The India China Institute (ICI) at The New School was established in 2005 by Arjun Appadurai, who was Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at The New School, and Benjamin Lee, then Dean at the The New School for Social Research. Having first met at the University of Chicago as graduate students, for years they had been discussing the idea of a research Institute to study the reemergence of India and China and how their new roles as global powers impact each other, the United States and the rest of the world. Armed with their intellectual vision and rationale, their idea was all the more remarkable because it reached beyond the area studies model that was the norm in academia but had become less effective with the rise of globalization.
In 2004,The New School’s then-President Bob Kerrey secured a historic $10 million endowment from The Starr Foundation as seed money to start ICI. Ashok Gurung was appointed Founding Director on January 1st, 2005 to establish and design academic programming and to manage day-to-day operations. Since that time, ICI has been awarded multi-year grants for research and teaching and continues to draw critical interest and generous support.
In 2012, Mark Frazier and Sanjay Reddy were named co-academic directors of ICI and endowed professors dedicated to India China-related academia. Under their direction they developed ICI’s exploration of the relationships between India, China and the United States by launching new research programs and partnerships between The New School and other global institutions.
The New School has also contributed significant resources since ICI’s inception to assist with the administrative resources to augment the endowment from The Starr Foundation. With these critical funds, continuing assistance from other foundations and our global community of academics and supporters, ICI continues to grow and embody The New School spirit of thinking outside the box.