas Research Center Grant from the US Department of Education

The AIIS is pleased to announce that it received notice on August 11, 2020 that it was awarded a four-year American Overseas Research Centers (AORC) grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of International and Foreign Language Education

The AORC program provides grants to consortia of U.S. institutions of higher education to establish or operate an AORC to promote postgraduate research, exchanges, and area studies.

Funding from the grant will enhance the critical in-country support that AIIS is able to deliver to its fellows and other scholars working in India, to faculty at community colleges and minority-serving institutions participating in AIIS seminars and follow-up projects, and to strengthen its digital scholarship projects that will promote exchange among scholars and dissemination to broad audiences. The grant will be used towards the partial cost of salaries and benefits of personnel; the operation and maintenance of  facilities; hiring of interns to supplement the work done by permanent staff—particularly to work on programs for community college/Minority Serving Institution faculty; obtaining and maintaining library and research materials, and the AIIS digital scholarship programs.

The grant period starts October 1, 2020.

The AORC grant will enhance the programs of the new AIIS Digital India Learning (DIL) initiative. In particular, AIIS is planning a four-year program of training workshops for U.S.-based graduate students to take place in India, for the students to both learn critical digital methodologies and also learn how to use these methodologies by working with the core collections of  the CAA and ARCE.  The resources collected over the last several decades include audio-visual materials, photographs of monuments, sculptures and buildings, architectural drawings and plans, and manuscripts and texts.  AIIS anticipates each year to focus on a particular theme that builds on the resources of our two Centers and in turn contributes to them, selecting a U.S. based faculty member as a resource person. These themes include visual studies, archaeology, sonic studies, and textual studies. CAA is also planning to conduct documentation of a traditional water management system– the Step wells of Haryana to serve as an important research resource to scholars, architects and town planners working on this subject; the information will be made available to a wider audience through the Virtual Museum of Images and Sounds (VMIS).

Also in development is a Language Pedagogy center for the AIIS language program that will serve as a resource for its teachers and will bring together and organize the wealth of resources, including materials and methodologies, developed by AIIS teachers. The Language Pedagogy Center will serve the following goals: (a) creation and maintenance of digital archives to serve as a centralized repository of teaching materials developed by each language program of AIIS; (b) creation of level-specific standardized teaching material;  (c) serve as an international forum for effective cooperation among teachers to share teaching experiences, and pedagogical trends in the field of South Asian languages with colleagues