South Asian Studies


Introduction

Students study South Asia in an approach attentive to global formations. They are introduced to the study of South Asia—Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka—through a wide angle view of Asian modernities, political economies, and cultures, all the while delving into specialist close-ups of South Asia. With open access to comparative courses in the Contemporary Asian Studies program, students can learn from specialists in South, East, and Southeast Asia.

With a curriculum motivated by the moving present—the changing face of South Asia today—the South Asian Studies minor offers rigorous training in major debates and questions in the rich field of South Asian Studies, and provides a basic foundation for many directions of future study. From historical contexts of ethnic conflict, to postcolonial readings of ancient traditions, to the politics of religious and ethnic identities, to the workings of vast-scale democracy and capitalism, to the worlds of cinema and public culture, students are exposed to the dynamic landscapes—political, material, and mythic—that constitute South Asia today.

Students may also be interested in the closely connected Contemporary Asian Studies program.

Contact Information

Katherine MacIvor, Program Advisor
Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
1 Devonshire Place, room 228N
ai.asianstudies@utoronto.ca
416-946-8832

Website: https://munkschool.utoronto.ca/ai/south-asian-studies-minor

South Asian Studies Programs

South Asian Studies Minor (Arts Program) - ASMIN1333

Enrolment Requirements:

This is an open enrolment program. A student who has completed 4.0 credits may enrol in the program.

Completion Requirements:

(4.0 credits)

  1. SAS114H1
  2. 1.0 credit from: CAS200H1, CAS201H1, CAS202H1
  3. SAS318H1 or HIS282Y1
  4. 0.5 credit in 300-level CAS courses
  5. Additional 1.0 or 1.5 credits (as necessary to total 4.0 credits in minor) from SAS and CAS courses or the list of eligible courses offered by other departments found below.

Electives:

CDN230H1, ENG369H1, FAH364H1*, HIS282Y1, HIS470H1, HIS480H1, HIS494H1, HIN211H5 (UTM), HIN212H5 (UTM), HIN312H5, (UTM), HIN313H5 (UTM), LGGA70H3 (at UTSC)*, LGGA71H3 (UTSC)*, MUS209H1, BPM214H1, MUN200H1*, PHL239H1, PHL339H1, POL328H1*, POL357H1, POL441H1, RLG205H1, RLG206H1, RLG208H1, RLG311H1, RLG312H1, RLG352H1, RLG355H1, RLG358H1, RLG361H1, RLG363H1, RLG365H1, RLG366H1, RLG368H1, RLG372H1, RLG373H1, RLG462H1, RLG463H1, RLG465H1*, RLG467H1, RLG478H1, RLG472H1, SOC218H1, CHC456H1

*Courses for which South Asian Studies students have priority enrolment

Note: Effective Fall 2021, courses associated with New College's Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health program will have the new "BPM" designator. In addition, courses associated with St. Michael's College's Christianity and Culture program will have the new "CHC" designator.


 

Courses Eligible for Program Credit

Students who wish to count non-CAS or SAS courses towards the program that are not listed in the program completion requirements (including U of T courses and transfer credits) must seek permission from the program director IN ADVANCE. Course approval is not guaranteed and will be given at the discretion of the program director. Please consult the program advisor at ai.asianstudies@utoronto.ca with questions.

South Asian Studies Courses

SAS114H1 - Introduction to South Asian Studies

Previous Course Number: SAS114Y1

Hours: 24L

An interdisciplinary introduction to South Asian Studies emphasizing inquiry and critical analysis, drawing attention to the specificities of individual nations as well as the factors (historical, political, economic and cultural) that define South Asia as a region. Some attention will be paid to the South Asian Diaspora.

Exclusion: NEW114Y1, SAS114Y1
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

CAS200H1 - Introduction to Contemporary Asian Studies

Hours: 24L

This course is an introduction to Contemporary Asian Studies. It covers detailed case study material from South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. It introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of political, sociocultural and economic interactions among these regions, as well as the transnational forces shaping internal dynamics throughout Asia. In addition, it examines the ways that forces stemming from Asia are affecting global processes, pushing scholarship to engage questions about colonialism, nationalism, "race," religion, markets, urbanization, migration, and mass mediated culture. This course provides preparation for more advanced courses on Asia and globalization and provides an introductory gateway for the Contemporary Asian Studies major and minor. May be taken in the first year of studies.

Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

CAS201H1 - Global Asian Studies: Insights and Concepts

Previous Course Number: CAS200Y1

Hours: 24L

This course addresses Asia empirically in contemporary global formations and as an idea in the global imagination. It introduces students to concepts and theories central to scholarship on Asia and its transnational formations. It provides foundational theoretical and conceptual material to understand global issues as they play out in the politics, economies, cultures and contemporary social worlds of contemporary Asian sites. Interdisciplinary analytical and research concepts are introduced to provide area studies grounding. This course provides preparation to delve into deeper research on Asia connected to broad questions about the natures of democracy, authoritarianism, market formation, social justice, and the media of cultural expression. It informs students aiming to take more advanced courses on Asia and globalization and provides one part of the foundation for the Contemporary Asian Studies major and minor. CAS201H1 introduces the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that are explored through further grounded empirical case studies in upper year CAS courses.

Exclusion: CAS200Y1
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

CAS202H1 - Global Asian Studies: Sites and Practices

Previous Course Number: CAS200Y1

Hours: 24L

This interdisciplinary course explores a variety of sites and topics in South, Southeast, and East Asia. It explores themes including contemporary and historical articulations of socio-economic development, (post)colonial political formations, urbanization processes, climate change, labour struggles, gender studies, migration, citizenship, and social justice. The course examines the diversity of Asian modernities, cross-regional linkages, and changing approaches to area studies over time. It provides a foundation for the Contemporary Asian Studies major and minor, preparing students for taking more advanced courses on Asia in the global context.

Exclusion: CAS200Y1
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

CAS310H1 - Comparative Colonialisms in Asia

Hours: 24L

This course analyzes the impact of colonialism in South, East, and Southeast Asia and the various ways in which pre-colonial traditions intersect with and reshape colonial and postcolonial process across the various regions of Asia. The course will examine the conjunctures of economy, politics, religion, education, ethnicity, gender, and caste, as these have played out over time in the making and re-making of Asia as both idea and place. Attention will be paid to postcolonial and indigenous theories, questions of ‘the colonial’ from the perspective of Asian Studies, and debates about the meaning of postcolonialism for the study of Asia now and in the future.

Prerequisite: 0.5 CAS credit at the 200-level
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

SAS318H1 - Colonialism and Tradition

Hours: 24L

This course analyzes the impact of colonialism in South Asia and the various ways in which tradition intersects with and has reshaped colonialism in postcolonial South Asia. The course will examine the role of religion, education, ethnicity, gender, and caste. Some attention will be paid to postcolonial and indigenous theory.

Prerequisite: Completion of 6.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: SAS114H1
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

CAS320H1 - Comparative Modernities in Asia

Hours: 24L

Since at least the late 1700s, the effects of capitalism across the globe have profoundly transformed the landscapes of human livelihood, consumption, production and governance in Asia. While colonial empires have declined, new empires have emerged, and a growing number of countries have witnessed the rise of nationalism and independent states, social, political and technological revolutions, and most recently neoliberal globalization. This course theorizes and explores these dramatic changes in a comparative framework. It is aimed at students wishing to better understand the great transformations of modern Asia in a global context.

Prerequisite: 0.5 CAS credit at the 200-level
Recommended Preparation: CAS202H1
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

CAS350H1 - Asian Youth Cultures

Hours: 24L

In focusing on youth in Asia, this course brings together two disputed cultural formations of substantial contemporary importance. Both youth and Asia are increasingly invoked on the global stage in support of a wide range of interests. Examining practices of young people and the idea of youth in the context of Asia requires critical attention to the promises and fears that attach to the rise of Asian economies, international demographic transitions, the growth of a global middle-class, increasing consumption disparities, changing immigration patterns, expanding technological skills, global/local environmental concerns, and young people’s shifting political priorities and loyalties. The course may feature a significant amount of social theory, with authors such as Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Louis Althusser, and Stuart Hall.

Prerequisite: 6.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: 0.5 CAS credit at the 200-level
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

CAS360H1 - Asian Genders

Hours: 24L

This course will explore ways that gender is mobilized and produced in parts of Asia. It seeks to understand gender and sexuality in their diversity and in attempts to “fix” or locate it in various bodies and places. Attempts will be made to see how gender is made knowable in terms of sexuality, medicine, nation, class, ethnicity, religion, and other discourses. The course assumes a willingness to read challenging theory – such as the writings of Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, and Eve Sedgwick – and asks that students commit to regular attendance.

Prerequisite: 6.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: 0.5 CAS credit at the 200-level
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

CAS370H1 - Asian Cities

Hours: 24L

This course offers a multidisciplinary perspective of urban life in Asia. The thematic focus will be on how the urban intersects with modernities and postcolonial formations. Drawing on recent scholarship in the social sciences and the humanities, we will examine the realignment of cultural, political, and economic forces associated with Asia’s diverse processes of urbanization.

Prerequisite: 6.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: 0.5 CAS credit at the 200-level
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

SAS390H1 - Special Topics in South Asian Studies

Hours: 24L

Course content varies in accordance with the interest of the instructor.

Prerequisite: SAS114H1 and completion of 9.0 credits. Students who do not meet the prerequisite are encouraged to contact the instructor.

CAS390H1 - Special Topics

Hours: 24L

Course content varies in accordance with the interest of the instructor. Check http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/ai/cas for an updated description.

Prerequisite: 6.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: 0.5 CAS credit at the 200-level

CAS393H1 - Independent Research

Supervised independent research on a topic agreed on by the student and a faculty supervisor before enrolment in the course. Open to advanced CAS major and minor students with a strong background in contemporary Asian studies. A maximum of one year of Independent Research courses is allowed per program. Contact hours with the supervisor may vary, but typically comprise of one hour per week. Not eligible for CR/NCR option. To enrol, please contact ai.asianstudies@utoronto.ca to request an application form, which should be filled out in consultation with the faculty supervisor and include a detailed description of the course topic, reading list, and assignments/marking scheme. Students must submit the completed form to ai.asianstudies@utoronto.ca at least one week before the start of term.

Prerequisite: 10.0 credits, an application form

CAS393Y1 - Independent Research

Supervised independent research on a topic agreed on by the student and a faculty supervisor before enrolment in the course. Open to advanced students in the CAS major and minor with a strong background in contemporary Asian studies. A maximum of one year of Independent Research courses is allowed per program. Contact hours with the supervisor may vary, but typically comprise of one hour per week. Not eligible for CR/NCR option. To enrol, please contact ai.asianstudies@utoronto.ca to request an application form, which should be filled out in consultation with the faculty supervisor and include a detailed description of the course topic, reading list, and assignments/marking scheme. Students must submit the completed form to ai.asianstudies@utoronto.ca at least one week before the start of term.

Prerequisite: 10.0 credits, an application form

CAS400H1 - Interdisciplinary Research in Methods in Contemporary Asian Studies

Hours: 24S

This seminar addresses Asian worlds – In Asia, transnationally, and locally – to cultivate new approaches to global processes and problems. The course explores key Asian sites that open new configurations for studying interactions between economic/environmental development, political change, and migration and cultural politics. It provides an advanced and systematic overview of the research methodologies that students have been exposed to throughout the CAS program. These include historical-archival, ethnographic, visual/media, and statistical/quantitative methods that allow us to map Asian political, economic, and cultural formations, and through them, global challenges. The seminar builds interdisciplinary conversations attentive to both critical problematizing and problem-solving, to qualitative and applied projects. It is the required capstone to the Contemporary Asian Studies major.

Prerequisite: 1.0 200-level CAS credit and 1.0 300-level CAS credit
Exclusion: CAS400Y1
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

CAS414H1 - The Public Event in Asia

Hours: 24S

This upper-level seminar will introduce students to the interdisciplinary study of popular culture in Asia through a focus on public events. Readings about all kinds of performances, including ritual, popular protest, festivals, sports, cinema, television, digital media events, and the performing arts will help students learn methodological tools to interpret the politics and meanings of public culture as it articulates with class, ethnicity, religious community, gender and caste. The course will furthermore familiarize students with a range of theoretical lenses for conceptualizing the different meanings of the “event” and the “public” from a perspective grounded in the histories of South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and their diasporas.

Prerequisite: At least 14.0 credits
Exclusion: NEW414H1, SAS414H1
Recommended Preparation: 1.0 credit in 200 level CAS courses; 1.0 credit in 300 level CAS courses
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

CAS420H1 - Asia and the New Global Economy

Previous Course Number: JPA420H1

Hours: 24S

This course explores the rise of Asia and its integration into the new global economy (labour, capitalism, knowledge economy, economic nationalism, inequality, gender, the meaning of capitalism, democracy, among others), exposing students to diverse disciplinary perspectives. Geographical coverage is pan-Asian, including East, Southeast and South Asia.

Prerequisite: 14.0 credits
Exclusion: JPA420H1
Recommended Preparation: 1.0 200-level CAS credit and 1.0 300-level CAS credit
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

CAS430H1 - Nationalism and Revolution in Asia

Hours: 24L

This course explores the far-reaching social, political, and cultural transformations in modern East, Southeast, and South Asia, focusing on the twentieth-century revolutionary histories and struggles to establish modern nation-states. The course adopts a topical approach within a chronological and comparative framework to highlight major historical movements and theoretical issues significant to the Asian experience.

Prerequisite: 14.0 credits
Exclusion: ASI430H1
Recommended Preparation: 1.0 200-level CAS credit and 1.0 300-level CAS credit
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

CAS450H1 - Asian Pathways Research Practice

Hours: 24S

This seminar builds on the systematic overview of research methodologies of the Contemporary Asian Studies major and its capstone course, CAS400H1. CAS450H1 provides students with the opportunity to research questions of contemporary relevance stemming from Asia and its transnational networks and communities. Addressing a range of methodologies, including historical-archival, ethnographic, visual/media, and statistical/quantitative, the course emphasizes research experience outside the classroom, in Asia as well as locally with communities in Toronto. Students will develop their own research contributions while working collaboratively.

Prerequisite: 14.0 credits, including 1.0 200-level CAS credit and 1.0 300-level CAS credit
Exclusion: CAS400Y1
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

SAS490H1 - Special Topics in South Asian Studies

Hours: 24S

Course content varies in accordance with the interest of the instructor. Please check the Arts & Science timetable for an updated title and description.

Prerequisite: 14.0 credits including at least 1.0 credit from SAS or CAS courses. Students who do not meet these prerequisites are encouraged to contact the Department.
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

CAS498H1 - Independent Research

Supervised independent research on a topic agreed on by the student and a faculty supervisor before enrolment in the course. Open to advanced CAS major and minor students with a strong background in contemporary Asian studies. A maximum of one year of Independent Research courses is allowed per program. Contact hours with the supervisor may vary, but typically comprise of one hour per week. Not eligible for CR/NCR option. To enrol, please contact ai.asianstudies@utoronto.ca to request an application form, which should be filled out in consultation with the faculty supervisor and include a detailed description of the course topic, reading list, and assignments/marking scheme. Students must submit the completed form to ai.asianstudies@utoronto.ca at least one week before the start of term.

Prerequisite: 14.0 credits, including CAS200Y1/( CAS201H1 and CAS202H1), CAS310H1
Recommended Preparation: CAS320H1

CAS498Y1 - Independent Research

Supervised independent research on a topic agreed on by the student and a faculty supervisor before enrolment in the course. Open to advanced CAS major and minor students with a strong background in contemporary Asian studies. A maximum of one year of Independent Research courses is allowed per program. Contact hours with the supervisor may vary, but typically comprise of one hour per week. Not eligible for CR/NCR option. To enrol, please contact ai.asianstudies@utoronto.ca to request an application form, which should be filled out in consultation with the faculty supervisor and include a detailed description of the course topic, reading list, and assignments/marking scheme. Students must submit the completed form to ai.asianstudies@utoronto.ca at least one week before the start of term.

Prerequisite: 14.0 credits, including 1.0 200-level CAS credit and 1.0 300-level CAS credit

Printer-friendly Version