Religion and the Novel in Modern India

The novel has not only come of age in modern India but has also innovated on the form, indigenized it, and influenced world literature. Course examines how the Indian novel explores lived religious experience in all its staggering diversity. Taking novels written in English and translated from Indian languages, literary theory and film, course asks: How are human experiences, memories, and imagination of “the sacred” evoked in novels written during the twilight of British colonial rule in South Asia, the Partition and independence and the ongoing globalizing postcolonial era?

Hip-Hop and Religion

For many people, hip-hop and religion are incompatible. Hip-hop seems to be defined by materialism, arrogance, violence, misogyny, and a general rejection of sacred ideals and values. In this course, we will challenge these assumptions by exploring the intersections between hip-hop and religion, while questioning what these terms mean and signify. We will examine aspects of hip-hop (rap lyrics, video images, cultural rituals, films) that explicitly or implicitly express religious commitments and sensibilities. One course.

T’ai Chi and Chinese Thought

The philosophy, cosmology, and other aspects of traditional Chinese thought embodied in the martial art of T’ai Chi. Course conducted through readings and lectures as well as actual movement praxis. Comparisons between Western bio-medical notions of the body and those implied by T’ai Chi and other facets of Chinese thought and practice, such as Chinese medicine. One course.