Undergraduate Program

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

Administrative Secretary: 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 Thibaut d'Hubert (SALC DUS) - dhubert@uchicago.edu.
 

PROGRAM OF STUDY (Major and Minor)

The Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations (SALC) offers an undergraduate Major leading to a B.A. 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, 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 and Honors 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:
 
 
 

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 formfor intended Minor/Major.
  • Start taking language, South Asia civ. and other introductory classes.

Third year

  • Winter Quarter: If pursuing Honors in SALC, find SALC faculty member who will act as your B.A. adviser to begin discussion of a research topic and schedule reading classes to be taken in the Fall -Winter quarters of the fourth year (SALC 29800-29801).

Fourth year

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

 

MAJOR PROGRAM

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

The major requires three courses in a language at any level offered through the SALC department. These courses must be taken at the University of Chicago, and credit cannot be granted by examination. Students with prior knowledge of one of the languages offered at 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 the SALC department.

In addition to the civilization sequence and the language requirements, the major requires six courses related to South Asia. These courses may be either (1) listed as SALC courses, or (2) courses focused on South Asia that originate in other departments (subject to the approval of the SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies; courses must have at least 50% South Asia content). 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 formindicating what they intend to list for their major requirements.
 

Summary of Requirements

(1) SALC 20100-20200 Introduction to South Asian Civilizations or SOSC 23004-23005 South Asian Civilizations in India (taught in Pune)
  • All students must take one of these two sequences. If the sequence is not used toward the Civilization Studies requirement in the Core, then those two courses will be added to the requirements in the major.
(2) 3 courses in a South Asian language at any level
  • Credit may not be granted by examination. Courses must be taken at the University of Chicago.
(3) 6 courses related to South Asia
  • Three of which may be further courses in the same language, or in another South Asian language.
 

SALC Sample Majors

The following groups of courses would comprise a major.
 
I. Emphasis on language(s)
 
(1) SALC 20100-20200. Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia
 
(2) TBTN 20100-20200-20300. Second-Year Tibetan
 
(3) ANTH 25500 Cultural Politics of Contemporary India
      SALC 20800. Music of South Asia
      SALC 28700. State in India
      URDU 10100-10200-10300. First-Year Urdu

II. Emphasis on civilization

(1) SALC 20100-20200. Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia
 
(2) BANG 30100-30200-30300. Third-Year Bangla
 
(3) ANTH 21401. Practice of Anthropology
      SALC 20400. The Mahabharata in English Translation
      SALC 20901-20902. Indian Philosophy
      SALC 25302. Slavery in South Asia
      SALC 23104. Problems in the Study of Gender: Gender, Citizenship, Violence
 
 

HONORS

To be eligible for Honors, students must (1) maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher, (2) a departmental GPA of 3.3 or higher, and (3) complete a B.A. thesis of superior quality.

In order to be eligible to write a B.A. thesis in SALC, students must meet the civilization 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 students will arrange to work with a SALC faculty member or another faculty in the Committee on Southern Asian Studies (see list at http://southasia.uchicago.edu/people/faculty) for the Fall 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 B.A. 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 B.A. thesis in the context of SALC 29800-29801, for which they will register in the Fall and Winter quarters of their fourth year. Students may use SALC 29801 as one of their six content courses in the major. SALC 29800 will be 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 (5pm), on the first week of Spring quarter.

The B.A. thesis must be substantively different from any assignment submitted to any other department, for Honors or otherwise, and must be judged to be superior by the faculty adviser and a second faculty reader.

 

MINOR PROGRAM

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 20100-20200 Introduction to South Asian Civilizations or SOSC 23004-23005 South Asian Civilizations in India (taught in Pune). These two quarters will count toward either the Civilization Studies requirement of the Core or the minor itself. If counting toward general education requirements, 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 20100-20200 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.
 
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:

(1) SALC 20100-20200 Introduction to South Asian Civilizations or SOSC 23004-23005 South Asian Civilizations in India (taught in Pune) or 1 course related to South Asia (subject to SALC Director of Undergraduate Studies approval)

  • All students must take one of these two sequences. These two quarters will count toward either the Civilization Studies requirement of the Core or the minor itself. If counting toward 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.

(2) 3 courses in a South Asian language at any level

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

(3) 2 courses related to South Asia

  • 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 for the student's major(s) or with other minors; or (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 sets of courses would comprise a minor.
 
I. Seven-Course SALC Sample Minors
 
(1) SALC 20100-20200. Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia
 
(2) TAML 10100-10200-10300. First-Year Tamil
 
(3) SALC 27701. Mughal India
      SALC 33000. From Gender Critique to Gay Marriage: South Asian Texts and Events
 
II. Six-Course SALC Sample Minors
 
(1) SALC 20700. Critics of Colonialism
 
(2) BANG 10100-10200-10300. First-Year Bangla
 
(3) SALC 20701. Postcolonial Theory
      SALC 23900. Philosophical Education in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism
 
 

PUNE PROGRAM: SOUTH ASIAN CIVILIZATIONS (SOSC 23004-23005-23006)

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 23006, 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 (https://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.

 

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.