A New Face at the South Asia Center

-Caitlin Hoover

Portrait of Lakhan Gusain

We would like to welcome Lakhan Gusain, Instructor of Hindi-Urdu Languages, to the South Asia Center community. Growing up in Rajasthan, on the India-Pakistan border, Gusain was surrounded by many different cultures. From the ear-ly stages of childhood, he developed a keen sense for identifying linguistic differ-ences among people and the ability to discern what regional dialect they spoke. He is fluent in Hindi, Punjabi, Balochi, Gujarati, Urdu, Rajasthani, Pashto, and Sindhi. This context fueled his passion for linguistics and drove his ambition to earn his PhD in Linguistics at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. He arrived in the United States in September 2001, shortly before the 9/11 attacks took place. After 9/11 Gusain became interested in how linguistics offers perspectives into the field of National Secu-rity. He has published six books on the subject. Professor Gusain works hard to keep his knowledge of foreign languages and linguistics current, “Every day, I watch the news in ten or eleven different languages before bed. You learn more by watching the body language of the news anchors while speaking their language than by reading books.” Before coming to Syracuse, Gusain held positions at the University of Michigan, Washington University, and John Hopkins University. Gusain said in graduate school, he read many pieces of scholarship which were written by current SU faculty, and he is excited to be working with people he has admired for many years.