The South Asian Studies Program is the study of the culture, history, politics and literature of South Asia at Brandeis. We have a vibrant community of faculty in the humanities and social sciences, regularly host lectures by some of the most prominent public intellectuals and scholars of and South Asia, offer a minor for undergraduates who wish to focus their studies on South Asia and offers undergraduate and graduate fellowships. The minor allows students to take courses in a range of disciplines for a deeper study of the region.
Spring 2021 Course Highlights
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.
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.
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.
Explores the history of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States with a focus on their lived experiences and contributions to U.S. society. Course culminates in a final AAPI digital oral history project. Usually offered every second year.
Explores some of the essential concepts of urban theory and conducts an in-depth study of urban experiences around the world. Topics include the city and marginality, urban modernity, gender and public space, gentrification, suburbanization, transgression, and urban nature. Case studies may be from cities such as Mumbai, Lagos, New York, Paris, Dubai, and Rio de Janeiro. Usually offered every second year.
Asia is not only remaking itself but also exporting images and ideas across the world. This course analyzes the impact of Asian pop culture on global modernity as Asian countries project their aspirations and belief-systems, via an increased connectivity, to a worldwide audience. Usually offered every second year.
Few human beings have had as much impact on the world as Siddhartha Gotama Shakyamuni, known to us as Buddha. This course explores his life and teachings as reflected in early Buddhist literature and Western scholarship. Usually offered every year.