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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Christian L. Novetzke
SISSA 510
Seattle Campus

Interdisciplinary Study of South Asia I

Examines key themes and debates about the development of South Asian cultural and political formations. Examines how different scholarly disciplines, particularly those in the humanities, have approved and analyzed the past in South Asia.

Class description

Interdisciplinary Study of South Asia I: The History and Practice of South Asia Studies SISSA 510/HSTAS 502

Course Synopsis: This course is intended to familiarize graduate students in South Asia studies and allied fields (especially history, as well as art history, anthropology, archeology, comparative literature, sociology, and history of religions) with some of the theoretical debates central to the study of South Asia. Our approach will be both critical and historical, a combination meant to portray the past of the discipline, as well as engage its present deliberations. We will explore the fields of philology, comparative philosophy, missionary interaction, Orientalism, social evolution, and structuralism. We will also engage debates within postcolonial studies, subaltern studies, nationalism discourse, historiography, modernity, and representation discourse.

Goal of the Course: One special aspect of this course will be the opportunity for students writing masterís and doctoral theses to formulate a statement of the theoretical position taken in his or her research and dissertation. Such a statement is vital to oneís dissertation proposal, grant-writing endeavors, and ultimately to the dissertation itself. Graduate students are encouraged to examine their particular research topic through the multiple theoretical perspectives analyzed in this course. For students not yet prepared to write such a statement, at least three other possible final assignments are designed to help students narrow their theoretical interests.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Christian L. Novetzke
Date: 12/01/2009