Summer Quarter

June 15-August 17, 2012 

Environment and Development in the Indian Himalaya

Political Economy of Indian Development
Environment, Labor and Rural Economic Development
Internship / Service Learning


Suggested Courses Spring 2012

We strongly encourage students to enroll in at least one South Asia course prior to our summer program. The full South Asia course list is available by selecting "spring" at

Suggested courses:

ANTH 412/SISA 412  South Asian Social Structure 5 cr
MW 130-250 MEB 245 AMRUTE
Caste class, and community in modern India. Transitions from colonial typology to analysis of social change, diversity, stability, and caste hierarchy in rural society. Current debates on class and community in Indian society, rural and urban, explored through themes of identity, structure, and mobility. Prerequisite: one 200-level ANTH course. Offered: jointly with SISA 412.

SIS 202  Cultural Interactions in an Interdependent World 5 cr
MWF 1130-1220 KNE 220 ROBINSON
+See time schedule for quiz sections
W- Optional linked writing course: please see ENGL 298M.
Cultural interaction among societies and civilizations, particularly Western and non-Western. Intellectual, cultural, social, and artistic aspects; historical factors.

ENGL 316  Postcolonial Literature and Culture 5 cr
MW 830-1020 SWS 038 TARANATH
This course investigates contemporary South Asian literature in order to think through the domestic and international politics of migration, violence, sovereignty, and gendered agency. In addition to the literature, we will engage with films and appropriate theoretical essays that draw on postcolonial, queer, and feminist theories and cultural studies. Class is structured around student participation and discussion. 

SISA 200  Contemporary India and Pakistan 5 cr
MW 330-520 EEB 045 WARNER
Interdisciplinary introduction to the field of South Asian Studies. Overview of the topographic, social, and linguistic geography and history of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Examines politics, economy, social structure, religion, cultural production and the arts, popular culture, and transnationalism.

SISSA 490A/GH 590H  Global Mental Health: Focus on South Asia 3 cr
M 1230-320 SOCC 308 RAO
+Students may choose to add an optional 2 Independent Study credits for this course.
This course is designed for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students interested in pursuing work at the crossroads of Public Health and Social Science. The course will introduce students to key topics in global mental health, with a specific focus on mental health issues that arise in the South Asian countries of Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and India. The course will examine the socio-cultural and political forces that impact the assessment, manifestation, and impact of mental illnesses on individuals in this region. Students will take a critical view of diagnostic systems and examine the scientific research suggesting systematic differences in presentation of mental illness among people from South Asian and Western countries. We will examine methodological questions, such as the use of Kleinman’s “explanatory models of illness” paradigm as a tool in cross-cultural psychiatric research. We will also review clinical and treatment practices when working with people with mental illnesses in South Asia. Specifically, students will explore topics around task sharing, culturally-specific communication styles, idioms of social relatedness, emotional expression, familial structure, stigma, and power dynamics, as these can impact clinical assessment and interventions. Course readings will be supplemented with audio-visual materials, didactic sessions, active discussion, and student presentations.

ASIAN 498A  Special Topics: Introduction to Indian Philosophical Literature 5 cr
MW 130-320 SAV 136 PAHLAJRAI
Study of the evolution of early Hindu Indian Philosophy through a close reading of selections from the Vedas, the principal Upanishads, the Yoga Sutras, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita. English translations, no knowledge of Sanskrit or other Indian languages required.

ASIAN 498B Special Topics: Urdu Literature in Translation 5 cr
TTh 130-320 SAV 136 DUBROW
Urdu literature is one of the major literary traditions of South Asia. This survey course will introduce the major works, authors, and literary periods of this rich tradition. The course includes units on modern short story, novel, and the classical poetry of Mir and Ghalib. All works will be read in English translation, and no knowledge of Urdu is required.

ARCH 251 World Architecture: Non-Western Cultures 5 cr
MW 130-350 ARC 147 PRAKASH
An introduction to the history of the architecture and civilization in India from Mohenjodaro to Chandigarh. 

ART H 309B  Topics in Art History: Photography’s Other Histories & The Technology of Encounter 5 cr
MWF 1130-1250 ART 317 CAROTENUTO
Using South Asia as a theoretical foundation, this course emphasizes how India and other non-European cultures transformed the practice of photography to make it meaningful in local terms. Recent art historical scholarship challenges the assumption that non-Western photographers simply took up the imported technology as a visual practice accompanied by a fully formed discourse. What was the impact of colonialism upon photographic production in the non-West? How did photography impact emergent discourses of modernity, nationalism and feminism in India and other cultural arenas? How can we understand this “technology” of encounter in social, aesthetic and material terms?
Structured as a chronological survey from the earliest appearance of photography in India and other non-Western regions up to contemporary production, this course engages thematic subjects such as photography and science, ethnographic projects, monuments and memory, self-representation and portraiture, hybrid identity formation, the emergence of studio practices, tourism and travel, and various modes of reception, such as traditional regimes of viewing and the re-use of photographic images and styles. The work of inter-disciplinary scholars, such as Christopher Pinney, Okwui Enwezor, Deborah Poole and James Ryan, will be situated in dialogue with a selection of non-Western photographers.

HSTAS 401  History of Ancient India 5cr
Please check time schedule for days, times, and locations. SALOMON
India in ancient times; emphasis on forms of political organizations and economic life, social organizations, and cultural developments. The course will survey the early history of the Indian subcontinent from the proto-historical period until the advent of Islam, with a concentration on the period between the fifth century B.C. to the sixth century A.D., and particularly on the two greatest early Indian empires, the Mauryas and the Guptas. Special attention will be paid to the analysis of recurrent patterns in Indian history; unusual features of the Indian historical tradition and the special historiographic techniques required to reconstruct and understand early Indian history; and the interactions of Indian history with other parts of Asia and other world regions. Readings will include translations of important historical inscriptions and other primary source materials, which will be studied in detail and analyzed critically.


COURSES: Summer 2012

Political Economy of Indian Development
(SISA 417 or GEOG 436)
This course examines post-colonial development in India. We take a comparative approach juxtaposing the development trajectory of the Uttarakhand region with perspectives from other parts of India. The course considers how local people interpret, appro-priate and resist a variety of development initiatives without losing sight of the broader social, economic and political factors shaping the experiences of ordi-nary Indians.

Environment, Labor and Rural Economic Development 
(SISSA 490)

This course considers the working lives of Indians with particular reference to ethnographic research on children, women, and the rural and urban poor. We focus especially on work, gender and the environment in the Indian Himalayas, and, within this, on recent anthropological and geographical research on peo-ple's laboring lives.

(SIS 497
The internship provides each student the opportunity to work directly with host organization Central Hima-layan Resource Action Group (CHIRAG) specific ac-tivities and projects. Students will work in small groups, based on their areas of interest and expertise, on CHIRAG programs in education (in the CHIRAG school, village schools, and adolescent training pro-grams), natural resource management (social for-estry, watershed management), agriculture, preven-tive and curative health care, and income generation.



Program Description l Application Materials l Important Links

Return to South Asia Center

South Asia Center
University of Washington
303 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-4800 phone
(206) 685-0668 fax

Anand Yang, Director

Keith Snodgrass, Associate Director

Molly Wilskie-Kala, Program Coordinator

Nick Gottschall, Graduate Student Assistant

Robyn Davis, FLAS Coordinator

Sunila Kale, Graduate Program Coordinator