South Asian Studies
Calvin Chen, Chair
Denise Falk, Academic Department Coordinator
112 Ciruti Center
Overview and Contact Information
One of four interdisciplinary majors offered by the Asian Studies Program, South Asian studies allows students to specialize in the history, languages, cultures, and politics of South Asia. Our students are expected to incorporate the humanities and the social sciences fully into their studies with classes at Mount Holyoke and the other colleges in the Five College Consortium. Complementing course work at Mount Holyoke are extracurricular activities and study abroad programs that broaden and deepen students’ understanding of Asia.
On campus, our students experience regional culture at many levels, including language tables and clubs, guest lectures, performing and visual arts, film, festivals, and regional cuisine. These activities are often initiated by and benefit greatly from the diverse student population of Mount Holyoke and particularly the large numbers of students from Asian countries or with an Asian background.
Most of our students spend a semester or a summer in one of the many Mount Holyoke College-approved South Asian study abroad programs.
South Asian studies majors graduate to pursue graduate study and careers in fields as varied as education, business, NGOs, journalism, the arts, and government service.
By majoring in South Asian Studies, students should:
- Develop knowledge of the history of premodern and modern South Asia.
- Develop knowledge of the arts, literature, religions, and philosophies of South Asia.
- Develop knowledge of the geography, politics, economics, and societies of South Asia.
This area of study is administered by the Asian Studies Committee:
Satyananda Gabriel, Professor of Economics
Rie Hachiyanagi, Professor of Art, On Leave 2021-2022
Sohail Hashmi, Professor of International Relations on the Alumnae Foundation and Professor of Politics
Kavita Khory, Ruth Lawson Professor of Politics; Carol Hoffmann Collins Director of the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives
Susanne Mrozik, Professor of Religion, Teaching Spring Only
Naoko Nemoto, Professor of Asian Studies
Joshua Roth, Professor of Anthropology
Ajay Sinha, Julie '73 and Helene '49 Herzig Professor of Art History, Teaching Spring Only
Ying Wang, Felicia Gressitt Bock Professor of Asian Studies
Elif Babul, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Teaching Fall Only
Calvin Chen, Associate Professor of Politics
Amina Steinfels, Associate Professor of Religion
Lan Wu, Assistant Professor of History
Lisha Xu, Senior Lecturer in Asian Studies
Heba Arafah, Five College Lecturer in Arabic
Jinhwa Chang, Lecturer in Japanese
Kyae-Sung Park, Five College Lecturer in Korean
Richard Chu, Five College Associate Professor of History
Mohamed Hassan, Five College Senior Lecturer in Arabic
May George, Five College Lecturer in Middle East Studies
Nahla Khalil, Five College Lecturer in Arabic
Suk Massey, Five College Lecturer in Korean
Shaimaa Moustafa, Five Colleage Lecturer in Arabic
Chan Young Park, Five College Lecturer in Korean
John Weinert, Five College Lecturer in Arabic
Requirements for the Major
A minimum of 40 credits:
|One course (4 credits) in modern South Asian history, for example:||4|
|History of Modern South Asia, 1700 to the Present|
|One course (4 credits) on pre-modern and/or early modern South Asia (c. 3000 BCE to 1700 CE), for example:||4|
|Arts of India|
|8 elective courses (32 credits):||32|
Two (8 credits) must be from Group One: Humanities (history, religion, philosophy, literature, language, the arts, and interdisciplinary courses in these areas) 1
One (4 credits) must be from Group Two: Social Science (anthropology, economics, geography, international relations, linguistics, politics, sociology, and interdisciplinary courses in these areas)
|At least three courses (12 credits) must be at the 300 level. One of the three 300-level courses must be a non-language and non-independent study course. 2|
In order to count toward the major, studio art or performance courses must be supplemented with analytical written work.
A course that is taught outside of Mount Holyoke College must be approved by the chair of the Asian Studies program to count as a 300-level course.
- Any course that devotes 50 percent or more of its substance to South Asian countries, peoples, or issues may count toward the major.
- Majors are strongly encouraged, but not required, to pursue study of a South Asian classical or modern language through the Five College Mentored Language Program, summer study, or study abroad. Students may count up to 4 credits toward the major for studying a South Asian language through the Five College Mentored Language Program.
- One course (4 credits) on South Asian diasporas may count toward the major.
- Students who declare a South Asian studies major automatically fulfill the College's "outside the major" requirement.
Courses Counting toward the Major
Most South Asian studies courses at Mount Holyoke are listed below, but students should also consult the catalog entries or websites of other departments, including art history, history, international relations, politics, and religion. South Asian Studies majors should also plan to use the rich resources of the Five College Consortium in selecting their courses (listings are available through the Five College Class Schedule or individual college websites).
Please consult the chair of the Asian studies program for guidelines regarding Asian languages not taught in the Five Colleges.
|ARTH-263||Arts of India||4|
|ARTH-290BC||Issues in Art History: 'Bollywood: A Cinema of Interruptions'||4|
|Critical Social Thought|
|CST-249BE||Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Buddhist Ethics'||4|
|Film, Media, Theater|
|FMT-230BC||Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Bollywood: A Cinema of Interruptions'||4|
|HIST-124||History of Modern South Asia, 1700 to the Present||4|
|HIST-239EN||Topics in Asian History: 'Empire, Nation, and the Making of Tribes in South Asia'||4|
|HIST-249||The Environment and South Asian Lifeworlds||4|
|HIST-301CS||Colloquium: 'Capitalism in South Asia'||4|
|POLIT-357||War and Peace in South Asia||4|
|RELIG-163||Introduction to Buddhism||4|
|RELIG-225AN||Topics in Religion: 'Arts of India'||4|
|RELIG-241||Women and Gender in Buddhism||4|
|RELIG-311||Sufism: The Mystic Path in Islam||4|