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Courses for Spring 2022

Title Instructor Location Time All taxonomy terms Description Section Description Cross Listings Fulfills Registration Notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Syllabus URL
BENG 404-680 Beginning Bengali II Haimanti Banerjee TR 05:15 PM-07:15 PM This course introduces students to colloquial Bengali. It gives equal emphasis to each of the four skills, reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Language will be studied in the context of socio-cultural aspects of West Bengal and Bangladesh. Besides lessons from the text, a major portion of the syllabus will be based on topics drawn from films, cultural events, festivals, food, and religion. Prior Language Experience Required
BENG 434-680 Ad Bengali: Pop Culture Haimanti Banerjee This course is for those already studying advanced Bengali. We will focus on the importance of pop culture in Benglai and the impact of Bengali on pop culture. We'll use examples from film, music, fashion, and all over the internet in the sub-continent and beyond.
GUJR 403-680 Beginning Gujarati II Raki Desai MW 05:15 PM-07:00 PM During the first year of Gujarati, major emphasis is placed on acquiring phonetics, grammatical patterns, and basic vocabulary. These goals are accomplished through guided drills and conversations accompanied by formal instruction on Gujarati grammar. From the outset, students are also taught the Gujarati writing system, which is used for all materials. By the end of the first year of instruction, student should be able to carry on coherent conversations on selected topics, read simple texts and compose short pieces in Gujarati. Prior Language Experience Required
GUJR 423-680 Intermediate Gujarati II Raki Desai MW 07:00 PM-08:30 PM This course is designed as a continuation of intermediate Gujarati I. Course objectives are to expand the mastery of sentence patterns and augment vocabulary and its usage through intensive grammar and comprehension exercises. A special emphasis will be placed on greater cultural awareness. Upon completion of this course students should be able to interact socially with added confidence and greater expressiveness. Students should also experience a great improvement in their comprehension of spoken and written language. During the second year of Gujarati, students are introduced to progressively more difficult reading selections, along with additional instructions in the formal grammar of the language. To maintain and develop oral and aural command of the language, readings are discussed in Gujarati. To develop their writing abilities, students are also expected to compose short essays on their readings. Prior Language Experience Required
GUJR 442-680 Media & Popular Culture Raki Desai MW 08:30 PM-10:00 PM A follow up semester to Advanced Gujarati I, focused on the comprehensive study in reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension to gain advanced knowledge of Gujarati. Instructor may use poetry and/or prose as tools to engage students while having them create their own written works. Contact instructor for details. Prerequisite: Proficiency in Gujarati. Contact instructor if you have questions about your proficiency level. Crse Online: Sync & Async Components
HIND 401-401 Beginning Hindi-Urdu II Josh Pien MTWR 12:00 PM-01:00 PM This introductory course core proficiency in Hindi-Urdu up to the intermediate level. It is designed for students with little or no prior exposure to Hindi or Urdu. The course covers all four language skills (speaking, lsitening, reading, and writing) and all three models of communication (interpersonal, presentational, interpretive). Students will develop literacy skills in the primary script of their choice (Hindi or Urdu script). All written materials will be provided in both scripts. All meetings are interactive and students acquire the language by using it in realistic contexts. Culture is embedded in the activities and is also introduced through various authentic materials. URDU402401, NELC402401
HIND 421-001 Intermediate Hindi II Josh Pien TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM In Intermediate Hindi the student continues to develop the four language skills, with an emphasis on real-life situations--through hearing and practicing conversation on everyday topics, reading a variety of authentic texts ranging from advertisements to short stories, watching segments of current films, and carrying out short research projects using Hindi sources. There is a strong emphasis on vocabulary development and on using contextually appropriate styles of spoken and written Hindi.
HIND 430-001 Adv Hindi Lang & Lit Gregory Goulding TR 05:15 PM-06:45 PM Advanced Hindi aims at systematically developing higher level linguistic functions and cultural nuances. Students learn to describe, narrate and support opinions in informal and formal styles. The objective of the course is to promote a meaningful interaction with written literature and with native speakers in a socially acceptable manner in a variety of simple and complicated situations. A variety of authentic materials are used, such as short stories, plays, newspapers, magazines, videos, television and radio broadcasts, and interviews. Every semester the course materials and foci vary depending on the needs and interests of students in the class.
HIND 500-001 Beg Hin/Urd For Grads Gregory Goulding MTWR 12:00 PM-01:00 PM Beginning in the fall semester of 2014 Beginning Hindi and Beginning Urdu will be merged into a single course, Beginning Hindi-Urdu. At the beginning level spoken Urdu and Hindi are identical except for a few minor points. The broad outline of the course will thus remain the same as that of the current Beginning Hindi and Urdu courses. Students will learn to communicate with the language in a variety of everyday culturally authentic situations. Additional Urdu and Hindi culture will be integrated through authentic materials such as Bollywood film and music clips, and simple written texts. There will be equal emphasis on both scripts and cultures, and parallel written materials will be provided in both scripts. Students will be expected to develop first-year proficiency in one script of their choice, and will be encouraged to learn both. By merging the two courses students will be exposed to a broader range of linguistic and cultural styles, and students will thus have the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding that more closely resembles that of Hindi and Urdu native speakers. Please direct further inquiries to Josh Pien at jpien@sas.upenn.edu See schedule and classroom for HIND400/401
HIND 520-001 Intermediate Hind Grads Gregory Goulding TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM In Intermediate Hindi the student continues to develop the four language skills, with an emphasis on real-life situations--through hearing and practicing conversation on everyday topics, reading a variety of authentic texts ranging from advertisements to short stories, watching segments of current films, and carrying out short research projects using Hindi sources. There is a strong emphasis on vocabulary development and on using contextually appropriate styles of spoken and written Hindi. Permission Needed From Instructor
HIND 530-001 Adv Hindi For Grads Gregory Goulding MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM Advanced Hindi aims at systematically developing higher level linguistic functions and cultural nuances. Students learn to describe, narrate and support opinions in informal and formal styles. The objective of the course is to promote a meaningful interaction with written literature and with native speakers in a socially acceptable manner in a variety of simple and complicated situations. A variety of authentic materials are used, such as short stories, plays, newspapers, magazines, videos, television and radio broadcasts, and interviews. Every semester the course materials and foci vary depending on the needs and interests of students in the class. Permission Needed From Instructor
MLYM 409-680 Beginning Malayalam II James N Kurichi TR 05:15 PM-07:00 PM This course is designed to develop skills in reading, writing, and speaking. It will focus on the alphabet, basic vocabulary, nouns (cases, gender and number), verbs and their basic tenses, numerals, rules of joining words, adjectives, adverbs, and sentence structure. Guided conversation will be a part of every class. Students will receive considerable training in speaking and writing their own sentences and paragraphs.
MLYM 429-680 Intermediat Malayalam II James N Kurichi MW 05:15 PM-06:45 PM This course is designed to further the language skills learned in Beginning Malayalam. Direct and indirect speech, passive voice, postpositions, and rules of joining words, will be included. Reading and discussion of texts from current Malayalam literature (essays, narration, short stories, and poems) will be a major portion of the course.
MLYM 438-680 Advanced Malayalam James N Kurichi MW 03:30 PM-05:00 PM Reading, writing, comprehension, grammer and speaking at the advanced level of Malayam are the objectives of this course.
PUNJ 405-680 Beginning Punjabi II Amrit Gahunia MW 05:15 PM-07:15 PM This course emphasizes speaking and reading skills in Punjabi. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to interact meaningfully and in a socially acceptable manner in a variety of simple situations involving everyday conversational topics. Further, students should be able to read and understand the main idea and most details of simple connected texts. This course will utilize authentic printed, audio, and video materials and will provide opportunities for natural communication both within and outside the classroom.
PUNJ 425-680 Intermediate Punjabi II Amrit Gahunia MW 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This course is designed as a continuation of Beginning Punjabi, but can also be taken by anyone who can demonstrate a similar level in proficiency of the language. The course objectives are to expand the mastery of sentence patterns and augment vocabulary and its usage through intensive grammar review and comprehension exercises. A special emphasis will also be placed on greater cultural awareness. Upon completion of this course students should be able to interact socially with added confidence and greater expressiveness. Students should also experience a great improvement in their comprehension of the spoken and written language. Prior Language Experience Required
PUNJ 434-680 Advanced Punjabi Amrit Gahunia The objective of the course is to improve proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Fall semester: Readings in Punjabi Literature - This course addresses the individual needs of learners. This is a one semester course. The focus of the course will be to study the interpretation of written and oral materials on social, political and contemporary cultural topics from modern literature, literary criticism, poetry and drama. Weekly written compositions and oral presentations will be assigned. Grading will be based on this. Spring semester: Punjabi Popular Culture- This course focuses on different aspects of popular Punjabi culture as they are represented in media - television, internet, magazines, newspapers, film, and music. This course aims at making the best use of class participation to improve all four language skills. This is also a one semester course. Prerequisite: This course is offered through the Penn Language Center.
SAST 002-401 The City in South Asia MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM This interdisciplinary social science course examines key topics, themes, and analytic methods in the study of South Asia by focusing on significant South Asian cities. With one-fifth of the worlds population,South Asia and its urban centers are playing an increasingly important role in recent global economic transformations, resulting in fundamental changes within both the subcontinent and the larger world. Drawing primarily on ethnographic studies of South Asia in the context of rapid historical change, the course also incorporates research drawn from urban studies, architecture, political science, and history, as well as fiction and film. Topics include globalization and new economic dynamics in South Asia; the formation of a new urban middle class; consumption and consumer culture; urban political formations, democratic institutions, and practices; criminality & the underworld; population growth, changes in the built environment, and demographic shifts; everyday life in South Asia and ethnic, cultural, and linguistic identities, differences, and violence in South Asia's urban environments. This is an introductory level course appropriate for students with no background in South Asia or for those seeking to better understand South Asia's urban environments in the context of recent globalization and rapid historical changes. No prerequisites. Fulfills College sector requirement in Society and foundational approach in Cross-Cultural Analysis. ANTH107401, URBS122401 Society sector (all classes) Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
SAST 003-401 Hist,Cltr, Early India Daud Ali TR 01:45 PM-03:15 PM This course surveys the culture, religion and history of India from 2500 BCE to 1200 CE. The course examines the major cultural, religious and social factors that shaped the course of early Indian history. The following themes will be covered: the rise and fall of Harappan civilization, the "Aryan Invasion" and Vedic India, the rise of cities, states and the religions of Buddhism and Jainism, the historical context of the growth of classical Hinduism, including the Mahabharata, Ramayana and the development of the theistic temple cults of Saivism and Vaisnavism, processes of medieval agrarian expansion and cultic incorporation as well as the spread of early Indian cultural ideas in Southeast Asia. In addition to assigned secondary readings students will read select primary sources on the history of religion and culture of early India, including Vedic and Buddhist texts, Puranas and medieval temple inscriptions. Major objectives of the course will be to draw attention to India's early cultural and religious past and to assess contemporary concerns and ideologies in influencing our understanding and representation of that past. HIST086401, RELS164401 History & Tradition Sector (all classes) Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
SAST 006-401 Hindu Mythology Deven Patel TR 01:45 PM-03:15 PM Premodern India produced some of the world's greatest myths and stories: tales of gods, goddesses, heroes, princesses, kings and lovers that continue to capture the imaginations of millions of readers and hearers. In this course, we will look closely at some of these stories especially as found in Purana-s, great compendia composed in Sanskrit, including the chief stories of the central gods of Hinduism: Visnu, Siva, and the Goddess. We will also consider the relationship between these texts and the earlier myths of the Vedas and the Indian Epics, the diversity of the narrative and mythic materials within and across different texts, and the re-imagining of these stories in the modern world. RELS066401, COML006401 Arts & Letters Sector (all classes) Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
SAST 007-401 Intro Modrn S.Asia Lit: New Literatures of Resistance and Representations Gregory Goulding MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM This course will provide a wide-ranging introduction to the literatures of South Asia from roughly 1500 to the present, as well as an exploration of their histories and impact on South Asian society today. How are literary movements and individual works - along with the attitudes towards religion, society, and culture associated with them - still influential in literature, film, and popular culture? How have writers across time and language engaged with questions of caste, gender, and identity? We will read from the rich archive of South Asian writing in translation - from languages that include Braj, Urdu, Bangla, and Tamil - to consider how these literatures depict their own society while continuing to resonate across time and space. Topics of dicussion will include the Bhakti poetries of personal devotion, the literature of Dalits - formerly referred to as the Untouchables - and the ways in which literature addresses contemporary political and social problems. Students will leave this course with a sense of the contours of the literatures of South Asia as well as ways of exploring the role of these literatures in the larger world. No prior knowledge of South Asia is required; this course fulfills the cross-cultural analysis requirement. COML013401 Arts & Letters Sector (all classes)
SAST 009-401 Introduction To Hinduism Davesh Soneji TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This course introduces students to the history, texts, philosophies and rituals of South Asia's oldest living religious traditions, represented today by the term "Hinduism." At the same time, it problematizes the idea of a monolithic "Hindu Tradition", in favor of an approach that recognizes several distinct, dynamic, yet symbiotic Hindu religious cultures. The course also places emphasis on the vitality of today's Hinduism(s), and the various historical, ritual, cultural, and social contexts that they represent and constitute. The course is organized around six modules: (1)Issues in the Academic Study of Hinduism; (2) Sanskrit (textual) tradition; (3) Philosophy; (4) Theology; (5) Ritual; and (6) Modernity and Contemporary Politics. RELS163401
SAST 063-401 East/West:Mdrn Wrld Hist MW 10:15 AM-11:45 AM Sugar and Spices. Tea and Coffee. Opium and Cocaine. Hop aboard the Indian Ocean dhows, Chinese junks, Dutch schooners, and British and American clipper ships that made possible the rise of global capitalism, new colonial relationships, and the intensified forms of cultural change. How have the desires to possess and consume particular commodities shaped cultures and the course of modern history? This class introduces students to the cultural history of the modern world through an interdisciplinary analysis of connections between East and West, South and North. Following the circulation of commodities and the development of modern capitalism, the course examines the impact of global exchange on interactions and relationships between regions, nations, cultures, and peoples and the influences on cultural practices and meanings. The role of slavery and labor migrations, colonial and imperial relations, and struggles for economic and political independence are also considered. From the role of spices in the formation of European joint stock companies circa 1600 to the contemporary cocaine trade, the course's use of both original primary sources and secondary readings written by historians and anthropologists will enable particular attention to the ways that global trade has impacted social, cultural, and political formations and practices throughout the world. ANTH063401 Hum & Soc Sci Sector (new curriculum only) Humanities & Social Science Sector
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
SAST 105-001 Beginning Tabla II Aqeel Bhatti MW 05:15 PM-06:45 PM A continuation of Tabla I, also open to beginning students. Permission Needed From Instructor
SAST 107-001 Beginning Sitar II Jagadeesh J Gokhale TR 05:15 PM-06:45 PM This is the second semester of a performance course in the North Indian sitar Students who have not taken the first semester but play any musical instrument are permitted to join. Principles of composition and improvisation will be explored in practice and supplemented by readings and listening. The class gives a group performance at the end of the semester. Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Permission Needed From Instructor
SAST 115-401 American Race: A Philadelphia Story (SNF Paideia Program Course) Fariha Khan TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM This course proposes an examination of race with a two-pronged approach: one that broadly links the study of race in the United States with a multi-disciplinary approach and also simultaneously situates specific conversations within the immediate location of Philadelphia, home to the University. The broad historical examination advances key concepts of race and racialization, explores key theoretical methodologies, and highlights major scholarly works. For example, students will engage with the study of race through Africana Studies, Asian American Studies, and through Latin American & Latinx Studies. Readings and methodologies will introduce students to critical issues in education, in literature, in sociology, and with methods in oral history, archival work, and ethnography. Most importantly, this extensive approach highlights the impact of race across multiple communities including Black Americans, immigrant populations, and communities that are marginalized to emphasize connections, relationships, and shared solidarity. Students are intellectually pushed to see the linkages and the impacts of racism across and among all Americans historically and presently. As each theme is introduced a direct example from Philadelphia will be discussed. The combination of the national discourse on race, with an intimate perspective from the City of Philadelphia, engages students both intellectually and civically. The course will be led by Fariha Khan but guest instructors with varied disciplinary backgrounds and guest speakers from local community organizations. Each instructor not only brings specific disciplinary expertise, but also varied community engagement experience. SOCI115401, LALS115401, ASAM115401, URBS115401 Designated SNF Paideia Program Course
SAST 117-401 British Emp & Partitions Ramya Sreenivasan
Eve M. Troutt Powell
MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM The partitions of South Asia and Palestine marked the end of the British Empire in those regions. British colonial rule in India ended in 1947 with the emergence of not one, but two nation states, India and Pakistan. Decolonization was marked by mass migration and ethnic cleansing along their borders. An estimated million people died in the violence in less than a year, and 12.5 million people migrated from their homes. The British Empire also gave up its claims to Palestine in 1947, exhausted by the two nationalisms of Zionists and Palestinians. This partition set up the declaration of the state of Israel, and the War for Palestine. By 1949, almost a million Palestinians found themselves displaced over many borders, some also within the borders of Israel. This comparative course is organized around three themes - the prehistories of these cataclysmic events, the role of Empire in catalyzing them, and the afterlives of these events that continue to haunt us into the present, seventy-five years later. It explores the political history - and the collapse of politics - that led to violence on a scale that was without precedent in the history of the Indian subcontinent. It examines the political, social and cultural events that led to decades of war and exile, and shaped the lives of generations of Palestinians, Israelis and the wider Middle East. Primary sources will help to explore the perspectives of ordinary people whose lives were turned upside down in both places. HIST142401, NELC142401
SAST 124-401 Narrative Across Cultures: Food and Literature Harry Eli Kashdan TR 01:45 PM-03:15 PM The purpose of this course is to present a variety of narrative genres and to discuss and illustrate the modes whereby they can be analyzed. We will be looking at shorter types of narrative: short stories, novellas, and fables, and also some extracts from longer works such as autobiographies. While some works will come from the Anglo-American tradition, a larger number will be selected from European and non-Western cultural traditions and from earlier time-periods. The course will thus offer ample opportunity for the exploration of the translation of cultural values in a comparative perspective. ENGL103401, COML125401, THAR105401, NELC180401 Arts & Letters Sector (all classes) https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=SAST124401
SAST 139-401 Introduction To Islam Seyed Alireza Noori MW 12:00 PM-01:30 PM This course is an introduction to Islam as a religion as it exists in societies of the past as well as the present. It explores the many ways in which Muslims have interpreted and put into practice the prophetic message of Muhammad through historical and social analyses of varying theological, philosophical, legal, political, mystical and literary writings, as well as through visual art and music. The aim of the course is to develop a framework for explaining the sources and symbols through which specific experiences and understandings have been signified as Islamic, both by Muslims and by other peoples with whom they have come into contact, with particular emphasis given to issues of gender, religious violence and changes in beliefs and behaviors which have special relevance for contemporary society. NELC136401, RELS143401
SAST 142-401 Intro Buddhism This course seeks to introduce students to the diversity of doctrines held and practices performed by Buddhists in Asia. By focusing on how specific beliefs and practices are tied to particular locations and particular times, we will be able to explore in detail the religious institutions, artistic, architectural, and musical traditions, textual production and legal and doctrinal developments of Buddhism over time and within its socio-historical context. Religion is never divorced from its place and its time. Furthermore, by geographically and historically grounding the study of these religions we will be able to examine how their individual ethic, cosmological and soteriological systems effect local history, economics, politics, and material culture. We will concentrate first on the person of the Buddha, his many biographies and how he has been followed and worshipped in a variety of ways from Lhasa, Tibet to Phrae, Thailand. From there we touch on the foundational teachings of the Buddha with an eye to how they have evolved and transformed over time. Finally, we focus on the practice of Buddhist ritual, magic and ethics in monasteries and among aly communities in Asia and even in the West. This section will confront the way Buddhists have thought of issues such as "Just-War," Women's Rights and Abortion. While no one quarter course could provide a detailed presentation of the beliefs and practices of Buddhism, my hope is that we will be able to look closely at certain aspects of these religions by focusing on how they are practiced in places like Nara, Japan or Vietnam, Laos. Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
SAST 166-401 The Asian Caribbean Rupa Pillai TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This course complicates prevailing understandings of the Caribbean and extends the boundaries of Asian America by exploring the histories, experiences, and contributions of Asians in the Caribbean. In particular, we will focus on the migrations of Chinese and Indian individuals to Cuba, Trinidad, Jamaica, and Guyana as well as how their descendants are immigrating to the United States. We will examine the legal and social debates surrounding their labor in the 19th century, how they participated in the decolonization of the region, and how their migration to the United States complicates our understandings of ethnicity and race. Ultimately, through our comparative race approach, we will appreciate that the Caribbean is more than the Black Caribbean, it is also the Asian Caribbean. ASAM165401, LALS165401, GSWS165401
SAST 171-401 Devotion's New Market Mahboob Ali Mohammad TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This graduate and undergraduate level course introduces students to the new forms of devotion as circulated in various urban centers in South Asia with a focus on growing market economy and urbanization. This course will particularly discuss case studies of how different modes of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and other minor religions operate in an urbanized middle-class and educated communities. We will read theoretical and ethnographical works of contemporary research in religious studies and anthropology that deal with the questions of modernity, reformism and economic developmentalism. Throughout the semester, we focus on 1) how does religious forms such as sainthood practices, private and public rituals, narrative modes and everyday life evolve in the background of growing politics of development; 2) we discuss the tensions between classical notions of devotion and their new transformations in the city life, and finally 3) theoretically, we analyze concepts such as reformism, fundamentalism, recent discourses on identity politics and gender implications as connected to urban religious life. SAST571401
SAST 179-401 Performing Parables Brooke K. O'Harra MW 03:30 PM-05:00 PM In this course writer Amitav Ghosh invites Penn students to engage his ongoing collaboration with the musician/performer Ali Sethi to stage his newest book Jungle Nama. Ghosh's book Jungle Nama employs dwipdipoyar verse form and the popular folk tale of Bon Bibi the guardian spirit of the Sundarban to address the eroding ecosystem of the Sundarban. In this course students will work in a short intensive collaborative process with the artists to realize a lyric and musical performance of Jungle Nama. The class employs both academic research and performance methodologies to guide students through histories of traditional Indian performance and folk takes and a thorough examination of Ghosh's source materials and influences (including studies of the Sundarban and its ecostystem). The course is co-taught with Director Brooke O'Harra. O'Harra, Ghosh and Sethi will lead students in a rigorous process of research, development and rehearsal, culminating in a public performance of a musical version of Jungle Nama. All levels and experience are welcome. Performance roles will be cast based on individual interests. In addition to performance roles, students will assume responsibility for other aspects of the process and production. In advance of registration, students are asked to audition and/or interview for the course depending upon initial interest. Actors, singers, dancers, musicians, artists and scholars are all encouraged to apply. Course specifics: The course will run until March 3 with an intensive 4-week rehearsal and development period that culminates in a live performance. Space is limited. Permission required. FNAR149401, ANTH179401, THAR253401, ENGL149401
SAST 215-401 Asian Am Gendersexuality: Asian American Gender and Sexuality Rupa Pillai TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM This course explores the intersection of gender, sexuality, and race in Asian America. Through interdisciplinary and cultural texts, students will consider how Asian American gender and sexualities are constructed in relation to racism while learning theories on and methods to study gender, sex, and race. We will discuss masculinities, femininities, race-conscious feminisms, LGBTQ+ identities, interracial and intraracial relationships, and kinship structures. ASAM215401, GSWS215401
SAST 225-301 South Asian Sci-Fi: Imagining New Futures: Science Fiction and the Fantastic in South Asian Lit Gregory Goulding TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM This course examines the many ways in which writers have imagined the future, the past, and the unreal in South Asia. Rather than view science fiction as an isolated, modern genre, we will situate it alongside a range of genres and approaches to the fantastic. Although literature called science fiction is today a dynamic genre across South Asian languages, with a literary history in the twentieth and nineteenth centuries, writers draw from a range of other South Asian literary and cultural traditions, including Hindu mythology, Persian Qissa story cycles, and Sanskrit literature. In this course, therefore, we will explore the many genealogies of contemporary South Asian literature. Science fiction, and fantastic literature more generally, often functions as a means to depict social and technological change, the perception of the larger world, and contemporary politics. How did writers use amazing stories of brilliant inventions, dreams of a woman-led utopia, or dark conspiracies of disease to explore a range of questions. We will also consider how popular literary genres, such as the detective story, intersect with these other genres. Students will leave this course with a knowledge of the dynamic history of South Asian science fiction as part of a long history of imaginative literature, as well as well as a deeper understanding of genre and the social history of literature.
SAST 255-401 Media and Religion Megan E Robb W 03:30 PM-06:30 PM This course will look at the ways that religion intersects with media in South Asia-- exploring how the medium is the message. The class begins with a discussion of how it is difficult to define "religion" and "media" in the Global South, specifically in South Asia. We will analyze how religion ans media are inextricable, and also how news media has gone about the business of turning religion into news. The class will familiarize students with a variety of media forms aside from the obvious sources of internet, TV and newspaper-- these include traditional architecture, devotional texts, devototional poetry, music, visual-sensorial worship, modern film, recorded music, clothing, and live performance. We will conclude with a look at religion in forms of contemporary media, with particular attention to new media (TV. radio, internet). The course also offers students lectures providing a foundation of knowledge on a few of the primary religious traditions that will be central to the regions under discussion: Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity. There will be guest speakers and a visit to Penn Museum. While much of the course will be immersed in the history and the past, we will conclude by considering contemporary context, both globalized and local. There is no prereqisite for the course. All students are welcome. RELS255401
SAST 262-401 Making/Medieval India Daud Ali T 05:15 PM-08:15 PM This course will provide an in-depth understanding of South Asia in what is often called its 'medieval' period--from the rise of the great temple kingdoms until the end of the Delhi Sultanate in the sixteenth century (c. 500 CE - c. 1500 CE). This millenium is arguably one of the most transformative in South Asia's history, a period when many of its most distinctive social and cultural features evolved. The course will provide both an overview of the period as well as an introduction to major interpretations and types of sources (textual, visual, and archaeological). The focus throughout the course will be on the heterogeneous development of states, societies and cultures with special attention to long-term processes of transformation. One set of themes explored will be largely social and economic, focusing on the development of agrarian and peasant societies, aristocracies and intellectuals, as well as the role of mercantile, pastoralist, nomadic and forest-living groups. Another set of themes will explore cultural transformation, including the development, transformation and interaction of religious practices, the emergence of cosmopolitan and regional literary cultures, and the rise of distinctive urban, courtly, and rural world views. Special themes of discussion may include violence and manners, material cultures, religious conflict, devotional religion and gender relations. SAST562401
SAST 315-401 Land/Sea Asian Migration T 01:45 PM-04:45 PM In this course we will explore how migration shaped and connected Asia by land and transoceanic routes from the seventh to eighteenth centuries. In this course we will trace people moving across long spans of space, which includes merchants, soldiers, pilgrims, laborers, pirates, spies, and travelers. We will examine how cultural, religious, economic, and political institutions enabled and benefited from migration; how towns, ports, and cities developed and supported migration; how individuals and communities understood and documented their experiences about what it meant to be mobile and/or foreign; and theories of migration that help us make sense of a premodern global Asia. Sample readings include Abdul Sheriff's "Dhow Culture of the Indian Ocean: Cosmopolitanism, Commerce and Islam"; Janet L. Abu- Lughod's "Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350"; and selections from the "Asia Inside Out" series ("Itinerant People", "Connected Places", and "Changing Times") edited by Helen Siu and Eric Tagliacozzo. An early assignment for the students is a map exercise. Students will be asked to create a map that highlights migration across Asia based on readings for the week. Students will be trained in an online mapmaking application and will work in pairs to create layers that address different aspects and forms of migration. SAST515401, NELC315401, NELC515401
SAST 462-001 Urdu Topics Course: Topics in Translation Mustafa A Menai TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM Urdu literature in translation. Topics vary by semester.
SAST 515-401 Land/Sea Asian Migration T 01:45 PM-04:45 PM In this course we will explore how migration shaped and connected Asia by land and transoceanic routes from the seventh to eighteenth centuries. In this course we will trace people moving across long spans of space, which includes merchants, soldiers, pilgrims, laborers, pirates, spies, and travelers. We will examine how cultural, religious, economic, and political institutions enabled and benefited from migration; how towns, ports, and cities developed and supported migration; how individuals and communities understood and documented their experiences about what it meant to be mobile and/or foreign; and theories of migration that help us make sense of a premodern global Asia. Sample readings include Abdul Sheriff's "Dhow Culture of the Indian Ocean: Cosmopolitanism, Commerce and Islam"; Janet L. Abu- Lughod's "Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350"; and selections from the "Asia Inside Out" series ("Itinerant People", "Connected Places", and "Changing Times") edited by Helen Siu and Eric Tagliacozzo. An early assignment for the students is a map exercise. Students will be asked to create a map that highlights migration across Asia based on readings for the week. Students will be trained in an online mapmaking application and will work in pairs to create layers that address different aspects and forms of migration. SAST315401, NELC315401, NELC515401
SAST 562-401 Making/Medieval India Daud Ali T 05:15 PM-08:15 PM This course will provide an in-depth understanding of South Asia in what is often called its 'medieval' period--from the rise of the great temple kingdoms until the end of the Delhi Sultanate in the sixteenth century (c. 500 CE - c. 1500 CE). This millennium is arguably one of the most transformative in South Asia's history, a period when many of its most distinctive social and cultural features evolved. The course will provide both an overview of the period as well as an introduction to major interpretations and types of sources (textual, visual, and archaeological). The focus throughout the course will be on the heterogeneous development of states, societies and cultures with special attention to long-term processes of transformation. One set of themes explored will be largely social and economic, focusing on the development of agrarian and peasant societies, aristocracies and intellectuals, as well as the role of mercantile, pastoralist, nomadic and forest-living groups. Another set of themes will explore cultural transformation, including the development, transformation and interaction of religious practices, the emergence of cosmopolitan and regional literary cultures, and the rise of distinctive urban, courtly, and rural worldviews. Special themes of discussion may include violence and manners, material cultures, religious conflict, devotional religion and gender relations. SAST262401
SAST 571-401 Devotion's New Market Mahboob Ali Mohammad TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This graduate and undergraduate level course introduces students to the new forms of devotion as circulated in various urban centers in South Asia with a focus on growing market economy and urbanization. This course will particularly discuss case studies of how different modes of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and other minor religions operate in an urbanized middle-class and educated communities. We will read theoretical and ethnographical works of contemporary research in religious studies and anthropology that deal with the questions of modernity, reformism and economic developmentalism. Throughout the semester, we focus on 1) how does religious forms such as sainthood practices, private and public rituals, narrative modes and everyday life evolve in the background of growing politics of development; 2) we discuss the tensions between classical notions of devotion and their new transformations in the city life, and finally 3) theoretically, we analyze concepts such as reformism, fundamentalism, recent discourses on identity politics and gender implications as connected to urban religious life. SAST171401
SKRT 461-301 Sanskrit 1st Yr Part II Josh Pien MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM During the first semester of beginning Sanskrit, students will be introduced to the script, phonetics, and grammar of the Sanskrit language. By the end of the semester they will be able to begin to read Sanskrit texts and compose Sanskrit sentences in addition to carrying out simple conversation. They will build the requisite skills to read, by the second semester, simple inscriptions and sections from texts like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita, Pancatantra, and Yoga Sutra. Students will also be introduced to many features of Sanskrit culture.
SKRT 480-301 Readings in Sankrit Lit Deven Patel TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This course is for advanced students of Sanskrit. Designed as a seminar, the course aims to take students through the primary and secondary sources of Sanskrit literary and phlosophical production. Each semester will focus on a different genre: epic, belles-lettres, lyric poetry, drama, philosophy, shastra, advanced grammar, history, poetics, and epigraphy. We will focus on original sources, secondary scholarship, and theoretical approaches toward the translation and study of Sanskrit texts.
TAML 407-680 Beginning Tamil II Vasu Renganathan MW 05:15 PM-07:15 PM This course is a continuation of the Beginner Tamil TAMIL406. It continues to teach grammar and spoken sill from semester I. Lessons in the class will be based on a set of Tamil learning lessons and videos made available at http://www.southasia.upenn.edu/tamil and the book by the Instructor titled "Tamil Language in Context", information available at http://www.thetamillanguage.com. By the end of the semester, students will have a working knowledge in reading Tamil text with a basic skill to write and speak the language at ACTFL's Beginner High level. Prior Language Experience Required
TAML 427-680 Intermediate Tamil II Vasu Renganathan TR 05:15 PM-06:45 PM This course is a continuation of Intermediate Tamil I (TAMIL426) and it continue to develop the skills obtained either from the Beginning Tamil course or from students' prior exposure to Tamil by other means. The emphasis will be on using the language in actual environments both in spoken medium and in written medium. Multimedia materials such as audio and videos as provided in the website http://www.southasia.upenn.edu/tamil or http://www.thetamillanguage.com will be extensively used to provide students an exposure to the Tamil culture and customs as authentic as possible. Besides improving their speech and writing, students will also be introduced gradually to Tamil literature, which has two thousand years of literary history. By the end of this course, students will have ACTFL's intermediate high proficiency level. Prior Language Experience Required
TAML 446-680 Rdgs in Media Texts Vasu Renganathan TR 07:00 PM-08:30 PM This course is a continuation of the Advance Tamil Course I and its primary focus is to concentrate particularly on any one of the genres of the Tamil language namely Sangam, medieval or modern Tamil, which span a vast variety of texts from Aham, Puram, religious poems along with a whole array of Tamil inscriptions. The familiarity from Advanced Tamil I course will be adequately used to master in any aspect of these three genres of the Tamil language. Based on the general interests of the students who are enrolled in this course specific variety of the text to concentrate upon will be selected. In the past, we have read poems from the Sangam genre Purananuru, Ahananuru, Silappatikaram, Manimekalai etc., along with the parallel religious poems from Tirumurai, Nalayira Divyaprabandam and so on. We have also read as part of this course texts from Islam literature, Tamil inscriptions and other related kinds. Text from the instructors book (to be published), "Ilakkiyap payaNangkaL" will be used to give a birds eye view to students about Tamil literature and the transitions that took place from Sangam, medieval and modern period. This course will train students to have a near-native proficiency in Tamil along with a professional skill in any particular variety of the Tamil language. Prior Language Experience Required
TAML 489-001 Readings Classical Tamil Vasu Renganathan
TELU 410-001 Beginning Telegu II Mahboob Ali Mohammad MW 10:15 AM-11:45 AM This course continues tudents to the basic Telugu language skills, with an emphasis on practice for listening comprehension, and speaking Telugu. Combined with exposure to Andhra culture, the classroom and online work in this course will enable interested students to pursue further language study in Telugu at the intermediate level, to carry out field research in Andhra Pradesh, or to prepare them to advanced work in Telugu Studies. An introduction to Telugu like this will also be useful for students who just want to acquire basic Telugu language skills for learning a new language or being able to communicate with Telugu speaking family and friends or to enjoy Telugu music and films.
TELU 430-301 Intermdiate Telugu II Mahboob Ali Mohammad TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This course is designed to expand the students' basic language skills in Telugu in order to allow them to function adequately in a Telugu-speaking environment, to immerse themselves in the rich Andhra culture, and to accomplish a more advanced competency in an interesting foreign language. This course is also aimed at students planning to conduct scholarly research in Telugu history, literature or society, or humanities or social science fieldwork in Telugu speaking areas.
URDU 402-401 Beginning Hindi-Urdu II Josh Pien MTWR 12:00 PM-01:00 PM This introductory course core proficiency in Hindi-Urdu up to the intermediate level. It is designed for students with little or no prior exposure to Hindi or Urdu. The course covers all four language skills (speaking, lsitening, reading, and writing) and all three models of communication (interpersonal, presentational, interpretive). Students will develop literacy skills in the primary script of their choice (Hindi or Urdu script). All written materials will be provided in both scripts. All meetings are interactive and students acquire the language by using it in realistic contexts. Culture is embedded in the activities and is also introduced through various authentic materials. HIND401401, NELC402401
URDU 422-001 Intermediate Urdu II Mustafa A Menai TR 10:15 AM-11:45 PM This continuing second-year course allows students to continue improving their Urdu proficiency while also gaining a broad foundational understanding of Urdu society and culture throughout South Asia. The course provides students the tools needed to handle a variety of authentic written and spoken Urdu sources including film, music, media reports, folk tales, and simple literature. Students will also continue to increase their speaking and writing proficiency to be able to discuss a broad range of concrete, real-world topics. The course is designed for students with one year of previous Urdu or Hindi study or the equivalent proficiency.
URDU 431-401 Language & Literature: Advanced Urdu-Language and Literature Mustafa A Menai TR 01:45 PM-03:15 PM This course is designed to give in-depth exposure to some of the finest works of classical and modern Urdu prose and poetry along with the historical and socio-political trends they represent. Figures covered range from Ghalib (b.1797) to Faiz, Fehmida Riaz, and post 9/11 Urdu prose and poetry. The course is open to both undergraduates and graduate students, subject to having intermediate level proficiency. The course is repeatable, and hte content changes every semester. Multi-media content such as music, videos, blogs etc. will be actively incorporated. Every effort will be made to accommidate individual interests. Students are encouraged to contact the instructor with any questions, or if they are unsure about eligibility. Prerequisite: Intermediate reading, writing and speaking skills in Urdu are recommended but please contact the instructor if you are unsure of your eligibility and want to do discuss further. Topic changes each semester. NELC431401