9/1/09: As Brown advances its efforts to internationalize its curriculum across the board, the South Asian Studies (SAS) academic concentration is also evolving this year to create a clearer sense of opportunities for inter-disciplinary work focused on the history, cultures, and political and economic issues pertaining to this vital geographic area.
SAS provides a way to apply disciplinary learning to case studies in the region comprising India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and neighboring nation-states. It enables students to explore the ways in which the region’s interconnected histories of contested religions, philosophies, historiographies, linguistic developments, and cultural and artistic legacies have profoundly affected the West as well as the East – and present some of the world’s biggest opportunities as well as challenges. SAS is chosen by some undergraduates as a principal focus, while others also major in a traditional academic discipline.
The study of South Asia at Brown is spread among several departments – among them, anthropology, classics, religious studies, history, economics, sociology, music, and theater arts. Language instruction is available in Sanskrit and Hindi. Among other offerings, Brown’s Office of International Programs runs two organized programs in India, at St. Stephen’s College and at Lady Shri Ram College.
Revisions to the South Asian studies concentration this year are designed to make the offerings currently available at Brown more easily comprehensible to interested students, to allow for diverse disciplinary interests while insuring historical perspective, and to facilitate cross-disciplinary study focused on South Asian societies and their literatures, their religions and philosophies, and their arts and cultures.
Details about the revised curriculum include:
- The total number of courses required has been reduced from 12 to 10;
- “The Making of Modern South Asia” is now a required course;
- At least one course must be taken in pre-Modern Indian history, literature, and religion;
- Students are now required to take at least one course in the social sciences; and
- At least one course must be taken in either literary arts, music, theatre, or visual arts.
“Epics of India,” “Introduction to Indian Religions,” “Politics of India,” “Identity and Images in Indian Societies” – these are among the many South Asia-focused courses on offer. SAS concentrators may work primarily in a given chronological period (e.g. ancient, medieval, early modern, or contemporary) or in a given geographical area (e.g. Bangladesh, Bengal, Maharashtra, North India, Pakistan, South India) or in a given discipline (e.g. anthropology, Hindi/Urdu, history, religion, or Sanskrit). Courses are available or can be arranged in economics, literature, philosophy, political science, and theater arts, as well as the core disciplines mentioned above. Each concentrator works out a coherent course of study in consultation with a concentration advisor and members of the South Asia faculty.
Full information is available here.