South Asian Studies Courses

The South Asian Studies Program offers courses in a range of disciplines. See the Schedule of Classes for additional details and the University Bulletin for a complete list of SAS courses.

Required Course

SAS 100A: India and Pakistan: Understanding South Asia

Taught by professors Ulka Anjaria, Harleen Singh, and Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria.

An exploration of the history, societies, cultures, religions, and literature of South Asia--India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Uses perspectives from history, anthropology, literature, and film to examine past and contemporary life in South Asia. Usually offered every year.

Core Courses

IGS/SAS 160A:The Rise of India [nw ss]

Taught by Professor Avinash Singh

Examines how India rose to become a world power. With one-seventh of the world's population and a booming economy, India now shapes all global debates on trade, counter-terrorism and the environment. How will it use its new influence? Usually offered every second year.

SAS 140A: We Who Are at Home Everywhere: Narratives from the South Asian Diaspora [hum]

Taught by Professor Harleen Singh

Looks at narratives from various locations of the South Asian Diaspora, while paying close attention to the emergence of an immigrant South Asian public culture. Examines novels, poetry, short stories, film, and music in order to further an understanding of South Asian immigrant culture. Usually offered every third year.

REL/SAS 152a Introduction to Hinduism

Introduces Hindu practice and thought. Explores broadly the variety of forms, practices, and philosophies that have been developing from the time of the Vedas (ca. 1500 BCE) up to present day popular Hinduism practiced in both urban and rural India. Examines the relations between Hindu religion and its wider cultural, social, and political contexts, relations between the Hindu majority of India and minority traditions, and questions of Hindu identity both in India and abroad. Usually offered every second year.

Staff

SAS 101a South Asian Women Writers

Taught by professor Harleen Singh

Includes literature by South Asian women writers such as Amrita Pritam, Ismat Chugtai, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kamila Shamsie, Tahmina Anam, and Chandini Lokuge. Some of the works were originally written in English, while others have been translated from the vernacular. Usually offered every second year.

SAS 150b Gender, Sexuality, and the Nation in Indian Film

Taught by professor Harleen Singh

A study of Hindi films made in India since 1947 with a few notable exceptions from regional film, as well as some recent films made in English. Students will read Hindi films as texts/narratives of the nation to probe the occurrence of cultural, religious, historical, political, and social themes. Usually offered every third year.

ENG 20a Bollywood: Popular Film, Genre, and Society [ hum nw ]
An introduction to popular Hindi cinema through a survey of the most important Bollywood films from the 1950s until today. Topics include melodrama, song and dance, love and sex, stardom, nationalism, religion, diasporic migration, and globalization. Usually offered every third year.
Ulka Anjaria
ENG 127a The Novel in India [ hum nw ]
Survey of the novel and short story of the Indian subcontinent, their formal experiments in context of nationalism and postcolonial history. Authors may include Tagore, Anand, Manto, Desani, Narayan, Desai, Devi, Rushdie, Roy, Mistry, and Chaudhuri. Usually offered every second year.
Ulka Anjaria
ENG 152a Indian Love Stories [ hum nw ]
Introduces students to writings on love, desire and sexuality from ancient India to the present. Topics include ancient eroticism, love in Urdu poetry, Gandhi's sexual asceticism, colonial regulation of sexuality, Bollywood, queer fiction and more. Usually offered every third year.
Ulka Anjaria
HIST 66a History of South Asia (2500 BCE - 1971) [ nw ss ]
Introduces South Asian history from the earliest civilizations to the independence of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Surveys the formation of religious traditions, the establishment of kingdoms and empires, colonialism and its consequences, and post-independence political and economic development. Usually offered every second year.
Govind Sreenivasan
HIST 178b Britain and India: Connected Histories [ ss wi ]
Surveys the history of Britain and India from the rise of the East India Company to the present. Explores cultural and economic exchanges; shifts in power and phases of imperial rule; resistance and collaboration; nationalism; decolonization and partition; and postcolonial legacies. Usually offered every second year.
Hannah Muller

Elective Courses

ANTH 134a South Asian Culture and Society [ nw ss ]
May be repeated for credit if taught by different instructors.
Examines the diversity and richness of the cultures and societies of South Asia, with a focus on India. Concentrates on the lived experiences of class, caste, gender, religion, politics, and region in people's everyday lives. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Anjaria or Ms. Lamb
ANTH 146a Gender and the City [ nw ss ]
Examines the ways in which cities reflect gender relations and in turn how gender relations impact the very fabric and politics of cities. The course will reflect on questions of gendered embodiment, belonging, identity, femininity, masculinity, sexuality, respectability, risk, surveillance, and resistance as it navigates the everyday worlds of cities. Special one-time offering, spring 2018.
Shilpa Phadke
ENG 20a Bollywood: Popular Film, Genre, and Society [ hum nw ]
An introduction to popular Hindi cinema through a survey of the most important Bollywood films from the 1950s until today. Topics include melodrama, song and dance, love and sex, stardom, nationalism, religion, diasporic migration, and globalization. Usually offered every third year.
Ulka Anjaria
ENG 22a Filmi Fictions: From Page to Screen in India [ hum nw ]
An introduction to filmic adaptations of Indian novels from Bollywood, Indian art cinema, and Hollywood. Readings include novels as well as theoretical approaches to adaptation. Films include Slumdog Millionaire, Pather Panchali, Devdas, Guide, Umrao Jaan, and others. Usually offered every third year.
Ulka Anjaria
ENG 127a The Novel in India [ hum nw ]
Survey of the novel and short story of the Indian subcontinent, their formal experiments in context of nationalism and postcolonial history. Authors may include Tagore, Anand, Manto, Desani, Narayan, Desai, Devi, Rushdie, Roy, Mistry, and Chaudhuri. Usually offered every second year.
Ulka Anjaria
ENG 152a Indian Love Stories [ hum nw ]
Introduces students to writings on love, desire and sexuality from ancient India to the present. Topics include ancient eroticism, love in Urdu poetry, Gandhi's sexual asceticism, colonial regulation of sexuality, Bollywood, queer fiction and more. Usually offered every third year.
Ulka Anjaria
HIST 66a History of South Asia (2500 BCE - 1971) [ nw ss ]
Introduces South Asian history from the earliest civilizations to the independence of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Surveys the formation of religious traditions, the establishment of kingdoms and empires, colonialism and its consequences, and post-independence political and economic development. Usually offered every second year.
Govind Sreenivasan
HIST 178b Britain and India: Connected Histories [ ss wi ]
Surveys the history of Britain and India from the rise of the East India Company to the present. Explores cultural and economic exchanges; shifts in power and phases of imperial rule; resistance and collaboration; nationalism; decolonization and partition; and postcolonial legacies. Usually offered every second year.
Hannah Muller
HIST 179b India and the Superpowers (USA, USSR, and China): 1947 and Beyond [ nw ss ]
Examines the history of modern India through its relationships with the "superpowers," USA, USSR, and China. Covering the period between 1947-2018, the course analyses ideological, economic, foreign policy shifts and subcontinental conflict in a constantly changing geo-political scene. Usually offered every second year.
Avinash Singh
HIST 187b Unequal Histories: Caste, Religion, and Dissent in India [ nw ss ]
Examines the religious, political, and social dimensions of discrimination in India. In order to study caste, power, and representation, we will look at religious texts, historical debates, film, and literature from the Vedic Age to contemporary India. Usually offered every second year.
Avinash Singh
HIST/SOC 170b Gender and Sexuality in South Asia [ ss ]
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.
Explores historical and contemporary debates about gender and sexuality in South Asia; revisits concepts of "woman," "sex," "femininity," "home," "family," "community," "nation," "reform," "protection," and "civilization" across the colonial and postcolonial periods. Usually offered every second year.
Hannah Muller and Gowri Vijayakumar
IGS/SAS 160a The Rise of India [ nw ss ]
Examines how India rose to become a world power. With one-seventh of the world's population and a booming economy, India now shapes all global debates on trade, counter-terrorism and the environment. How will it use its new influence? Usually offered every second year.
Staff
REL/SAS 152a Introduction to Hinduism [ hum nw ]
Introduces Hindu practice and thought. Explores broadly the variety of forms, practices, and philosophies that have been developing from the time of the Vedas (ca. 1500 BCE) up to present day popular Hinduism practiced in both urban and rural India. Examines the relations between Hindu religion and its wider cultural, social, and political contexts, relations between the Hindu majority of India and minority traditions, and questions of Hindu identity both in India and abroad. Usually offered every second year.
Staff
SAS 101a South Asian Women Writers [ hum nw ]
Includes literature by South Asian women writers such as Amrita Pritam, Ismat Chugtai, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kamila Shamsie, Tahmina Anam, and Chandini Lokuge. Some of the works were originally written in English, while others have been translated from the vernacular. Usually offered every second year.
Harleen Singh
SAS 140a We Who Are at Home Everywhere: Narratives from the South Asian Diaspora [ hum ]
Looks at narratives from various locations of the South Asian Diaspora, while paying close attention to the emergence of an immigrant South Asian public culture. Examines novels, poetry, short stories, film, and music in order to further an understanding of South Asian immigrant culture. Usually offered every third year.
Harleen Singh
SAS 150b Gender, Sexuality, and the Nation in Indian Film [ hum nw ]
A study of Hindi films made in India since 1947 with a few notable exceptions from regional film, as well as some recent films made in English. Students will read Hindi films as texts/narratives of the nation to probe the occurrence of cultural, religious, historical, political, and social themes. Usually offered every third year.
Harleen Singh
WMGS 135b Postcolonial Feminisms [ hum ]
Examines feminist theories, literature, and film from formerly colonized, Anglophone countries in South Asia, the Caribbean, and Africa. It takes the shared path of decolonization and postcoloniality to discuss the development of feminist discourse and the diverse trajectories of gendered lives. Usually offered every third year.
Harleen Singh
WMGS 161b Transnational Feminisms: Perspectives from South Asia and Beyond [ nw ss ]
Examines contemporary debates around sexuality, nationalism, racism, casteism, morality, and intersectionality, exploring what it means to collaborate across borders as feminists and why global sisterhood is feasible. Includes rich materials from India and wider South Asia, while also navigating multiple geographical locations – the national, international, and digital spaces via which feminist politics and ideas travel and multiple hegemonies are played out. Special one-time offering, spring 2018.
Shilpa Phadke