Fall 2022 Course Offerings
This introductory proficiency-based course in Hindi and Urdu allows students to acquire linguistic skills in culturally authentic contexts. Students will learn to communicate in a variety of everyday situations. Hindi and Urdu share a basic grammar and core vocabulary but differ in terms of scripts and some cultural markers. There will be equal emphasis on both scripts and cultures; parallel written materials will be provided in both scripts. Students are expected to develop proficiency in one script of their choice, and are encouraged to learn both. Classes will be interactive.
This course continues training in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students will learn to read and understand texts in Hindi on familiar topics, to speak confidently and effectively in a wide range of common situations, to write concise texts expressing their thoughts and views, and to acquire general familiarity with the cultural context in which Hindi is used. Students will engage in interactive and collaborative task-based activities in the classroom.
Reading and viewing of select Hindi/Urdu literary works and their cinematic adaptations, covering a wide-range of registers, genres and styles: drama, short story, novel (excerpts), as well as commercial and alternative cinema. Attention will be given to historical and social context, as well as different styles and trends. Stories and films will address issues of discrimination, inequity, and reform, representations of gender, social and cultural norms and conventions, stereotypes, taboos, and transgressions. In-depth classroom discussion in Hindi/Urdu of all materials.
An introduction to classical Sanskrit grammar and vocabulary, as well as Devanagari script, pronunciation, and phonological change (sandhi). Students will begin to read simple Sanskrit prose and verse.
Strengthens classical Sanskrit grammar and vocabulary and builds knowledge of South Asian religion and culture through reading selections from Sanskrit Epics and Puranas. Requires SAN102 or permission from the instructor.
How has the nexus of gender, society, and the performing arts been theorized, constructed, and experienced at different times and in different places in South Asian cultures? What have been the impacts of modernity on the performing arts in South Asia? In exploring these and related questions we will draw from music, dance, film, literature, and ethnographic and historical sources as we consider the complexities of social and cultural discourses in relation to gender and the performing arts.
This course is a survey of Islam in the Indian subcontinent. We begin with the earliest Muslim descriptions of India and the rise of Persian poetry to understand how Muslims negotiated life at the frontiers of the Islamic world. Next we trace patterns of patronage and production at the Mughal court and the development of Urdu as a vehicle of literary composition including a discussion of the Progressive Writer's Movement and the "Muslim Social" genre of Hindi cinema. The course concludes with an examination of contemporary novels from Bangladesh and Pakistan. Students will gain an informed perspective on Islam beyond the headlines.
This course is a continuation of HIN-URD 102, concentrating on Urdu. Students beginning with intermediate proficiency in either Urdu or Hindi will be brought to an advanced level in Urdu in all four skills. The Urdu script will be introduced and an emphasis will be placed on strengthening literacy skills. After completing the course, students will be able to read or comprehend through listening, a variety of authentic Urdu texts and media materials. Various aspects of the target culture will be integrated with instruction. Activities will be conducted in Urdu and classes will be interactive.
Cross-listed with the Program in South Asian Studies
This course addresses inequality in the context of sustainability, focusing on India with comparison to the USA and global trajectories. Students will explore social inequality and inequality in access to basic services; exposure to environmental pollution and climate risks; participation in governance; and, overall outcomes of sustainability, health and wellbeing. They will learn key theoretical frameworks underpinning inequality and equity, measurement approaches, and explore emerging strategies for designing equitable sustainability transitions, drawing upon engineering, spatial planning, public health, and policy perspectives.
What was social, cultural, economic, and political life in South Asia like before colonial modernity? This class will explore the medieval and early modern periods in the history of the Indian sub-continent, spanning the years 1000-1800 CE and traversing through such chapters as the establishment of the first Muslim polities in India, the growing integration of South Asia into global networks of circulation and exchange, and the birth and death of cultural practices in this dynamic environment. It will examine the changing relationship between India and the rest of the world, concluding with the British conquest of the region.
Hinduism is often regarded as one of the world's most ancient living religions, and its oldest scriptures were composed more than 3000 years ago. It may therefore come as a surprise that people did not start calling themselves Hindus until the 15th century. How should we understand the late appearance of this term as a self-referential category, and what does it tell us about religion in South Asia? In this course, we will trace Hinduism's roots from the earliest period up to the 15th century, examining not only continuity in religious thought and practice but also diversity in the traditions that came to form a single Hindu community.