South Asian Studies

Director of undergraduate studies: Harry Blair, Rm. 210, 34 Hillhouse Ave., 432-5687; harry.blair@yale.edusouthasia.macmillan.yale.edu/

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.

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.

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.

Credit/D/Fail A maximum of one course taken Credit/D/Fail may count toward the major.

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 DUS must approve senior essay plans early in the student's senior year.

Advising

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 DUS. Students should also identify an adviser from the South Asian Studies faculty in their area of specialization as early as possible.

Two majors 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.

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.

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 DUS.

REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR

Prerequisites None

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

Senior requirement Senior essay in sem, or research project in SAST 491, 492, or senior essay in SAST 486

The South Asian Studies Council (SASC) brings together faculty and students with diverse interests in South Asia. The University offers a wide range of courses on South Asia in the humanities and social sciences, including courses in anthropology, music, religious studies, history, comparative literature, linguistics, history of art, economics, environmental studies, and political science. The Council organizes an annual speaker series, concerts of South Asian music, and conferences. Information on courses and Council events can be found on the SASC Website.

Yale College offers South Asian Studies as a second major. Students select courses for the major from a wide range of disciplines and complete a language requirement in a South Asian language.

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), Phyllis Granoff (Religious Studies), Inderpal Grewal (Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies), Mushfiq Mobarak (Economics and Management), 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), Kishwar Rizvi (History of Art)

Assistant Professor Rohit De (History), Subhashini Kaligotla (History of Art), Priyasha Mukhopadhyay (English)

Senior Lecturer Carol Carpenter (Anthropology, Forestry & Environmental Studies)

Lecturers Hugh Flick, Jr. (Religious Studies), Supriya Gandhi (Religious Studies)

Senior Lectors Seema Khurana, Swapna Sharma

Language and Literature Courses

* HNDI 110a, Elementary Hindi IStaff

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.  L11½ Course cr
HTBA

HNDI 120b, Elementary Hindi IIStaff

Continuation of HNDI 110. After HNDI 110 or equivalent.  L21½ Course cr
HTBA

HNDI 130a, Intermediate Hindi ISwapna Sharma and Seema Khurana

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.  L31½ Course cr
HTBA

* HNDI 132a, Accelerated Hindi ISwapna 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.  L3
TTh 4pm-5:15pm

HNDI 140b, Intermediate Hindi IISeema Khurana and Swapna Sharma

Continuation of HNDI 130. After HNDI 130 or equivalent.  L41½ Course cr
MTWThF 11:35am-12:25pm

* HNDI 142b, Accelerated Hindi IISwapna 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.  L4
TTh 4pm-5:15pm

HNDI 150a, Advanced HindiSeema 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
TTh 4pm-5:15pm

* HNDI 157b, Hindi in the DiasporaSeema Khurana

An advanced language course designed to develop overall language skills through selected readings in Hindi literature and the study of popular culture in the Indian diaspora. Works by Suaham Bedi, Sunita Jain, and Umesh Agnihotri; theater, films, and other art forms; news articles and television programs related to political, social, and cultural debates.
Prerequisite: HNDI 150 or permission of instructor.  L5, HU
TTh 4pm-5:15pm

* HNDI 198a or b, Advanced TutorialStaff

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.
HTBA

* MTBT 110a, Elementary Modern Tibetan IStaff

Introduction to the fundamentals of Modern Tibetan in the Lhasa dialect. Development of basic speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills through the application of communicative methods and the use of authentic learning materials. Some attention to central aspects of Tibetan culture. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information. Credit only on completion of MTBT 120.  L1RP1½ Course cr
MTWTh 12:10pm-1pm

* MTBT 120b, Elementary Modern Tibetan IIStaff

Continuation of MTBT 110, with further development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Prerequisite: MTBT 110 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L2RP1½ Course cr
MTWTh 12pm-12:50pm

* MTBT 130a, Intermediate Modern Tibetan IStaff

The main focus of this course will be on using the language to communicate. The goal of the course is to further develop proficiency in speaking, listening, writing and reading, while acquiring some knowledge of Tibetan culture that are necessary for language competency. MTBT 120, or equivalent.  Course is taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information  L3RP1½ Course cr
MW 2:40pm-3:55pm

* MTBT 140b, Intermediate Modern Tibetan IIStaff

The main focus of this course will be on using the language to communicate. The goal of the course is to develop elementary proficiency in speaking, listening, writing and reading, while acquiring some knowledge of Tibetan culture that are necessary for language competency. MTBT 130, or equivalent  L4RP1½ Course cr
MW 2:40pm-3:55pm

* MTBT 150a, Advanced Modern Tibetan IStaff

Holistic study of modern Tibetan to deepen communicative abilities and develop oral fluency and proficiency. Students improve reading comprehension skills through reading selected modern Tibetan literature.  Prerequisite: MTBT 140, or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L5RP
TTh 10:10am-11:25am

* MTBT 160b, Advanced Modern Tibetan IIStaff

Modern Tibetan as a medium of instruction and interaction to develop oral fluency and proficiency, with as much complete immersion as possible. Prepares interested students for future work and research in Tibetan communities. MTBT 150, or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L5RP
TTh 4:10pm-5:25pm

* PNJB 110a, Elementary Punjabi IStaff

Introduction to the Punjabi language in its cultural context. Development of fundamental speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills through the application of communicative methods and the use of authentic learning materials. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information. Credit only on completion of PNJB 120.  L1RP1½ Course cr
MW 6:10pm-8pm

* PNJB 120b, Elementary Punjabi IIStaff

Continuation of PNJB 110. Further development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills through the application of communicative methods and the use of authentic learning materials. Prerequisite: PNJB 110 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L2RP1½ Course cr
MW 6:10pm-8pm

* PNJB 130a, Intermediate Punjabi IStaff

The important target of this course is to develop basic Punjabi Language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking).  This is approached through the theme-based syllabus, discussion in small groups and paired activities on the cultural background of Punjab or Punjabi culture.  As well as, the listening and speaking skills would be developed by using the media such as educational material, Punjabi movies, music and computer lab sessions.  The usage of the textbooks would lead us to learn grammatical rules of the Punjabi language.  The students are approached individually, since the class typically consists of students in the various backgrounds. Prerequisite: PNJB 120 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L3RP1½ Course cr
TTh 6:10pm-8pm

* PNJB 140b, Intermediate Punjabi IIStaff

The important target of this course is to develop basic Punjabi Language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking).  This is approached through the theme-based syllabus, discussion in small groups and paired activities on the cultural background of Punjab or Punjabi culture.  As well as, the listening and speaking skills would be developed by using the media such as educational material, Punjabi movies, music and computer lab sessions.  The usage of the textbooks would lead us to learn grammatical rules of the Punjabi language.  The students are approached individually, since the class typically consists of students in the various backgrounds. Prerequisite: PNJB 130 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L4RP1½ Course cr
TTh 6:10pm-8pm

* SKRT 110a / LING 115a, Introductory Sanskrit IAleksandar Uskokov

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.  L11½ Course cr
MTWThF 9:25am-10:15am

SKRT 120b / LING 125b, Introductory Sanskrit IIStaff

Continuation of SKRT 110. Focus on the basics of Sanskrit grammar; readings from classical Sanskrit texts written in Devanagari script. After SKRT 110.  L21½ Course cr
MTWThF 9:25am-10:15am

SKRT 130a / LING 138a, Intermediate Sanskrit IAleksandar Uskokov

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.  L3
MWF 8:20am-9:10am

SKRT 140b / LING 148b, Intermediate Sanskrit IIStaff

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.  L4
MWF 10:30am-11:20am

* SKRT 150b, Advanced Sanskrit: Readings in Indian Philosophy and AestheticsStaff

This advanced language course introduces the jargon of the philosophical disciplines (theory of knowledge, metaphysics, philosophy of mind and language, philosophical theology, hermeneutics) and aesthetics in the several systems of learning in ancient and classical India, across the traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Additionally, the course introduces topics of philosophical significance in foundational texts such as the Upaniṣads, portions of the Mahābhārata and the Purāṇas, and the Buddhist sūtra literature. Special attention is given to matters of style, scholastic techniques, and advanced morphology and syntax. The course, thus, combines advanced language instruction with learning intellectual and cultural content, and it facilitates training in primary research in one of the classical languages of South Asia. Prerequisite: SKRT 140 or equivalent, or instructor permission.  L5
F 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SNHL 110a, Elementary Sinhala IStaff

First half of a two-term sequence focusing on all four language skills. Basic grammar, sentence construction, simple reading materials, and use of everyday expressions. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Cornell University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L1RP1½ Course cr
HTBA

* SNHL 120b, Elementary Sinhala IIStaff

Second half of a two-term sequence focusing on all four language skills. Basic grammar, sentence construction, simple reading materials, and use of everyday expressions. Prerequisite: SNHL 110. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Cornell University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L21½ Course cr
HTBA

* SNHL 130a, Intermediate Sinhala IStaff

Further development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in Sinhala. Communicative approach to the exchange of ideas and information, with early emphasis on oral skills and reading comprehension. Prerequisite: SNHL 120 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L3RP1½ Course cr
HTBA

* SNHL 140b, Intermediate Sinhala IIStaff

Further development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in Sinhala, with a communicative approach to the exchange of ideas and information. Prepares students for the transition to the study of literary Sinhala. Prerequisite: SNHL 130 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L4RP1½ Course cr
HTBA

* TAML 130a, Intermediate Tamil IStaff

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 minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L3RP1½ Course cr
MTWTh 1:10pm-2pm

* TBTN 110a, Elementary Classical Tibetan IStaff

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 minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L1
MW 4:10pm-6pm

* TBTN 120b, Elementary Classical Tibetan IIStaff

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 minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L2
MW 4:10pm-6pm

* TBTN 130a, Intermediate Classical Tibetan IStaff

Continuation of TBTN 120. Introduction to more complex grammatical constructions. Further development of reading ability in various genres of Tibetan literature written prior to 1959. Prerequisite: TBTN 120 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L3RP1½ Course cr
MW 4:10pm-6pm

* TBTN 140b, Intermediate Classical Tibetan IIStaff

Continuation of TBTN 130. Complex grammatical constructions. Further development of reading ability in various genres of Tibetan literature written prior to 1959. Prerequisite: TBTN 130 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L4RP1½ Course cr
MW 4:10pm-6pm

General Courses in South Asian Studies

* SAST 059a / ENGL 025a / LITR 023a, Modern South Asian Literature, 1857-2017Priyasha Mukhopadhyay

Exploration of literary texts from South Asia, 1857 to the present. Close reading of literary texts from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, alongside political speeches, autobiographies, and oral narratives. Topics include colonialism, history writing, migration, language, caste, gender and desire, translation, politics and the novel. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration is required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  WR, HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

SAST 224b / HIST 396b, India and Pakistan since 1947Rohit De

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
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* SAST 266a / ARCH 271a / HSAR 266a / MMES 126a, Introduction to Islamic ArchitectureKishwar 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. Field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  HU
MW 10:30am-11:20am

SAST 267a / EAST 125a / RLST 125a, Introduction to Buddhist Thought and PracticeEric Greene

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.  HU
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

SAST 280a / HIST 342a / RLST 180a, Mughal India, 1500–1800Supriya Gandhi

Exploration of religion and the state in Mughal India, focusing on the period between 1500–1800. Topics include sacred sovereignty, orthodoxy, Sufism, vernacular literary and religious cultures, and the early colonial encounter.   HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* SAST 306a / ANTH 322a / EVST 324a, Environmental Justice in South AsiaKalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan

Study of South Asia’s nation building and economic development in the aftermath of war and decolonization in the 20th century. How it generated unprecedented stress on natural environments; increased social disparity; and exposure of the poor and minorities to environmental risks and loss of homes, livelihoods, and cultural resources. Discussion of the rise of environmental justice movements and policies in the region as the world comes to grips with living in the Anthropocene.  SO
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SAST 323a / HIST 313Ja, British Raj and the Indian Nation (1757-1947)Rohit De

Drawing on a wide genre of primary sources, this seminar explores the consolidation of British rule over the Indian subcontinent; the transformations brought about by colonial policies; the subsequent rise of resistance movements; the growth of mass nationalism and partition and independence.  WR, HU
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SAST 358a / RLST 184a, The RamayanaHugh 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.  HUTr
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SAST 366b / RLST 183b, The Bhagavad GitaHugh Flick

An examination of the Bhagavad Gita in its historical and religious context. Exploration of the major interpretations of this important religious text. All readings in translation.  HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

SAST 440b / AFAM 195b / PLSC 424b, Gandhi, King, and the Politics of NonviolenceKaruna 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.  SO
HTBA

* SAST 476b / ECON 483b, The Economics of IndiaStaff

The history and contemporary status of India's economy, including policy debates and growth potential. The Indian economy during the colonial era, the period of Nehruvian socialism, and the subsequent crisis and reforms; modern industry, services, agriculture, and finance; the development of human capital in India through health and education programs. Case studies from current economic research. Prerequisites: intermediate microeconomics and econometrics.  SO
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* SAST 486a, Directed StudyStaff

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.
HTBA

Senior Essay Courses

* SAST 491a, Senior EssayStaff

A yearlong research project completed under faculty supervision and resulting in a substantial paper. Credit for SAST 491 only on completion of SAST 492.  ½ Course cr
HTBA