A graduate student of the History Department, Sharmistha Gooptu, first proposed the idea for this conference in 2004. The Committee on Southern Asian Studies financially supports the conference. Each year, graduate students organize the conference. The students are responsible for all elements of the conference, including establishing its theme, sending out the call for papers, accepting papers, putting together panels, inviting keynote speakers, organizing hospitality events, putting together the program and seeking additional funds as needed.
In 2005, the conference had a two-day format – Sharmistha Gooptu organized the first day; Manan Ahmed, Jesse Knutson and Guriqbal Sahota organized the second day entitled Reorientations: The Study of the non-West after the Saidian Critique.
In 2006, Rajeev Kinra organized Imagining Empire: Visions of a Unified Polity in South Asia from Antiquity to the Present.
In 2007, Bulbul Tiwari organized Inside/Outside: Between Text and the World.
In 2008, Dwaipayan Sen organized New Perspectives in South Asian Research.
In 2009, Ananya Chakravarti organized Foundations for the Study of South Asia.
In 2010, Siddharth Satpathy and Hasan Siddiqui organized the seventh annual conference.
In 2011, Sean Dowdy and Mudit Trivedi organized The Limits of South Asia.
In 2012, Arvind Elangovan organized the ninth annual conference.
In 2013, Jane Mikkelson and Ishan Chakrabarti organized The Place of Literature.