Cool Classes to Take

Inexplicably, we have have several seats still available in these two classes (see below). If you need a class related to South Asia, you might consider these.

ANS 340 • Sufism & Islamic Mysticism

31880 • Hyder, S. Akbar
Meets T 400pm-700pm CLA 0.126
(also listed as HIS 364G, ISL 340, MES 342, R S 358)

This class explores Sufism and other Islamic mystical traditions as they infused cultural milieus spanning four continents and fourteen centuries. The first half of the semester will focus on the historical developments in Islamic theosophical traditions of the Arab and Persian worlds. We will concentrate on the prose and verse traditions tied to Ali b. Abi Talib, Jafar as-Sadiq, Mansur al-Hallaj, Rabia al-Basri, Suhrawardi Maqtul, Ibn Arabi, Ibn al-Farid, Sanai, Attar, and Rumi. In the second half of the semester, we will move to a discussion of Islamic mysticisms’ growth over time and beyond the porous borders of Arabia and Iran. The relationship between Sufism and modernism, Sufism and colonialism, and Sufism and post-colonial resistance movements will also constitute a significant part of this course. Issues of gender, sexuality, globalization and pluralism will be discussed throughout the semester. This class assumes no prior knowledge of Islam.

ANS 372, Living Epics of India

31970 • Harzer, Edeltraud 
Meets W 400pm-700pm WEL 3.266 
(also listed as C L 323, R S 341)

The two epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, are an essential part of the living cultural tradition of the Indian subcontinent that has survived for more than two thousand years.  There is no India without these two works.  Both have been preserved in oral as well as textual tradition.  They are brought alive in their performances, whether by storytelling (katha) or annual staging of gigantic theater productions.  The course will explore the cultural and religious aspects of the narratives.  These epics have been most influential in the formation of the values of the Indian peoples.  The Mahabharata, which includes the Bhagavadgita, represents an encyclopedia of the Hindu culture.  Since there are many “tellings” of each, we will sample different ones and study them as sources of information on other areas, such as social and political ideas, as well as a source book for mythology.  We will also compare similar works in other cultures.  These narratives form a living tradition and are normally performed.  As such we shall view videos and live performances as well as study the texts.

Northern Gods, Northern Faiths: Upper-Division Elective

The department of Germanic Studies is offering a really interesting class this fall called Northern Gods, Northern Faiths. The course takes an in depth look at the sagas and epics of the shamanisms and paganisms of the north, and discusses their influences on modern epics like The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. 
Although the class is upper-division, they welcome enrollment by lower division students as well.
While the home department is Germanic Studies, the course has many cross listings:
EUS 347 (36655)
HIS 362G( 39727)
REE 345 (45230)
RS 357 (44245)
GSD 361G (38440)
The course also carries the Global Cultures Flag (GC). If you’d like a more detailed course description, email me (Joni) and I will send you one.