Fall 2020

Language Courses  |  Core Courses | Other Related Courses

Language Courses: 

HNDI 110 / HNDI 510
Elementary Hindi I

Swapna Sharma and Seema Khurana
An in-depth introduction to modern Hindi, including the Devanagari script. A combination of graded texts, written assignments, audiovisual material, and computer-based exercises provides cultural insights and increases proficiency in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Hindi. Emphasis on spontaneous self-expression in the language. No prior background in Hindi assumed.

HNDI 130 / HNDI 530
Intermediate Hindi I

Swapna Sharma and Seema Khurana
The first half of a two-term sequence designed to develop proficiency in the four language skills. Extensive use of cultural documents including feature films, radio broadcasts, and literary and nonliterary texts to increase proficiency in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Hindi. Focus on cultural nuances and Hindi literary traditions. Emphasis on spontaneous self-expression in the language. After HNDI 120 / HNDI 520 or equivalent.

HNDI 132 / HNDI 532
Accelerated Hindi I

Swapna Sharma
A fast-paced course designed for students who are able to understand basic conversational Hindi but who have minimal or no literacy skills. Introduction to the Devanagari script; development of listening and speaking skills; vocabulary enrichment; attention to sociocultural rules that affect language use. Students learn to read simple texts and to converse on a variety of everyday personal and social topics.

HNDI 150 / HNDI 550
Advanced Hindi

Seema Khurana
An advanced language course aimed at enabling students to engage in fluent discourse in Hindi and to achieve a comprehensive knowledge of formal grammar. Introduction to a variety of styles and levels of discourse and usage. Emphasis on the written language, with readings on general topics from newspapers, books, and magazines. Prerequisite: HNDI 140 / HNDI 540 or permission of instructor.

HNDI 160 / HNDI 560
Modern Hindi Literature

Swapna Sharma
An advanced language course designed to develop overall language skills and to enrich cultural insight through the literature of different genres. Literature is the cultural canvas of a society. Reading modern Hindi literature and translations of vernacular literature from various states in India enhance the understanding of Indian culture and society. Prerequisite: HNDI 150 / HNDI 550 or instructor permission.

HNDI 198 / HNDI 598
Advanced Tutorial

Swapna Sharma and Seema Khurana
For students with advanced Hindi language skills who wish to engage in concentrated reading and research on material not otherwise offered by the department. The work must be supervised by an adviser and must terminate in a term paper or its equivalent. Prerequisites: HNDI 140 / HNDI 540, and submission of a detailed project proposal and its approval by the language studies coordinator.

SKRT 110/ SKRT 510, LING 115 / LING 515
Introductory Sanskrit I

Aleksandar Uskokov
An introduction to Sanskrit language and grammar. Focus on learning to read and translate basic Sanskrit sentences in Devanagari script. No prior background in Sanskrit assumed. For SKRT 510, Credit only on completion of SKRT 520/LING 525.

SKRT 130 / SKRT 530, LING 138 / LING 538
Intermediate Sanskrit I

Aleksandar Uskokov
The first half of a two-term sequence aimed at helping students develop the skills necessary to read texts written in Sanskrit. Readings include selections from the Hitopadesa, Kathasaritsagara, Mahabharata, and Bhagavad Gita. After SKRT 120 or equivalent. For SKRT 530, Prerequisite: SKRT 520 or equivalent.

SKRT 160
Advanced Sanskrit: Readings in Poetry and Drama

Aleksandar Uskokov
The purpose of this course is to introduce the jargon of classical Sanskrit literature, specifically the interrelated genres of mahā-kāvya or court epic; nāṭaka or drama; and hagiography or carita. Special attention is given to matters of style and advanced morphology and syntax. Additionally, the course introduces scholastic techniques of text interpretation. Finally, the course looks at the phenomenon of retelling stories from Vedas, the epics, or the Buddhist sūtras in classical Sanskrit literature, combining thus advanced language instruction with learning cultural content. Prerequisites: previous terms of Sanskrit to L4 or equivalent.

TAML 110
Introductory Tamil I

An in-depth introduction to modern Tamil, focusing on skills in comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing as well as on cultural understanding. Course work includes graded texts, written assignments, audiovisual material, and computer-based exercises. No prior background in Tamil assumed. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail for more information. Credit only on completion of TAML 120.

Core SAST Courses:

SAST 280 / HIST 342 / RLST 180
Mughal India, 1500–1800

Supriya Gandhi
Exploration of religion and the state in Mughal India, focusing on the period between 1500–1800. Topics include sacred sovereignty, orthodoxy, Sufism, vernacular literary and religious cultures, and the early colonial encounter.

SAST 306 / ANTH 322 / EVST 324
Environmental Justice in South Asia
Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan
Study of South Asia’s nation building and economic development in the aftermath of war and decolonization in the 20th century. How it generated unprecedented stress on natural environments; increased social disparity; and exposure of the poor and minorities to environmental risks and loss of homes, livelihoods, and cultural resources. Discussion of the rise of environmental justice movements and policies in the region as the world comes to grips with living in the Anthropocene.

SAST 334 / HIST 363J / ER & M 433
Mobile South Asians and the Global Legal Order

Rohit De
South Asians make up the largest population of overseas migrants in the world, close to 33 million in 2017 and a diaspora that is almost double that number. This course looks at the unprecedented mobility of South Asians from the mid-19th century until now as merchants, indentured labor, students, pilgrims, professionals, domestic workers, political exiles, refugees, and economic migrants, through the lens of state attempts to control movement and individual resistance, subversion, and adaptation to such controls. Focusing on the legal consciousness of South Asian migrants and the emergence of South Asian nations as political players on the global stage, this class traces how South Asian mobility led to the forging of a new global order, over migration, multiculturalism, Islamic law, civil liberties, labor law, and international law.

SAST 344 / PLSC 377 / WGSS 397
Political Economy of Gender in South Asia

Sarah Khan
This course focuses on the political and economic underpinnings and implications of gender inequality in South Asia. We draw on evidence from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India to guide our theoretical and empirical inquiry into the following broad questions: What is gender, and what approaches do social scientists use to study gender inequality? How does gender inequality manifest in different social, economic, and political spheres e.g. the household, the labor market, the electorate, the government? What are the cultural and structural drivers of gender inequality? How effective are different approaches to tackling gender inequality in South Asia? Previous course work in statistical data analysis is helpful, but not required.

SAST 385 / ER & M 336
South Asians in America

Sasha Sabherwal
The South Asian American diaspora is a heterogeneous group comprising multiple nationalities, religious practices, castes, classes, languages, and genders. This diaspora includes migrants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka, as well as communities of North America, the U.K., the Caribbean, and East Africa. In this seminar, we chronicle the complex relationships of South Asians in the United States and the shifting understandings of the category “South Asian American.” Taking up the changing and contested meanings of the diaspora allows us to think through questions of identity, race, gender, caste, class, religion, and citizenship. We consider questions such as: how do South Asians reproduce and resist constructions of the model minority? How can we think about the relationship of South Asians in relation to a larger history of Asian American racialization, anti-blackness, and settler colonialism? How do we challenge the constructions of global terror, especially post-9/11? What are hegemonic cultural representations of South Asian Americans across Hollywood and Bollywood? And how can we move beyond these representations to theorize South Asian Americans transnationally? The course explores these questions through historical, ethnographic, cultural, and transnational feminist approaches to Asian American Studies.

SAST 469 / HSAR 414
Visual Storytelling in South Asia

Subhashini Kaligotla
This seminar explores the polyglot variety of visual narration in South Asia. We examine the lives of exemplary individuals like the Buddha, the epic story of Rama, and royal biography and autobiography. We consider stories told through stone, in the medium of paint, and in print, film, graphic books, and contemporary media. We experience story telling in sumptuous courtly settings and in temples, monasteries, and other sacred spaces. Weekly readings and discussions analyze the handling of narrative ambiguity and absence, double meaning and punning, the treatment of space and place, representations of sex, desire, and love, and the visual construction of political persona, power, and nation. The course is ultimately interested in how South Asian narratives unsettle and expand the notion of representation. Prerequisite: one introductory course in Art History.

452: Development Economics: Focus on South Asia

Z. Barnett-Howell
Advanced development economics course on applied microeconomics research using studies and data from South Asia. Students learn how to read, analyze, and critique empirical economics. Students learn how to develop their own research topic and conduct exploratory analysis of data which they gather.
Prerequisites: Introductory Microeconomics and Introductory Econometrics.

SAST 486
Directed Study

A one-credit, single-term course on topics not covered in regular offerings. To apply for admission, a student should present a course description and syllabus to the director of undergraduate studies, along with written approval from the faculty member who will direct the study.

SAST 491
Senior Essay
A yearlong research project completed under faculty supervision and resulting in a substantial paper. Credit for SAST 491 only on completion of SAST 492.

SAST 820 / HIST 896
Readings in South Asia: Across the Disciplines

Rohit De, Sunil Amrith
Since the emergence of subaltern studies in the 1980s, South Asian historiography has been dominated by debates over the methods and theory that have come to influence the broader discipline of history. The seminar introduces participants to the major debates in South Asian studies through reading the original texts alongside newer scholarship addressing the themes of bureaucracy, secularism, visual media, political economy, and the environment.

Other Related Courses:

HSAR 119 / EAST 119
Introduction to the History of Art: Asian Art and Culture
Quincy Ngan
This introductory course explores the art of India, China, Japan, and Korea from prehistory to the present. We consider major works and monuments from all four regions. Themes include the representation of nature and the body, the intersection of art with spirituality and politics, and everything from elite to consumer culture. All students welcome, including those who have no previous experience with either art history or the study of Asian art. This class makes frequent visits to Yale University Art Gallery.  HU

MGT 529 / GLBL 929
Global Social Entrepreneurship: India

Tony Sheldon
Launched in 2008 at the Yale School of Management, the Global Social Entrepreneurship (GSE) course links teams of Yale students with social enterprises based in India. GSE is committed to channeling the skills of Yale students to help Indian organizations expand their reach and impact on “bottom of the pyramid” communities. Yale students partner with mission-driven social entrepreneurs (SEs) to focus on a specific management challenge that the student/SE teams work together to address during the term. GSE has worked with thirty leading and emerging Indian social enterprises engaged in economic development, sustainable energy, women’s empowerment, education, environmental conservation, and affordable housing. The course covers both theoretical and practical issues, including case studies and discussions on social enterprise, developing a theory of change and related social metrics, financing social businesses, the role of civil society in India, framing a consulting engagement, managing team dynamics, etc. Enrollment is by application only. Also MGT 529.

WGSS 325 / ER&M 324
Asian Diasporas since 1800
Quan Tran
Examination of the diverse historical and contemporary experiences of people from East, South, and Southeast Asian ancestry living in the Americas, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. Organized thematically and comparative in scope, topics include labor migrations, community formations, chain migrations, transnational connections, intergenerational dynamics, interracial and ethnic relations, popular cultures, and return migrations.