This Class is Presided over by
Saraswati, Goddess of Learning
Saraswati, Goddess of Learning
Asian/Relig 580, Autumn 08
Seminar in Hinduism Studies

Instructor: Heidi Pauwels

Office: Gowen 233
Office Hours: T 2:20-3:10; W 10:30-11:20
Telephone: 3-4235

TTh 12:30-2:20 MGH 255


This seminar provides an introduction to the academic study of Hinduism for graduate students with special focus on Hinduism. The goal is to familiarize students with the major problems addressed in the field now, and the methods used, taking care to provide a historical perspective on past scholarship. We start out getting oriented about issues of definition and the insider-outsider debate, explicitly addressing the issue of political implications of scholarship, so as to sensitize students to the possible impact of their research. We discuss methodologically issues of orientalism and post-colonial studies, the problems with structuralist and psycho-analytical interpretations, alternative approaches from subaltern and gender studies, popular culture, sociology and anthropology. Thematically we study recent scholarship on Hindu philosophy, sacred texts, ritual, social structure, popular culture and arts.

Textbook: (available in UW Bookstore)
Defining Hinduism. Ed. Jack E. Llewellyn. New York: Routledge 2006.

Additional readings: (available in the UW library and electronically)
Articles and Response on "Who Speaks for Hinduism?"  Journal of the American Academy of Religion 68, 4 (December 2000):  705-835.
Bourdieu, Pierre, Gino Raymond and Mathew Adamson (tr.) 1991. Language and Symbolic Power. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1991.
Cush, Denise, Catherine Robinson, and Michael York, eds. 2008. Encyclopedia of Hinduism. London: Routledge.
Flood, Gavin, ed. 2003. The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing
Harlan, Lindsey. 1992. Religion and Rajput Women: The Ethic of Protection in Contemporary Narratives. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Hawley, John Stratton, and Vasudha Narayanan, eds. 2006. The Life of Hinduism. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Hiltebeitel, Alf, and Kathleen Erndl, 2000. Is the Goddess a Feminist? The Politics of South Asian Goddesses. New York: New York University Press.
Ilaiah, Kancha. 1996. Why I Am Not a Hindu: A Sudra Critique of Hindutva Philosophy, Culture and Political Economy. Calcutta: Samya.
Inden, Ronald. 1990. Imagining India. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Kakar, Sudhir. 1989. Intimate relations: exploring Indian sexuality. New Delhi: Viking.
Ludden, David. 2003. Reading Subaltern Studies. New Delhi: Orient Longman.
Mittal, Sushil, and Gene Thurby. 2008. Studying Hinduism. London: Routledge.
–––. 2004. The Hindu World. London: Routledge.
Olson, Carl, ed. 2003. Theory and Method in the Study of Religion: A Selection of Critical Readings. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson.  2003.
Pauwels, Heidi. 2008. The Goddess as Role Model: S¥tå and Rådhå in Scripture and on Screen. New York: Oxford University Press.
Pinch, William R. 2005. Soldier monks and militant sadhus. In: David Ludden, ed. Making India Hindu: Religion, Community and the politics of Democracy in India, 140-61. 2nd ed. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Pinney, Christoper. 1997. The Nation (Un)Pictured? Chromolithography and 'Popular' Politics in India, 1878-1995. Critical Inquiry 23.4 (Summer, 1997): 834-867
Potter, Karl H.. 1991 [1963]. Presuppositions of Indian Philosophies. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.
Sharma, Arvind, ed. 2002. Methodology in Religious Studies: The Interface with Women's Studies. Albany: SUNY.
Smith, Brian K.  1989. Reflections on Resemblance, Ritual, and Religion. New York:  Oxford University Press.
Suthren Hirst, Jacqueline. 2008. Who are th others? Three momens in Sanskrit Based Practice. In: Nile Green and Mary Searle-Chatterjee, eds. Religion, Language, and Power. 101–22. London: Routledge.
van der Veer, Peter. 1996. Riots and Rituals: The construction of violence and public space in Hindu nationalism. In:  Paul Brass, ed. Riots and Pogroms. 154-76. New York: New York University Press.
von Stietencrohn, Heinrich. 2007. Hindu Myth, Hindu History, Religion, Art, and Politics. New Delhi: Permanent Black.

Week 11
October 6 2008, 11:57 AM

Meeting 1: Summary: So many paths, where to go?
Preparation: Background reading: Llewelyn 2006: intro
Bring your class portfolio: we will together summarize the major things we learned through our exploration of research
Bring an abstract for your research outline (topic; sources): we will discuss in class how we will constitute panels and who will respond to whose paper

Meeting 2: Case studies: Student Presentations
During this week, students will present their own applications of the theoretical perspectives with a focus of their choice. They will prepare drafts of their papers to exchange with their peers and write formal reviews of each other's papers. The feedback of these reviews can be incorporated in the final term paper..
FINAL PAPERS AND PORTFOLIOS ARE DUE ON MONDAY OF EXAM WEEK before 4pm. Please send electronic copy only.