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Summer Term 2021 - Courses
   Foundation Course: Indian Civilizations
Course Code: FC-0201
Faculty: Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: The course will contrast the philosophical and the political thought with the priest-ordained commandments in India, examining the non-religious imaginations of Sarmad and the Sufis as also the Asokan Edicts, Buddhist-Brahmana contestations, Nyaya, Vaiseshika, Sankhya, Sangam age secular instructions in Tamil. It will also compare the Yatric India with the India of Visitors through the ages, studying the journeys of ancient travelers such as Fahein to the current Dalai Lama. A study of imprisoning from early times including that of a  serving emperor jailed- Shah Jehan, to our own Tihar times would reflect the way we are evolving or not evolving as a people that believe in the rule of law and civilitas.
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: Students will be required to write one assignment paper, due at the end of the term, for which students will be given an adequate number of prompts from the subjects discussed in class.
 
Foundation Course: Introduction to Environmental Studies
Course Code: FC-0102
Faculty: Mitul Baruah, Assistant Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: This course is meant to introduce students to nature-society dialectics. We will examine the historical, social, and political processes that shape societal relations with the natural environment. The course has three overarching goals. First, it will help you gain a broad understanding of some of the pressing environmental issues of our times, such as agrarian crisis, climate change, industrial food system, the Anthropocene debate, neo-liberalization of nature, environmental justice, among others. Second, it will expose you to various theoretical perspectives on nature-society relations, including Marxist, political, ecological, feminist and poststructuralist scholarship. Finally, and more importantly, the course aims at helping you cultivate a sense of environmental citizenship.
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: Students will be evaluated on the basis of:
(1) Attendance and participation;
(2) In-class quizzes; and
(3) Semester-long project. 
 
Foundation Course: Literature and the World - Odysseys
Course Code: FC-0701
Faculty: Johannes Burgers, Assistant Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: Homer’s Odyssey is one of the central texts of the western canon, and has been a continuous touchstone for literary creation since its earliest telling. With each retelling, authors have used the adventures of Odysseus to reflect on Homer’s time as well as their own. In this course, you will study the Odyssey and the long history of its influence on other works. Like the travels of Odysseus, you will sail to the horizons of the known world, and encounter many different cultures along the way. After Ithaca, your ship will launch from the Baghdad caliphate as you explore the medieval world of Sinbad the Sailor, from there you will travel into the depths of Dante’s Inferno, and sit next to the seat of empire in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Victorian England, go on to grab a pint in a pub in James Joyce’s modernist Dublin, walk with Primo Levi through the unimaginable darkness of the Auschwitz death camp, journey across Derek Walcott’s Caribbean isle of St. Lucia, and relive the Odyssey through Margaret Atwood’s feminist retelling of Penelope’s life.
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy:
Discussion Sections: Discussion sections are a vital part of the Foundation Course experience. Your Teaching Fellows are the instructors of record for these sections, and their grading is independent of your participation in the lecture sections. 

Participation: Throughout the semester you will be given weekly small, low-stakes assignments. The point of these assignments is to help you stay on top of your coursework, while at the same time reducing the stress of a high stakes final assignment. The way these assignments are deployed will vary, and if you run into technical problems do let us know. Missing one or two assignments is not the end of the world, but avoid making it a habit. 
Close reading papers: One of the core competencies required for your future college career is careful and critical reading of difficult texts. Some of the most complex texts you will encounter are literary texts because they don’t say what they mean to say, but also don’t say what they don’t mean to say. Making an argument about a text requires a technique loosely called “close reading.” In close reading, the reader picks a particularly salient passage and demonstrates the importance of the passage for its immediate context, the larger work, and the work’s relation to the world. This ostensibly simple procedure takes many, many years to learn, and you will spend the majority of this course working on your close reading skills. While the papers might vary slightly in their instruction, at their core they are all asking you the same thing: find a good passage and demonstrate why it is important. Each close reading paper will be 500-600 words.
Close reading portfolio: The last assignment for this course is a third close reading paper. This paper will be longer than the previous two and will require you to write a cover letter. In this cover letter you identify what areas of your writing have shown improvement, and also reflect on areas that still need work. 

 
Foundation Course: Principles of Science
Course Code: FC-0801
Faculty: Raja Rosenhagen, Assistant Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description:
That the scientific revolution has drastically changed our view of the world, as a whole and of its sentient and non-sentient denizens, that it has led to a massive expansion of our intellectual horizon and of our abilities to interact with and manipulate our environment is indisputable. But what is this thing called science? How do we demarcate it? What, if any, are the principles that must guide an activity such that it merits the honorific ‘scientific’—and when is something mere pseudoscience?
Perhaps we can find out by way of looking at what actual scientists do: scientists make careful observations, try to explain and systematize phenomena, make (sometimes risky) predictions, and devise and test scientific hypotheses and theories. If we want to know what science is, we may thus focus our inquiry on these kinds of activities and raise questions that are geared at finding out more about what is characteristic of them. Here are a few examples:
- What is the role of observation in science?
- What is a scientific explanation? Must good scientific explanations be true?
- If scientists make predictions, how do they arrive at them and what role do unobservable entities play in this endeavor?
- Have scientists shown that unobservable entities really exist?
- What are scientific theories, how are they generated, and what does scientific progress look like?
- Does science require the concept of causation?
- What role importance, if any, accrues to scientific speculation?
- Are there laws of nature? What are they and can we find them by inductively generalizing from observations?
- How are scientific theories tested? Can one confirm a theory and what does that amount to?
- Are all sciences fundamentally based on laws or is that just true of physics? Even if so, shouldn’t we think to expect that in the end, every scientific theory reduces to physics?
- At the basis of physics are certain conceptions of time and space. Do they capture what matters to us qua human beings? If not, do humans fit into the scientific world view?
In this course, we will pursue a selection of these questions. Our overall aim is to find out how to characterize scientific activity. As we pursue this aim, we will gain an appreciation of the complexity of scientific practice and a deeper understanding of the various presuppositions that structure it, thus acquiring scientific literacy and the ability to critically gauge what science can and what it cannot offer.
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: Your course grade will be calculated according to the following distribution (may be subject to slight modification).
- 5 Reflection papers (weekly), 8% each (40%)
- DS Participation (18%)
- Weekly discussion board participation, (12%)
- Peer-reviewed creative project, 10% project, 5% review (15%)                       
- 3 content quizzes, 5% each (15%)    

Reflection papers: Every week, you will be given a choice of topics to respond to that relate to the discussions of the weekly texts, from which you must choose one. Your responses will be assessed based on the mastery of the material, the clarity of your writing and exposition and on how well you make your case.
DS participation: discussion sessions are an important component of the course. You are expected to attend the DS, come prepared, and be ready to discuss doubts and questions you may have with regard to both the readings and the classes.
Weekly discussion board participation: Every week, the discussion board of the course will be populated with questions for you to respond to. You will be expected to make a fixed number of contributions. These will be graded based on clarity of exposition and on how novel or insightful your point is with respect to the discussion. Good new questions and constructive responses to others will be rewarded as well. The discussion will provide you with ample opportunity to voice your views and to try expressing them in a friendly and constructive context.
Peer-reviewed creative project: The peer-reviewed creative project gives you the opportunity to bring your artsy talents to bear on the class content. Make a video, a stop-motion collage, cartoon, sculpture, installation, write a song, a poem, a short story, a RP deck, make an ezine … whatever creative talent you have (or always wanted to develop), use it to surprise us, but make sure that your creation relates to the content of the course (you must provide a 1-page explanation of what you take that connection to be). This will be peer-reviewed and graded, so you want to impress your peers. Your peer-review (using a mix of a rubric and constructive open comments) itself will be graded on how constructive and helpful it is.

 
Foundation Course: Mind and Behaviour - Philosophy of the Body and Illness 
Course Code: FC-0503
Faculty: Arindam Chakrabarti, Visiting Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: This summer class will be on contemporary philosophy of the body and illness. As social human beings we are and have bodies that grow, age, enjoy, suffer, move, work, communicate, rest, fall sick and die. Since firsthand memories of a global pandemic are likely to still haunt the minds of both the teacher and the taught, the course is designed with a major module on the concept of a disease. Some of the major topics we shall discuss are:
- My body and my knowledge and ignorance of it.
- The concepts of the body in Western and Indian Philosophy (Upanishads): the lived body, and my “ownership” of my body: Ancient Indian hedonistic materialism
- Mind-Body Dualism and the Chariot Analogy in Katha Upanishad and Plato
- The Brain-Mind Identity theory and Daniel Dennett’s thought-experiments
- Representation of the Body in the Brain/Mind and Body-Schema: Our tacit and constantly updated proprioceptive knowledge of our own bodies
- The Bodily Self
- What is a sense organ? In Aristotle, in Samkhya and Nyaya and J.J. Gibso
- The senses considered as perceptual systems
- What is it like to breathe mindfully
- Action, proprioception and the sense of agency.
- Interpersonal touch, intimacy and “unsocial sociality” of human beings.
- Gendered and Sexualized Bodies
- The concept of a disease.
- The normal versus the pathological
- Mental Illness and Madness
- Our knowledge of the pain in other bodies
- Fear of Contagion, and the care of the sick body
- Ethics and Politics of a Pandemic
- Social aesthetics of bodily beauty
- Buddhist and Christian ascetic meditations on the essential ugliness of the body
- The body in dance.
- The body in Yoga as a ladder for spiritual liberation?
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: Oral Participation: 10%
Reading Quizzes: 25%, 
Final Research Essay: 40%
Equal emphasis will be given to intensive reading and comprehension tested by reading quizzes and on weekly writing of short (200 words) reaction papers with prompts (RPP) and on a final research-essay for which at least one draft/ outline will have to be prepared in consultation with the instructor. Attendance at virtually and synchronously taught classes would be required. Oral participation will be an important as aspect of philosophical loud-thinking in class—based, of course, on careful deep reading of the texts.
 
Creative Writing: Introduction to Creative Writing
Course code: CW-1001
Faculty: Arunava Sinha, Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: The course will introduce students to the process of writing  complete works in three forms:
- Fiction
- Poetry
- Narrative non-fiction
Course activities will be of four kinds:
- Reading prescribed pieces and discussing them in the class from the point of view of the writer
- Writing short pieces in class and outside in response to prompts
- Writing one longer piece in each of the forms mentioned above outside the class
- Discussing fellow-students' work in a workshop format
This course must be completed to take subsequent creative writing courses, leading to a minor or an interdisciplinary major. 
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: Grading will be on written submissions, an oral presentation, and class participation.

Learning Outcomes
- Identifying your capabilities as a creative writer
- Identifying where you need to do more work
- An understanding of your preferred form(s)
- The ability to judge your own work
- Writing regularly
- Being part of a writing community

 

Economics: Economics of Global Health

Course code: ECO-3651

Faculty: Santosh Kumar, Visiting Faculty, Ashoka University

Course Description: India GDP has grown almost 9 times since 1991 yet only 21% of mothers had full antenatal care in 2015-16, 78% of the mothers delivered babies in hospital; 62% of 12-23 months old children are fully immunized; 38% of under-five children are stunted and 21% are wasted; 58% of school-going children in Bihar are anemic (lack iron), the infant mortality rate is 41 and under-five mortality is 50. Very gloomy picture!

Are there economic reasons for such a poor health scenario in developing countries? The answer is YES. This course examines current health policy issues and debates in developing countries from an economic perspective. Topics may vary but are likely to include the relationship between health and economic development, the need for financial risk protection against health shocks, the control of malaria, the relationship between fetal and early-child conditions on human capital, and other related topics. There will be a strong focus on interpreting the relevant empirical literature. The course will approach these issues from a microeconomics perspective and will analyze economic behavior at the micro-level i.e. individual and household. The course will also discuss program evaluation techniques to understand which health policy works in the field. The course will make a case that early-life health and children's well-being are critical to human capital formation and economic development.

Pre-requisites: (ECO-2101) Microeconomic Theory 1 and (ECO-2400) Econometrics

Grading Policy: Class participation: 10%

In-class quiz: 20%

2 assignments: 30%

Term paper: 40%

 

Economics: Topics in Macroeconomics
Course code: ECO-3204
Faculty: Anuradha Saha, Assistant Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: This is a theoretical course in macroeconomics. The focus will be in laying out the micro-foundations and doing mathematical analysis to equip students with tools to understand the latest problems in the field of macroeconomics.
Grading Policy: In this course, there will be class participation exercises (40%), 2 assignments (30%) and one final exam (30%).
 
 
English: Critical Thinking Seminar - Futures Perfect - a Literary History of Utopia
Course code: ENG-2105
Faculty: Alexandra Verini, Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: Utopia might seem like an unlikely topic for our times. During a global pandemic with all its attendant worries, why should we bother thinking about the possibility that things might be different and better? Many thinkers, both in the past and today, have dismissed utopia as idyll fantasy, but, as this course will explore, utopian visions have practical and relevant applications: they are devices that challenge the assumptions of the present and so enable changes in the future. Utopia is something we need, now more than ever. This course offers a theoretical and historical overview of utopian thinking across time and space. We will examine the rise of utopia as a European literary genre through Thomas More’s Utopia alongside theories of utopia by sociologists and philosophers. We will connect these early utopias to the later genre of science fiction, and we will also complicate the standard history of utopia by examining works from before the early modern period as well as those from outside a predominantly male and western lineage such as Ravidas’s “Begumpura” and Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain’s The Sultana’s dream. We will conclude by considering utopian thinking beyond the literary in the accounts of real-world utopian societies. In our readings and discussions, we will aim not to develop not a single definition of utopia but rather to gain an understanding of the many ways in which utopia has and continues to be a vital aesthetic and political tool.
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: This course will include in-class writing assignments and a final writing portfolio.
 
Entrepreneurship: Creativity and Design Thinking
Course code: ENT-1004
Faculty: Priyank Narayan, Entrepreneurship Director, Ashoka University
Course Description: It is often said that “Today, thinking is more important than knowing”. Opportunities are what we all look for and their counterparts—the problems—are what we should solve in daily lives. The dynamic environment of twenty-first century requires more creative skills from citizens than just analytical skills to manage in the ever-changing work environment.   
The course is designed to provide an understanding of problem-solving with a touch of creative focus through the design thinking framework.  The students will be introduced to concepts of creative thinking like convergent and divergent thinking, lateral thinking and brainstorming. Structured techniques such as 6 thinking hats and mind maps will also be practiced. Students will be expected to work on live projects to come up with creative Jugaad solutions to problems that they see around them and apply them in their design thinking projects.
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: 
Mid-Term Project (Book Reading) – 30%
Final Project (Live Action Learning Project) - 30%
Assignments and submissions – 15%
Attendance & class participation – 25%
This is a 13 week course comprising of 39 classroom hours and approx. 20-30 hours of project work, group assignments and book readings. The Mid Term Project and the Final Project will be team-based submissions. Assignments and class participation will be individual based grading.  

Learning Outcomes: At the end of the course the student will be able to: 1) Appreciate the creative element in every solution that students see around them and master the skills required to sustain creative and design thinking capabilities.
2) Equip you with a methodology to put design thinking into action by participating in an Live Action Learning Project (LALP) to apply the learning in a real world context
3) Understand a structured process of problem identification and apply the concepts of Design Thinking in the process of problem-solving 
4) Apply and experiment with multiple tools of problem-solving and consensus building on a proposed solution. 
5) Appreciate the concept of creating intersections and using the power of diversity to generate a multi-perspectival approach to problem-solving using the theory of the Medici effect.
6) Understand the need for frugal innovation and how it impacts our daily lives. Additionally what inspiration can be drawn from Jugaad solutions to create meaningful innovations.

 
History: War, Politics, Society
Course code: HIS-2501/SOA-2506/POL-2057
This course is cross-listed with Political Science (POL-2057) and Sociology (SOA-2506)
Faculty: Pratyay Nath, Assistant Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: How have military techniques of warfare evolved over time? In what ways has war served as a contested site for defining gender roles? How have computer games, movies, and museums made war into an object of popular consumption in modern societies? These are some of the questions the present course addresses. It offers a global and cross-temporal history of the inter-relationship between warfare, politics, and society.
In the first two weeks, we will study the evolution of military techniques from the prehistoric times to the twentieth century. In the third week, we will analyse the role of infrastructure – labour, logistics, animals, and resources – in war-making. In the fourth week, we will unravel the world of war-propaganda and anti-war protests. Next, we will delve into the realm of cultural representations of war. By focusing on graphic novels, movies, photographs, letters, and computer games, we will explore the politics of representing war in popular culture. In the final week, we will study how societies have defined and contested ideals of masculinity and femininity against the backdrop of the real and prescribed gender roles for men and women in war. We will also look at issues of war-memory and war-trauma.
By the end of the course, students will have a broad understanding of the myriad ways in which humans across space and time make, experience, represent, relate to, and think about war.
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy:
Class Participation: 25%
Mid-Term Presentation: 35%
Term Paper: 40% 
Cross-listing: Political Science (POL-2057) and Sociology (SOA-2506)
 
International Relations: The Rise of Populism in International Politics
Course Code: IR-2013/POL-2038
This course is cross-listed with Political Science (POL-2038)
Faculty: Ananya Sharma, Assistant Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: Populism is one of the main political buzzwords of the early 21st century. The course seeks to answer questions associated with the rise of populism and illiberal democracy including: Why do contemporary populist movements engage in “Othering?” Why are they hostile to marginalized populations – women, people of color, immigrants? What has been the impact of an increasingly integrated global economic system on the rise of populist states? Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics intensify populist discontent? What are the challenges of living in post-truth societies? The course aims at bringing together the conceptual analysis of populism with comparative case studies in different regions of the world. Given the highly contested nature of populism, the first weeks will look in-depth to different theories of populism, including institutional, ideological, discursive and socio-cultural understandings of populism. It will then move to explore the conditions of emergence of populism and the relations between populism and key political concepts, such as democracy and political participation. The second half of the course will seek to apply the conceptual tools presented in the first half of the course to regional case studies.
Grading Policy:
Attendance and Class participation: 10%
Midterm submission: 30 %
Journal Entries: 20%
End term Submission: 40%
Cross-listing: Political Science (POL-2038)
 
Mathematics: Multivariable Calculus
Course code: MAT-1004
Faculty: Pritam Ghosh, Assistant Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: Vectors and matrices. Curves and surfaces. Partial derivatives. Maximum and minimum values. Double integrals. Line integrals in the plane. Green’s theorem. Triple integrals and surface integrals in 3-space. Stoke’s theorem. Applications of multivariable calculus.
Pre-requisites: 
1. Mandatory: (MAT-1005) Calculus
2. Desirable but not mandatory: (MAT-1001/ CS-2210/ PHY-1001) Linear Algebra 
Grading Policy: Quiz (30 %), Mid-semester (30%), Final (40%)
 
Media Studies: Media, Culture, and Society
Course code: MS-1202
Faculty: Neha Dixit, Visiting Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: Mass media shapes our understanding of the world. This six-week course will enable students to gain an in-depth understanding of key issues, debates, and theoretical perspectives, and to critically analyze the relationship between culture, media, and society. Through the course, students will closely examine mass media forms-news, cinema, tv, digital space-and will explore how our everyday engagements with media are influenced and structured by broader economic, political, ideological, and social contexts.
This course has been created to recognize the utmost need for media literacy in contemporary times. Through communication theory and ownership models of the media, the course will explore how media constructs a kind of social reality. Through questions of power, inequality, and identity, the students will be trained to critically think about the relationship between gender, class, race, and ethnicity, and caste. They will learn to recognize how these prejudices are propagated through the media. It will look at how mass media is evolving through New Communication Technologies such as artificial intelligence, gaming, and wide-ranging use of Social Media. The final week will look at the role and ethics of the media. It will explore why Freedom of Press and Expression are essential Human rights. How Hate Speech, Propaganda, and Fake News in the media change the fabric of society.
The course aims to create smart and critical consumers, creators, and participants of mass media. At the end of the course, the students will be able to identify and develop an understanding of Media theories and analyze media practices globally. They will learn to formulate well-informed opinions and critical awareness of current media practices.
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: Class discussions and two major assignments
 
Media Studies: Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) Campaigns - Planning, Implementation and Evaluation
Course code: MS-3298 / PSY-3164
This course is cross-listed with Psychology (PSY-3164)
Faculty: Purnima Mehrotra, Associate Director, Ashoka University
Course Description: BCC (Behaviour Change Communication) campaigns include strategies and action plans that produce effects on the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of large populations across a variety of domains, including commercial, political, pro-social, and environmental and health sectors. Planning a communications campaign needs careful consideration of objectives, audience, research, messaging, communication channels, implementation, timing, resources and evaluation. This course is designed to strengthen students' understanding of communication campaign principles and sharpen their professionalism in employing those principles to a variety of issues. The course guides students in conducting situational research, conceptualizing a theory-based communication strategy and implementing a specific action plan.
Students will work in groups with 3 different firms in the domain of advertising, PR and social communication through the semester so that the learning is anchored in the real world with its constraints, challenges and opportunities. In addition, there will be guest lectures by professionals from leading organizations in advertising, market research, SBCC-specific NGOs and multilaterals like UNICEF which have rich, varied and diverse experiences in conceptualizing, implementing and evaluating communication campaigns.
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: Attendance, class discussions, brief presentations: 15%
- Campaign proposal: 15%
- Engagement with organization: 15%
- Case Study Analysis: 15%
- Group Presentations of campaigns: 20%
- Final reflection paper (individual level) on campaign planning and execution: 20%

Learning Outcomes:
− Understand an issue from a communication campaign perspective.
− Identify target audience(s) and communication campaign opportunities.
− Develop campaign strategy and design persuasive communication materials to meet the desired communication objectives, based on formative research of various market essentials
– competition, target audience (demographics, psychographics, and perspectives on campaign issue/product/service), media platforms etc.
− Understand principles of implementation and evaluation
Course Structure The course will be a mix of lectures, discussion and workshops, with the focus on developing and conducting a team-led campaign plan during the semester. The end goal will be a group-led campaign execution that can be demonstrated before an audience of faculty and industry experts. In terms of class sessions, workshops will generally be informal, but all members of the group will be expected to attend class and participate in the group activities for the day. Further, each member of the group will be asked to present the status of the project at different points in the semester, so all members of the group should always be aware of the status and progress of the project.

Cross-listing: Psychology (PSY-3164)
 
Philosophy: Philosophy of Love
Course code: PHI-2715
Faculty: Raja Rosenhagen, Assistant Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: In this course, we look at various forms of love, such as friendship, romantic love, or familial love. As we do, we ask several questions:  One, of course, is of the “what is x” kind: what is love, what is (true) friendship? Another is of the “why does x matter” variety: should love and friendship be important to us? What are they good for? A third question is “what speaks in favor of x and what does x speak in favor of”: are there reasons for love or friendship? Does the question “why do you love me?” have a good answer? Are we obligated to love certain people - and if so, why? Does love itself create special obligations that we have towards our beloved?
We will read Plato, Aristotle, Simone Weil, Iris Murdoch, Chris Lambert on Chinese Philosophy, Shyam Ranganathan on Indian Philosophy of Love, and others.
This is the third iteration of this course. It involves no midterm and no final exam. Instead, we will engage in continuous assessment via a) weekly readings (plus read-along/walk-throughs) and quiz, b) weekly discussion board, extra video and art material to look at if you like, c) a weekly reflection piece, and d) one peer-reviewed creative project.
Pre-requisites: (PHI-1000) Introduction to Philosophy is desirable, but not mandatory
Grading Policy: Reading Quizzes: 20%;
Creative Project: 12.5%;
Weekly Reflection Pieces: 35%;
Peer Review: 7.5%;
Online Discussion: 25%
 
Political Science: Introduction to Comparative Politics
Course code: POL-1005
Faculty: Bann Seng Tan, Assistant Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: Comparative Politics is the study of political phenomena occurring predominantly within countries. In this introduction, we will focus on the thematic question: How does regime type affect policy outcomes?
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: It will include 2 exams (final and mid-term), one term essay, quizzes, class attendance, and participation in discussion sections.
 
Political Science: Political Theory of Indian Modernity
Course code: POL-2058
Faculty: Sudipta Kaviraj, Visiting Faculty,  Ashoka University
Course Description: 
The purpose of this course will be to answer three interconnected questions:
1. What was the tradition of Indian thinking about society and political power before the coming of colonial modernity?
2. How did major thinkers of Indian modernity analyze and judge the central questions of modernity: the state and political power, the economy and material life of ordinary people, structures of society: domination and oppressions, and the place of religion in the ethical order of life?
3. How should we today think about this modern Indian tradition of social and political thinking? Was it original or derivative of Western intellectual traditions? What resources does it give us to think about predicaments of our own times? 
The course will be divided unequally into three parts. In the first week, we shall survey major traditions of Indian thought about questions of political power, social structure and ethical order. We shall begin with a discussion about ‘tradition of thinking’ – what it means, how it is constructed, how it is criticized and developed etc. We shall then move into a brief survey of major traditions of pre-modern thinking on society and politics: Kautilya, Manusmrti, Sukraniti etc., and an analysis of Islamic thought in the time of the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire. We shall also look at ideas of suffering and social life in religious thought: e.g., Vaisnavism. Five weeks of the course will be devoted to close textual reading of works by major Indian thinkers about questions of modernity. We shall read thinkers of the early period - like Rammohan Ray and traditions of religious reform, Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay and the rise of nationalism, Bhudev Mukhopadhyay and his critique of European modernity. Next, we shall turn to the period of the rise of mass politics and elaborations of nationalist and anti-colonial thinking: Muslim nationalism in Syed Ahmed Khan, Iqbal and Jinnah, and its Islamic critique in Maulana Azad; Hindu Nationalism in Tilak, Lajpat Rai and Savarkar, a pluralist anti-colonial nationalism in Gandhi and Tagore, and a radical socialist nationalism in figures like Nehru, Bose, Socialists and Communists. In the final two meeting, we shall return to the questions of ‘traditions’ and assess this legacy of modern Indian reflections on the nature and future of modernity, and ask what this tradition can give us to think about the politics of our times.
Classes will be run by lectures and discussions. Every week students will be required to read some texts. The lecture will be followed by a discussion of questions arising from the set reading, and the lecture.
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: Student Presentation in Class: 25%
Long Paper of approximately 4000 words due at the end of semester: 75%.
 
Political Science: Indian Democracy: From Liberal Democracy to Ethnic Majoritarianism
Course code: POL-2054

Faculty: Princeton Global Summer Seminar
Course Description: 

India has been described as an “unlikely democracy.” As Tocqueville argued, democracy, in principle transforms all the other social forms it touches, from religion to intermediate associations. This course will examine the ways in which the Indian democratic experience is unsettling identities, unleashing new forms of mobilization and in the process transforming the meaning of citizenship as Indians experience it. It will ask: Is Indian Democracy moving in a more illiberal and authoritarian direction? If so, what explains this transformation? How does this transformation look in a comparative perspective?
The course will consist of both Ashoka and Princeton students. Collaboration among the students will be a key part of the course, from collaborative projects (e.g., a short video on some topic of common interest) to shared cultural activities (e.g., virtual tours of each campus and town, movies, food, a lecture on and/or virtual class on Bollywood). 
Ashoka Students will need to apply for this course. Only those students who have filled the survey will get application information. 
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: TBA
 
 
Psychology: Cognitive Psychology
Course Code: PSY-2021
Faculty: Sneha Shashidhara, Visiting Faculty, Ashoka University
Course Description: This course connects the concepts of mind, brain and behaviour using experimental evidence. Cognitive and neural mechanisms of behaviour will be studiedthrough examining sensory processes – both visual perception and audition – attention, learning and memory, higher cognition, language, and reasoning. This will be followed by an introduction to atypical psychology - autism, schizophrenia OCD and eating disorders. Mind and behaviour will be studied at different levels of evidence from single neurons, population neural activity, fMRI activations to behavioural studies. A special emphasis on understanding of experimental methodology, design, and analysis will be made.
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: Students will be required to write two assignments that are due at the end of term.
 
Psychology: Psychotherapy - Theoretical Foundations and Research
Course code: PSY-3047
Faculty: Shudarshana Gupta, Visiting Faculty, Ashoka University
Course Description: This course is an introduction to the prominent theoretical approaches to psychotherapy (e.g, analytic, psychodynamic, behavioural, cognitive, humanistic) and their clinical application in addressing mental health, relational and existential concerns. In surveying the major psychotherapy systems, this course will place special emphasis on research and address general issues and controversies related evidenced-based practice. We will explore ethical and multicultural considerations related to the study, theory, and practice of psychotherapy. Example case studies and videos will be used to illustrate the principles of therapeutic change.
Pre-requisites: (PSY-2041) Clinical psychology
Grading Policy: The final grade a student received will be based on the following breakdown:
- Attendance and Participation - 10%
- One exam - 30%
- One reflection paper - 25 % of final grade
- One case conceptualization paper - 25 % of final grade