Capitalism and Cosmology in Modern India (Shankar Ramaswami)
This course will explore the lives, politics, and cosmologies of working-class persons in modern India. The course will examine contemporary debates on globalization, development, and ecology; workers’ experiences of factory work, informality, and agitations; and workers’ religious practices, theologies, and cosmological visions. Core concerns of the course will include inquiries into the appropriate categories for understanding workers’ lives and visions, and the possibilities for autonomous, nonviolent politics among working people in India. The course will draw upon a range of sources, including anthropology, history, religious studies, epics, and Hindi cinema.
History of Buddhism in South Asia (Shenghai Li)
The growth of diverse Buddhist traditions of Asia and elsewhere rests on the historical foundation of the evolution of Buddhism in South Asia. This course will examine different forms of historical representation found in both contemporary academic scholarship and pre-modern historical traditions. As a group we will collectively engage with the critical issues and major developments in the study of Buddhism on the South Asian subcontinent.
Hindi-Urdu for Reading Knowledge (Richard S. Delacy)
A complete first year introduction, in one term, to the lingua franca of the subcontinent in its “Hindustani” form. Students are introduced to both the Perso-Arabic and the Devanagari script systems, encompassing all four skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Elementary Sanskrit (Second Semester) (Parimal G. Patil and members of the Department)
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 (Upanisad), epic (Ramayana and Mahabharata), poetry, Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, etc. After completing the textbook, we will read a narrative (Hitopadesa) drawn from one of the most popular literary works in the pre-modern world.
Data Science to Save the World (Latanya Sweeney)
This course explores ways to create and use technology to assess and solve real-world societal, political and governance problems. Case studies involve real-world data (e.g., twitter, online ads, and images). Hands-on lab format.