Courses

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Fall 2021

SPI 421/POL 479/CHV 470
Comparative Constitutional Law

This course will introduce students to constitutional government in comparative perspective. In the first half of the course, we will focus on presidential v. parliamentary systems, separation of powers, "fourth branch" institutions and the influence of transnational institutions. In the second half, we will focus on rights and the way that they are interpreted by courts. We will trace the emergence (and decline) of a global constitutional culture and discuss the constitutions of South Africa, India, Germany, France, Hungary, Colombia and Canada with side references to the U.S.

SAS 345/REL 345
Islam in South Asia through Literature and Film

This course is a survey of Islam in the Indian subcontinent. We begin with the earliest Muslim descriptions of India and the rise of Persian poetry to understand how Muslims negotiated life at the frontiers of the Islamic world. Next we trace patterns of patronage and production at the Mughal court and the development of Urdu as a vehicle of literary composition including a discussion of the Progressive Writer's Movement and the "Muslim Social" genre of Hindi cinema. The course concludes with an examination of contemporary novels from Bangladesh and Pakistan. Students will gain an informed perspective on Islam beyond the headlines.

SAS 210/LIN 213
Languages and Culture in South Asia

This course will provide an introduction to the study of South Asian languages in relation to culture (and history, society and politics), addressing topics such as orality and writing systems, multilingualism and polyglossia, literary cultures, cosmopolitan and vernacular language politics, and their relationship to social identity in historical and contemporary perspective.

SPI 591F
Policy Workshop: Rapid Switch, India
The project is structured to undertake deep-dive analysis across different sectors in the various regions in collaboration with local partners to ensure the analysis reflects an appropriate understanding of local conditions and values.  One major focus right now is India, where we have collaborators at IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi, and several other research institutes and NGOs.

URB 378/ARC 344/SAS 378/ HUM 378
South Asian Migrations
This interdisciplinary course explores the history, politics, and social dynamics of urban migration on the Indian subcontinent, home to and source of some of the largest migrations in human history. Through writing, discussion, and other activities, the class will also encounter broader concepts in the study of migration; its diversity, causes, challenges, as well as implications for social organization and city planning. Subtopics include the history of Asia's great migrations, partition and refugee resettlement, indentured and imported labor, gender politics, South Asian diasporas in the US, and the rural-urban divide in the global South.

ENV 377/CEE 377/SAS 377/URB 377
Sustainable Cities in the US and India: Technology & Policy Pathways

An interdisciplinary exploration of our quest for urban sustainability in different parts of the world. We will: 1) Explore the concept of sustainable cities, focusing on systems that provide food, energy, water, mobility, housing, waste management, and public spaces to more than half the world's people that live in urban areas today; 2) Compare and contrast cities in the US and India, understanding their diverse contexts and current baseline in terms of infrastructure, environment, economy, health, wellbeing and equity. 3) Explore pathways to a more sustainable future, including technology innovation, policy and social entrepreneurship.