Click to Subscribe & Stay Informed via Email!

News Feed: Students at SAI


Kumbh Mela book and exhibition launch in Delhi

Kumbh Mela launch, Delhi

Rahul Mehrotra, right, shows the exhibit to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, center

On Monday, August 17, the Harvard South Asia Institute launched the Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity book and exhibition in Delhi, India. Shri Akhilesh Yadav, Honorable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, was on hand to launch the book with Harvard faculty, to a crowd of over 250 people at the Oberoi Hotel.

Over fifty Harvard professors, students, administrative staff, and medical practitioners made the pilgrimage to Allahabad, India, to the Kumbh Mela site in 2013, to analyze issues that emerge in any large-scale human gathering. The Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity book consolidates research findings and serves as an example of interdisciplinary research conducted at Harvard.

Meena Hewett, Executive Director, SAI, gave the introductory remarks, stating the book has produced a set of teaching tools, useful across the disciplines of public health, data science, architecture, urban planning, business, religion and culture. This was followed by a welcome address by Mr. Vikram Gandhi, a member of the SAI Advisory Council and the managing director and global head of the Financial Institutions Group at Credit Suisse.

Following the introduction was a panel discussion featuring Jyoti Malhrotra, Sr. Reporter, India Today, Professor Rahul Mehrotra from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Mr. Javed Usmani, Chief Information Commissioner of Uttar Pradesh, and Dr. Satchit Balsari, Attending Physician, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Emergency Department, Assistant Professor Weill Cornell Medical College and Fellow, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and Harvard FXB Center.

Left to right: Akhilesh Yadav, Rahul Mehrotra, Satchit Balsari, Javed Usmani, and Jyoti Malhrotra

Professor Mehrotra explained the methodology of the project, which examined religion, urbanism, business, technology, health, governance, and engineering. The Harvard team working at the Kumbh Mela geographically mapped and extensively covered the emergence of the city that is three times as densely populated as Manhattan and 2/3 times its size. The entire city, made of only using canvas, bamboo, screws, rope and corrugated metal is constructed on the land that emerges where the rivers Ganga and Yamuna meet. He further explained that the success of the city lies in the excellent system of accountability and that the purpose of the visit is singular, limiting friction and keeping expectations minimal.

Mr. Javed Usmani, the Chief Secretary during 2013 Kumbh Mela, gave a brief summary of the efforts and logistical expertise that was required to create the event, which was the largest congregation of humanity in one place in the world. Bringing over 7 to 8 crore people in one space, the temporary infrastructure of the ephemeral city was constructed in less than 3 months and was designed as a grid and super imposed in the context of a shifting site.

Dr. Satchit Balsari talked about monitoring pubic health during the Kumbh as there was the constant threat of epidemics, water borne diseases, and infection. The team from Harvard was able to do real time disease surveillance using local capacity and simple technology by examining medical records from doctors in the area and digitizing the data on I-pads.

The event concluded with remarks from the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who unveiled the book and answered questions from the audience.

Visit our Facebook page for more photos of the event.

 

Media coverage of the event:

The audience included academics, government officials, students, alumni, and SAI community members


Maha Kumbh much better organized than Fifa World Cup, says Harvard book
Times of India
“The way a tent township — much larger than the size of Manhattan in terms of population – pops up in a very short time-frame is an example and a project for planners, urban bodies and policy researchers.“

 

The inspiring Kumbh lesson
Business Standard
“A few of us speaking after the inspiring presentation couldn’t help wondering why the experience of the Kumbh Mela in 2013 could not be carried over to government programmes such as Swachh Bharat. Even the pilgrims departing left behind just a few rectangles of woven rattan matting and not the garbage one might have expected.”

 

Dr. Satchit Balsari

Harvard book chronicles Maha Kumbh success saga
Economic Times
“The book, right from its preamble, lists how the spade work on the mega event started, from laying the grid of the sprawling Mela premises, to the logistics and the massive sanitation, sewage disposal and mass vaccination campaigns that were taken care of by the government agencies.”

 

In book, Harvard chronicles success of Maha Kumbh
The Asian Age
“It appreciates the chief minister’s efforts to celebrate the mega event as a Green Kumbh by banning the use of plastic materials and other pollutants at the Sangam in Allahabad.”

 

Harvard pats Kumbh
The Telegraph
“’It was fascinating the way such a mega city popped up within months and then disappeared. We thought it would give us a unique opportunity to develop teaching tools in urban planning, disease surveillance and business risk management,’ said Meena Hewett, executive director of the Harvard South Asia Institute and a senior member of the team.”

 

Harvard, MIT touch to Kumbh planning
Times of India
The experience of the Harvard University teams during the Allahabad Kumbh in 2013 is proving handy for effective public health management in Nashik. The state government and health ministry were aware of the effective data of disease control gathered and used during the Allahabad Kumbh.

 

 

 

Social media:

 

 

 

 

    Fall course: Contemporary Developing Countries: Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Social and Economic Problems

    SW47: Contemporary Developing Countries: Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Social and Economic Problems

    Mondays and Wednesdays 3:30–5:00 pm
    Sever Hall Rm 113 (Harvard Yard)

    Offered jointly with the Business School as 1266, the School of Public Health as GHP 568, the Kennedy School as PED-338, the Law School as HLS 2543 and the Graduate School of Education as A-819.

    Co-taught by:

    Tarun KhannaJorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School; Director, Harvard South Asia Institute

    Satchit Balsari, Assistant Professor, Weill Cornell Medical College; Director of the Weill Cornell Medical College Global Emergency Medicine Program; Fellow Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights

    Krzysztof Gajos, Associate Professor, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences 

    Doris Sommer, Ira Jewell Williams, Jr. Professor of Romance Languages and Literature; Director of Graduate Studies in Spanish, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

    Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning, Harvard Graduate School of Design

     

    Course Overview

    This course will provide a framework (and multiple lenses) through which to think about the salient economic and social problems of the five billion people of the developing world, and to work in a team setting toward identifying entrepreneurial solutions to such problems. Case study discussions will cover challenges and solutions in fields as diverse as health, education, technology, urban planning, and arts and the humanities. The modules themselves will be team-taught by faculty from engineering, the arts, urban design, healthcare and business. The course will embrace a bias toward action by enabling students to understand the potential of individual agency in addressing these problems. All students will participate in the development of a business plan or grant proposal to tackle their chosen problem in a specific developing country/region, emphasizing the importance of contextualizing the entrepreneurial intervention. The student-team will ideally be comprised of students with diverse backgrounds from across the University.

    The course is divided into five modules –  an introduction covering key concepts in social entrepreneurship, followed by three thematic modules each led by a leader in their field, and then a concluding module which applies lessons learnt throughout the semester to specific problem contexts. Each module is approximately 2-3 weeks of the course.

    Module 1: Introductory Module

    The introductory module will explore several of the most salient challenges facing emerging market economies (including corruption, and political and economic institutional voids). It will also discuss in detail candidate solutions to these problems including unique biometric ids, microfinance, etc.

    Module 2: Thinking like an Engineer
    The second module will guide students through the design process from the perspective of an engineer (Professor Gajos). Professor Gajos will engage students in the methods of entrepreneurial needs assessment – how does an engineer, designer or an entrepreneur identify a need when individuals and communities might not even be aware of their problem themselves? The module will also review methods for enhancing creativity and rapid proto-typing, and the difference between creating a “product” vs. an “experience” for beneficiaries.

    Module 3: Thinking like a Humanist
    Led by Professor Doris Sommer, the third module will empower students to think creatively about how arts and culture can be used to change cultural norms, promote social cohesion and ultimately improve economic development. The module will challenge the traditional conception of a “hierarchy of needs” – and discuss the role of pleasure and aesthetics, and how they relate to economic and social development.

    Module 4: Thinking like a Planner
    Emerging economy countries, particularly those in South Asia must precariously balance economic development, while simultaneously preserving the cultural heritage that makes each country, city and community unique. The urbanism module, led by Professor Mehrotra, will establish a lens for thinking about responsible entrepreneurship from the perspective of an urban planner/architect. Key themes to be discussed are: static vs. kinetic cities, cultural preservation in the context of urban development, and ‘deep democracy’, ‘incrementalism’ and participatory urban planning. We will use case studies on low-income housing, and water & sanitation systems, as well as the development of the Arts District in downtown Mumbai and the public-private partnership for the restoration of the Taj Mahal in order to highlight several key themes in development and urbanism.

    Module 5: Applications to different problems and contexts
    The final module, co-led by Professor Khanna and Dr. Balsari will apply the various lenses discussed throughout the course to unique problem contexts, with a particular focus on health and education challenges in developing countries.


      Aug. 17, Delhi: Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity Book Launch

      Join the Harvard University South Asia Institute for the launch of the book and exhibition Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity.

      Monday, August 17, 2015, The Oberoi Hotel, Dr Zakir Hussain Marg, Delhi, India

      Over fifty Harvard professors, students, administrative staff, and medical practitioners made the pilgrimage to Allahabad, India, to the Kumbh Mela site in 2013, to analyze issues that emerge in any large-scale human gathering. The Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity book consolidates research findings and serve as an example of interdisciplinary research conducted at Harvard. Please join Harvard faculty and Shri Akhilesh Yadav, Honorable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, at the launch event.

      High tea reception followed by a panel discussion.

      The exhibition will be on display following the event at the India Habitat Centre, Experimental art gallery, from August 18th to August 23rd.

      Please RSVP to Namrata Arora, narora@hbs.edu.

      Cosponsored with the Harvard Club of India

        Fall 2015 South Asia courses at Harvard

        Students present final project in last year's Contemporary South Asia course

        Students present final project in last year’s Contemporary South Asia course

        Harvard University will offer many courses with South Asia related content in the fall 2015 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 Meghan Smith, meghansmith@fas.harvard.edu.

        Jump to:

        Gen Ed

        Department of South Asian Studies

        Departments in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

        Harvard Divinity School

        Graduate School of Design

        Harvard Medical School

        Harvard Graduate School of Education

         

        Gen Ed

        Contemporary Developing Countries: Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Social and Economic Problems
        SOCWORLD 47
        Tarun Khanna, Satchit Balsari, Rahul Mehrotra, and Krzysztof Gajos, and Doris Sommer
        The primary objective of the course is to engage students with the modern day challenges affecting contemporary developing countries, and to examine a range of entrepreneurial attempts to solve these problems. The course focuses on several categories of social and economic problems faced by  contemporary developing countries, with specific focus on the realms of Education, Health, Financial Inclusion, and Urbanization. The goal is to understand ways in which entrepreneurial action can effectively tackle major socioeconomic problems, by combining knowledge of historical causes, qualitative and quantitative evidence, and context-specific knowledge of the commonalities and differences across developing countries.

        Offered jointly with the Business School as 1266, the School of Public Health as GHP 568, the Kennedy School as PED-338, the Law School as HLS 2543 and the Graduate School of Education as A-819.

        Muslim Societies in South Asia: Religion, Culture, and Identity
        HDS 3625/Jointly offered as Islamic Civilizations 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. Jointly offered as Islamic Civilizations 178.


        Department of South Asian Studies

         

        Environmental History of South Asia
        SAS 230
        Sunil Amrith
        This seminar explores approaches to the environmental history of modern South Asia. It is designed for graduate students preparing examination fields in Modern and Contemporary South Asian Studies and in South Asian History; it might also be of interest as a comparative perspective for those specializing in the environmental history of other parts of the world. Topics and readings will be tailored to students’ individual interests, but are likely to include: changing human interactions with the natural environment; the role of colonial and post-colonial states in environmental transformation; and the development of Indian environmental law and regulation.

         

        Economic History of India
        SAS 130
        Sunil Amrith
        The economic transformation of India over the past two decades has been dramatic. The contradictions of this transformation—the juxtaposition of new wealth and enduring poverty—are rooted in the region’s economic history. This research seminar explores many dimensions of economic life in colonial and post-colonial India. Topics include: the history of markets and commodities, property and labor; the history of economic ideas in India; the changing nature of economic and social inequality; and the close relationship between economic and cultural change. Students will write a substantial research paper using primary sources

         

        Class and the City in Indian Cinema
        SAS 193
        Shankar Ramaswami
        This course will examine imaginaries and understandings of class and cities in Indian cinema. How are struggles for earnings and mobility in the city – of migrants, workers, and middle classes – represented in Indian cinema? In what ways is the city viewed as a space of ethical deviations and compromises? How does class shape experiences of friendship, family, and erotic love? What visions of politics, justice, and hope arise in Indian cinema? The course will explore these questions in commercial, art, and documentary films (in Bengali, Hindi, and Marathi, with English subtitles), along with readings in history, anthropology, and cinema studies. Screenings will include films by Satyajit Ray, Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor, Yash Chopra, Muzaffar Ali, and Anand Patwardhan.

         

        South Asia: Connected Histories, Interdisciplinary Frames
        SAS 179
        This course will proceed chronologically beginning with the period before colonial rule in order to trace linkages and ruptures in ideas about South Asia over time. We will focus on notions of place and identity—and their contestations—as the subcontinent experienced the shift from early modern forms of empire to colonial rule to anti-colonial and nationalist movements, and, more recently, new geopolitical configurations characterized by financial globalization, the “rise of Asia” and increased levels of migration. Readings will draw from anthropology, history, literary studies, political science, religious studies, and excerpts from primary sources.

         

        Elementary Sanskrit
        SANSKRIT 101A
        Parimal G. Patil
        Introduction to Classical Sanskrit, the translocal language of intellectual life in South Asia for much of the last two millennia. This course provides the essential grammar and reading proficiency necessary to take up the language’s many rich literary traditions: scripture (Upaniṣad), epic (Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata), poetry, Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, etc. After completing the textbook, we will read a narrative (Hitopadeśa) drawn from one of the most popular literary works in the pre-modern world.

         

        Introductory Hindi-Urdu
        HIND-URD 101A
        Amy Bard
        An introduction to the lingua franca of the subcontinent in its “Hindustani” form. Students are introduced to both the Perso-Arabic and the Devanagari script systems. Conventional teaching materials are supplemented by popular songs and video clips from Bollywood. 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 101A
        TBA
        This course introduces the basic grammatical structures of modern Nepali, enabling students to read and produce simple, standard prose as well as engage in basic conversation by the end of the first year. Nepali is taught with a concern for the cultural context in which this language is spoken and written.

         

        Development of Nepali Language and Literature: Contributions of Local Languages
        NEP 105A
        Michael Witzel
        Investigates the impact of the various non-Nepali speaking groups (janajati)on Nepali literature, as well as their linguistic contributions

         

        Elementary Tamil
        TAM 101A
        Jonathan Ripley
        An introduction to the oldest of the Dravidian languages of South India, Tamil holds official language status in Tamil Nadu, Singapore, and Sri Lanka. Tamil has one of the oldest uninterrupted literary traditions in the world, ranging from classical love poetry, devotional compositions and epics to the modern novel and short story. Students will be introduced to the Tamil script and to reading, writing, and speaking. Materials from popular culture will supplement modern teaching materials.

         

        Elementary Classical Tibetan
        Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp
        TIBET 101A
        An introductory course designed for students with no background in classical Tibetan. Students begin with the Tibetan script, its standard transliteration into Roman characters, and pronunciation before proceeding to the basics of Tibetan grammar. After mastering a foundational vocabulary, students begin translating simple Tibetan texts.

         

        Era of the 5th Dalai Lama (1617-82): Ascendancy & Intellectual Climate of Dga’ ldan pho brang Court
        TIBET 151
        TBA
        This course will examine the politics of the Dga’ ldan pho brang court and the arts and sciences cultivated by the Fifth Dalai Lama and his governors (sde srid), with special attention given to Sde srid Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho (1653-1705). This will be a seminar-cum-reading course with readings taken from the Fifth Dalai Lama’s autobiography, his and Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho’s treatises on the astral sciences, and several “afterwords” (par byang) to the xylograph-publications that they sponsored.

         


        Faculty of Arts and Sciences

         

        Muslim Voices in Contemporary World Literatures
        FRSEMR 37Y
        Ali S. Asani
        What do Muslims think of acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam, the mixing of religion with politics, the status and rights of women, the hegemony of the “West”? This seminar investigates the viewpoints of prominent Muslim writers on these and other “hot button” issues as reflected in novels, short stories and poetry from different parts of the world. Explores a range of issues facing Muslim communities in various parts of the world by examining the impact of colonialism, nationalism, globalization and politicization of Islam on the search for a modern Islamic identity. Readings of Muslim authors from the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Europe and America.

         

        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.

         

        Law and Politics in Multicultural Democracies
        Ofrit Liviatan
        GOV 94OF
        Examines the role of law in the governance of cultural diversity drawing on examples from the USA, Western Europe, India and Israel. Central themes at the intersection of law and politics will be explored, including: the impact of courts on rights protections, law’s function as a venue of conflict resolution, and courts’ relationship with other political institutions. Specific attention will be given to contemporary controversies such as Islamic veiling, abortion and same sex marriage.

         

        Religion and Politics: India, 1800-2015
        HIST 60U
        Mou Banerjee
        The course is an introduction to the role of religious faith in shaping political consciousness and action in India.  It examines the interactions between Christianity, Hinduism and Islam in the subcontinent, in relation to the realities of colonial rule. These engagements shaped discourses on personal identity and civil law. The main focus will be on nineteenth and early twentieth century debates on the role of religion in modern nation-states.  It concludes with a survey of contemporary critiques of secularism, conversion, citizenship, and the use of religious faith to incite political violence against minorities.

         

        Introduction to Buddhism
        RELIGION 74
        M. David Eckel
        A study of the major themes of Buddhist thought and practice, beginning with the origins of the tradition in India and exploring the transmission and development of the tradition in Southeast Asia, Tibet, East Asia, and the modern West. Important themes include the concepts of reincarnation, karma, and nirvana; the legend of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama; the nature of the self; the education of the emotions; and the possibility of liberation. The course will focus on scriptural, literary, and philosophical classics of Buddhist tradition, but it will also consider the tradition of Buddhist art and the formative rituals in Buddhist life, such as meditation, pilgrimage, and monastic discipline. Throughout the course we will consider the relevance of this material to our own views of the world and how we should lead our lives. Note that the course has additional section hour to be arranged.

         

        Globalization and the Nation State
        SOC-STD 98LF
        Nicolas Prevelakis
        Despite globalization, the nation is still a major actor in today’s world. This course tries to understand why this is so by examining the role that nationalism plays in peoples’ identities and the effects of globalization on nations and nationalism. Examples from the United States, Western Europe, Latin America, India, and the Middle East.

         

        Topics in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism
        FRSEMR 32X
        Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp
        Through the study of Tibetan Buddhism, students will consider important issues of cultural contact by investigating a series of interrelated topics that have played a significant role in Tibetan history and that are connected to Tibet’s acculturation to Buddhism in the eighth and ninth centuries. After developing a sense of the historic role of Buddhism in Tibetan life, students will consider the role of Buddhism and the Dalai Lama in contemporary Tibetan culture and society.

         

        Arts of South and Southeast Asia
        HAA 18S
        Jinah Kim
        This is an introduction to the arts of South and Southeast Asia from the second millennium BCE to the present. Each lecture will examine selective artifacts and sites to understand the history of major artistic traditions developed in response to cultural exchanges and political dynamics within and beyond the region. By examining a wide range of material, such as Buddhist sculptures, Hindu temples, Jain manuscript paintings, Islamic tombs, calendar art, and so on, with fundamental art historical questions, we will consider what makes the arts of South and Southeast Asia unique as well as universal in the twenty-first century context.

         

        Muslim Societies in South Asia: Religion, Culture, and Identity
        HDS 3625/Jointly offered as Islamic Civilizations 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. Jointly offered as Islamic Civilizations 178.

         

        South Asian Folklore
        FOLKMYTH 153
        Leah Lowthorp
        This course exposes students to key issues and theoretical concerns in the study of South Asian folklore, both of the subcontinent and the South Asian diaspora. We will examine multiple genres of South Asian folklore through a variety of themes and modes of expression. The course will be divided into seven modules: an introduction to folklore and folklore studies; folklore and nationalism; oral epics; folktales; narrative and gender; folk songs and ballads; belief; and folk drama, dance and puppetry. By exploring this diverse array of South Asian expressive traditions, students will gain a greater understanding of both the fields of Folklore and South Asian Studies.

        Harvard Divinity School

         

        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. Jointly offered as Islamic Civilizations 178.

         

        Political Violence in the Name of God: Holy War, Jihad and Religious Revolution
        HDS 3354
        Jocelyne Cesari
        Everywhere we witness greater tensions and confrontations between cultures or religious politics and the international system based on secular ethics. This course will address the following questions: Has secular nationalism failed? Why is religion seen as a legitimate alternative form of politics nationally and internationally? Is there a proclivity to violence from religious militants? It will assess  the influence of religion on political violence at  both the domestic and international level by looking at  the theories of war in Islam and Christianity and their resonance with current conflicts in Iraq, Syria, India,  and China. Each session will present the evolution of theological positions  in different political contexts as well as the way secular conflicts tend to become sacralized. It will analyze the multifaceted calls to Jihad from Hezbollah or Hamas to ISIS. It will compare religious revolution and religious nationalisms from the American Revolution to the Islamic Revolution in Iran, but also in Tibet and Sri-Lanka.

         

        Religious Diversity and The Age of Pluralism
        HDS 2763
        Diana Eck
        How has the diversity of religion in today’s world brought new challenges to nations, societies, and communities?  How has religious diversity given rise to new theological and spiritual perspectives within each religious tradition? What does interfaith mean in the many contexts of human life and faith today? We will look at both civic and religious perspectives on the problems of religious difference, considering major writings on the meanings and regimes of religious pluralism in the U.S., Europe, and India.

         

        Hindu Worlds of Art and Culture
        HDS 3412
        Diana Eck
        An exploration of the narratives and arts of the Hindu tradition, considering the great gods – Vishnu, Krishna, Shiva, and Devi – that give expression to a profound vision of the world, the images through which the gods are envisioned, the temples and pilgrimage places where they are worshipped, and the rituals and festivals that are part of Hindu life. Readings include the Ramayana, the Bhagavad Gita, the Gita Govinda, the Shiva Purana, and the Devi Mahatmya. Jointly offered as Culture and Belief 28.

         

        Harvard Kennedy School

         

        Negotiating U.S. Interests in an Evolving Asia Pacific
        IGA-685
        John Park, Stephen Bosworth
        This course is designed to introduce students to complex security, political, and economic issues in the Asia Pacific region. The United States has traditionally been the true north to which allies and partners have calibrated their respective policies. With the re-emergence of China, countries in the region are now affected by the fact that there are two true norths — an incumbent one and a re-emergent one. Utilizing in-class simulations, the course will analyze how the U.S. employs its core policy tools — diplomatic, political, economic, and military — to negotiate its interests in the evolving Asia Pacific region. Key simulations will focus on efforts to peacefully denuclearize North Korea, promote regional free trade, and prevent an escalation of tensions in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. A key goal is to provide students with the opportunity to hone a set of analytical tools that they can apply to tasks in the course and beyond.

         

        Great Power Competition in the International System
        IGA-116
        Nicholas Burns
        This course will focus on the future balance of power in the world and cooperation as well as competition among the Great Powers. We will study the rise of China, India and Brazil to global power in the decades ahead and assess whether these countries are prepared and willing to lead effectively. We will look closely at the changing nature of American power. In addition, we will focus on the relationship between the United States and China and their likely competition for strategic influence in the Asia-Pacific region. We will also investigate whether the Russian Federation and European Union will be more or less influential in the future. The major objective of the course is to reflect on how this group of countries and other regional powers can work together to address some of the principal challenges of the new century including the avoidance of conflict in the South and East China Seas, limiting nuclear proliferation, enhancing cooperation on energy, and dealing with the dilemma of intervention in wars in the Middle East and Africa.


        Harvard Graduate School of Design


        Urban Governance and the Politics of Planning in the Developing World
        Enrique Silva
        This course starts from the premise that urban politics and governance arrangements shape the definition, form and practice of planning and therefore its outcomes. Using a focus on cities in the developing world, the course examines an array of governance structures (centralized versus decentralized institutions; local versus national states; participatory budgeting, etc.) and political conditions (democracy versus authoritarianism; neoliberal versus populist versus leftist party politics; social movements) that are relatively common to cities of the global south. In addition to assessing the impacts of these structures and conditions on urban policy formation and implementation, the course asks which governance arrangements and/or political contexts are more or less likely to produce equitable, inclusive, and sustainable urban environments. To address these questions, the course is structured around a comparative analysis of theories and cases that give us the basis for documenting the ways that politics affect urban policy and the built environment of the city more generally. The course?s critical approach to case studies and policy prescriptions will also prepare students to formulate relevant planning strategies in the future. Among a range of policy domains, special attention is paid to transportation, housing, mega-project development, municipal financing and disaster mitigation, with most examples drawn from Latin America, South Asia, and East Asia.

        Harvard Medical School

         

        Health and Social Justice: Reshaping the Delivery of Health
        ECON 2395
        Amartya Sen
        Across the world, remarkable improvements in life expectancy have occurred over the past few decades. But global and regional disparities of health outcomes have also surged, and this widening “outcome gap” does not always move in parallel with economic progress, or even with the commonly identified social determinants. The causal influences on the differences are subject to critical examination, including the role that recent innovations in prevention and therapeutics, health-care systems and social safety-nets, play or might play in promoting or retarding health and wellbeing. The seminar will also explore case studies from India, China, Rwanda, Haiti, Thailand and elsewhere. Health systems across North America and Europe will also be explored for comparative perspectives. Offered jointly with the GSAS; Economics 2395. Health and Social Justice: Reshaping the Delivery of Health

        Harvard Graduate School of Education

         

        Education Policy Analysis and Research in Comparative Perspective
        Fernando Reimers
        A-801
        How can policy leaders, international consultants, and social entrepreneurs help improve educational opportunity around the world? How can we help poor and marginalized children get a decent education, and how will that matter to their future life prospects and to the development of the societies in which they live? This course examines key contemporary educational global challenges and debates, focusing on options to effect systemic change in public education systems. We will discuss current global efforts to provide quality education and increase its relevancy. We will examine the role of international agencies and governments in advancing policy reform, and study various approaches to generating and analyzing policy alternatives. The course may be of interest to students interested in global and international education and in comparative education.