Undergraduate Program

Departmental Adviser: Director of Undergraduate Studies (for name and contact details, see the Faculty section).

Department Administrator: Tracy L. Davis, Foster Hall 212, 773-702-8373, tracyd@uchicago.edu

To sign up on the SALC undergrad mailing list and receive regular updates on course offering, events, etc., just click here or  send a message to Tyler Williams (SALC DUS) - twwilliams@uchicago.edu
 

PROGRAM OF STUDY

The Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations (SALC) offers an undergraduate major leading to a BA in the Humanities Collegiate Division. The social sciences are integrated into our program through the civilization sequence, and courses in the social sciences and religious studies are usually included in a student's program of study. Students majoring in SALC will gain a broad knowledge of the literature and history of the South Asian subcontinent (i.e., Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), and proficiency in at least one South Asian language that is equivalent to one year of study or more. Students currently can study Bangla (Bengali), Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Pali, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan, or Urdu. As part of their course of study, students are encouraged to participate in a study abroad program in South Asia, such as the South Asian Civilizations in India sequence (Pune program). The SALC curriculum will develop the student's skills in formulating analyses of various types of texts (i.e., historical, literary, filmic), and students will also engage with social scientific approaches to South Asian cultures. The thorough area knowledge of South Asian arts, culture, history, and politics, and the critical and linguistic skills developed through the SALC degree may prepare a student for any number of careers.

Students in other fields of study may also complete a minor in SALC. Information on the minor follows the description of the major below.

 

FORMS

Students who intend to join the SALC undergraduate program should fill out the appropriate form below and schedule a meeting with the SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies. Additional information about the timeline for completing these forms can be found in the corresponding section below.

Major form: http://salc.uchicago.edu/sites/salc.uchicago.edu/files/SALC_majorform.pdf

Honors form: http://salc.uchicago.edu/sites/salc.uchicago.edu/files/SALC_honorsform.pdf

Minor form: http://salc.uchicago.edu/sites/salc.uchicago.edu/files/SALC_minorform.pdf

GRADING

Students pursuing a major or minor in South Asian Languages and Civilizations must take a quality grade in all courses used to meet department requirements. More than half of the requirements must be met by courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.

 

TIMELINE

First and Second year

  • Contact SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies and collect the form for intended minor/major.
  • Start taking language, South Asia civilization. and other introductory classes.

Third year

  • Winter Quarter: If pursuing honors in SALC, find SALC faculty member who will act as your BA adviser to begin discussion of a research topic and schedule reading courses to be taken in the Autumn–Winter Quarters of the fourth year (SALC 29800-29801BA Paper).

Fourth year

  • Autumn Quarter: Update form for departmental records. Submit a copy of the finalized form to your College adviser.
  • Autumn-Winter Quarters: Take reading courses with SALC BA adviser.
  • Spring Quarter: First week, submission of the BA thesis.

MAJOR PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Ideally, students will begin their study with the two-quarter sequence SALC 20100-20200 Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia I-II. All SALC majors must take this sequence or the equivalent program taught in Pune, SOSC 23004-23005 South Asian Civilizations in India I-II. If this sequence is not used to satisfy the civilization studies general education requirement, then it will count toward the major.

The major requires three courses in a South Asian language at the second-year level or above. These courses must be taken at the University of Chicago, and credit cannot be granted by examination. Students with prior knowledge of one or the languages offered by SALC may take a placement test in order to determine the right level for them to enroll. The College's language competency requirement may be satisfied by demonstrated proficiency equivalent to one year of study of a South Asian language offered through SALC.

Students are also required to take six courses related to South Asia. In addition to SALC offerings, courses with significant South Asian content that originate in other departments may be eligible, subject to the approval of the SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies. Three of these six courses may be language courses, either further courses in the same language or courses in another South Asian language. Students should choose courses in consultation with the SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies and fill out a form indicating what they intend to list for their major requirements.

Summary of Requirements


Two courses of the following: *

200

SALC 20100-20200

Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia I-II

 

SOSC 23004-23005

South Asian Civilizations in India I-II

 

Three courses in a South Asian language at second-year level or above**

300

Six courses related to South Asia ***

600

Total Units

1100

 

*

All students must take one of these two sequences. The sequence may not be used to meet both the civilization studies general education requirement and the major course total.  If the sequence is used to meet the general education requirement, two further courses related to South Asia must be taken in order to meet the total major requirement of 11 courses.

**

Credit may not be granted by examination. Courses must be taken at the University of Chicago.

***

Three of these six courses may be further courses in the same language or in another South Asian language.

 

Sample Major Programs

The following groups of courses would comprise a major.
 

I. Emphasis on language(s)

 

SALC 20100-20200

Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia I-II

200

TBTN 20100-20200-20300

Second-Year Tibetan I-II-III

300

ANTH 25500

Cultural Politics of Contemporary India

100

SALC 20800

Music of South Asia

100

SALC 28700

The State in India

100

URDU 10100-10200-10300

First-Year Urdu I-II-III

300

Total Units

1100

 

II. Emphasis on civilization

 

SALC 20100-20200

Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia I-II

200

BANG 30100-30200-30300

Third-Year Bangla (Bengali) I-II-III

300

ANTH 21401

Logic and Practice of Archaeology

100

SALC 20400

The Mahabharata in English Translation

100

SALC 20901
  &  20902

Indian Philosophy I: Origins and Orientations
   and Indian Philosophy II: The Classical Traditions

200

SALC 25302

Slavery in South Asia

100

SALC 23104

Problems in the Study of Gender: Gender, Citizenship, Violence

100

Total Units

1100

 

HONORS

To be eligible for honors, students must:
  1. maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  2. maintain a departmental GPA of 3.3 or higher
  3. complete a BA thesis of superior quality

In order to be eligible to write a BA thesis in SALC, students must meet the civilization studies sequence and language requirements by the end of their third year. By then, they must also have completed the honors form and returned it to the SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies. In Winter Quarter of their third year, the student will arrange to work with a SALC faculty member for the Autumn and Winter Quarters of the following year. It is the student's responsibility to find and make an arrangement with an appropriate faculty member who will be in residence during the student's fourth year. In consultation with the BA thesis adviser, the student must also suggest the name of a faculty member who will act as a second reader.

Students will research, discuss, and write the BA thesis in the context of SALC 29800-29801BA Paper, for which they will register in the Autumn and Winter Quarters of their fourth year. Students may use SALC 29801as one of their six content courses in the major. SALC 29800will be for general elective credit only.

Two hard copies of the thesis must be submitted to the SALC departmental office, and a PDF version must be sent electronically to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The deadline for the submission of the thesis is Friday at 5 p.m. in the first week of Spring Quarter.

 

MINOR PROGRAM IN SOUTH ASIAN LANGUAGES AND CIVILIZATIONS

The minor program in South Asian Languages and Civilizations requires a total of seven or six courses, broken down into three categories.

Civilization Studies

All students in the minor are required to take two quarters of SALC 20100-20200Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia I-II or SOSC 23004-23005South Asian Civilizations in India I-II (taught in Pune). These two quarters will count toward either the civilization studies general education requirement or the minor itself. If counting toward the general education requirement, then one course related to South Asian civilizations and approved by the SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies will fill this requirement in the minor instead. If SALC 20100-20200Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia I-II or SOSC 23004-23005South Asian Civilizations in India I-II are not used to meet the general education requirement, both courses in the sequence must be included in the minor, for a total of seven courses.

Language

Three courses in a South Asian language at any level. Credit may not be granted by examination.

Electives

Two additional courses that may either be (a) listed as SALC courses or as one of the SALC languages (e.g., Bangla, Hindi, etc.), or (b) courses focused on South Asia that originate in other departments (subject to the approval of the SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies).

Students choose courses in consultation with the SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies.

 

Summary of Requirements for the Minor in South Asian Languages and Civilizations

One of the following two-quarter sequences: *

200

SALC 20100-20200

Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia I-II

 

SOSC 23004-23005

South Asian Civilizations in India I-II

 

One course related to South Asia (subject to SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies approval)

 

Three courses in a South Asian language at any level **

300

Two courses related to South Asia ***

200

Total Units

700

 

*

All students must take one of these two sequences. These two quarters will count toward either the civilization studies general education requirement or the minor itself. If counting toward the general education requirements, then one course related to South Asian civilizations (which must be approved by the SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies) will fill this requirement in the minor instead. If SALC 20100-20200 or SOSC 23004-23005 are not used to meet the general education requirement, both courses in the sequence must be included in the minor, for a total of seven courses.

**

Credit may not be granted by examination. Courses must be taken at the University of Chicago.

***

Two additional courses that may either be (a) listed as SALC courses or as one of the SALC languages (e.g., Bangla, Hindi, etc.), or (b) courses focused on South Asia that originate in other departments (subject to the approval of the SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies).

Students must receive the approval of the SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies on a form obtained from their College adviser and return it by the Spring Quarter of their third year. Students must also indicate their intent to minor in SALC with a form obtained from the SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Courses in the minor (1) may not be counted double with the student's major(s) or with other minors and (2) may not be counted double toward general education requirements. Courses in the minor must be taken for quality grades, and more than half of the requirements for the minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.


SALC Sample Minors


The following groups of courses would comprise a minor.

I. Seven-Course SALC Sample Minor

SALC 20100-20200

Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia I-II

200

TAML 20100-20200-20300

Second-Year Tamil I-II-III

300

SALC 27701

Mughal India: Tradition and Transition

100

SALC 23000

Gender Critique to Gay Marriage: South Asian Texts & Events

100

Total Units

700

II. Six-Course SALC Sample Minor

SALC 20700

Critics of Colonialism

100

BANG 10100-10200-10300

First-Year Bangla (Bengali) I-II-III

300

SALC 20701

Postcolonial Theory

100

SALC 23900

Philosophical Education in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism

100

Total Units

600

 
 

PUNE PROGRAM:  (SOSC 23004-23005-23006)  SOUTH ASIAN CIVILIZATIONS IN INDIA I-II-III

One of the College's study abroad programs that meet the general education requirement in civilization studies, the Autumn Quarter program in Pune (Poona) is devoted to the study of South Asian history and culture. It is built upon a three-course civilizations sequence examining the history, culture, and society of the South Asian subcontinent through course work, field studies, and direct experience. During the first seven weeks of the quarter, the program will be based in the city of Pune, where students will complete two courses and participate in expeditions to nearby cultural and historical sites.

Students participating in the Pune Program receive three credits for the civilizations sequence, which meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. Students who have already met the civilization studies requirement may use these SALC credits as electives. Two South Asian civilizations courses are required for students in the major or minor, as described above. The additional civilizations course, SOSC 23006South Asian Civilizations in India III, can be used toward other SALC requirements. Course titles, units of credit, and grades will be placed on the Chicago transcript.

In addition to the civilizations sequence, students take a fourth course in Hindi during the first seven weeks of the quarter. For students with no prior experience in South Asian languages, this course is designed to facilitate their access to local culture and to provide a basis for further study. Advanced sections will be held for those students with prior course work or experience in Hindi.

Pune is a city of some four million inhabitants, situated on the eastern foothills of the Indian western coastal mountains, or ghats, about 100 miles southeast of Mumbai. Labeled famously by India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, as "the Oxford and Cambridge of India," it is a major center for Indian art, religion, and higher education, and an ideal site for cultural immersion.

For further details, consult the Study Abroad website (study-abroad.uchicago.edu/programs/pune-south-asian-civilization-india). For more information about this and other study abroad programs, contact Lauren Schneider, Pune Project Coordinator, at lschneider12@uchicago.edu. For information on other study abroad programs in South Asia, contact the SALC undergraduate adviser.

 

SALC Language Courses

SALC language courses at all levels are open to undergraduates. Additional advanced courses in all SALC languages are also offered, either on a regular basis or by arrangement with the instructors.

Graduate-Level Language Courses

Graduate-level language courses that may be open to qualified undergraduates can be found in the Graduate Announcements.

 

FACULTY

M. Alam, E. Annamalai, E. Bashir, M. Bhaduri, D. Chakrabarty, S. Collins, W. Cox, W. Doniger, T. d'Hubert, S. Ebeling, P. Engblom, J. Grunebaum, R. Majumdar, K. Ngodup, M. Rich, U. Stark, G. Tubb, T. Williams.