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Program in South Asian Studies

Director

Isabelle Clark-Decès

Executive Committee

Zahid R. Chaudhary, English 

Isabelle Clark-Decès, Anthropology 

Ben Conisbee Baer, Comparative Literature 

Jonathan C. Gold, Religion 

Atul Kohli, Woodrow Wilson School, Politics 

Gyan Prakash, History 

Muhammad Q. Zaman, Near Eastern Studies, Religion 

Sits with Committee

Fauzia Farooqui, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies

David S. Magier, Firestone Library

Zia Mian, Woodrow Wilson School

Robert L. Phillips, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies


The Program in South Asian Studies, under the auspices of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, offers students the methodological and theoretical tools to study the political, economic, social, religious, literary, and cultural institutions of the region with particular focus on the modern history of India and Pakistan.

Hindi and Urdu. The Program in South Asian Studies offers a four-term sequence of language instruction in Hindi and Urdu. Completion of all four terms of either language will satisfy the University language requirement. The program emphasizes the skills of speaking, reading, and writing Hindi and Urdu, as well as the cultural context of South Asia. The program encourages students to take advantage of intensive summer language programs and of the numerous opportunities to study or travel in South Asia, including a semester or year abroad. For more information, contact the Program in South Asian Studies.

Admission to the Program

Students concentrating in any department may enter the certificate program with permission from the director. A student normally enters the program at the end of the sophomore year, although entrance in the fall of the junior year is not precluded. Students in the departments of anthropology, history, politics, religion, sociology, comparative literature, or the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs may find that their studies mesh particularly well with the requirements of the program. Concentrators in the Woodrow Wilson School will select South Asia as a field of concentration.

Program of Study

To obtain a certificate of proficiency, students must complete the normal requirements in their department of concentration as well as the following requirements of the program:

1. Four semesters of Hindi or Urdu, or demonstrated proficiency in Hindi, Urdu or another South Asian language through a program examination. See the program director to discuss using a language other than Hindi or Urdu to fulfill the program's language requirement.

2. At least one history course on South Asia in the Department of History.

3. At least two courses on South Asia in the Departments of Anthropology, Economics, or Politics, or the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Peoples and Cultures of South Asia (ANT 217/SAS 217), offered by the Department of Anthropology in conjunction with the Program in South Asian Studies, is the gateway course for the study of South Asia.

4. At least one relevant course on South Asia in the Departments of Comparative Literature or Religion.

5. A senior thesis written in the student's department of concentration with a significant South Asian component. If there is no possibility for South Asian content in the senior thesis, students must write a separate piece of independent work focusing on South Asia; please consult with the program director.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who complete the requirements of the program with satisfactory standing receive a certificate of proficiency in South Asian studies upon graduation.


Courses


HIN 101 Elementary Hindi and Urdu I (also URD 101)   Fall

This proficiency-based course in Hindi-Urdu allows students to acquire linguistic skills in culturally authentic contexts. Equal emphasis is placed on Hindi and Urdu, including writing systems, vocabulary, and culture. The course will focus on using language for genuine communication through a variety of activities. By the end of the course, students will be able to read and write both Hindi and Urdu scripts and communicate in a culturally appropriate manner. All classes will be interactive. No credit is given for HIN 101/URD 101 unless followed by HIN 102/URD 102. Staff

HIN 102 Elementary Hindi and Urdu II (also URD 102)   Spring

This course provides the second semester of training in Hindi and Urdu, allowing students to acquire linguistic skills in culturally authentic contexts. Equal emphasis is placed on both Hindi and Urdu, including writing systems, vocabulary, and culture. Course will focus on using language for genuine communication. Students will be able to read and write both Hindi and Urdu scripts, communicate in social situations, and narrate in all three time frames: past, present and future. Classes are interactive. Staff

HIN 105 Intermediate Hindi I   Fall

Building on HIN 102, this course will focus on expanding Hindi vocabulary, mastering more complex grammatical structures and acquiring idiomatic expressions. There will be an equal emphasis on all skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). Aspects of the target language culture will be integrated with instruction. Activities will be conducted in Hindi and classes will be interactive. Staff

HIN 107 Intermediate Hindi II   Spring

Continuing from HIN 105, the course refines and expands previously acquired linguistic skills in culturally authentic contexts. Focus on expanding vocabulary, mastering complex grammatical structures and idiomatic expressions. Use of authentic Hindi materials from print and electronic media, films, and folk literature. Equal emphasis on all skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). Activities are conducted in Hindi and classes are interactive. Staff

HIN 301 Advanced Hindi-Urdu I (also URD 301)  

This course provides an advanced level of training in reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension. Reading and writing exercises will be provided in both Hindi and Urdu, and students are free to choose their preferred format for reading and writing assignments. Readings are supplemented by films and documentaries on relevant topics. Assignments will consist of short essays or other exercises. In-class discussion will help develop oral competency in idiomatic spoken Hindi-Urdu and the expression of ideas and opinions in a culturally and linguistically authentic and accurate manner. R. Phillips

SAS 330 Mahabharata as Literature, Performance, Ideology (also COM 319/TRA 330/CLA 331)   Fall LA

The Mahabharata is considered to be the world's longest epic poem and among the foundational works of South Asian civilization. Students will learn the basic story and characters and read selections from published and unpublished parvans or "major books" of the epic, to understand its cultural context and impact, both historically and across centuries of interpretation. Recent scholarship on the epic's historical, ritual, and mythic contexts will be examined. Course will introduce students to the Indian epics, wider issues of epic scholarship, and the transmission and living performance of epics in South Asia and abroad. F. Smith

SAS 337 Social Change in Contemporary India (see ANT 337)

URD 101 Elementary Hindi and Urdu I (see HIN 101)

URD 102 Elementary Hindi and Urdu II (see HIN 102)

URD 105 Intermediate Urdu I  

The course is a continuation of HIN-URD 102, concentrating on Urdu. Students beginning with intermediate proficiency in either Urdu or Hindi will be brought to an advanced level in Urdu in all four skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Urdu script will be introduced and emphasis will be placed on strengthening literacy skills. Cultural aspects will be integrated with instruction. Activities will be conducted in Urdu and classes will be interactive. F. Farooqui

URD 107 Intermediate Urdu II  

This continuing proficiency-based course refines and expands previously acquired linguistic skills in culturally authentic contexts. Focus is on expanding vocabulary, mastering more complex grammatical structures, and acquiring idiomatic expressions. Use of authentic Urdu materials from print and electronic media, literature, and films. Equal emphasis on all skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). Various aspects of the target language culture will be integrated with instruction. Activities will be conducted in Urdu and classes will be interactive. F. Farooqui

URD 301 Advanced Hindi-Urdu I (see HIN 301)