In a period in which scholars from all disciplines of the humanities and social sciences are paying increased attention to Eurasian and global interactions-as well as a period of unprecedented American political involvement in the region, the Asia Institute's Program on Central Asia, launched in the spring of 2008 as the Central Asia Initiative, aims to cultivate a space for the social, cultural, religious and economic dimensions of Central Asian studies. The Program looks beyond the old Silk Road paradigm and seeks to bring these gaps and opportunities together by facilitating the introduction of Central Asia into comparative and connective studies, while at the same time promoting the study of Central Asia as a region with properly autonomous histories in its own right that also connect outwards to the wider world.
Directed by Domenico Ingenito, Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, the Program on Central Asia is supported by the UCLA International Institute and works in collaboration with the G. E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies and the Center for India and South Asia. Additional funding is provided by the US Department of Education Title VI through the UCLA National Resource Center for East Asia. The Program on Central Asia is an institutional member of the American Institute for Afghanistan Studies, which supports its programs on Afghan Studies.