South Asian Studies

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

South Asian Studies Program
SCI 222/EP 411
Chris Chekuri, History, 338-7541
Falu Bakrania, Ethnic Studies, 405-0389


Minor in South Asian Studies

Program Scope

South Asian studies is the focus of this minor. South Asia refers to Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. These countries are members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

This multi-disciplinary minor includes courses from art, Asian American studies, economics, English, ethnic studies, history, holistic health, humanities, international business, international relations, philosophy, political science, and women studies.

The purpose is to provide students with a critical scholarly understanding of the culture, history, economics, and politics of South Asia and its diaspora. The region of South Asia is a crucial area of study as it offers a gateway for understanding one fifth of the world’s population and for exploring a wide range of scholarly concerns.

The study of South Asian history offers critical perspectives on the British Empire and colonialism as well as the emergence of anti-colonial nationalisms. The cultural diversity of this region— linguistic, ethnic, and religious (its traditions draw from Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, and Christianity)— offers students opportunities to analyze complex questions of cultural difference and negotiation. South Asian classical and modern literary and art traditions are expressive of innovative ways of imagining humanistic endeavors.


The core courses give students a basic framework in South Asian studies. These courses fully concentrate on South Asia and/or the diaspora. They function as survey courses that provide students with a broad introduction to the history, culture, and politics of South Asia. Elective courses provide the opportunity for more in-depth or topical and comparative study as well as study of the South Asia in relation to other regions of the world.

Please note that some courses in addition to those indicated below have prerequisites. Courses are 3 units unless indicated otherwise.

Core: Select at least three courses (9-17 units) from the core according to the requirements indicated below. The core consists of three core areas identified as Culture of South Asia, History and Politics of South Asia, and South Asian Diaspora.

On-line course descriptions are available.

Program Units
Core Area 1: Culture of South Asia 3-6
ART 502 Art of South Asia [prerequisite of ART 205]  
HUM 535 Classical South Asian Cultural Forms
HUM 536 Modern South Asian Cultural Forms
Core Area 2: History and Politics of South Asia 3-8
HIST 584 History of the Indian Sub-Continent  
IR 326 South and Southeast Asia Foreign Relations (4)
IR/PLSI 412 South Asian Politics (4)
PLSI 415 Politics of India (4)
Core Area 3: South Asian Diaspora 3
ETHS 340 South Asian Diaspora in the U.S.  
ETHS 680 Issues in Comparative Ethnic Studies [prior approval of minor adviser]
ETHS 694 Community Service Learning [prior approval of minor adviser]
Electives: Select 1-9 units from the following. 1-9
Any courses not completed in fulfillment of the core above  
AAS 200
AAS 300
History of Asian Americans
Asian Americans in California
ART 504 Art and Architecture of Islam
ART/HUM 205 Asian Art History
HIST 606 History of Iran and Afghanistan, 1500-Present
HNDI 101 First Semester Hindi (5)
HUM 366 India's Gandhi
HUM 375 Biography of a City: Delhi
IBUS 594 Doing Business in Asia-Pacific Countries [Prerequisite of IBUS 330]
MUS 530 Musics of the Middle East and India (3)
PHIL 510 The Buddhist Tradition (3)
PLSI/IR 416 Ethnicity and Nationalism (4)
SNSK 699 Sanskrit (1-3)
Total minimum units for minor: 18

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Last modified July 06, 2012 by