South Asia

The South Asia fields works with students on a model of co-advisement.

Courses: Including the overall requirements for coursework in the department, South Asia field students are expected to have taken at least two graduate seminars in South Asia history over their first two years in the program. One of these two seminars will form the basis for producing the Masters Thesis. The Masters Thesis should be based on primary research and include a review of secondary literature. They are required to follow the deadlines for the Masters thesis listed in the Graduate Handbook – 2019.

Language Competency: Students are required to pass language exams in two languages, chosen in consultation with their advisors. At least one of the languages must be a modern South Asian language (i.e., Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, Sindhi, Kannada etc.); the other can be either a second modern South Asian language, or one selected from Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, French, Dutch, Portuguese, or German. Students cannot opt-out of language requirements by demonstrating fluency in a South Asian language which is not among the primary research languages for their project.

Oral Examinations: Orals are generally taken in the fifth term. Orals fields will be developed in close consultation with advisors, and will vary widely depending on the students’ research and teaching interests. They can be both thematic and geographical in scope. At least two out of the four examinations must cover South Asia in a temporal or thematic sense and one field can be drawn from a wider geographic (Indian Ocean World or Early Modern Europe) or an adjacent discipline (Anthropology, Art History etc.) Students will be required to retake the exams for any failed fields.

Dissertation Prospectus: Students are expected to defend the dissertation prospectus in the sixth term after successfully clearing the Orals. The prospectus is generally a 4-5,000 word document, with a substantial bibliography (that would draw on reading lists from the orals field). The prospectus should outline the project’s methodology, discuss its relationship to current historiographic debates, outline the archives to be explored, and provide a timeline and plan of research.