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Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations

This is an archived copy of the 2012-13 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalogs.uchicago.edu.

Chair

  • Gary Tubb

Professors

  • Muzaffar Alam
  • Dipesh Chakrabarty
  • Steven Collins
  • Wendy Doniger
  • Ulrike Stark
  • Gary Tubb

Visiting Professors

  • E. Annamalai

Assistant Professors

  • Yigal Bronner
  • Thibaut d’Hubert
  • Sascha Ebeling
  • Rochona Majumdar
  • Vasudha Paramasivan

Senior Lecturers

  • Elena Bashir
  • Philip Engblom
  • Jason Grunebaum

Lecturers

  • Mandira Bhaduri
  • Whitney Cox
  • Nisha Kommattam
  • Karma T. Ngodup

Emeritus Faculty

  • Kali Charan Bahl
  • Ronald B. Inden
  • Colin P. Masica
  • C. M. Naim
  • Frank E. Reynolds
  • Clinton B.Seely
  • Norman H. Zide

Mellon Fellow:

  • Christopher Ryan Perkins

The following pages briefly describe the requirements of the Department’s Ph.D. degree program, sources of financial aid for graduate students, and resources for the study of South Asia at the University of Chicago. Please also refer to the Departmental web pages for updated information. Degree requirements are set out in detail, but the notes on other topics found here are intended to provide only general introductions. Names, and phone numbers, e-mail and office addresses of Departmental and other University personnel mentioned in this Handbook will be found on the University websites.

The Department

The Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations is a multidisciplinary department comprised of faculty with expertise in the languages, literatures, histories, philosophies, and religions of South Asia. The examination of South Asian texts, broadly defined, is the guiding principle of our Ph.D. degree, and the dissertation itself. This involves acquaintance with a wide range of South Asian texts and their historical contexts, and theoretical reflection on the conditions of understanding and interpreting these texts. These goals are met through departmental seminars and advanced language courses, which lead up to the dissertation project.

Advisers

Students develop and pursue their individual programs in active consultation with members of the faculty. To advise students on their programs and progress overall, one faculty member acts as the Departmental Graduate Student Adviser (for name and contact details, see the Departmental web pages). Students are required to meet the Departmental Graduate Student Adviser regularly in order to have their academic program choices approved. The main advisory function will eventually be assumed by the dissertation chairperson. Students are encouraged to actively seek a faculty member of the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations to fill this role as soon as possible, at the latest before the preparation of the dissertation proposal. It is the responsibility of students to familiarize themselves with the requirements of the degree program. If they have any doubts regarding the requirements in general, or their specific applicability to their particular program, it is important to resolve them promptly in consultation with the Departmental Graduate Student Adviser. Students should also remember that advising is a joint process: they can only receive guidance when they ask for it.

The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

To receive the degree of Ph.D. in South Asian Languages and Civilizations, a student must complete a minimum of 18 courses (the actual number of course may be higher depending on the language proficiency of the student). These include the required language courses, the 3 required Departmental seminars, and other courses relevant to the student’s chosen specialty. The latter may include courses offered in other departments as well as in SALC. Students may not receive a grade of ‘R’ in any of the courses counted among the required 18 courses, and none of these may be an informal reading course.

Students with prior graduate work in South Asian languages and civilizations or those holding a relevant Master’s degree may petition at the end of their first year to satisfy a portion of the 18-course requirement. Only courses taken at accredited institutions will be accepted, and the petition will have to be approved by the Departmental Graduate Student Adviser.

Before being admitted to candidacy, Ph.D. students must, in addition to completing at least 18 courses, also fulfill the following requirements which are given in further detail below:

  • Meet general language requirements
  • Submit two qualifying papers
  • Formulate two reading lists and pass an oral examination based on them during the third year of study
  • Write and defend a dissertation proposal

The Ph.D. is awarded following approval and successful defense of the completed dissertation.

Students normally take 3 to 5 years to complete all pre-dissertation. In no case will students be allowed to submit their dissertation after more than 12 years.

Language Requirements

The Department encourages varied research devoted to the ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary cultures of South Asia. All research in the department has as its main prerequisite suitable advancement in the languages appropriate to a student’s chosen field of specialization. The languages in which the department offers concentrations are Bangla, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Pali, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan, and Urdu. Persian and Arabic are also available through the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Courses may occasionally be offered in other languages; special arrangements must be made in advance with the instructors of these languages, and students must petition the Department in order to count these languages for their requirements.

Three languages are required:

  • The South Asian language of concentration (the major language)
  • A second South Asian language relevant to the student’s program of study (the minor language)
  • A third language of scholarship (e.g. French, German, Hindi, Japanese, etc.)

Students are required to achieve highest proficiency in their major language. Students who already possess knowledge of their major language should contact the language instructor for placement at the appropriate level. Two years of advanced language courses in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations have to be attended regardless of the student’s level of language competence.

In their minor language, students are required to achieve a proficiency equivalent to at least 2 years of formal study at the University of Chicago. Again, students who already possess knowledge of their minor language should contact the language instructor to determine the level of proficiency. Students who already possess a proficiency level equivalent to 2 years of formal study at the University of Chicago may fulfill the requirement by taking an exam without prior coursework.

The student’s selection of the major and minor language will have to be approved by the Departmental Graduate Student Adviser. While the choice of the major language will obviously depend on the student’s research projects, students are strongly encouraged to consider for their minor language one that opens up new perspectives and that will help to gain a broader knowledge of South Asia. Students are expected to demonstrate satisfactory progress each quarter in the required language courses.

For the third language, the language of scholarship, students should choose a language on the basis of how useful it will be for their chosen field of study. They should be able to show that a significant body of scholarship has been or is being produced in that language. The choice of the language of scholarship has to be approved by the Departmental Graduate Student Adviser. Proficiency in reading the language of scholarship is assessed by an examination administered by the University Office of Test Administration or by the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, as appropriate to the language in question. A High Pass is required.

Required Departmental Seminars

Competence in South Asian languages and civilizations is demonstrated as much by close familiarity with South Asian texts as by a broad knowledge of the plurality of South Asian practices and traditions. To this end the Ph.D. program includes three required departmental seminars. These seminars are taught in a two year cycle.

Research Themes in South Asian Studies I and II (SALC 40100/40200)

These two seminars will each approach a broad theme in South Asian studies from a perspective transcending any narrow focus on a specific language or region. The objective is to introduce students to current research themes and methods pertinent but not exclusive to the study of South Asia. Seminar topics could include South Asian court cultures, genres, material aspects of textual culture, poetic theories, political thought, translation practices, region in South Asia, etc. The two seminars will be offered in sequence every two years.

South Asia as a Unit of Study (SALC 40000)

This course aims to acquaint students with major historical and methodological questions pertaining to the field of South Asian languages and civilizations. Topics could include the history of Orientalism, colonial forms of knowledge, South Asia in a global context, etc. This course will be offered in alternate years.

Qualifying Papers

In their first year of study, students are required to submit a qualifying paper on a subject agreed upon with a faculty member. This paper should demonstrate the student’s ability to write scholarly prose, to formulate a clear research argument, and to situate it within the context of secondary literature relevant to the topic. It must be submitted during the third week of the Spring quarter of the first year. The length of this paper is a maximum of 20 pages not including bibliography (12 pt font, double-spaced, with 1 inch margins). There are two grade categories for this first qualifying paper:

  • No Pass
  • Pass

In their second year of study, students are required to submit a second qualifying paper on a subject agreed upon with a faculty member. This paper should demonstrate the student’s ability to formulate a research topic involving primary materials, to argue its importance and to situate it within a history of scholarship, to articulate the principal questions of theory and method relevant to this topic, and to present conclusions in a clear and precise manner. It must be submitted in the third week of the Spring quarter of the second year. The length of this second paper is a maximum of 40 pages (formatted as specified above). There are four grade categories for the second qualifying paper:

  • No Pass
  • Pass (with progress beyond the M.A. degree not permitted)
  • Pass
  • High Pass
  • There are two readers for each of the qualifying papers. The second reader is appointed by the Chair of the Department. Upon successful completion of the two qualifying papers, students may apply for the M.A. degree. For the degree to be awarded, students must have completed, in addition to the qualifying papers:
    • At least two years of the major language
    • The three-quarter sequence of departmental courses.
    • There can be no outstanding Incomplete grades.

It is very strongly recommended that students avoid Incomplete grades at all times.

Reading Lists and Oral Examinations

While the program asks students to pursue specialized research in their area of concentration, it is essential that they do this in relation to a broad understanding of the cultural and historical context in which their objects of specialized study are situated. The Department therefore requires oral examinations on the basis of two reading lists in:

  • A major area of study
  • A minor area of study

The student’s two reading lists are to be designed in consultation with one or more SALC faculty in a given area, and tailored to his or her individual needs. The first must deal with the literary, cultural or other history of the student’s major language. The second must pertain to an area of South Asian studies other than his or her field of concentration. The reading lists should not exceed twenty books and should constitute a serious, deep, and broad set of readings in important issues in the area of study. The relative weight of primary as opposed to secondary texts should be a matter of consultation between the student and the faculty member(s) concerned.

The two reading lists in their final form must be approved and signed by the faculty member(s) who supervised their preparation. An approved and signed copy of each will be deposited in the student’s permanent file. These signed copies must be submitted to the departmental office by the end of the student’s second year or the end of the fall quarter of the third year. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the reading lists are filed in time.

The faculty members who approve the reading lists serve as examiners for the oral examinations, which are normally taken in the fall or winter quarter of the student’s third year. The two exams are administered in one session; each is approximately 45 minutes long. One composite grade – ‘No Pass’, ‘Pass’, or ‘High Pass’ – is awarded for the oral examinations.

Dissertation Proposal and Admission to Candidacy

In order to be admitted to Ph.D. candidacy, a student must write and orally defend a detailed dissertation proposal prepared under the supervision of the dissertation chairperson. Students must have completed all requirements: at least 18 courses, including the three required departmental seminars, the language requirements, and the qualifying papers. All Incompletes and blanks on the student’s transcript for required courses must have been removed and the new grade recorded in the Registrar’s Office prior to the date of the proposal defense.

Note that, in accordance with Divisional and Departmental requirements, students must pass the examination in the language of scholarship before being admitted to candidacy. Furthermore, most of the grants which are available to support dissertation research require that a student be admitted to candidacy before taking up the grant.

The proposal should demonstrate a student’s awareness of broad theoretical issues and a detailed knowledge of the chosen area of specialization. The dissertation proposal should be 20-25 pages in length. It should provide a clear statement of the scholarly problem to be addressed by the dissertation; the student’s theoretical orientation to this problem; a review of previous scholarly work; a provisional outline of the dissertation as a whole; a plan of research, including archives to be consulted, research sites chosen, a timetable, and a bibliography of no more than two pages.

Prior to the proposal defense, the student and the dissertation chairperson (who must be a member of the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations) select the two additional members of the student’s dissertation committee. One of the two may be, with the approval of the Departmental chair, from outside the University. The third member must be a University faculty member but need not be a member of SALC. The proposal must be deposited in the form of a printed paper copy in the departmental office at least two weeks prior to the date of the defense, and an abstract of it must be circulated to all SALC faculty. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the proposal and the abstract are deposited by this deadline. The proposal is defended orally before the committee and the Department, with the Chair of the Department presiding; these proceedings are open to students and faculty of the University. One purpose of the proposal defense is to familiarize all the members of the Department with a student’s research agenda, and provide an opportunity for them to offer guidance. With successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, the student is admitted to Ph.D. candidacy.

The Dissertation

It is expected that the dissertation will represent a substantial and original contribution to the study of South Asian languages and civilizations. Upon completion of the dissertation, the student defends it orally before the members of the dissertation committee, a Divisional Representative, and the Department, with the Chair of the Department presiding. Students will follow the guidelines of the University’s Dissertation Office in planning the date of their defense, and in formatting the dissertation. See http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/phd/ .

Two weeks before the scheduled defense, the student must submit a hard copy of the dissertation to each member of his/her committee and the departmental administrator. This task is solely the responsibility and expense of the student. This copy will be a complete, formatted dissertation, with the preliminary pages, main body of work, and end matter included in their entirety, and properly formatted. This copy of the dissertation should conform in every way to the requirements outlined by the University’s Dissertation Office, with the single exception that it may be submitted to the Department and committee members on standard white paper, instead of the archival quality paper the Dissertation Office requires. The defense will be cancelled if these standards are not met.

The defense proceedings are open only to the University community. Grades awarded for the dissertation are “No Pass,” “Conditional Pass,” “Pass,” and “Pass with Distinction.” The “Conditional Pass” requires the student to make revisions and obtain the committee’s final approval before the Departmental Approval Form will be signed. A vote of “Distinction” requires the unanimous recommendation of the dissertation committee and a majority vote of the faculty in attendance at the defense.

Application and Admission

Completed applications for admission and aid, along with all supporting materials, are due in mid-December for the academic year that starts in the following Autumn.

Four parts of the application are critically important and should accompany the application: the student’s academic record, letters of recommendation submitted by persons able to describe the student’s achievements and promise, the student’s statement of purpose, which describes the intellectual issues and subjects which they hope to explore at Chicago, and a sample of pertinent written work that demonstrates the applicant’s research interests or capabilities. The student’s academic record is documented through official transcripts.

Students whose first language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Information about these tests may be obtained from the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08540.

The application process for admission and financial aid for all graduate programs in Humanities is administered through the divisional Office of the Dean of Students. The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions, deadlines and department specific information is available online at: http://humanities.uchicago.edu/prospective/#admissions .

Questions pertaining to admissions and aid should be directed to humanitiesadmissions@uchicago.edu or (773) 702-1552.

 

Teaching Opportunities

As part of the student's pedagogical training, students are required to hold three Teaching Assistantships and two Lectureships, usually beginning in their third year. For Lectureships, preference is given to Ph.D. candidates. Students should discuss these arrangements with the GSA and the student’s committee chair, but an overview of teaching opportunities and teaching development resources is given below.

Departmental courses provide the major venue for teaching. The two-quarter undergraduate course “Introduction to South Asian Civilizations” regularly involves the participation of one or more graduate students as Teaching Assistants, and sometimes as Lecturers. The T.A.s and Lecturer/s are selected by the faculty coordinators for the course, usually late in the spring quarter of the preceding academic year. Departmental faculty teaching language courses also sometimes hire graduate students as Teaching Assistants and Lecturers. Students may teach a course of their own devising as a Lecturer; this arrangement must be coordinated and approved by the Department Chair, who will contact students about proposals for such.

Students may teach a course of their own devising through competitive “prize seminars” offered by the Stuart Tave Teaching Fellowships and Whiting Undergraduate Teaching Fellowships. The Department nominates students for these fellowships. Students can also apply for the Tave through The Center for Gender Studies (see http://genderstudies.uchicago.edu/grad/teaching.shtml ).

Students are also encouraged to pursue teaching opportunities not directly related to South Asian studies, such as positions in the University Writing Program (see http://writing-program.uchicago.edu/jobs/index.htm ). We especially encourage students to pursue the position of Writing Intern in the Humanities Common Core courses through this program. Being a Writing Intern (functionally a T.A.) in these courses provides valuable generalist experience for the job market.

The University sponsors workshops and forums designed to help graduate students develop pedagogically. Contact the Center for Teaching and Learning (see http://teaching.uchicago.edu/ ). The South Asian Language Research Center, housed at the University, also offers workshops on South Asian language pedagogy targeted towards advanced graduate students interested in language instruction (see http://salrc.uchicago.edu/ ).

Funding

Students admitted to doctoral study are typically awarded a five-year fellowship package that includes full tuition, an annual living stipend, 2 summer stipends, and medical insurance. Teaching training is a vital part of the educational experience at the University, so all fellowships include a required teaching component.

The information given below lists the most common sources of fellowships and grants for graduate students in the Department. Students may also be eligible for other funding administered by the University, private foundations, or other agencies. For information on the full range of sources of support, contact the following:

Office of Graduate Affairs
graduate-affairs@uchicago.edu
http://grad-affairs.uchicago.edu/programs/index.shtml

Humanities Dean of Students Office
Walker Museum, Ste. 111
humanitiesadmissions@uchicago.edu
http://humanities.uchicago.edu/current/grants.html

Language Study Fellowships

FLAS Fellowships (Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships) are another important source of funding. Recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, enrolled in at least one language course in the language of the award per quarter, and enroll in at least one course in an appropriate area or international studies subject during the academic year in which they hold a FLAS. Additional details regarding FLAS Fellowships may be found at the Office of Graduate Affairs web site. Qualifying languages taught in the Department are Bengali, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan, Urdu, and when offered, Khowar and Panjabi. These fellowships currently cover tuition, health clinic fees, student activities fees, and carry a stipend of $15,000 for three quarters. A competition for Summer FLAS fellowships for language study takes place concurrently; summer fellowships currently cover program tuition up to $4000 and provide a stipend of $2500. Summer FLAS fellowships may be used for eligible programs in the United States and abroad.  Contact the South Asia Language and Area Center  for information. Note that Summer FLAS Fellowships also may be available from the institution offering instruction (e.g., SASLI at UW, see below). Contact the institution sponsoring the program for information. Winter Quarter deadline.

We strongly encourage all SALC students to participate in a language study program in South Asia, and/or in the summer at the South Asian Summer Language Institute (SASLI) at the University of Wisconsin, at some time in their graduate career. Receipt of a fellowship for participation in a language program does not affect the total amount of your University funding; rather, the University postpones the funding until you return from your language study fellowship year or summer.

The American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) offers fellowships for its intensive nine-month language programs in India. See http://www.indiastudies.org/AIIS.html for details and a current list of the languages offered. AIIS summer language programs offer no funding for participants; students often obtain a summer FLAS fellowship through their home university. COSAS funding is also available for this purpose (see below). UC-Berkeley funds special fellowships for the AIIS Urdu program. See http://southasia.berkeley.edu/fellowship_berkeley.php . For information, contact Elise Auerbach, Administrator for AIIS, (aiis@uchicago.edu ). Winter Quarter deadline.

aiis@uchicago.edu offers some minimal funding for language study in Sri Lanka. See http://www.aisls.org/fellowship.html . Rolling deadline.

The Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS). Although primarily awarded for dissertation write-up (see below), COSAS fellowship support is also available for summer language study. For application information contact the Committee Office (Kelly 104, tel. 702-8637, snoble@uchicago.edu ). Spring Quarter deadline.

Critical Language Scholarships are available for summer intensive language study with AIIS (see above) and the American Institute of Bangladesh Studies, for U.S. citizens. See https://clscholarship.org/home.php . Winter and Spring Quarter deadlines.

The South Asia Summer Language Institute (SASLI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers FLAS fellowships through UW, with the usual FLAS citizenship restrictions, and Fee Remission Scholarships for which all students are eligible. See http://sasli.wisc.edu/funding/index.htm . Winter Quarter deadline.

Pre-dissertation Research Support

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC), despite its name, funds humanities projects as well, and offers a Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship. See http://www.ssrc.org/programs/dpdf/ . Winter Quarter deadline.

The American Institute of Bangladesh Studies (AIBS) offers a pre-dissertation fellowship for U.S. citizens or permanent residents. See http://www.aibs.net/predisfellowship.html . Contact AIBS for deadline.

The American Institute of Sri Lankan Studies (AISLS) offers a dissertation planning grant. See http://www.aisls.org/diss-plan.html . Fall Quarter deadline.

The Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS). Although primarily awarded for dissertation write-up (see below), COSAS fellowship support is also available for pre-dissertation research. For application information contact the Committee Office (Kelly 104, tel. 702-8637, so-asian@uchicago.edu ). Spring Quarter deadline.

Funding for Overseas Dissertation Research

These fellowships are for students admitted to Ph.D. candidacy. The following are the most common fellowships received by our students, and some South Asia-specific fellowships (as well as one Southeast Asia fellowship). There are several other fellowships for which graduate students in SALC are possibly eligible; see the Office of Graduate Affairs and the Humanities Dean of Students Office for complete databases and application information. Students should apply to as many relevant funding sources as possible.

The American Institute of Bangladesh Studies (AIBS)

Funds dissertation research in Bangladesh. See http://www.aibs.net/juniorfellowship.html . Winter Quarter deadline.

The American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS)

Funds dissertation research in India. Note that the July 1 application deadline is approximately one year to one-and-a-half years prior to the time when a grant recipient would begin residence in India. See http://www.indiastudies.org/ .

The American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS)

Offers a fellowship for research on materials related to the history and culture of Pakistan in any country EXCEPT Pakistan and the U.S. See http://www.pakistanstudies-aips.org/ . Winter Quarter deadline.

The Center for Khmer Studies (CKS)

Offers a Ph.D. Dissertation Research Fellowship for work in Cambodia and neighboring countries. See http://khmerstudies.org/fellowships/senior-fellowships/ . Fall Quarter deadline.

The Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC)

Offers a Multi-Country Research Fellowship for research of regional or trans-regional significance. Fellowships require scholars to conduct research in more than one country, at least one of which hosts a participating American overseas research center. See http://www.caorc.org/fellowships/multi/ . Winter Quarter deadline.

Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Fellowship

For research in non-Western countries. See http://www2.ed.gov/programs/iegpsddrap/index.html . Students apply through the University Office of Graduate Affairs. See http://grad-affairs.uchicago.edu/programs/fulbright.shtml . Fall Quarter deadline.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program (through IEE)

This program funds U.S. citizens conducting research abroad. See http://www.iie.org/Template.cfm?section=Fulbright1 . Students apply through the University Office of Graduate Affairs. Contact graduate-affairs@uchicago.edu .  Fall Quarter deadline.

The Nicholson Center for British Studies, University of Chicago

This Center offers a short-term graduate fellowship for UC graduate student research in the British Isles and Ireland, generally for three months or fewer. Those who research the former British Empire are eligible. Applicants have to demonstrate their need to conduct research in the British Isles and/or Ireland. See http://british.uchicago.edu/fellowships.html#gradtravel . Spring Quarter deadline.

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC)

Despite its name, funds humanities research and offers an International Dissertation Research Fellowship. See http://www.ssrc.org/programs/idrf /. Fall Quarter deadline.

Dissertation Write-up Fellowships

Please consult the Office of Graduate Affairs and the Humanities Dean of Students Office for information about external fellowships for the dissertation write-up period.

The University offers several fellowships for dissertation write-up which our students have received in recent years, namely, the Franke Institute, the William Rainey Harper, the Mellon Foundation, and the Whiting dissertation-year fellowships. These are residential fellowships which require presence on campus. The Department nominates students for these fellowships, and the competitions are administered by the Humanities Dean of Students Office. Note that students are not eligible for the Franke, Harper, and Whiting Fellowships beyond the tenth year of their program. For the Mellon, students beyond their sixth year are ineligible. See http://humanities.uchicago.edu/current/#grants for information.

The Martin Marty Center at the Divinity School offers a dissertation fellowship that may interest SALC students. See http://divinity.uchicago.edu/martycenter/fellowships/marty_dissertation.shtml for application information.

External Fellowships

Please consult the Office of Graduate Affairs and the Humanities Dean of Students Office for information about external fellowships for the dissertation write-up period. In recent years some SALC students have received the following fellowship:

The American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowship

Available to U.S. citizen/permanent resident women who will complete their dissertation writing during the fellowship period. Scholars engaged in researching gender issues are encouraged to apply. See http://www.aauw.org/learn/fellows_directory/ . Fall quarter deadline.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Awardees can generally hold this Fellowship no later than their seventh year. See http://www.acls.org/grants/Default.aspx?id=510&linkidentifier=id&itemid=510; . Fall quarter deadline.

Conference grants

SALC students are encouraged to organize panels and present papers at annual conferences such as the University of Wisconsin Annual Conference on South Asia, the annual meetings of the Association of Asian Studies, the American Academy of Religion, the American Historical Association, and the Modern Language Association, and their regional conferences, and conferences abroad, if possible. The following are some funding sources for travel to conferences for students presenting papers.

The American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies

Offers travel stipends for two annual conferences. See http://www.aisls.org/fellowship.html

The Division of the Humanities

Offers a Conference Grant. See http://humanities.uchicago.edu/current/#grants|conference-travel .

The Office of Graduate Affairs

Offers the Harrison-Doolittle Conference Grant. See http://grad-affairs.uchicago.edu/programs/doolittle.shtml .


Library Resources

Over 610,000 volumes of books, journals, government documents, maps, pamphlets, films, and sound recordings from all parts of the South Asian subcontinent are housed in the University of Chicago Library system. Publications are available on all aspects of South Asian life and culture, in all major western languages as well as in over thirty languages from all the nation-states of the subcontinent.

In addition to the Library’s on-line catalog (http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/index.html ), area-specific informational resources can be found at the Southern Asia Collection website, http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/su/southasia/ . A subpage of this site offers cataloging for the 21,000 volumes of Official Publications of the Government of India, deposited with the Regenstein by the British Library: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/su/southasia/off-pubs.html .

Office of the Southern Asia Collection

Regenstein Library, Room 560. Bibliographer: James H. Nye, jnye@uchicago.edu . Southern Asia Collection staff members are available for consultation in Regenstein 560 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You are encouraged to consult with the South Asia Librarian, Jim Nye, or one of his staff members, to discuss research needs for your dissertation project.

Following is a list of South Asia-related materials in the Regenstein Library and elsewhere on and near campus:

South Asia Reference Collection

Regenstein Fifth Floor Reading Room (RR5) on the far east side. This collection includes some 4,000 reference tools for most South Asian subjects (bibliographies, indexes, census volumes, gazetteers, atlases, dictionaries, standard histories, etc.), plus a selection of current journals, and daily newspapers.

South Asia Pamphlet Collection

housed on the south wall of RR5 in vertical files for which a key is available in Room 560 during office hours; collection includes several thousand pamphlets, off prints, unpublished conference papers, reading lists and other ephemera; holdings are listed in special catalog drawers marked by yellow tape in the fifth floor South Asia card catalog.

Map Collection

JRL 370, includes thousands of maps of all parts of South Asia at various scales, and from various periods.

Audio-visual materials

These include 16-mm films, videos, audio cassettes, DVDs, etc. Many are in the Regenstein collection catalogue, especially audio recordings of a wide variety of South Asian music. A few South Asian film resources are available at the Film Studies Center. A small library of audio-visual materials is available for check out to graduate students from the South Asia Outreach Office in Kelly Hall.

The nearby Center for Research Libraries (http://catalog.crl.edu/ ) holds multiple resources, including films from the important South Asia Microform Project. These can be obtained through Interlibrary Loan, or at the CRL Reading Room itself, at 6050 S. Kenwood Avenue (see http://www.crl.edu/about ).

 

South Asian Languages & Civilizations - South Asian Languages & Civilizations Courses

SALC 30508. Radical Cinema in India: A Historical Introduction. 100 Units.

 At the same time as Hindi films emerged as the dominant idiom of a "national" cinema, the cinematic landscape of postcolonial India was dramatically transformed by the works of a handful of filmmakers who emerged out of the ranks of newly established film clubs and and the Film Institute in India.  Variously described as the proponents of "alternative" "art" or parallel cinema in India, filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, Basu Chatterji, Adoor Gopalakrishnan chose cinema as the form through which they commented on politics and society.  Their cinematic style and idiom was however markedly different from that of Bollywood. This course introduces students to ideas of cinematic cosmopolitanism through a close reading of these exponents of "radical cinema" in India.  

Instructor(s): R. Majumdar     Terms Offered: Winter 2013
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 20508

SALC 30602. Reading Panjabi. 100 Units.

This course is intended for people who can already speak Panjabi (either partially or fully), but cannot read and/or write it.  It will teach students how to read Panjabi in either Gurmukhi or Perso-Arabic script (Shahmukhi) or both, depending on student interest.  Specific materials chosen for the course will depend on the students who enroll.

Instructor(s): E. Bashir
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 20605

SALC 30608. Persian Poetry: Masavi of Rumi I. 100 Units.

The Masnavi of Mowlânâ Jalâl al-Din Rumi (1207-1273) constitutes the single most influential text in the Persian mystical tradition, read in the original from Bosnia to Bengal. This course will consider the literary background and achievement of the text; its poetic representation of Qur'an, hadith and mystical theosophy; its reception, commentary and translation history; and above all the structure and meaning of the poem. The first quarter will survey a select anthology of individual stories and themes in the Masnavi; while the second quarter will focus on a through-reading of at least one of the six books of this 25,000-line poem.

Instructor(s): F. Lewis     Terms Offered: Winter 2013
Prerequisite(s): 2 years Persian
Equivalent Course(s): PERS 30324,ISLM 30324

SALC 30609. Persian Poetry: Masnavi of Rumi II. 100 Units.

The Masnavi of Mowlânâ Jalâl al-Din Rumi (1207-1273) constitutes the single most influential text in the Persian mystical tradition, read in the original from Bosnia to Bengal. This course will consider the literary background and achievement of the text; its poetic representation of Qur'an, hadith and mystical theosophy; its reception, commentary and translation history; and above all the structure and meaning of the poem. The first quarter will survey a select anthology of individual stories and themes in the Masnavi; while the second quarter will focus on a through-reading of at least one of the six books of this 25,000-line poem.

Instructor(s): F. Lewis     Terms Offered: Spring 2013
Equivalent Course(s): PERS 30325

SALC 30610. Rumi's Masnavi and the Persian Sufi Tradition. 100 Units.

The Masnavi of Mowlana Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273) is perhaps the most widely read and commented upon poem from Bosnia to Bengal, and Rumi has been hailed by more than one modern scholar as the “greatest mystical poet” of Islam, or even the world. This course centers around a close-reading in English of the six books of his "Spiritual Couplets." Through discussion and lectures we will consider the narrative techniques and sources of the tales, the morals drawn from them, the organizational structure of the whole, and the literary achievement of the Masnavi, viewing the text as a lens on to Rumi's theology, Persian Sufism and his place within the mystical tradition.

Instructor(s): F. Lewis     Terms Offered: Autumn 2012
Equivalent Course(s): NEHC 20750,NEHC 30750,FNDL 20750,ISLM 30750,SALC 20610,CMES 30750

SALC 30701. Postcolonial Theory. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): SALC 20701,HIST 26601,HIST 36601

SALC 30705. Readings in the Bhakti Literatures of North India. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): V. Paramasivan     Terms Offered: Winter 2013
Note(s): Open to advanced undergraduates with consent of instructor and 2-3 years of Hindi
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 41705

SALC 30800. Music of South Asia. 100 Units.

This course examines the music of South Asia as an aesthetic domain with both unity and particularity in the region. The unity of the North and South Indian classical traditions is treated historically and analytically, with special emphasis placed on correlating their musical and mythological aspects. The classical traditions are contrasted with regional, tribal, and folk music with respect to fundamental conceptualizations of music and the roles it plays in society. In addition, the repertories of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka, as well as states and nations bordering the region, are covered. Music is also considered as a component of myth, religion, popular culture, and the confrontation with modernity.

Instructor(s): K. Mason     Terms Offered: Autumn 2012

SALC 30900. Cultural Politics of Contemporary India. 100 Units.

Structured as a close-reading seminar, this class offers an anthropological immersion in the cultural politics of urban India today. A guiding thread in the readings is the question of the ideologies and somatics of shifting "middle class" formations; and their articulation through violence, gender, consumerism, religion, and technoscience.

Instructor(s): W. Mazzarella     Terms Offered: Not offered 2012–13; will be offered 2013–14
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 25500,ANTH 42600,SALC 20900

SALC 30901. Indian Philosophy I: Origins and Orientations. 100 Units.

A survey of the origins of Indian philosophical thought, emphasizing the Vedas, Upanisads, and early Buddhist literature. Topics include concepts of causality and freedom, the nature of the self and ultimate reality, and the relationship between philosophical thought and ritual or ascetic religious practice. (B)
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Instructor(s): M. Kapstein     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): DVPR 30200,HREL 30200,RLST 24201,SALC 20901

SALC 30902. Indian Philosophy II: The Classical Traditions. 100 Units.

Continuing and building upon SALC 20901/30901, we focus on the development of the major classical systems of Indian thought. The course emphasizes Indian logic, epistemology, and philosophy of language. (B)
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Instructor(s): D. Arnold     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): RLST 24201
Equivalent Course(s): DVPR 30300,HREL 30300,RLST 24202,SALC 20902

SALC 33002. Gender and Literature in South Asia. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): SALC 23002,CMLT 23500,GNDR 23001,GNDR 33001

SALC 33101. Love, Conjugality, and Capital: Intimacy in the Modern World. 100 Units.

A look at societies in other parts of the world demonstrates that modernity in the realm of love, intimacy, and family often had a different trajectory from the European one. This course surveys ideas and practices surrounding love, marriage, and capital in the modern world. Using a range of theoretical, historical, and anthropological readings, as well as films, the course explores such topics as the emergence of companionate marriage in Europe and the connections between arranged marriage, dowry, love, and money. Case studies are drawn primarily from Europe, India, and Africa.

Instructor(s): J. Cole, R. Majumdar     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course typically is offered in alternate years.
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 23102,ANTH 21525,ANTH 32220,CHDV 22212,CHDV 32212,SALC 23101

SALC 36901. Orality, Literature, and Popular Culture of Afghanistan and Pakistan. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): C. R. Perkins     Terms Offered: Winter 2013
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 26910,CMLT 26901,CMLT 36901,HIST 26905,HIST 36905,NEHC 20901,NEHC 30901

SALC 37701. Mughal India: Tradition and Transition. 100 Units.

The focus of this course is on the period of Mughal rule during the late sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, especially on selected issues that have been at the center of historiographical debate in the past decades.

Instructor(s): M. Alam     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Advanced standing and consent of instructor. Prior knowledge of appropriate history and secondary literature.
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 27701,HIST 26602,HIST 36602

SALC 39400. South Asia Before the Buddha. 100 Units.

South Asia has a rich historical record, from the very beginnings of our species to the present, and yet the earlier part of this record is surprisingly little-known outside specialist circles. This course provides a broad overview of South Asian archaeology and early history, from the beginnings of agricultural production to the expansion of states and empires in the early days of textual records.  We cover critical anthropological processes such as the origins and expansion of agriculture, the development of one of the world’s first urban societies – the Harappan or Indus civilization– the growth and institutionalization of social inequalities, and changing contexts of social and religious life. While the course actually extends a bit beyond the time of the Buddha, its major focus is on the periods up to and including the Early Historic.  No prior experience of either South Asia or archaeology is assumed; indeed, we will think quite a bit about the nature of evidence and about how we know about the more distant past.

Instructor(s): K. Morrison     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 25900

SALC 40000. South Asia As A Unit Of Study. 100 Units.

For course description contact South Asian Languages.

SALC 41705. Readings in the Bhakti Literatures of North India. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): V. Paramasivan     Terms Offered: Winter 2013
Note(s): Open to advanced undergraduates with consent of instructor and 2-3 years of Hindi
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 30705

SALC 42501. Many Ramayanas. 100 Units.

This course is a close reading of the great Hindu Epic, the story of Rama's recovery of his wife, Sita, from the demon Ravana on the island of Lanka, with special attention to the changes in the telling of the story throughout Indian history. Readings are in Paula Richman, Many Ramayanas and Questioning Ramayanas; the Ramayanas of Valmiki (in translation by Goldman, Sattar, Shastri, and R. K. Narayan), Kampan, and Tulsi; the Yogavasistha-Maharamayana; and contemporary comic books and films.

Instructor(s): W. Doniger     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 22911,HREL 42501,SCTH 40701

SALC 43103. Love, Capital, and Conjugality in Africa and India. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): R. Majumdar, J. Cole     Terms Offered: Winter 2013
Equivalent Course(s): CDIN 45001,HIST 45001,chdv 42212,anth 42221

SALC 46902. South Asia From the Peripheries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Transnational. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): C.R. Perkins     Terms Offered: Autumn 2012
Equivalent Course(s): NEHC 46902,CMLT 46902,HIST 46601

SALC 46903. History and Literature of Pakistan: Postcolonial Representations. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): C.R. Perkins     Terms Offered: Autumn 2012
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 26903,NEHC 26903,HIST 26608

SALC 48200. The Mahabharata in English Translation. 100 Units.

A reading of the Mahabharata in English translation (van Buitenen, Narasimhan, Ganguli, and Doniger [ms.]), with special attention to issues of mythology, feminism, and theodicy. (C)

Instructor(s): W. Doniger     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 26800,FNDL 24400,HREL 35000,SALC 20400

SALC 48400. Second-Year Sanskrit II. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): W. Doniger     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): SANS 10300 or comparable level of language skills
Equivalent Course(s): SANS 20200,HREL 36000

SALC 48601. Readings in Indo-Persian Literature II. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): M. Alam, T. d'Hubert     Terms Offered: Autumn 2012
Equivalent Course(s): NEHC 48601

SALC 60100. Teaching South Asia. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): S. Collins     Terms Offered: Autumn 2012