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South Asia Concentration

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Spring Courses 2015

SAX 300 Integrating Capstone Seminar for South Asia Concentrators
Nalini Bhushan
F 1:10 - 2:30 pm

This course is designed for graduating South Asia Concentrators. The goal is to provide an opportunity for every student to synthesize the material to which she has been exposed through her concentration courses and internships, and to present her integrating project to the rest of the class for feedback. Students will read assigned material, do moodle posts and participate in class discussion. The product of such work will be presented publicly at Collaborations in April. The course runs for the first seven weeks in a semester. Graded S/U only. (E) 1 credit

SAX 400 Special Studies in the South Asia Concentration
South Asia faculty

Admission by permission of the director of the South Asia concentration. Normally, enrollment limited to South Asia concentrators only. 1 to 4 credits

200-Level Courses

ANT 267 Self and Society in South Asia
Pinky Hota (Anthropology)
MW 9 - 10:20 am

This course introduces students to the culture, politics and everyday life of South Asia. Topics covered will include religion, community, nation, caste, gender and development, as well as some of the key conceptual problems in the study of South Asia, such as the colonial construction of social scientific knowledge, and debates over "tradition" and "modernity." In this way, we will address both the varieties in lived experience in the subcontinent, and the key scholarly, popular and political debates that have constituted the terms through which we understand South Asian culture. Along with ethnographies, we will study and discuss novels, historical analysis, primary historical texts and popular (Bollywood) and documentary film. {S} 4 credits

GES XXX India in Transition: Contrast, Complexity, Creativity
Nalini Bhushan (Philosophy) and Charles Staelin (Economics)

India is a land of contrasts. Modern cities and industries based on the very latest technologies sit side by side with rural areas that have changed little over the past centuries. Urban cultures exude modernity and mobility while rural cultures hold to tradition and caste. Gender roles are in flux. The gap between rich and poor continues to grow. In this seminar we will examine how India and Indians deal with these contradictions, both philosophically and economically. Do Hindu and Buddhist notions of suffering provide a justification for these contrasts or a path for reconciling them? Can India adopt modernity while still maintaining its cultural and religious identity? Is social and economic inequality concomitant with development? In this seminar we will look critically at these questions through readings, lectures and direct experience. We will visit both urban and rural areas in the southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, including Chennai, Puducherry, Auroville, Kodaikanal, Madurai, Periyar and Kochi, and talk with those who are themselves struggling with these questions and their solution.

We welcome applications from students in all years and majors. Priority will be given to students with interdisciplinary interests and/or some exposure to South Asia through their coursework in areas such as sociology, anthropology, religion, philosophy, economics, education, the study of women and gender, government, the environmental sciences, and the arts. All work will be in English, but students will learn enough conversational Tamil to be able to interact in markets or on the street. The course is followed by a required internship in South India for a minimum of one month. Enrollment limited to 10. (E) {H/S} 5 credits

REL 278 Religion in the Himalayas: Coexistence, Conflict and Change
Constance Kassor (Religion)
MW 9 -10:20 am

This course examines the religious life of the Himalayan regions of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan, paying particular attention to issues surrounding the construction of religious identity. Through text, film, and art, we will explore practices in Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and local traditions, and investigate the ways in which these practices negotiate political change and modernization. Topics include gender (in)equality in religious institutions and practices, insider/outsider representations of communities, and the intersection of religion and politics. (E) {H} 4 credits

 

300-Level Courses

SOC 327 Seminar: Global Migration in the 21st Century
Payal Banerjee (Sociology)
Th 1 - 2:50 pm

This 300-level seminar will provide an in-depth engagement with global migration. It will cover areas such as: theories of migration, the significance of global political economy and state policies across the world in shaping migration patterns and immigrant identities. Questions about imperialism, post-colonial conditions, nation-building/national borders, citizenship, and the gendered racialization of immigration will intersect as critical contexts for our discussions. Prerequisite: SOC 101, a course on global political economy, or permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 12. {S} 4 credits

 

Five College Courses Spring 2015

There are also many South Asia-related courses offered throughout the Five Colleges. You can use the Five College Course Guide to find courses with a South Asia focus.

Amherst College
AMST 336 South Asians in the United States
(Reddy) T 2 - 4:30 pm
ANTH 253 Muslim Lives in South Asia (Chowdhury) MW 12:30 - 1:50 pm
ASLC 144 Religion in Ancient India (Heim) TTh 10 - 11:20 am
ASLC 207 The Home and the World: Women and Gender in South Asia (Shandilya) TTh 11:30 am - 12:50 pm

Hampshire College

Mount Holyoke College

ARTH 263s Arts of India (Ajay Sinha)
DANCE
143s Classicial Indian Dance (R. Devi)
HIST 124s History of Modern South Asia, 1700 to Present (K.S. Datla)
HIST 223s/RELIG 223s Religion and Politics in Modern India (K.S. Datla)

UMass Amherst

Interterm Course 2015

BUX 253J Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy and Hermeneutics
Constance Kassor
This intensive course is taught at the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, India as part of the Hampshire/Five College in India program. Students take daily classes, taught by eminent Tibetan scholars, in Buddhist philosophy, Indo-Tibetan hermeneutics and Tibetan history and culture, and they attend regular discussion sessions as well as incidental lectures on topics including Tibetan art history and iconography, Tibetan astrology and medicine and Tibetan politics. Students also visit important Buddhist historical sites and explore Varanasi, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Each student is paired with a Tibetan student "buddy" to get an inside view of Tibetan culture. Enrollment limited to 15, and requires application and acceptance by the H/5CIP. Pay attention to calls for early application. Deadlines fall mid-October. No prerequisites. {H}{M}{S} 3 credits