Courses

Spring 2017

AS 383 / ENG 383 India in the Traveler’s Eye (Honors Seminar)

Instructor: Walter N. Hakala

Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30 – 1:50 pm, Capen 108

Air India poster

The idea of “India” has long attracted the attention of people from afar. Whether in search of gold or enlightenment, the “India” carried in the traveler’s imagination often conflicts with the India that is actually encountered. This course is intended to serve not just as an introduction to the motivations and experiences of travelers to India, but also to the forms of knowledge that are produced in the wake of such travels. We will begin by examining the accounts of early Greek ambassadors and sailors and Chinese pilgrims seeking wealth and knowledge. Both Muslim and Christian adventurers produced travelogues that describe the marvels of India in the medieval period. The Mughal court fascinated Europeans sojourners, while Indian travelers were in turn both delighted and disgusted by what they observed in Europe. Hippies more recently and in their own way reenact quests by colonial British officials for the sublime and picturesque. The diversity of perspectives that these works present challenges readers to consider what it means to be an “outsider” looking “in” on a culture, compelling us to consider arguments for and against treating certain geographic and political regions and temporal periods as coherent cultural zones.
By reading and discussing a wide range of both primary and secondary source materials, students will develop a broad familiarity with the history, literatures, religions, and geography of South Asia. All of the readings are in English and no background in South Asian languages, history, or literature is expected. In addition to completing brief UBlearns response papers on directed topics and making 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 of the texts are in English and no background in South Asian languages, literature, or history is expected.

Satisfies a Breadth of Literary Study requirement for English majors and an upper-level elective requirement for Asian Studies majors and minors.

HIN 102 Intensive 1st-Year Hindi-Urdu

Instructor: Alizishaan Khatri

MWF 9:00 – 10:25 am; Bell 325

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.

Questions about HIN 102? Email Professor Mitsuaki Shimojo, Director of Language Programs 

Fall 2016

AS 221 / ENG 221 Romance Traditions in Asia

Instructor: Walter N. Hakala

MWF 12:00-12:50 pm; Norton 210

Painting of two Indian lovers

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, a Hindi Sufi mystical work, an early Japanese novel, recent Bollywood cinema, Korean television melodramas, and the worldwide Harlequin Romance phenomenon. All readings are in English. There are no prerequisites for this class.

Satisfies SUNY Humanities and Other World Civilizations requirements, as well as 200-level requirements for English and Asian Studies majors and minors. 

Classics 113 (RSP 113/APY 168) Myth and Religion in the Ancient World

Instructor:  Roger D. Woodard

MWF 1:00–1:50 pm; Knox 104

Jain murti overlooking Muslim tomb in Mehrauli, Delhi

Myth and Religion in the Ancient World provides a comparative analysis of the mythic and religious traditions of various early Indo-European peoples, in coverage extending chronologically and geographically from Vedic India to Medieval Ireland and Scandinavia, focusing on ancient Greece and, especially Rome.  The analytic model used is that of, chiefly, Émile Benveniste and Georges Dumézil.

HIN 101 Intensive 1st-Year Hindi-Urdu

Instructor: Alizishaan Khatri

MWF 9:00 – 10:25 am; Baldy 126

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.

Questions about HIN 101? Email Professor Mitsuaki Shimojo, Director of Language Programs