SAS 206
REL 206/ SAS 206 - The Hindu Worlds

This course will examine the major aspects of the constellation of distinct but interrelated religious traditions of South Asia generally entitled “Hinduism.” The course will have three foci. One will be the sacred texts as well as the intersecting ritual, philosophical, and devotional currents that laid the historical foundations of this tradition and form integral parts of it to this day. These texts and currents are also linked to aesthetic expressions that form a core of Hindu religious life. The second focus will be on Hindu social organization and issues of political identity. This will cover the Hindu social divisions of caste, gendered roles and rituals as well as issues related to Hindu nationalism. The third focus will be on practices followed by and negotiations made by diaspora Hindus, especially those settled in America. This area will focus especially on Hindu responses to diversity and interfaith dialogue.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: REL 20 6

Prerequisites:

Instructor: Shukla-Bhatt

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SAS 211
REL 281/ SAS 211 - Sacred Arts of South Asia

South Asia is one of the most religiously diverse regions of the world where Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Christian, Jewish and native traditions have co-existed for centuries. The vibrancy of its cultural life derives greatly from artistic expressions of devotion in its multiple traditions. Yet, the sacred artistic expressions are not limited to the sphere of religion. This course explores visual as well as performative sacred art forms of South Asia including architecture, sculpture, painting, music, and dance from a historical perspective. The exploration focuses on symbolic vocabulary of various art forms, their significance as media of religious/spiritual knowledge, and their role as sites of social encounters.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Crosslisted Courses: REL 281

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Shukla-Bhatt

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy; ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SAS 225
PEAC 225/ SAS 225 - Gandhi in His Indian Contexts

PEAC/SAS 225 is a combined fall/Wintersession course, focusing on Mohandas Gandhi as a figure of global significance, and also one deeply rooted in Indian history and cultures. During the fall at Wellesley, students will study the sprawling and diverse cultural/political history of India; the many cultural and religious currents that influenced Gandhi's thought; his model of nonviolent action (Satyagraha); various models of contemporary grassroots organizing in India; and the art/skills of travel journaling. Then, during the winter, students will travel to Pune, Mumbai, Chennai and Coimbatore, residing and studying for then days at FLAME University in Pune. The remaining ten days will be divided between Chennai and Coimbatore, where we will partner with Praxis- Institute for Participatory Practices- an organization working on social justice issues with a commitment to equity and participatory governance for poor and marginalized sectors of society. Students will keep an extensive travel journal during their time in India. This course will meet every other week. First day of the course will be Friday, September 14th.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 14

Crosslisted Courses: SAS 225

Prerequisites: PEAC 104

Instructor: Shukla-Bhatt, Rosenwald, Confortini

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Fall; Winter

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SAS 232
SAS 232/ SOC 232 - South Asian Diasporas

If any mention of South Asian culture conjures for you Bollywood films, Bharatanatyam dancers, and Google engineers, then this course will prompt you to reconsider. Adopting a sociological perspective that examines culture from the specific context of migration, we will study the histories of Punjabi-Mexican families in California, Gujarati motel owners across the United States, South African Indians at the end of apartheid, and Bangladeshi garment workers in London’s East End, among others. Through our study, we develop a nuanced understanding of race, culture, migration, and upward mobility in the United States and beyond, while also considering the power of mobile South Asian cultures, including movies, music, dance, and religion.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: SAS 232

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: S. Radhakrishnan

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

SAS 237
ANTH 237/ SAS 237 - Ethnography in/of South Asia

Anthropology has a fraught and complex history within South Asia. Many of its techniques of knowledge production were honed within the colonial context. In the postcolonial period, these techniques have been taken up by scholars within the region and beyond to update and challenge long-standing understandings of the region. Much historical and recent scholarship grapples with how one ought to understand the unique nature of the region's forms of culture and social organization, and to place them in relation to modernity and the West. South Asia proves an insistently fruitful case for assessing the universality or provincial nature of Western social theory and to consider the connections between knowledge and power. In this course, students will come to comprehend and assess the history of ethnography and anthropology in India, Pakistan, and other parts of South Asia. Through contemporary ethnographic texts, they will also gain insight into the major social and cultural categories and phenomena that have come to define South Asia today such as caste, kinship and gender, class, nationalism, and popular culture. Throughout, we will consider the politics of representation and knowledge production that are particularly fraught in this postcolonial context.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Crosslisted Courses: SAS 237

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Walters

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

SAS 239
ARTH 239/ SAS 239 - Art & Architecture of South Asia

This course covers the visual culture of India from ancient Indus Valley civilization through Independence. It follows the stylistic, technological, and iconographical developments of painting, sculpture, architecture, and textiles as they were created for the subcontinent's major religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Islam. We will examine the relationship between works of art and the political, economic, and social conditions that shaped their production. It will emphasize such themes as religious and cultural diversity, mythology and tradition, and royal and popular art forms. Attention will also be paid to colonialism and the close relationship between collecting, patronage, and empire.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: SAS 239

Prerequisites: None. ARTH 100 or WRIT 107 recommended.

Instructor: Oliver

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SAS 241
REL 241/ SAS 241 - Courtesans in South Asia

Mystifying and complex, the figure of courtesan has appeared as the foil to the virtuous and docile wife in Sanskrit and Tamil classics of ancient India, early Urdu novels, and literary works of several South Asian languages. Since the mid-twentieth century, the courtesan has appeared in films produced in South Asia as a self-sacrificing character with a strong will. In this course, we will examine literary works in South Asian languages since the antiquity with courtesans as central characters and films based on them. For each work, we will first consider the figure of the courtesan in view of the cultural context of the time of its composition and various theories of literary criticism. We will then analyze the film based on the work in terms of how the interpretation of the character here compares with the literary work.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Crosslisted Courses: REL 241

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Shukla-Bhatt

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature; ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SAS 242
SAS 242 - South Asian Diaspora Voices

Since the nineteenth century South Asians have migrated to different parts of the world as indentured laborers, merchants, professionals, and some as refugees. Some have suffered great financial difficulties, and some have enjoyed privilege. The writings that have emerged from South Asian diaspora communities reflect these differences; yet they also tell a shared story of negotiating the two worlds - the homeland left behind (even for the descendants of the immigrants) and the land of the new home far away from it. This course examines writings – memoirs, essays, narratives, and poetry (in English) – of South Asians in the diaspora (in the West Indies, Fiji, Africa, Europe, and the Americas) since the early twentieth century.  It considers the common themes as well as differences in diaspora experiences as well as stylistic differences in the use of the shared language (English) among the writers.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Shukla-Bhatt

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year; Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SAS 243
CAMS 243/ REL 223/ SAS 243 - Love in Indian Cinema

This course explores the treatment of various types of love – for the beloved, the family, the community, the motherland or the divine – in Indian cinema, the largest film industry in the world. We examine Indian cinema's early phase in the colonial milieu, its flourishing in popular and art films since the 1950s, and contributions of diaspora Indians. We will watch films by prominent directors of the postcolonial era who articulated India’s national identity as well as the socio-religious and political aspirations of its common people integrating indigenous sacred symbolism. We will consider how several films reflect a religious sensitivity in portraying the motherland almost as a divine entity worthy of worship. Paying particular attention to the distinctive grammar of song, dance and intense drama, we will analyze the ways in which the film-makers reworked long-prevailing South Asian conventions of narration and performance in a medium imported from Europe. 

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: REL 223,CAMS 243

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Shukla-Bhatt

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SAS 250
SAS 250 - Research or Individual Study

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

SAS 250H
SAS 250H - Research or Individual Study

Independent (half-credit) research project supervised by a faculty member.

Units: 0.5

Max Enrollment: 3

Prerequisites:

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Fall and Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SAS 251
REL 251/ SAS 251 - Religions in South Asia

An examination of the religious life in South Asia as expressed in sacred texts and arts, religious practices, arts and institutions in a historical manner. The course concentrates on the origins and development of Hindu traditions, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, as well as integration of Islam and Christianity in the religious landscape of South Asia. Interactions among the diverse communities of the region will also form a major theme.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: REL 251

Prerequisites:

Instructor: Shukla-Bhatt

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SAS 266
HIST 266/ SAS 266 - Indian Ocean

This course examines the history of interaction of Africans, Arabs, Persians, and South Asians in the coastal regions of East Africa, the Arabian/Persian Gulf, and India, which together enclose the western Indian Ocean. In the period under study (1500 to the present), European imperial expansion and a globalizing economy played an increasingly transformative role. We will read about the port cities connecting these shores; the movements and networks of people; the objects and patterns of trade; the intensifying slave trade; shared environmental and health hazards, and the exchange of legal and commercial practices, and religious and political ideas.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: SAS 266

Prerequisites: Open to students with at least one course in either History or African, Middle Eastern, or South Asian studies.

Instructor: Kapteijns

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes: This course is also offered at the 300-level as HIST 367/SAS 367 with additional assignments.

SAS 283
SAS 283 - Partition in South Asia

This course examines the causes and effects of the partition of British India in 1947. Creation of India and Pakistan was a celebration for governments but a cataclysmic disaster on a humanitarian level. Millions lost family members, livelihoods, homes, and homelands. On the 70th anniversary of independence, we seek to understand not only the reasons for Partition, but also the continuing relevance of Partition for people's lives and for politics in South Asia today. Drawing on a variety of sources, students will understand the forces leading to possibly the most significant event in South Asia and certainly a significant event in world history. They will also learn how memories and re-memories of events from two generations past can structure contemporary politics. The aim is to gain an understanding of how culture and religion can be manipulated and political identities constructed.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Parwani

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

SAS 301
REL 301/ SAS 301 - Sem: Religion in Modern S.Asia

As a world Region, South Asia provides an important locus to understand the dynamics of religion and modernity because of its long religious history and immense diversity. In many parts of South Asia, encounter with modernity (as broadly defined) occurred in the context of colonial rule. The nature of the early processes of modernization continues to impact the social and religious fabric of the region even today, often with deeply divisive implications. This seminar will examine processes related to religion in South Asia since the late 19th century to the present day. Along with the historical survey of events within South Asia, the implications of current world affairs and the processes of globalization for South Asia's religious landscape will also be examined.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Crosslisted Courses: REL 30 1

Prerequisites: Two units at the 200 level in South Asia studies, or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Shukla-Bhatt

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SAS 302
REL 302/ SAS 302 - Narratives from South Asia

Narratives have long provided channels for shaping and reshaping of cultures around the world. South Asia has one of the largest collections of folktales, mythology, epics, and romances in the world. This course will explore traditional narratives from South Asia that have had significant cultural impact in the region. We will examine them in translations not only as channels for transmission of cultural values, but also as sites of debate through contested interpretations. Along with texts, performative traditions based on them and their use in identity politics will be discussed.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: REL 30 2

Prerequisites: Two units at the 200 level in South Asia studies, or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Shukla-Bhatt

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy; LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

SAS 303
REL 303/ SAS 303 - Sem: Models of Relig Pluralism

Turning religious diversity into vibrant pluralism is a challenge faced by many parts of the world today. This seminar will explore the development of pluralistic discourses, ideologies, and interactions in the history of South Asia and will consider lessons this history may have for other religiously diverse societies. Readings will include ancient texts; writings of Buddhist, Sufi, Sikh and Hindu saints of the medieval period; historical documents about policies of the Mogul emperor Akbar; and modern writings on pluralism by Gandhi and others. We will also discuss current scholarship on religious pluralism and visit interfaith organizations in the Boston area. Final projects will give students opportunities to interact with local South Asian religious communities and examine how engage with diversity in the diaspora.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: REL 30 3

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Shukla-Bhatt

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SAS 350
SAS 350 - Research or Individual Study

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Open to juniors and seniors.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

SAS 350H
SAS 350H - Research or Individual Study

Units: 0.5

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

SAS 360
SAS 360 - Senior Thesis Research

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Permission of the department.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

Notes: Students enroll in Senior Thesis Research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member. If sufficient progress is made, students may continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester.

SAS 367
HIST 367/ SAS 367 - Indian Ocean History

This course examines the history of interaction of Africans, Arabs, Persians, and South Asians in the coastal regions of East Africa, the Arabian/Persian Gulf, and India, which together enclose the western Indian Ocean. In the period under study (1500 to the present), European imperial expansion and a globalizing economy played an increasingly transformative role. We will read about the port cities connecting these shores; the movements and networks of people; the objects and patterns of trade; the intensifying slave trade; shared environmental and health hazards, and the exchange of legal and commercial practices, and religious and political ideas.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Crosslisted Courses: SAS 367

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Not open to students who have taken HIST 266/SAS 266.

Instructor: Kapteijns

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes: This course is also offered at the 200 level as HIST 266/SAS 266. At the 300-level, student writing assignments will encompass a wider set of readings than at the 200-level of this course and include a short research paper. 

SAS 370
SAS 370 - Senior Thesis

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: SAS 360 and permission of the department.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

Notes: Students enroll in Senior Thesis Research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member. If sufficient progress is made, students may continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester.