REL 379 Taj Mahal (Spring 2022)

Run as a seminar, this is a survey overview of Islamic South Asia from 16th-20th century with a particular emphasis on Muslim literary and artistic cultures and religious thought. Besides essential orientational introduction and synthetic conclusion, we will time travel back and forth (ca.1500-2000) covering various themes, but primarily, religious life, thought and culture as witnessed through the lens of literary and artistic traditions. In translation, you will listen to the voices of the major actors of the story of Islam in South Asia. Reading these primary texts will therefore constitute the core practice in our study. Quite regularly, we will watch movies and documentaries as well (an essential dimension to our study), and occasionally, will also welcome guest speakers. NOTE: All studies (aka classes) with me involve conscientious reading of texts and entail (in order of significance) speaking from within texts, speaking with them, and speaking to/about them as well.