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Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2017/2018

SACS 101: South Asian Culture And Society I

Course Description

An introduction to the societies and cultures of South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. This course will examine the cultural religious and historic influences that have shaped the South Asian region throughout the centuries and continue to play a key role in within contemporary South Asian societies. This course meets the multicultural graduation requirement

Prerequisite: None

Proctored Exams: None



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Mines, Diane and Sarah Lamb, eds. Everyday Life in South Asia. Indiana University Press, 2010.
    • ISBN-978-0253221940
  • Selvadurai, Shyam. Funny Boy: A Novel. William Morrow and Company, 1994.
    • ISBN-976-80156005005
  • Ludden, David. India and South Asia: A Short History. Oneworld Publications, 2014.
    • ISBN-978-1851689361
  • Mittal, Sushil and Gene Thursby, eds. Religions of South Asia: An Introduction. Routledge, 2006.
    • ISBN-978-0415223911

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

This course will provide an introduction to the incredible cultural diversity of South Asia.  In this course we will utilize the study of three of the region’s major religions: Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism, to understand something of the societies of contemporary South Asia. An examination of cultural elements such as family, gender, caste, class and modernization will give us a lens through which to better understand South Asian identities and worldviews. Finally, reading a novel by a Sri Lankan author will problematize essentialized categories and allow us to see contemporary South Asia from a new perspective. Any course dealing with such a vast region with thousands of years of human history can only hope to provide a snapshot of the infinite amount of available information. Learning about South Asia is a lifelong journey and it is my hope that this course will inspire you to learn more.


Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Objectives

  • To develop an understanding of, and appreciation for the daily life of South Asian culture
  • To explore the development of cultural identities of South Asian peoples

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Learn the social, religious, political, historical and environmental forces that create South Asian cultures
  • Examine the birth, growth, and changes of South Asian cultures
  • Participate in an intense study of daily life, politics, religion, caste, class, gender, family, philosophy, religion, modernity, etc…
  • Differentiate between religion as an ideology or abstract philosophy, as a tool of political mobilization and as a personal practice.
  • Engage both cultural relativism and ethical thought processes in analyzing controversial aspects of South Asian culture
  • Develop a critical understanding for what it means to have a particular cultural identity in relationship to other cultures

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 270-300 90-100%
B 240-269 80-89%
C 210-239 70-79%
D 180-209 60-69%
F 0-179 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (8) 100 33%
Response Papers (4) 40 13%
Quizzes (2) 20 7%
Final Paper (1) 100 33%
Participation (8) 40 13%
Total 300 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 Introduction 5 Wednesday
Document Analysis #1 5 Friday
Online Investigation #1 5
Roundtable Discussion #1 5 Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Document Analysis #2 5 Wednesday
Online Investigation #2 5 Friday
Roundtable Discussion #2/Response 10 Friday/Sunday
Reading Response Paper #1 10 Sunday
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Document Analysis #3 5 Wednesday
Roundtable Discussion #3/Response 10 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 1 10 Sunday
Paper Topic 0
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Document Analysis #4 5 Wednesday
Roundtable Discussion #4/Response 10 Friday/Sunday
Reading Response Paper #2 10 Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Document Analysis #5 5 Wednesday
Online Investigation #3 5 Friday
Roundtable Discussion #5/Response 10 Friday/Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Document Analysis #6 5 Wednesday
Online Investigation #4 5 Friday
Roundtable Discussion #6/Response 10 Friday/Sunday
Reading Response Paper #3 10 Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Document Analysis #7 5 Wednesday
Roundtable Discussion #7/Response 10 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 2 10 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Document Analysis #8 5 Wednesday
Roundtable Discussion #8/Response 10 Thursday
Reading Response 4 10
Research Paper 100 Saturday
Total Points 300

Assignment Overview

Text readings

Text readings should be completed prior to submitting assignments or weekly discussion postings.  All graded assignments will rely on information derived from the text.  All other sources must be identified

Discussions

Discussion postings should be completed and turned in by Wednesday and Friday of each assigned week. Document Analysis Postings are due each week on Wednesday and Roundtable Postings and any Online Investigation Postings are due each week on Friday. Discussion postings should represent a thoughtful analysis of the weekly readings. There will be two discussion postings per week, plus four biweekly online investigation postings. This adds up to a total of 20 postings for the course. Each posting is worth 5 points. Discussion postings are informal and are an opportunity for you express your thoughts and opinions, to engage in respectful debate, and to solicit feedback from the instructor and other students in the class. I will not take off points for misspelling or grammatical errors. However, your responses should be readable and utilize appropriate punctuation. i insist that u do not rite like this!

Response Paper Assignments

Paper assignments should be completed and posted to the dropbox in D2L by Sunday of each assigned week. There will be four response papers over the course of the class. Response papers will be graded according to the point system presented in the assignment table below.  Each response paper will be worth 10 points, assigned on the basis of percent of completeness, thoughtfulness, and readability.  Papers should have headings, and title, double-spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margins.

Quizzes

There will be two quizzes throughout the course.  The first quiz will take place during week 3 and the second quiz will take place during week seven. These quizzes will be used to check your comprehension over the material up to that point.  The quizzes will consist of several short essay questions and will be worth 10 points each. The quizzes will be due no later than Sunday of the week in which they are assigned.

Final Paper

The final paper will be an eight to ten page research paper on a topic of the student’s choosing. Paper topics should be submitted to me no later than week three and paper outlines are due on week four. The final paper will be worth 100 points, 1/3 of your final grade. The final paper will be graded according to the point system presented in the assignment table below.  The paper should be a scholarly investigation of a topic in the area of South Asian culture/society. Students should utilize and cite at least six sources, three of which must be outside of assigned course readings. I will post a list of suggested topics and texts in the content area. The assignment is meant to be an enjoyable opportunity to be creative and explore a topic that interests you.  Papers should have headings, and title, double-spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margins, citations, and bibliography.

Participation Points

Forty points can be gained by active and frequent online class participation in excess of posting discussions. Each week you will have the opportunity to earn five participation points. Points are earned by meaningful responses to other student’s postings, clarifying their question or posting a meaningful question of point in need of clarification.


Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Overview of the South Asian Region
Reading Assignment
Ludden
Introduction (pgs. 1-8)
Chapter One (9-24) . Focus on the sections titled “Land and Water, “Open Geography,” “Prehistoric Societies,” and “Ancient Transformations.” You can skip or skim the remaining sections of this chapter.
Country Profiles (instructor will provide the readings)
Discussion 1 Introduction
Review the CONTENT AREA for information about the course, initial activities, resources available for technical assistance, and announcements and guidance for the final research paper.

In the Introduction posting in the DISCUSSION AREA, tell the class something about yourself and any special interests you have in the study of South Asia.
Document Analysis #1
In the Document posting for week 1, answer the following question: How has the geography of South Asia shaped the culture and society of South Asian peoples?
Online Investigation #1
Visit www.harrapa.com. Look at photos and essays related to the Indus Valley Civilization at Harrappa and Mohenjodaro. Write a post on what you found to be the most interesting element of this website.
Roundtable Discussion #1
In the Roundtable posting for week 1, discuss your own identity, taking into consideration the way that Madhu Kishwar discusses the shifting importance of different aspects of her own identity.
Week 2: Hinduism
Reading Assignment
Go to the CONTENT AREA for news and information about the week’s activities. 
Reading Assignment: 
Mittal & Thursby
Introduction (pgs. 1-11)
Chapter 1: Hindu Dharma (pgs. 15-83)
Mines & Lamb
Seven Prevalent Misconceptions of India’s Caste System” (pgs. 227-228) in Everyday Life in South Asia.
Document Analysis #2
In the Document Posting for week 2 answer the following question: How do concepts of dharma, karma, and samsara shape the social order in Hindu societies? What do these concepts have to do with the ideology of the caste/varna system?
Online Investigation #2
Use your search engine’s image search feature to find images of a Hindu deity such as Shiva, Vishnu, Kali, Ganesh, or any other Hindu deity that interests you. What did you notice about these images? Were there common features that you could identity from image to image?
Roundtable Discussion #2/Response
In the Roundtable posting for week two discuss your initial reaction to Hinduism in the context of Mittal and Thursby’s advice to “get grounded and stay oriented”(10) in the face of unfamiliar religious worlds with some features that can seem “intriguing and desirable”(10) and others that can seem “disgusting and repulsive” (10).
Reading Response Paper #1
Write a one to two page response on an issue that interests you within the topics of South Asian geography, climate, prehistory (including the Indus Valley Civilization), or Hinduism. Discuss your opinions and impressions in a scholarly fashion and use (cited!) quotations or paraphrasing from the readings.
Week 3: Islam in South Asia
Reading Assignment
Go to the CONTENT AREA for news and information about the week’s activities. 
Reading Assignment:
Mittal & Thursby
Chapter 8: Indian Muslim Tradition (pgs.201-246)
Document Analysis #3
In the Document posting for Week 3, define syncretism and discuss examples of it within South Asian Islam and Hinduism.
Also, after reading this chapter how can you view Islam as a “plurality of traditions” (201) rather than as a single monolithic entity?
Roundtable Discussion #3/Response
In the Roundtable posting for week 3 discuss the question:
Given the contemporary discourse on Islam in the popular media, what surprised you about this reading?
Quiz 1
Go to the Quiz in the online course and complete it by Sunday night at midnight
Paper Topic
Your research topic must be submitted by the end of Week 3 in the Topic Discussion Post.
Week 4: Buddhism and Understandings of Maya in South Asian Religions
Reading Assignment
Go to the CONTENT AREA for news and information about the week’s activities. 
Reading Assignment: 
Mittal & Thursby
Chapter 3: Bauddha Dharma (pgs. 103-130)
Document Analysis #4
The end of this chapter details the story of how Siddhartha Gautama became Buddha, or the enlightened one. Discuss some of the events in this story and how they led to Siddhartha Gautama/Buddha to uncover the Four Noble Truths.
Roundtable Discussion #4/Response
Give some examples of how other religious traditions, from both inside and beyond South Asia, deal with issues of impermanence and suffering. In terms of religious ideology, what are effective ways of dealing with these issues?
Reading Response Paper #2
Write a one to two page response on an issue that interests you within the topics of Islam, Buddhism, or concepts such as Maya, impermanence, suffering and renunciation within South Asian religions. Discuss your opinions and impressions in a scholarly fashion and use (cited!) quotations or paraphrasing from the readings.
Paper Outline
The outline of your research paper is due at the end of week 4 and must be submitted to the dropbox established for that assignment.
Week 5: Family, Gender, Caste and Changing Norms in South Asia
Reading Assignment
Go to the CONTENT AREA for news and information about the week’s activities.
Reading Assignment:  Mines & Lamb:
Introduction to Part I: The Family and the Life Course (pgs. 7-10)
One Straw from a Broom Cannot Sweep: The Ideology and Practice of the Joint Rural Family in Rural North India (pgs. 11-22
Introduction to Part II: Genders (pgs. 81-85)
Rethinking Courtship, Marriage, and Divorce in an Indian Call Center (p. 50)
Document Analysis #5
Discuss some of the similarities and differences between the gender norms and ideologies found in "One Straw from a Broom Cannot Sweep" and "Rethinking Courtship, Marriage, and Divorce in an Indian Call Center." What factors do you think influence the different gender norms and ideologies found in these two chapters?
Online Investigation #3
Go to the matrimonial website www.shaadi.com. Take some time to explore the site. Use the search feature to view some profiles. Unregistered users can view limited profiles that still offer much of the information considered important in making a match. Look at some of the advertisements under “True Stories” and “the 6C’s of Happy Marriages. Post your impressions of the site and how these impressions correspond or don’t correspond with what we have been reading about South Asian families and gender.
Roundtable Discussion #5/Response
In the Roundtable posting for week five answer the questions: What are the economic implications of living in a joint family versus living in a nuclear family? How do economic factors shape gender roles and expectations in the readings for this week?
Week 6: Modernity and Globalization
Reading Assignment
Go to the CONTENT AREA for news and information about the week’s activities.
Reading Assignment: 
Mines & Lamb: Introduction to Part VI: Globalization, Public Culture, and the South Asian Diaspora (pgs. 381-386)
Journal of Social History
Consuming Globalization: Youth and Gender in Kerala, India (pgs. 915-935)
Funny Boy:
  Chapter 1: Pigs Can’t Fly (pgs 1-39)
Document Analysis #6
In the Document posting for week 6 discuss some of the ways in which the “ideal” Indian woman is supposed to be both modern and traditional. Use examples from the article “Consuming Globalization.”
Online Investigation #4
Go to a reputable online news website (I suggest BBC) and find one or more articles on the current situation in Sri Lanka. Briefly summarize the article/s and think about how politics and violence may come into play in Funny Boy which takes place in Sri Lanka and the 1970s and 80s.
Roundtable Discussion #6/Response
In the Roundtable posting for week 6 answer the following questions: Some anthropologists argue that teaching about different cultures involves showing students both what is foreign and what is familiar about ‘other’ cultures. What elements felt familiar to you in the first chapter, and what elements felt foreign? What surprised you in this first chapter?
Reading Response Paper #3
Write a one to two page response on an issue that interests you within the topics of globalization, modernity, consumerism, or the conflict in Sri Lanka Discuss your opinions and impressions in a scholarly fashion and use (cited!) quotations or paraphrasing from the readings.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Love and Marriage in South Asia, Tamil-Sinhalese Conflict
Reading Assignment
Go to the CONTENT AREA for news and information about the week’s activities. 
Reading Assignment:
Funny Boy
Chapter 2: Radha Aunty
Chapter 3: See No Evil, Hear No Evil Chapter 4: Small Choices (pgs. 98-203
Document Analysis #7
In the Document posting for week 7. discuss the responses of Arjie’s mother and father to the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict. What elements of their lives and identities motivate their stances towards the government and the Tamil Liberation Tigers?
Roundtable Discussion #7/Response
In the Roundtable posting for week 7 answer the questions:  How does Radha Aunty straddle the divide between so called ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’ in the South Asian context? What do you think about her final marriage decision? 
Quiz 2
Go to the Quiz in the online course and complete it by Sunday night at midnight
Week 8: Sri Lankan Riots of 1983
Reading Assignment
Go to the CONTENT AREA for news and information about the week’s activities. 
Reading Assignment:
Funny Boy
Chapter 5: The Best School of All
Chapter 6: Riot Journal (pgs. 204-305)
Document Analysis #8
In the Document posting for week 8 discuss Arjie’s ‘Riot’ journal, the actions of his family, their friends, and the rioters in the context of Ludden’s discussion of the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict.
Roundtable Discussion #8/Response

In the Roundtable posting for week 8 answer the question: What did you think of Funny Boy as a whole? What did you like and dislike? Engage your classmates and their opinions of the book.

REMINDER!! Discussion posts are due Thursday this week!

Reading Response 4
Write a one to two page review of Funny Boy. Discuss your opinions and impressions in a scholarly fashion and use (cited!) quotations or paraphrasing from Funny Boy and other relevant readings.
Research Paper
The final paper will be an eight to ten page research paper on a topic of the student’s choosing. Paper topics should be submitted to me no later than week three and paper outlines are due on week four. The final paper will be worth 100 points, 1/3 of your final grade. The final paper will be graded according to the point system presented in the assignment table below.  The paper should be a scholarly investigation of a topic in the area of South Asian culture/society. Students should utilize and cite at least six sources, three of which must be outside of assigned course readings. I will post a list of suggested topics and texts in the content area. The assignment is meant to be an enjoyable opportunity to be creative and explore a topic that interests you.  Papers should have headings, and title, double-spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margins, citations, and bibliography.


Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

No late assignments will be accepted without a penalty assessment (20% of the total points possible for an assignment each day it is late) as stated in this syllabus without extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student. The instructor must be notified prior to the due date of the assignment.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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