1st degree (Bachelor)
Coordinator Office Hours:
Prof Yigal Bronner
In this course we will follow the development of civilization(s) in the Indian subcontinent, beginning with its early origins and ending with the formation of modern nation-states in the region. In the first part of the semester, we will discuss the evolution of Vedic culture and religion, the birth of Buddhism, and the crystalization of so-called ”classical“ Brahminism (with an emphasis on the north). In the second part, we will discuss cultural, philosophical, and political developments (with an emphasis on the south), the rise of Islam and its interactions with Hinduism, the rise of colonial power and the evolution of modern nationalism(s), and conclude with a brief look into into post-partition India.
The Indian subcontinent is a vast and complex world that until the late nineteenth century was rarely unified politically. This is a region in which linguistic variation has always been immense, and the same holds true to its social, cultural, and ritual aspects. Is there anything that makes this region a coherent unit? Answering this question is the goal of our course.
Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
To be familiar with the history and geography of South Asia, to be exposed to the foundational works of the India’s civilization(s), to understand key concepts in its philosophical and religious life, and to be exposed to cultures other than the student’s own.
According to divisional regulations
Teaching arrangement and method of instruction:
See the Moodle site for a detailed course plan
See the Moodle site for a detailed reading plan
Additional Reading Material:
End of year written/oral examination 55 %
Presentation 0 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 45 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %
This course is accompanied by a guided reading session (Reading Training in Relevant Texts; 35110). Here students will read in small groups from some of the foundational texts of South Asian civilization, and the program will agree follow that of the Intro class. This accompanying class is strongly recommended for all students, and is required for students who major in the field, through either the Asian Studies or Religious Studies departments.
The grade will be determined by two components: three reading assignments out of six given during the semester (15% each, total of 45%), and a take-home exam at the end of the semester, in which students will demonstrate their familiarity with the materials discussed in class as well as the weekly readings (55%). The exam will be handed in the last week of classes, and students will have to return them within 28 days.