Cultures of Asia

South Asia

An 332

Allen Zagarell

Summer 2008

Office hours


Objective:To introduce the student to the history and culture of South Asian Society

Requirements: Do all the reading.  Participate in discussions.  There will be three examinations.  Each examination represents one third of total class grade.

Required Texts:  Mines and Lamb 2002 Everyday Life in South Asia

                                   Emadi 2005 Culture and Customs of Afghanistan

Class Schedule:

May 5 Week 1

1)Introduction to Course

             Map of Asia


May 7 Geography/Climate/Populations

Readings:Emadi 1-12

Film: Asian Earth (22 minutes)


              Political Map of India 

              Images of India

              Images of Pakistan

              Map of Pakistan

              Map of Afghanistan and Vicinity

Context and History

May 12 Week 2 1)Orientalism

                          2)South Asian Pre and Early History (the Roots of Civilization)

                           Film: Messages from the Past

                           Readings:Reserve xxx

Harappan Civilization

Regional Archaeology


May 14 1)Indo Europeans; South Asians; the Centers of Culture;

                Aryans, Greeks, Mauryans, Kushan and Islamic Influences

                Readings Reserve: Tyler 43-57

                The explanation and first edict of Ashoka

                Greek Regional Influence

                 Kushan Empire

                 Mughal Rulers

                 The Coming of Islam

                  Read page 2

                  Film: In the Footsteps of Alexander (60 minutes);The Splendor of the Moghuls (44 minutes)

May 19 Week 3 1)From Colonial Rule to Independence/Resistance to Colonial Rule

                  Readings: Emadi 12-50; Reserve Welty 108-138

                  Film: Earth (partition; 101 minutes)

                  East India Company

                  The British Raj

                  Gandhi and Independence

                  Jinnah and Pakistani Independence



May 21 Examination I

Lecture: Tribal Life


May 26 Memorial Day


May 28 Week 4 1)Daily Life Tribes/settled and nomad/village life/caste

                   Readings:Emadi Chapter 7; Mines and Lamb 11-23, 23-37

                   Photos of Afghanistan

                   Look through the 8 pages of photos


June 2 Week 5   1)Village/Caste/kinship/class/gender

                 Readings: Mines and Lamb 190-191,100 –116, 214-229

                 Film: Caste and Family

June 4

1)Religions of South Asia

                         From Vedic Beliefs to Hinduism

                         Readings:Emadi 165-195, Mines and Lamb 236-249

                         Film:Wedding of a Goddess

                         Hymns of the Rig Veda



June 9 Week 6 1)Hinduism/Political Hinduism/Buddhism/Jainism/Sikhism/Parsis (Zoroastrianism)

                         Readings: Mines and Lamb 261-275

                         Buddha’s Life and Teachings

                         Jainism ; Mahavira

                         Sikh Religion

June 11              1)Islam; Sunni, Shia, Sufi;  traditional and new influences 

                            Readings:58-81; Mines and Lamb 309-337

                            Basic Islamic Beliefs

                            Various Visions of Islam

                            Look at Sunni, Shia (twelevers) and Ismailite

                            As well as Deobandi and Wahabism

                            Film:Islamic Mysticism (30 minutes)

June 16   Week 7    Examination II

Lecture: Nation Building (India/Pakistan/Afghanistan)

June 18 Lecture: Nation Building (India/Pakistan/Afghanistan)

Extremism and Understanding

The BJP/Taliban/Al Qaeda

Film:The Kiterunner

June 23 Week 8  1)Recent Trends; History, Social, Economic

                            In Afghanistan, Pakistan and India

                            Readings:Mines and Lamb 387-440

                            India’s Growing Economy

                            Pakistan’s Economy

                            Afghan Economy


June 25  Final Examination

Last Lecture

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