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.

Fall 2020 Course Highlights

Core Course in SAS
SAS 100A: India and Pakistan: Understanding South Asia

Avinash Singh
Block TBD

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.

Core Electives in SAS
ENG 20A: Bollywood: Popular Film, Genre, and Society

Ulka Anjaria
Block TBD

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.

HIST/SOC 170B: Gender and Sexuality in South Asia

Gowri Vijayakumar and Hannah Muller
Block TBD

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.

Additional SAS Elective Courses (requiring a paper and prior approval from the SAS UAH)
ECON 176A: Health, Hunger, and the Household in Developing Countries

Nidhiya Menon
Block TBD

Prerequisites: ECON 80a and ECON 184b or permission of the instructor.

Examines aspects of poverty and nutrition that are confronted by households in low-income countries. Examines these issues primarily from a microeconomic perspective, although some macroeconomic angles are explored as well.

FA33B: Islamic Art and Architecture

Muna Guvenc Ospina Leon

Block TBD

Through case studies of cities, sites, and monuments, the course presents an overview of the art and the architecture of the Islamic world beginning from the seventh century up to the present. Some of the themes include, but are not limited to, Islamic material culture, orientalist imaginations, systems of governance and the colonial present, search for the local identity, urban modernity and nationalism, and globalization.

FA 34A: History of Asian Art

Aida Wong

Block TBD

A selective survey of the art of the three major Asian areas: India, China, and Japan.

HSSP 102A: Introduction to Global Health

Alice Noble

Block TBD

This class is closed to first-year students. See Course Catalog for detailed description. Contact HSSP Administrator ( for a consent code if seats become available.

Instruction for this course will be offered remotely.

A primer on major issues in health care in developing nations. Topics include the natural history of disease and levels of prevention; epidemiological transitions; health disparities; and determinants of health including culture, social context, and behavior. Also covers: infectious and chronic disease incidence and prevalence; the role of nutrition, education, reproductive trends, and poverty; demographic transition including aging and urbanization; the structure and financing of health systems; and the globalization of health.