United Kingdom, London

South Asia: Diversity, Democracy and Discord

online course
when 20 July 2020 - 31 July 2020
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 15 EC
fee GBP 1200

How should we go about studying the political aspirations and agency of almost two billion people in South Asia, governed by contradictory and unstable regimes, where religion, language, caste, class, gender, and other identities unite and divide such vast populations? What does it mean when the world’s fastest growing regional economy, also has the largest number of people living in abject poverty? Why do South Asia’s borders remain contested, even after seventy years? Today’s burning questions of borders, identity, development and democracy can only be understood if we listen to the voices of South Asia, echoing through the ages to the present day. From the philosophies of the heroes of anti-colonial and independence movements including Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah and Mujib ur Rehman, to the divisive but enduring ideologies of religious and ethnic nationalists including Savarkar and Maulana Maudoodi, this course introduces students to the ideas and philosophies that emerged and evolved within South Asia, and that continue to shape this exciting and turbulent region.

How should we go about studying the political aspirations and agency of almost two billion people in South Asia, governed by contradictory and unstable regimes, where religion, ethnicity, caste, class, language, gender, and other identities unite and divide such vast populations? What does it mean when the world’s fastest growing regional economy, also has the largest number of people living in abject poverty? How will the world respond to the growing tensions between longstanding regional rivals, India and Pakistan, threatening global security? This course, focused on South Asian politics and society will provide students, professionals and members of the public an opportunity to explore these questions.

This is an opportunity to understand the changing relationship of South Asia with the world and to explore new theories about society. The approach is firmly inter-disciplinary, drawing on the best of political science, history, security studies, anthropology, economics, art and film studies. The course will include visits to museums, film-viewings and historic walks through the South Asian nationalist landscapes of London, tracing connections between material discussed in seminar rooms and the city that surrounds us.

Course leader

Dr Yasser Kureshi, Dr Simona Vittorini

Target group

You will have completed one year of undergraduate study at the time of joining the Academic Summer School. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.

Course aim

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:
- Demonstrate familiarity with the diverse political systems in South Asia, and the complex histories of these states that have brought them to where they are today.
- Develop an understanding of the questions of identity and nationalism that drive South Asian politics and define the relationship between state and society in this region.
- Understand how South Asia shapes and is shaped by actors beyond the region, including foreign powers and diasporic populations.
- Critically engage with the theories of politics, international relations and anthropology, relevant to themes in South Asian studies.
- Consider the impact of the 2019 Indian elections on the key themes studied during this course
- Understand the distinct challenges that South Asian states must face collectively.
- Finally, the module will inspire students to continue with further study or interest in South Asia – provision will be made over the three weeks for students to develop a particular interest within the general structure of course progression.

Credits info

15 EC
Courses are worth 15 SOAS credits, which is equivalent to 4 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to transfer credit rests with your home institution.

Fee info

GBP 1200: - Save £200 if you apply by 30th April
- 10% discount if you apply for two courses over 6 weeks
- 15% discount for SOAS alumni (including Academic Summer School alumni)
- 20% discount for our partner institutions

Other discounts are available for groups, please contact us for further information.

Scholarships

The SOAS Academic Summer School is delighted to offer six tuition-fee waiver scholarships to passionate students with a desire to make a difference in the world.

Deadline: 13th March 2020