Course Objectives ASIAN 2215 is an interdisciplinary introduction to the cultures and histories of South Asia, focused on Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Moving thematically through the deep history of the region, this course is intended to help students understand some of the important ways in which South Asia's pre-colonial and colonial-period history continues to shape present-day politics and forms of social identification in South Asia, and to explore similarities and differences between past and contemporary forms of social belonging and loyalty related to language and religion. Attention to the written and visual work of South Asian artists plays an important role in these examinations; the course attends to how the arts in South Asia function partly as historical commentary and social criticism. In addition, we explore how internal migration within South Asia, as well as longer-distance travel and migration to and from the region, has changed since the advent of colonial rule and the rise of nation states in the region. Assignments allow students to explore topics of particular personal interest, against a backdrop of collective readings, lectures, and discussions. This course is suitable for students not majoring in Asian Studies as well as those with more specialized interests in the region. Additional bibliography is available for students seeking to explore particular topics at greater depth.
Course Audience This course is designed for undergraduate students of all majors and concentrations who have an interest in the cultures of Southern Asia.