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Aryanism and Indology

Students will gain a historical overview of German Indology from its origins to the present. They will read basic source texts for German attitudes towards ancient and modern India, especially the Vedic period, Brahmanism, and Hinduism. They will learn how German nationalism, theories of racial supremacy, the quest for Aryan identity, and Protestantism and Lutheran anti-Semitism shaped the discipline of Indology. German Indology’s role in fostering National Socialism and the treatment of Jewish Indologists will also be discussed. Students will also be expected to read and analyze excerpts from Rammohan Roy, Dayanand Saraswati, Tilak, and Ambedkar in light of their knowledge of Indology.

Areas of Study: History and Methods

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study/ Must have completed Orientation to Hindu Studies or Concurrently enrolled in OTHS

Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

Start Date: 12 July 2020

End Date: 20 September 2020

Day: Every Sunday

Time: 10 am – 1 pm EST

Quarter: Summer 2020

Historical Methods and Sources

This course is intended to introduce students to the theory and practice of history. Students will read several different examples of historical writing. They will reflect on the reasons for writing and studying history, the importance of collective and individual memory, and the role of narrative in relation to identity. They will also examine the problems with historical memory, the dangers of historicism, and the transformation in the concept of history with the rise of “scientific” historiography. Students can expect to gain significant conceptual nuance about history, which they can then apply to their own research.

Areas of Study: History and Methods

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

 

Orientation to Hindu Studies

An overview and insight into the design of the curriculum offered by the Hindu University of America. A survey of the central ideas of Hinduism – covering an Ontology of key Sanskrit terms and the principal ideas that are central to the cosmology, practice, and expressions of Sanatana Dharma. The course – orientation to Hindu studies- will include reflections and perspectives on these core concepts, using selected readings from source texts such as the Vedas, Upaniṣhads, Sutras, Itihaasa, Bhagavad-Gītā, Purāṇas and Dharma-Śhāstras. The Hindu world-view based on Dharma with its emphasis on duties and responsibilities and sustainability of life will be contrasted with contemporary ideologies and their focus on rights and privileges, competition and survival of the fittest. The distinction between a discourse of knowledge and a discourse of power will be drawn out. 

In this course students will be able to: 

  1. Explore various options and trajectories available within the Hindu Studies Program
  2. Distinguish the central ideas and concepts that constitute the Foundations of Hindu Dharma; Reflect on the Hindu Studies Foundations area.
  3. Inquire into and evaluate different elective areas of study and Courses offered: Sanskrit Studies, Texts and Traditions, History and Method, Post-Colonial Hindu studies, and Conflict and Peace studies.
  4. Distinguish between pathways towards a deep study of Hindu thought, or towards deep engagement with western thought from a Hindu perspective
  5. Discover and Create customized pathways for engagement with the Hindu Studies curricula

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Prerequisites: This course is a recommended prerequisite for all students who wish to enter into the Graduate program.

Faculty/Instructor:  Kalyan Viswanathan (along with others) 

Day:- Every Thursday

Start Date:- January 14, 2021

End Date:- March 25, 2021

Time:- 09:00 pm EST -10:00 pm EST

Quarter: Winter 2021

Race & Modern Hinduism

Course content: Readings in race theory from early theoreticians of race; the development of the “two stocks” theory of humankind by Friedrich Schlegel; its development and application in the “biracial theory” of India by his brother A. W. Schlegel; the anchoring of the “biracial theory” in Indian history by Schlegel’s student Christian Lassen through his researches into the Mahābhārata; the expansion of this concept to explain all aspects of Indian culture, including its aesthetics, religion, philosophy, worldview, and its textual productions; the application of this principle to separate, date, and refashion Indian texts; the racism espoused by German Indologists; the rise of Aryan ideology and its interaction with German anti-Semitism; the impact of Indologists’ racist theories on Indian intellectuals in the twentieth century; the turn to physical, sociological, and mechanical explanations of Indian texts.

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Learn about the theological roots of the concept of race.
  2. Trace how the concept was scientized, reified, and universalized.
  3. How the concept has shaped modern humanities.

Class Structure

The class will meet for three hours each week. Students will be required to summarize and present one reading and to write a final paper on the author of their chosen reading.

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study / Concurrently enrolled or completed Orientation to Hindu Studies. 

Faculty / InstructorDr. Joydeep Bagchee

Day: Sunday

Start Date: 17 January 2021

End Date: 28 March 2021

Quarter Offered: Winter 2021

Research and Writing Preparatory Seminar

Learning Outcome

This course will address four main obstacles students face in writing papers: (1) finding a suitable topic for their paper, (2) developing that topic, (3) ensuring that the topic has a suitable scope for a paper, and (4) ensuring that sufficient literature exists on which to build their thesis. It will also teach them the essential skills for writing a persuasive and well-supported paper: (1) formulating the central inquiry of the paper, (2) developing arguments and supporting them with research, (3) structuring the paper and providing suitable headings and internal connections, (4) creating a bibliography, summarizing existing literature, and situating the paper’s thesis vis-à-vis existing scholarship.

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Required / Elective: Required/ Must have completed or Concurrently enrolled into Orientation to Hindu Studies

Faculty: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

Day: Every Thursday

Start Date: 9 July 2020

End Date: 17 September 2020

Time: 10:00 am -01:00 pm EST

Quarter:  Summer 2020

Textual Criticism

Students will gain a grounded knowledge of textual criticism. They will learn basic concepts and terms used in textual criticism, along with the skills to read and use a critical edition. They will also learn how to edit texts themselves. The course will prepare students to critically analyze current editions, including editions or textual reconstructions applying the “text-historical method.”

Areas of Study: History and Methods

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

 

The Enlightenment

A key focus of this course is to examine the way the Enlightenment framed the relationship of religious authority to prejudice. Students will additionally learn how the Enlightenment set the terms of debate for issues that continue to affect the twenty-first century, including the conflict between tradition and modernity, science and faith, reason and revelation, the private and the public, and the religious and the secular spheres. They will learn to critically analyze these issues, provide historical context, and engage with contemporary political debates.

Areas of Study: History and Methods

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

 

The Humanities and the University – I

In this course, students will make the university itself—as a historical creation, a social body, and an institution—into an object of analysis. They will reflect on problems with the university, its relation to the wider public, and the dangers that concentration and specialization pose for learning. They will also gain critical insight into the university as an instrument of social segregation and control. Student projects can include: examining education access and outcomes for black vs. white students, graduate placement, and contemporary debates over affirmative action and discriminatory admission policies (e.g., at Harvard and other Ivy Leagues)

Area of Study: History and Methods

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

 

The Humanities and the University – II

In this course, students will make the university itself—as a historical creation, a social body, and an institution—into an object of analysis. They will reflect on problems with the university, its relation to the wider public, and the dangers that concentration and specialization pose for learning. They will also gain critical insight into the university as an instrument of social segregation and control. Student projects can include: examining education access and outcomes for black vs. white students, graduate placement, and contemporary debates over affirmative action and discriminatory admission policies (e.g., at Harvard and other Ivy Leagues).  

Area of Study: History and Methods

Required/Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission  into a Program of Study and completion of HAM 7401 – The Humanities and the University I

Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

 

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