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South Asian Courses Spring 2018

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Harvard University will offer many courses with South Asia related content in the Spring 2018 semester. (Please note: This is only a partial list. Please visit each school’s individual registrar for a full list of courses.)

 

Do you know of a course that should be listed here? Email Amy Johnson at amy_johnson@fas.harvard.edu

 

Advanced Hindi-Urdu

HIND-URD 103BR

Hajnalka Kovacs

Continuation of Hindi-Urdu 103a.

 

Advanced Sanskrit: Upanishads

SANSKRIT 218

Michael Witzel

In this course selections from the prose and verse Upanishads are read and their religious background is explored. Some attention is given to what differs their language from that of the classical Sanskrit of Patanjali, Buddhaghosa, etc.

 

Democracy and Social Movements in East Asia

SOCIOL 189

Paul Chang

Social movements are an important part of both democratic and non-democratic societies. This course assesses the state of civil society in East Asia by surveying contemporary social movements in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea. We start the course by discussing the main concepts and analytic approaches in social movement theory. We then apply these theoretical frameworks to specific mobilization efforts in East Asia, keeping in mind each country’s unique historical context. With the theoretical and empirical tools gleaned from the lectures and readings, students will pursue a case analysis of an East Asian social movement of their choosing.

 

Elementary Classical Tibetan

TIBET 101B

Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp

Continuation of Tibetan 101a

 

Elementary Colloquial Tibetan

TIBET 104BR

Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp

Continuation of Tibetan 104ar

 

Elementary Sanskrit

SANSKRIT 101B

Anand Venkatkrishnan

Continuation of Sanskrit 101a.

 

History of Tibetology: Seminar

TIBET 227

Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp

This course is designed as a seminar that focuses on the historical development of Tibetan Studies in Europe, East Asia, and North America. Leading figures in the field belonging to the nineteenth to the early twenty-first century will be identified, their oeuvre will be discussed and analyzed, and bibliographies will be compiled and distributed.

 

Intermediate Colloquial Tibetan

TIBET 105BR

Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp

Continuation of Tibetan 105ar.

 

Intermediate Nepali

NEP 102B

Michael Witzel

This course is designed to provide students with a more sophisticated knowledge of Nepali grammar. Students will also have an opportunity to use Nepali language for communication purposes and will be able to analyze more complex sentence types than the ones taught in the introductory course.

 

Intermediate Tamil

TAM 102B

Jonathan Ripley

Continuation of Tamil 102a.

 

 

Mixing Religion and Politics

FRSEMR 70T

Harvey Cox

Some of the best known religious personalities in the last one hundred years have had a notable impact on the political sphere. What was the nature of their spiritual basis and how did they translate their various faith traditions into the coinage of public life? Who were their religious and political opponents? In this course we will examine a number of figures including Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu who led the non-violent struggle against British imperial rule in India; Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor who was killed by the Nazis for his involvement in the plot to assassinate Hitler; Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist pastor who inspired both civil rights and peace movement in America; Dorothy Day, founder of Catholic Worker movement; and Malcolm X, an American Black Muslim who drew on that tradition to attack racial and economic inequality.

 

Readings in Modern Nepali Literature

NEP 104B

Michael Witzel

A reading course in Modern Nepali Literature, suitable for students who have at least three years of Nepali learning. This course is designed to help students understand some of the complex literary materials composed in modern Nepali language.  The students will have an opportunity to read a wide variety of selected texts, understand the linguistic systems operative in those writings, and come up with their own informed understanding of them.

 

South Asian Religious Aesthetics: Seminar

RELIGION 2063

Anne E. Monius

An examination of South Asian theories of aesthetics and their relevance for understanding Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain discourses of ethics, literature, and theology.

 

Topics in World Music: Proseminar

MUSIC 190R

Richard Wolf

Music of Central Asia and its Neighbors. Focuses on musical traditions of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and the historical, cultural, and musical links between these countries and Iran, Afghanistan,Pakistan and India. All students interested in the music of this Silk Road region are potentially eligible to enroll, regardless of prior musical training.

 

Advanced Colloquial Tibetan

TIBET 106BR

Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp

Continuation of Tibetan 106ar.

 

Advanced Nepali

NEP 103B

Michael Witzel

A reading course in Modern Nepali Literature, suitable for students who have at least three years of Nepali learning. This course is designed to help students understand some of the complex literary materials composed in modern Nepali language. The students will have an opportunity to read a wide variety of selected texts, understand the linguistic systems operative in those writings, and come up with their own informed understanding of them.

 

Advanced Philosophical Sanskrit

SANSKRIT 201BR

Anand Venkatkrishnan

An advanced Sanskrit reading course focusing on the development of skills in either classical belles lettres or scholastic, commentarial prose. In the former, emphasis is on the ability to re-arrange complex poetic forms into digestible prose word order their own informed understanding of them.

 

Advanced Sanskrit: Medieval Inscriptions

SANSKRIT 215

Michael Witzel

In this class a variety of medieval and pre-modern Sanskrit inscriptions by kings, priests and lay people are studied while paying attention to their political and cultural background.

 

Comparative Constitutional Law (1020)

Vicki Jackson

The course will cover a series of topics arising in the comparative study of constitutional systems. Concentrating on constitutional structure and law in the United States and in such other countries as Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Israel, Japan, and South Africa, it will examine selected problems of both constitutional design and constitutional adjudication. Early in the course we will consider the varying foundations and structures of judicial review of the constitutionality of laws (e.g., how are courts that engage in constitutional review structured, how are their judges appointed, what is the source of their authority to engage in constitutional review). We will also, early in the course, likely consider the constitutional law regulating availability of abortion in the United States, Germany, Canada, Colombia, and Ireland. Other likely topics include (1) the relationships between “popular” branches of government and courts under constitutional regimes that permit legislative `override? of constitutional decisions, (2) constitutional transitions, including from democratic constitutionalism to more abusive forms of constitutionalism, (3) presidential compared to parliamentary systems of governance and whether/how constitutions should address ?emergency? powers, (4) different forms of constitutional federalism, (5) approaches to protecting minority groups (for example, federalism, affirmative action for racial/ethnic/linguistic minorities, or group-based rights), (6) gender equality; (7) freedom of religion, (8) freedom of speech, and (9) positive social welfare rights. Two overarching questions will be explored through these topics. First, we will be trying to improve our capacities to think systematically about constitutions, different structures for organizing governments and establishing just and efficacious governments, and about the role of constitutional law, and courts. How can governments be structured to both provide flexibility to respond to future needs and ensure appropriate degrees of ongoing stability? How can law and government structures help organize or manage responses to the tensions between majoritarian democracy and basic human rights? Between the human needs and demands of competing minorities? To do so, we will focus on a set of basic questions about constitutions, and constitutionalism: Why have constitutions? What is the relationship between a written constitution and constitutionalism? Can there be constitutionalism without a constitution? Does constitutionalism necessarily entail precommitment through entrenched law? Does constitutionalism necessarily require commitment to specific substantive norms? Second, we will also critically examine what it is that can be learned from a comparative study of constitutions and constitutionalism. Can one draw conclusions for one country based on comparing constitutional experiences in others? Or is the possibility of drawing lessons from one polity to another always limited by the particularities of context and culture within which constitutions are formed and constitutional decisionmaking proceeds? Comparative constitutional study might yield insights into parts of ones own system that are (falsely) experienced as essential ? when one learns that similar results are produced through different constitutional structures elsewhere, it is eye-opening. On the other hand, comparative study may also illuminate how difficult it is to distinguish “false necessities” from “true necessities,” to the extent that each constitutional systems parts are integrally interrelated with others and bound up with a specific constitutional and political culture. Controversies over the U.S. Supreme Court’s references to foreign law (for example, in death penalty cases) raise important questions: can courts (or other domestic constitutional decision-makers) really benefit from the constitutional experiences of other countries? Is it legitimate for them to do so?

 

Comparative Constitutional Law (2028)

Mark Tushnet

This course will cover a series of topics arising in the comparative study of constitutional structure and law in countries including Canada, Colombia, Great Britain, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, South Africa, and the United States. It will take up questions of constitutional purpose, function, design, and doctrine.

 

Comparing India and China: An Examination of State-Society Relations

GOV 94CI

Nara Dillon

In the late 1940s, India witnessed a peaceful transition to democracy, while China experienced a Communist revolution. After this divergence, both countries began pursuing market reforms in the effort to accelerate economic growth in the 1980s and 1990s. We will explore the ways in which power has been consolidated and distributed under these very different regimes and the implications this has had for a range of socio-political and economic outcomes, including famine, economic development, and urbanization. Throughout the course we will place India and China in the context of comparative debates about other parts of the developing world.

 

Hindu Worlds of Art and Culture

CULTBLF 28

Diana Eck

An exploration of the narratives and arts of the Hindu tradition of India and wider South Asia focusing on the great gods -Vishnu, Krishna, Shiva, and Devi – the images through which the gods are envisioned, the temples and pilgrimage places where they are worshipped, and the ways in which they give expression to a profound vision of the world. Readings include the Ramayana, the Bhagavad Gita, the Gita Govinda, the Shiva Purana, and the Devi Mahatmya.

 

Intermediate Classical Tibetan

TIBET 102B

Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp

Continuation of 102a.

 

Intermediate Hindi-Urdu Sec 001

HIND-URD 102B

Richard Delacy

Continuation of Hindi-Urdu 101. Emphasis on written expression and texts in both Perso-Arabic and Devanagari script systems. Students are introduced to Hindi-Urdu fables, short stories, and various other genres of literature, including poetry. Students must complete both terms of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit.

 

International Trade Law

Mark Wu

This course focuses on the law governing international trade as established by the World Trade Organization. It engages in an in-depth analysis of WTO rules and case law. The class will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the existing regime and discuss the difficulties in reforming the system. Besides focusing on the basic principles governing trade in goods and services, the course will also examine specialized areas such as technical standards, agriculture, food safety, subsidies, trade remedy measures, and intellectual property. In addition, the course will focus on the geopolitcal tensions between major trading powers, particularly with respect to the US, EU, and the emerging powers (China, India, Brazil). Finally, depending on political developments, the course will engage with new trade rules as shaped in mega-regional agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

 

Introductory Hindi-Urdu Sec 001

HIND-URD 101B

Richard Delacy

An Introduction to the modern standard form of the most widely spoken language in South Asia, Hindi-Urdu. Students are introduced to both writing systems: the Devanagari script of Hindi and the Nastaliq script of Urdu. The basic grammatical structures are presented and reinforced, and students are also exposed to the cultural and historical context in which Hindi-Urdu has existed over several centuries. The course also draws from the modern medium of film, in particular recent Bollywood songs, to reinforce structures and vocabulary. Students must complete both terms of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit.

 

Introductory Hindi-Urdu Sec 002

HIND-URD 101B

Hajnalka Kovacs

An Introduction to the modern standard form of the most widely spoken language in South Asia, Hindi-Urdu. Students are introduced to both writing systems: the Devanagari script of Hindi and the Nastaliq script of Urdu. The basic grammatical structures are presented and reinforced, and students are also exposed to the cultural and historical context in which Hindi-Urdu has existed over several centuries. The course also draws from the modern medium of film, in particular recent Bollywood songs, to reinforce structures and vocabulary. Students must complete both terms of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit.

 

Introductory Nepali

NEP 101B

Michael Witzel

Continuation of Nepali 101a.

 

Landmarks of World Architecture

HAA 11

Joseph Connors

Examines major works of world architecture and the unique aesthetic, cultural, and historical issues that frame them. Faculty members will each lecture on an outstanding example in their area of expertise, drawing from various periods and such diverse cultures as modern and contemporary Europe and America, early modern Japan, Mughal India, Renaissance and medieval Europe, and ancient Rome. Sections will develop thematically and focus on significant issues in the analysis and interpretation of architecture.

 

Mahayana Buddhist Traditions and the Bodhisattva Ideal

HDS 3052

Elon Goldstein

An exploration of Mahayana Buddhist texts about the bodhisattva ideal drawn from a variety of cultures and time periods. Particular attention will be paid to the literary features of different genres of Mahayana texts and the effects of such features upon their audiences. Examining primarily scriptures supplemented with associated practice manuals, devotional poetry, and other genres, the course revolves around three foci: the development of South Asian Mahayana movements; selected East Asian traditions concerning the bodhisattva; and the bodhisattva ideal in contemporary Buddhist communities. Topics include the bodhisattva’s paths of practice, the nature of a Buddha and the implications thereof, and the kinds of religious experiences celebrated by Mahayana traditions.

 

Muslim Societies in South Asia: Religion, Culture, and Identity

ISLAMCIV 178

Ali S. Asani

South Asia (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) is home to the largest concentration of Muslims in the world. This course introduces students to a variety of issues that have characterized the development and evolution of South Asian Muslim communities. While the course will briefly survey the historical development of Islamic and Muslim institutions in the region, its central focus will be the formation of identity – as expressed through language, literature, and the arts – among South Asian Muslim communities. The issues that influence these identities will be considered with regard to the constantly evolving religious and political contexts of South Asia. Special attention will be given to recent attempts to redefine Muslim religious identities through reform and revivalist movements as well as state policies of Islamization. We will look at the impact of these policies on issues such as the status of Muslim women, relations between Muslim and non-Muslims and the growth of sectarian tensions between Muslim groups. The course is appropriate for those who wish to acquire a bird’s-eye view of the Islamic tradition in South Asia, as well as those interested in exploring some of the issues confronting Muslim populations in contemporary times.

 

Muslim Societies in South Asia: Religion, Culture, and Identity

HDS 3625

Ali S. Asani

South Asia (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) is home to the largest concentration of Muslims in the world. This course introduces students to a variety of issues that have characterized the development and evolution of South Asian Muslim communities. While the course will briefly survey the historical development of Islamic and Muslim institutions in the region, its central focus will be the formation of identity –  as expressed through language, literature, and the arts – among South Asian Muslim communities. The issues that influence these identities will be considered with regard to the constantly evolving religious and political contexts of South Asia. Special attention will be given to recent attempts to redefine Muslim religious identities through reform and revivalist movements as well as state policies of Islamization. We will look at the impact of these policies on issues such as the status of Muslim women, relations between Muslim and non-Muslims and the growth of sectarian tensions between Muslim groups. The course is appropriate for those who wish to acquire a bird’s-eye view of the Islamic tradition in South Asia, as well as those interested in exploring some of the issues confronting Muslim populations in contemporary times.

 

Muslim Societies in South Asia: Religion, Culture, and Identity

ISLAMCIV 178

Ali S. Asani

South Asia (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) is home to the largest concentration of Muslims in the world. This course introduces students to a variety of issues that have characterized the development and evolution of South Asian Muslim communities. While the course will briefly survey the historical development of Islamic and Muslim institutions in the region, its central focus will be the formation of identity – as expressed through language, literature, and the arts – among South Asian Muslim communities. The issues that influence these identities will be considered with regard to the constantly evolving religious and political contexts of South Asia. Special attention will be given to recent attempts to redefine Muslim religious identities through reform and revivalist movements as well as state policies of Islamization. We will look at the impact of these policies on issues such as the status of Muslim women, relations between Muslim and non-Muslims and the growth of sectarian tensions between Muslim groups. The course is appropriate for those who wish to acquire a bird’s-eye view of the Islamic tradition in South Asia, as well as those interested in exploring some of the issues confronting Muslim populations in contemporary times.

 

Painting of India

HAA 184X

Jinah Kim

The course explores the history of Indian painting based on the collections of Harvard Art Museums and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. We will investigate the theory of pictorial form in India and its relationship to the society at large against the historical currents by probing the development and changes in artistic styles and material culture of painting production. We will pay particular attention to the role of media, such as palm-leaf, birch bark, paper, and pigments, along with consideration of changing symbolic and material meanings of color. Regular visits (sections) to the museums and conservations labs to examine the paintings in person are to be scheduled throughout the semester.

 

Racial and Ethnic Politics in the United States

GOV 2576

Jennifer Hochschild and Claudine Gay

The course begins with the history and structure of the classic Black-White binary, then addresses ways in which it must be rethought to include other groups, mainly Asians and Latinos. Issues include racialization, immigrant incorporation, political coalitions and conflict, racial mixture, and links between race, class, gender, and ideology. Focuses on the United States but includes comparisons with Europe, Latin America, and South Africa.

Prerequisite(s) Course open to Doctoral Students Only

 

Readings in Sa skya Pandita’s

TIBET 236B

Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp

This is a continuation of TIBET 236A. Readings in Sa skya Pandita’s (1182-1251) Sdom gsum rab dbye and its commentarial literature. This course will examine issues that relate to the three vows and the ways in which various authors chose to interpret them.

 

Shi’a Islam and Politics

GOVT E-1979

Payam Mohsen

With approximately 200 million adherents across the globe, Shi’ism is the second largest denomination within Islam, with majorities in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan and large communities in Lebanon, Yemen, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and India. Today, with the rise of Islamic religious sectarianism between Shi’a and Sunni communities in the Middle East and the escalation of rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran as two important Sunni and Shi’a states respectively, the politics of Shi’ism is increasingly critical in shaping the geopolitical landscape of the region and zones of contestation between regional and international powers. This course addresses the foundations and varieties of modern Shi’a political thought and introduces students to the subject of religious clerical institutions; Shi’a political parties and militias in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen; and Iran’s Islamic revolution, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), and the Basij paramilitary organization.

 

South Asian Language Tutorials, Introductory Level

SAS 100R

Richard Delacy

Individualized study of a South Asian language at the introductory level; emphasis on written expression, reading comprehension and oral fluency. Languages recently offered are Elementary Bahasa Indonesia, Elementary Bengali, and Elementary Burmese though others may be approved upon petition to the Director of Undergraduate Studies/Director of Graduate Studies.

 

South Asian Religious Aesthetics: Seminar

HDS 3925

Anne E. Monius

An examination of South Asian theories of aesthetics and their relevance for understanding Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain discourses of ethics, literature, and theology. Prerequisite: Previous coursework in the religious history of South Asia. Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Religion 1063.

 

The Economics of Emerging Markets: Asia and Eastern Europe

ECON E-1317

Bruno S. Sergi

This course covers, with a focus on both theory and empirics, the promises and realities of the emerging economies in Asia and Eastern Europe. Some of the most appealing economic growth stories have occurred in these regions since the end of World War II. The potential of booming markets, fast-developing local consumer markets, abundant low-cost labor, and the rising middle class have been the major characteristics of many emerging markets, attracting attention from investors, entrepreneurs, and opportunity seekers around the world. However, upon closer examination, we find the landscape is fraught with an ongoing deceleration across the world’s major emerging markets and embedded with complex economic and financial systemic risks. This course explores the realities of the emerging markets’ finance, banking, trade, information technology, and green technologies, and the causal factors and limits of recent economic policy strategies in the major emerging markets like China, India, all of South East Asia, and the post-Soviet regions. Prerequisites: ECON S-10a, or the equivalent.

 

Topics in Hindi-Urdu Literature

HIND-URD 105R

Ali S. Asani

Individual reading course. A course for students with native or near-native proficiency with readings in a variety of genres from Hindi and/or Urdu literature based on student interest.

 

World History IV: Globalization, 1800-Present

HIST E-10d

Donald Ostrowski

This course focuses on crucial developments in, and controversies about, the study of world history from 1800 to the present. Topics include the Industrial Revolution, Latin American independence, European colonization of Africa, independence movements in Africa and India, the end of Imperial China and the rise of the communist regime, the Meiji restoration and the Japanese recovery, the origins of World Wars I and II, the Russian revolutions, fascism, the cold war, and the computer revolution. This course attempts to place these events in their global economic and cultural contexts.

 


 


 


 


 


 



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