South Asian Studies
FACULTY ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROGRAM OF SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES
Professors Akhil Amar (Law School), Tim Barringer (History of Art), Nihal de Lanerolle (School of Medicine), Michael Dove (Anthropology, Forestry & Environmental Studies), Sara Suleri Goodyear (English), Phyllis Granoff (Religious Studies), Inderpal Grewal (Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies), Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan (Anthropology, Forestry & Environmental Studies), Shyam Sunder (School of Management), Steven Wilkinson (Political Science)
Associate Professors Mayur Desai (Public Health), Zareena Grewal (Ethnicity, Race, & Migration), Karuna Mantena (Political Science), Andrew Quintman (Religious Studies), Kishwar Rizvi (History of Art)
Assistant Professor Rohit De (History)
Senior Lecturers Carol Carpenter (Anthropology, Forestry & Environmental Studies), Geetanjali Singh Chanda (Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies)
Lecturer Hugh Flick, Jr. (Religious Studies)
Senior Lectors David Brick, Seema Khurana, Swapna Sharma
The program in South Asian Studies combines the requirements of a discipline-based first major with significant course work in South Asian Studies. South Asian Studies can be taken only as a second major. The major is intended to provide students with a broad understanding of the history, culture, and languages of South Asia, as well as the region's current social, political, and economic conditions. Work in a discipline-based major coupled with a focus on South Asia prepares students for graduate study, employment in nongovernmental organizations, or business and professional careers in which an understanding of the region is essential.
The South Asian Studies major permits students to choose courses from a wide range of disciplines. Individual programs should have a balance between courses in the humanities and those in the social sciences. The proposed course of study must be approved each term by the director of undergraduate studies. Students should also identify an adviser from the South Asian Studies faculty in their area of specialization as early as possible.
Permission to complete two majors must be secured from the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing. Application forms are available from the residential college deans and must be submitted prior to the student's final term.
Requirements of the major In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the primary major, a student choosing South Asian Studies as a second major must complete seven term courses in South Asian Studies numbered 200 or above. At least two of the seven courses must address premodern South Asia, and at least two should be seminars. Students may petition the director of undergraduate studies to include one relevant course from another department or program; approval may require additional course work on South Asian topics. Students must also complete the senior requirement and meet the major's language requirement.
Credit/D/Fail A maximum of one course taken Credit/D/Fail may count toward the major.
Language requirement One South Asian language must be studied at the advanced level (L5). Students who matriculate with advanced proficiency in a South Asian language (excluding English), as demonstrated through testing, are encouraged to study Sanskrit, or to study a second modern language through Yale courses or the Directed Independent Language Study program. Students may request substitution of another appropriate language (e.g., Persian or Arabic) for the core language requirement, and they are encouraged to pursue intensive language study through courses or work abroad.
Senior requirement The senior requirement may be fulfilled by completion of a seminar that culminates in a senior essay. Alternatively, the requirement may be fulfilled by completion of a one-credit, two-term senior research project in SAST 491, 492, or by completion of a one-credit, one-term directed study in SAST 486 that culminates in a senior essay. The senior essay should be a substantial paper with a maximum length of 8,000 words for one term and 10,500 words for two terms. The use of primary materials in the languages of the region is encouraged in senior essay projects. The director of undergraduate studies must approve senior essay plans early in the student's senior year.
Study abroad Up to three course credits from approved study abroad programs may be applied toward the requirements of the major, with permission of the director of undergraduate studies.
Courses in the Graduate School Graduate courses in South Asian Studies are open to qualified undergraduates. Course descriptions appear in the online Graduate School bulletin and are also available in the South Asian Studies program office. Permission of the instructor and of the director of graduate studies is required.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
Number of courses 7 term courses (not incl senior req or lang req)
Distribution of courses 7 courses in South Asian Studies numbered 200 or above, 2 in premodern, 2 sems
Substitution permitted One relevant course in another dept, and/or up to 3 study abroad credits with DUS permission
Language requirement Study in a South Asian lang through L5 level
Language and Literature Courses
* BNGL 130a, Intermediate Bengali I Staff
The first half of a two-term sequence designed to develop intermediate proficiency in Bengali. Review of major grammar topics. Emphasis on expanding vocabulary, developing effective reading strategies, and improving listening comprehension. Readings, discussion, and written work focus on cultural topics in the Bengali-speaking world. Prerequisite: BNGL 120 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Cornell University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail email@example.com for more information.
L3 RP 1½ Course cr
* HNDI 110a, Elementary Hindi I Staff
An in-depth introduction to modern Hindi, including the Devanagari script. A combination of graded texts, written assignments, audiovisual material, and computer-based exercises provides cultural insights and increases proficiency in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Hindi. Emphasis on spontaneous self-expression in the language. No prior background in Hindi assumed. Credit only on completion of HNDI 120. L1 1½ Course cr
HNDI 120b, Elementary Hindi II Staff
HNDI 130a, Intermediate Hindi I Seema Khurana and Swapna Sharma
The first half of a two-term sequence designed to develop proficiency in the four language skills. Extensive use of cultural documents including feature films, radio broadcasts, and literary and nonliterary texts to increase proficiency in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Hindi. Focus on cultural nuances and Hindi literary traditions. Emphasis on spontaneous self-expression in the language. After HNDI 120 or equivalent. L3 1½ Course cr
* HNDI 132a, Accelerated Hindi I Swapna Sharma
A fast-paced course designed for students who are able to understand basic conversational Hindi but who have minimal or no literacy skills. Introduction to the Devanagari script; development of listening and speaking skills; vocabulary enrichment; attention to sociocultural rules that affect language use. Students learn to read simple texts and to converse on a variety of everyday personal and social topics.
HNDI 140b, Intermediate Hindi II Swapna Sharma and Seema Khurana
* HNDI 142b, Accelerated Hindi II Swapna Sharma
Continuation of HNDI 132. Development of increased proficiency in the four language skills. Focus on reading and higher language functions such as narration, description, and comparison. Reading strategies for parsing paragraph-length sentences in Hindi newspapers. Discussion of political, social, and cultural dimensions of Hindi culture as well as contemporary global issues.
HNDI 150a, Advanced Hindi Seema Khurana
An advanced language course aimed at enabling students to engage in fluent discourse in Hindi and to achieve a comprehensive knowledge of formal grammar. Introduction to a variety of styles and levels of discourse and usage. Emphasis on the written language, with readings on general topics from newspapers, books, and magazines. Prerequisite: HNDI 140 or permission of instructor. L5
* HNDI 159b, Hindi Literature and Public Culture Seema Khurana
An advanced language course that develops language skills through selected readings of Hindi literature and the study of popular culture. Focus on the adaptations of literary works of Prem Chand, Mannoo Bhandhari, Sharat Chandra, and Amrita Pritam in popular culture, cinema, theater, and television dramas. Prerequisite: HNDI 150.
* HNDI 198a or b, Advanced Tutorial Swapna Sharma and Seema Khurana
For students with advanced Hindi language skills who wish to engage in concentrated reading and research on material not otherwise offered by the department. Work must be supervised by an adviser and must terminate in a term paper or the equivalent. Permission to enroll requires submission of a detailed project proposal and its approval by the language studies coordinator. Prerequisite: HNDI 150 or equivalent.
* SKRT 110a / LING 115a, Introductory Sanskrit I David Brick
An introduction to Sanskrit language and grammar. Focus on learning to read and translate basic Sanskrit sentences in Devanagari script. No prior background in Sanskrit assumed.
L1 1½ Course cr
SKRT 120b / LING 125b, Introductory Sanskrit II David Brick
SKRT 130a / LING 138a, Intermediate Sanskrit I David Brick
The first half of a two-term sequence aimed at helping students develop the skills necessary to read texts written in Sanskrit. Readings include selections from the Hitopadesa, Kathasaritsagara, Mahabharata, and Bhagavadgita. After SKRT 120 or equivalent.
MWTh 10:30am-11:20am; F 10:30am-12:10pm
SKRT 140b / LING 148b, Intermediate Sanskrit II David Brick
Continuation of SKRT 130, focusing on Sanskrit literature from the kavya genre. Readings include selections from the Jatakamala of Aryasura and the opening verses of Kalidasa's Kumarasambhava. After SKRT 130 or equivalent.
* SKRT 150b, Advanced Sanskrit: Dharmasastra Staff
Introduction to Sanskrit commentarial literature, particularly to Dharmasastra, an explication and anlaysis of dharma (law or duty). Discussion of normative rules of human behavior; historical traditions of writing on the Indian subcontinent. Prerequisite: SKRT 140 or equivalent. L5
* TAML 110a, Introductory Tamil I Staff
An in-depth introduction to modern Tamil, focusing on skills in comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing as well as on cultural understanding. Course work includes graded texts, written assignments, audiovisual material, and computer-based exercises. No prior background in Tamil assumed. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Credit only on completion of TAML 120.
L1 1½ Course cr
* TAML 120b, Introductory Tamil II Staff
Continuation of TAML 110. After TAML 110. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail email@example.com for more information.
L2 1½ Course cr
* TAML 130a, Intermediate Tamil I Staff
The first half of a two-term sequence designed to develop proficiency in comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing through the use of visual media, newspapers and magazines, modern fiction and poetry, and public communications such as pamphlets, advertisements, and government announcements. Prerequisite: TAML 120 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
L3 RP 1½ Course cr
* TAML 140b, Intermediate Tamil II Staff
The second half of a two-term sequence designed to develop proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Focus on the communicative aspects of the language. Some attention to Tamil culture since the Sangam period. Prerequisite: TAML 130 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail email@example.com for more information.
L4 1½ Course cr
* TAML 150a, Advanced Tamil I Staff
Improvement of high-level language proficiency. Introduction to the long and continuous literary history of Tamil through the reading of non-contemporary Tamil writings, as well as ancient Tamil literary works. Texts may include various genres. Prerequisite: TAML 140 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
* TAML 160b, Advanced Tamil II Staff
Continuation of TAML 150. Students further improve their language proficiency by reading various genres, including non-contemporary Tamil writings and ancient Tamil literary works. Prerequisite: TAML 150 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail email@example.com for more information.
* TBTN 110a, Elementary Classical Tibetan I Staff
First half of a two-term introduction to classical Tibetan. The script and its Romanization, pronunciation, normative dictionary order, and basic grammar. Readings from Tibetan literature and philosophy. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Credit only on completion of TBTN 120.
* TBTN 120b, Elementary Classical Tibetan II Staff
Second half of a two-term introduction to classical Tibetan. The script and its Romanization, pronunciation, normative dictionary order, and basic grammar. Readings from Tibetan literature and philosophy. Prerequisite: TBTN 110. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail email@example.com for more information.
General Courses in South Asian Studies
* SAST 057a / RLST 015a, Gods and Heroes in Indian Religions Phyllis Granoff
The basic doctrines and practices of India's three classical religions, Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism, explored through close reading of texts in translation. Lives of the founders, great monks, nuns, and lay followers of Buddhism and Jainism; myths of the major Hindu gods; heroines and goddesses in the three traditions. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.
SAST 219a / ANTH 276a, South Asian Social Worlds Bhawani Buswala
Study of a series of texts that introduce anthropological and critical approaches to South Asia's peoples and cultures while questioning the historical and political possibility of understanding such a diverse region.
SAST 224b / HIST 396b, India and Pakistan since 1947 Staff
Introduction to the history of the Indian subcontinent from 1947 to the present. Focus on the emergence of modern forms of life and thought, the impact of the partition on state and society, and the challenges of democracy and development. Transformations of society, economy, and culture; state building; economic policy. HU
SAST 267a / RLST 125a, Introduction to Buddhist Thought and Practice Andrew Quintman
Significant aspects of Buddhism as practiced mainly in India and South Asia, including philosophy and ethics, monastic and ascetic life, meditation and ritual practices, and the material culture of Buddhist societies. The Mahayana tradition that emerged in the first century B.C.E.; later forms of esoteric Buddhism known as tantra; the development of modern Buddhism in Asia and its manifestation in the West. Readings from Buddhist texts in translation.
SAST 268a / ARCH 158a / HSAR 118a / MMES 128a, Introduction to the History of Art: Islamic Architecture Kishwar Rizvi
Introduction to the architecture of the Islamic world from the seventh century to the present, encompassing regions of Asia, North Africa, and Europe. A variety of sources and media, from architecture to urbanism and from travelogues to paintings, are used in an attempt to understand the diversity and richness of Islamic architecture.
SAST 269a / FILM 371a, The Social Worlds of Indian Cinema Lawrence Liang
Examination of the social history of Indian cinema through close reading of film texts as well as through the study of social practices, political histories, spaces, and technologies. Study of popular Indian fan clubs, cinema hall histories, and film labor to better understand how cinema lives in and beyond its life as narrative. Some prior knowledge of Indian cinema preferred. Prerequisite: read at least one overview of post independence Indian history such as India after Gandhi by Ramchandra Guha.
SAST 271a / HIST 309a, History of Ancient India David Brick
Introduction to Indian society and civilization from its earliest beginnings until c. 1000 C.E. Topics include politics, caste and class, commerce, religion, art and architecture, literature, and science.
SAST 278b / ECON 211b / GLBL 211b, Economic Performance and Challenges in India Rakesh Mohan
India's transition from being one of the poorest countries in the world to having one of the fastest-growing economies. Economic reform processes, trade and policy implications, and changes within the agriculture, industry, and service sectors. Prerequisites: introductory microeconomics and macroeconomics.
* SAST 307b / ANTH 400b, Language and Power in South Asia Bhawani Buswala
Examination of the relationship between language and power in South Asian historical and contemporary contexts. Key themes include linguistic capital, the public sphere, oratory practices, emotions, performativity, literacy, social identities, diaspora, and agency. Readings include works by anthropologists, historians, and sociolinguists covering different South Asian colonial and postcolonial settings.
* SAST 328b / HUMS 275b / PLSC 298b, Gandhi and His Critics Karuna Mantena
A survey of Gandhi’s social and political thought and the writings of his key critics and interlocutors such as Tagore, Savarkar, Nehru, Ambedkar. Through these exchanges, students explore the main currents of political thought in modern India. Topics include: modernity, the state, and violence; individual and collective swaraj; nationalism, diversity, and community; social reform and the critique of caste; religion, secularism, and toleration; democratic politics and the challenge of equality.
* SAST 329a / HIST 380J, Urban South Asia Ninad Pandit
The examination of colonial cities like Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Lahore, and Rangoon. How modern forms of politics including representative democracy; popular mobilizations; and religious and sectarian political parties emerged in colonial South Asia.
* SAST 343a / PLSC 403a, Globalization and the State in South Asia Shibashis Chatterjee
Study of major political and historical debates, events, and issues surrounding the subcontinent of South Asia since 1947. Focus on issues of multiple identities, shared yet contested conceptions of the past, ethno-linguistic linkages across territories, and the challenges of democratization, all operating under the international structural constraints, that make up the prevailing political contours.
* SAST 356a / MUSI 346a / RLST 360a, Sacred Musics of South Asia Rehanna Kheshgi
Examination of music from South Asia using the sacred as a frame to understand the relationship between performance and spirituality. In addition to musical practices associated with diverse religions in South Asia including Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Christianity, and religions practiced by various indigenous communities, students investigate the extent to which the sacred emerges in popular, classical, and folk musics. Topics include the intersection of religious and sonic ideologies; the tension between history and timelessness; and theories of embodiment that inform scholarly work on the experience of performance.
* SAST 358b / RLST 184b, The Ramayana Hugh Flick
Exploration of the religious and ideological interpretations of this epic of ancient India as manifested in performance and in written texts. Emphasis on the religious and historical contexts from which the texts emerged. All readings in translation.
* SAST 360b, Introduction to Bhakti Literature Swapna Sharma
Study of bhakti (devotional literature) in North India, beginning in the sixteenth century. Resistance to Brahmanical forms of social dominance; the role of linguistically based power; the development of vernacular languages and the national language of India.
* SAST 382b, Legal Trials that Shaped Indian History Lawrence Liang
Examination of legal trials as critical public events in the history of India. Understanding how some trials gain significance beyond their status as a legal event and become theaters of justice with a public passionately invested in the outcome of the case. Trials to be covered include the Meerut conspiracy case, Gandhi and Tilak's sedition trials, the Abdul Bawla case, the Rangila Rasul affair, the Bhawal Sansyasi case, and the Nanavati trial amongst others. No prior legal knowledge required but general awareness of modern Indian history is helpful.
SAST 440a / AFAM 195a / PLSC 424a, Gandhi, King, and the Politics of Nonviolence Karuna Mantena
A study of the theory and practice of nonviolent political action, as proposed and practiced by M. K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. The origins of nonviolence in Gandhian politics and the Indian independence movement; Gandhian influences on the Civil Rights movement; King’s development of nonviolent politics; the legacies and lessons for nonviolent politics today.
* SAST 459b / RLST 182b, Buddhist Traditions of Mind and Meditation Andrew Quintman
Buddhist meditation practices examined in the context of traditional theories of mind, perception, and cognition. Readings both from Buddhist canonical works and from secondary scholarship on cognitive science and ritual practice. Recommended preparation: a course in Asian religions.
* SAST 467a / RLST 383a, Biography in Asian Religions Andrew Quintman
The significance of life writing in the religious traditions of Asia. Readings both from primary texts in translation and from theoretical works on biography and autobiography.
* SAST 486a or b, Directed Study Staff
A one-credit, single-term course on topics not covered in regular offerings. To apply for admission, a student should present a course description and syllabus to the director of undergraduate studies, along with written approval from the faculty member who will direct the study.