Courses

Fall 2020

AS 199 UB Seminar: The Idea of India

Instructor: Walt Hakala

Tomb of Tipu Sultan, Srirangapatnam
Tomb of Tipu Sultan (d. 1799), Srirangapatna. Photo. W.Hakala

AS 221 (Reg #21795), MoWeFr 10:00AM – 10:50AM, Filmore 351, 3 credits

70 years after gaining independence, and more than a century after beginning its struggle for independence from Britain, this course will evaluate the legacy of India as both an idea and a reality by asking unresolved questions such as

  • To what extent has postcolonial India lived up to the promises outlined in the preamble to its 1949 constitution “to secure to all its citizens” justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity? 
  • What role has colonialism played in shaping present-day Indian society? 
  • How have perceptions of India changed outside India? How (if at all) are they connected with reality of life within India?

“The Idea of India” will serve as an introduction to the vexed histories of colonialism, caste, gender, religion, language, and politics in modern India. Students enrolled in the course will examine primary sources and secondary scholarship to understand debates about India’s status (aspiration or actual) as an independent political, cultural, and economic unit. Through online “running notes” and exercises, in-class debates, and a final project, students will employ various media (written, oral, visual) to argue, synthesize, and critically analyze unresolved questions about India’s past, present, and future. We will connect ethical debates about area studies with discussions of academic integrity to explore the broader political implications of how, why, and for whom knowledge gets produced. No prerequisite coursework or experience with Asian Studies is expected prior to the start of the course.

AS 221 / ENG 222 Survey of Asian Literature

Instructor: Walt HakalaTwo lovers

AS 221 (Reg #21424), MoWeFr 2:00PM – 2:50PM, Clemens 06 (basement), 3 credits

This course will introduce students to narratives of romance that span Asia’s wide variety of religious, literary, theatrical, and cinematic traditions. Rather than defining romance by what it contains, we will instead consider what romance as a genre does. Through this approach, it becomes possible to examine why certain narratives were compelling enough to be transmitted across and preserved within a diverse range of cultures and historical periods. “Texts” include English translations of Sanskrit drama, The Arabian Nights, an early Japanese novel, recent Bollywood cinema, Korean television melodramas, and the worldwide Harlequin Romance phenomenon. 

Satisfies 200-level requirements for English and a “Core Course” requirement for Asian Studies majors and minors. Fulfills Global and Thematic Pathway requirements in the UB Curriculum. No prerequisite coursework or knowledge of a foreign language is expected prior to the start of the course. This course is the same as ENG 222 and course repeat rules will apply. Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.

AS 333 South Asian Cinema: Bollywood and Beyond

Instructor: TBD

AS 333 (Reg #22193), Th 7:00PM – 9:40PM, Clemens 322, 3 credits

Bollywood poster

This course is a chronological exploration of Hindi cinema, stretching from the 1940s to the present. With its flashy item numbers, chocolate, heroes, masala films, and playback singers, Bollywood films offer delights that no other genre can. But beneath its flashy exterior, Bollywood also offers moral lessons for social uplift, provides examples of changing class and family dynamics, tracks the influence of the West on a decidedly South Asian art form, and has its finger perennially on the cultural pulse of India.

Satisfies an upper-level elective requirement for Asian Studies majors and minors. Satisfies a List 3 requirement of the UB Global Pathways.

HIN 101 Intensive 1st-Year Hindi-Urdu

Instructor: Vandana Iyer

HIN 101 (Reg #19249) MWF 9:00 – 10:25 am; Baldy 114

Hindi-Urdu-English vocabulary in verse

A five-credit course that will introduce the closely-related languages of Hindi and Urdu, intended for students with no or very limited exposure to these or related South Asian languages. At the introductory level, Hindi and Urdu are similar in vocabulary and grammar but use different scripts. Students will gain competency in speaking Hindi and Urdu, and in reading and writing these languages using both scripts. This is the first semester of a year-long sequence that prepares students for 2nd-year HIN 193-194. No prerequisites.

Fulfills a component of the UB Global Pathway in Introductory Hindi-Urdu.

Spring 2020

AS 333 South Asian Cinema: Bollywood and Beyond

Instructor: Anupriya Pandey

AS 333 (Reg #21976), Th 7:00PM – 9:40PM, Clemens 322, 3 credits

Bollywood poster

This course is a chronological exploration of Hindi cinema, stretching from the 1940s to the present. With its flashy item numbers, chocolate, heroes, masala films, and playback singers, Bollywood films offer delights that no other genre can. But beneath its flashy exterior, Bollywood also offers moral lessons for social uplift, provides examples of changing class and family dynamics, tracks the influence of the West on a decidedly South Asian art form, and has its finger perennially on the cultural pulse of India.

Satisfies an upper-level elective requirement for Asian Studies majors and minors. Satisfies a List 3 requirement of the UB Global Pathways.

AS 338 Islam and Literature 

Instructor: Walt Hakala

AS 338 (Reg #22070), MoWe 5:00PM – 6:20PM, Capen 258, 3 credits

Mughal MaryThis course will expose students to the wide variety of poetic and prose literary forms associated with Islam, including contemporary English-language novels and translations from Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Hebrew, Persian, Saraiki, Tamil, and Urdu originals. We will explore literature through a variety of themes and genres common to the literary traditions of these languages. Theory and primary source readings will be paired each week. All readings are in English and will include early Sufi mystical works, pre-Islamic, medieval, and more recent 20th-century poetry, and such prose genres as autobiography, folktales, romances, short stories, and novels. In addition to brief UBlearns response papers on directed topics and weekly contributions to collaborative “Running Notes” on assigned readings, seminar participants will spend the second half of the semester preparing a final project consisting of a prospectus, annotated bibliography, and research paper. All assigned texts are in English and no background in other languages or Islam is expected.

Satisfies an upper-level elective requirement for Asian Studies majors and minors. Satisfies a List 3 requirement of the UB Global Pathways.

HIN 102 Intensive 1st-Year Hindi-Urdu

Instructor: Vandana Iyer

MWF 9:00 – 10:25 am; Baldy 115

Hindi-Urdu-English vocabulary in verse

A five-credit course that will introduce the closely-related languages of Hindi and Urdu, intended for students with no or very limited exposure to these or related South Asian languages. At the introductory level, Hindi and Urdu are similar in vocabulary and grammar but use different scripts. Students will gain competency in speaking Hindi and Urdu, and in reading and writing these languages using both scripts. This is the second semester of a year-long sequence that prepares students for 2nd-year HIN 193-194. No prerequisites.

Fulfills a component of the UB Global Pathway in Introductory Hindi-Urdu.