Other links:

Other links:

Summer Semester 2024 - Courses

Foundation Course: Indian Civilizations 
Course Code: FC-0201-1
Faculty: Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: The course will reflect on early philosophical and political thought in India, examining  Asokan Edicts, Sangam age thinking in India’s Tamil tracts, the non-religious imaginations of Sarmad and the Sufis. It will also examine Yatric India with the India of Visitors through the ages, studying the journeys of ancient travelers such as Fahein to the current Dalai Lama. It will study  the history of imprisonment in India from early times, including that of a serving emperor jailed- Shah Jehan, through colonial times to our own times when penology has changed from its emphasis on punishment to reform. The Course would reflect on the testamentary role of the Constitution of India in the way we are evolving or not evolving as a people, a nation and a civilisation.
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: Environmental Studies
Course Code: FC-0102-1
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 students gain an in-depth understanding of some of the pressing environmental issues of our times, such as the agrarian crisis, climate change, disaster and vulnerability, waste, the industrial food system, struggles over water, and neoliberalization of nature, among others. Second, drawing on a variety of theoretical frameworks, including Marxist, feminist, and post-structuralist perspectives, the course will expose students to a breadth of approaches to environmental questions. Finally, through this course, I hope to be able to cultivate a sense of environmental citizenship in students. The course will be taught using a combination of lectures, discussions, films, and group projects.
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: Attendance and Participation: 20% (10% for lectures, 10% for DS) Quizzes: 20% Essays: 40% Group Project: 20%


History: War: History, Politics, Society
Course code: HIS-2505/SOA-2234/POL-2107
Faculty: Pratyay Nath, Associate Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: How has war shaped gender identities and political ideologies in our societies? In what ways do race, class, and religion figure in the experience of war? How have computer games, movies, and museums made war an object of popular consumption? These are some of the questions that the present course addresses. It offers a global history of the inter-relationship between war, politics, and society. The present course will study this rich history through a close reading of recent scholarly literature on the subject as well as a hands-on experience of analysing modern cultural artefacts (movies, graphic novels, and games) of war.
Pre-requisites: None.
Cross-listing: Political Science and Sociology
Grading Policy: Class Participation – 25% Mid-Term Presentation – 35% Term Paper – 40%


International Relations: The Rise of Populism in International Politics
Course code: IR-2013/ POL-2038-1
Faculty: Ananya Sharma, Assistant Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: Populism is one of the main political buzzwords of the early 21st century. The rise of populist forces in recent years has generated new challenges in many long-established democracies, such as the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Greece, and France, as well as destabilizing states worldwide, such as in Venezuela, Brazil, Hungary, Turkey, the Philippines, Thailand, and India. What explains the rise of these forces? What are the consequences? And what can be done to mitigate the risks? 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, we will look in depth to different theories of populism, including institutional, ideological, discursive and socio-cultural understandings of populism. The course will also explore the conditions of emergence of populism and the relations between populism and key political concepts, such as democracy, security, gender, international organizations and political communication. The course covers: (i) The core concept of populism and the classification of varieties of populist parties and leaders in different world regions; (ii) Explanations focused on ‘demand-side’ cultural value change, economic grievances, and patterns of immigration, and also ‘supply-side’ electoral rules and party competition; (iii) The consequences for the civic culture and the policy agenda; and alternative strategic policy responses.

Pre-requisites: 1000 Level IR course
Cross-listing: Political Science
Grading Policy: Continuous Assessments- Memo submissions, Visual Project, Issue specific Briefs.


Psychology: Psychological Understanding of Trauma
Course Code: PSY-3049
Faculty: Simantini Ghosh, Assistant Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: The course will cover the neurobiology of trauma, psychological mechanisms and dysfunctions that underlie traumatic response. We will also discuss concepts related to the somatization of trauma. The second section of the course will cover the link between trauma and psychopathology- we will cover the genetics, epigenetics, and behavioral perspectives underlying this link and discuss how trauma affects behavior at an individual and collective level. We will further explore collective and intergenerational trauma perspectives. The third and final section of the course will focus on interventions and trauma-informed care, strengths and weaknesses, pitfalls and planning of future interventions. The instructor will use a flipped classroom in half the classes, where students will present papers, and the instructor will serve as a mediator. We will assume an intersectional lens when we analyze specific examples. The instructor will pick case studies from South Asian and Indian contexts in particular for students to appreciate how cross-cultural differences in norms and attitudes can have long-lasting effects on how trauma is experienced, addressed and processed.

Pre-requisites: Statistics and Research Methods I [PSY-2001] AND Introduction to Psychology (PSY1001) OR Thinking Like a Psychologist (TLAP) [PSY1003]
Grading Policy: Syllabus Quiz 2% Academic Integrity 5% Class Citizenship 3% Check In and Check Out cards 10% Main Points/Muddy Points (MP/MP) Comments on Perusall (6 best scores counted) 20% SLAM Presentations (10% SLAM, 5% collaboration score x2) 30% Weekly Case Response Assignments (Formative) OR Independent Learning Project (Summative) [80% project, 20% collaboration score] 30%


Visual Arts: Understanding Art
Course Code: VA-2079
Faculty: Janice Pariat, Assistant Professor, Ashoka University
Course Description: This course explores the definitions of art developed by societies from the ancient Greeks to our globalised digital world. ‘What is art?’ is the question posed as we consider objects and activities in settings both remote in time and place and present around us. It attempts to build a critical language for classifying and evaluating a broad range of visual forms of expression. The disciplines of aesthetics, hermeneutics, iconography, and iconology are explored in order to find an approach that works across the cultures East and West. The course looks into connoisseurship, taste, and the role of the institutions of the art world.
Pre-requisites: None
Grading Policy: 20% = Class participation: I want you to be attentive, present, and engaged. 40% = Mid-term class presentation 40% = End of term essay (1500 to 3,000 words)


Media Studies: Wisdom of the Documentary Film 
Course code: MS-2091
Faculty: Natasha Badhwar, Visiting Faculty, Ashoka University 
Course Description: Wisdom of Documentary: affective analysis of non-fiction films  With a focus on South Asian non-fiction films, this is an experiential course on analyzing the affective impact of viewing documentary film on the self and diverse audiences. Through screenings and moderated discussions, students will develop the practice to observe, appreciate and articulate the form, content and craft of documentary, and connect it to film theory, visual culture and socio-political discourse.  They will write personalized reviews on themes, theory, aesthetics and impact of a range of documentary work. As a final project, they will research and submit a pitch for a documentary project of their interest.
Pre-requisites: None
Cross-listing: Creative Writing, Visual Arts
Grading Policy: Class Participation and Attendance: 20% Response Essays: 45% Mid-term Essay: 15% Proposal for Final Project: 5% Final Pitch with audio-video and script elements: 15%.


Media Studies: Writing Narrative Non-fiction: Craft and Practice 
Course code: MS-2241/ VA-2013 / CW-2242
Faculty: Natasha Badhwar, Visiting Faculty, Ashoka University 
Course Description: This course seeks to forge “writing as a lifelong relationship”.  With a focus on interrogating personal experiences, memories and connections, this course focusses on creative nonfiction writing as true stories, well told. In response to prompts, students will speed-write and slow-write essays that are compelling and honest and resonate with readers. This practical course will include reading and writing of reported narratives, profiles, first person essays, reviews, travel, food, history, films, true crime and memoir. The focus will be on both substance and style.
Pre-requisites: None
Cross-listing: Creative Writing, Visual Arts
Grading Policy: The essays are marked on these criteria: 1. creativity in writing 2. conspicuous effort and improvement 3. following specific instructions for each  4. Overall engagement for reader. Class Participation and Attendance: 20% Final Essay 20% Any 6 of the essays written during the course: 60%.


Biology: Python for Research in Life Sciences 
Course code: BIO-3636
Faculty: Sudipta Tung, Faculty, Ashoka University 
Course Description: This is an introductory course to Python to use this versatile programming language for aiding research in Life sciences. This course does not assume any prior knowledge in programming, starts with the basic coding lessons, and builds up upon them. The course will nudge you to think intuitively in terms writing an algorithm. This skill, once mastered, is transferable to any programming language in future. In addition, after first reviewing the basics of Python 3, we shall learn how to use Python scripts to import, organize, analyze and visualize experimental data, and run own simulations to generate new in silico research data. Using a combination of a lectures, and guided hands-on sessions, students will be exposed to a variety of different Python features across various topics in Life sciences. We shall explore examples and case studies with data, inter alia, behavioural experiments, genomics, transcriptomics, epidemiology and biostatistics. Students will also be introduced to the rapidly developing field of image processing and machine learning. Students will get a chance to hone their new Python skills by solving take-home assignments on their own.

Pre-requisites: This course assumes no prior knowledge of computer programming. An open mind and interest to learn the principles of coding will suffice.
Cross-listing: None
Grading Policy: Assignments50% + Exam – 20% + DIY project – 20 % + Classroom participation – 10 % Absolute scores will be considered for letter grades as per the following scheme 85 – 100 A; 80 – 84 A-; 75 – 79 B+; 70 – 74 B; 65 – 69 B-; 60 – 64 C+; 55 –59 C; 50 – 54 C-; 45 – 49 D+; 40 – 44 D; & <40 F.


Media Studies: Watershed Moments of Hindi Cinema 
Course code: MS-2492/ ENG-2804
Faculty: Aakshi Magazine, Visiting Faculty, Ashoka University 
Course Description: Cinema history can be recounted in multiple ways. In this course, we will engage with selected watershed moments of Hindi cinema – starting from the 1940s to contemporary times. A watershed moment could be an event, a film, a change in technology, a loss or the rise of a new music composer. We will focus on such selected moments that are central to understanding popular Hindi cinema.

Pre-requisites: None
Cross-listing: English
Grading Policy: Attendance and Participation = 20%, Screening Notes = 20%, Class Presentation = 10%, Final essay = 40%.


Economics: The Indian Economy  
Course code: ECO-3501

Faculty: Nitish Kashyap, Visiting Faculty, Ashoka University

Course Description: This course on “Indian Economy” familiarizes students with India’s growth trajectory since 1947 and its development experience reflecting on sectoral and overall trends via empirical literature and policy debates. The materials chosen for the course aim to give students an overview of the 60 years of growth in the post-independence period while focusing on the challenges for a welfare state. The course also extends itself to discuss the post-COVID challenges and issues of inequality, malnutrition, and unemployment which gain significant traction considering our domestic situation.

Pre-requisites: None.

Cross-listing: None

Grading Policy: End term exam & presentations and classroom participation.


Economics: Economic History of Modern India 
Course code: ECO-3504

Faculty: Nitish Kashyap, Visiting Faculty, Ashoka University

Course Description: This course analyses key aspects of Indian economic development during the second half of British colonial rule from 1857-1947. In doing so, it investigates the place of the Indian economy in the wider colonial context, and the mechanisms that linked economic development in India to the compulsions of colonial rule.

Pre-requisites: None.

Cross-listing: None

Grading Policy: End term exam & presentations and classroom participation.


Entrepreneurship: Artificial  Intelligence and Technology for Entrepreneurs

Course code: ENT-2041

Faculty: Tushar Jaruhar, Visiting Faculty, Ashoka University

Course Description: This course is designed to equip entrepreneurs with essential skills and knowledge in AI and technology, enabling them to leverage these tools to drive innovation and growth in their businesses. Through a combination of theoretical learning and hands-on practical exercises, participants will gain proficiency in key technologies such as Excel, KNIME, Tableau, Google Analytics, Hugging Face, DALL-E, and no-code app development platforms.

Pre-requisites: None.

Cross-listing: None

Grading Policy:

  • There will be 10 marks for class participation.
  • There will be 5 short assignments of 10 marks each. Total marks allocated to this component is 50.
  • There will be 4 quizzes and the best of 3 will be taken into consideration. Total marks allocated to this component is 30.
  • You will be required to make a group and come-up with your own project. This is an entrepreneurship course, and you are expected to show innovation. Marks for this is 20. Group size will be determined after the course starts.

Psychology: The Psychology for Health and Illness  
Course code: PSY- 3083
Faculty: Annie Baxi, Visiting Faculty, Ashoka University 
Course Description: The paper is a blend of Critical and Cultural Health Psychology and intends to detail the various theoretical perspectives on health and illness and strategies that promote healing and wellbeing. Health is defined as ‘a way of being’ which is not limited by the absence of malfunction or disease but an experience that is grounded in one’s body and is shaped largely by individual and collective attributions around it. The designed course attempts to address questions like how do we identify and operationalise markers of a healthy living in a context? What are the various ways in which illness(es) can be experienced ? What is the symbiotic relationship of the individual reality and social processes in understanding health and illness?

Pre-requisites: Clinical Psychology
Cross-listing: None
Grading Policy: Grading Rubric: Attendance (Lecture) – 10% of final grade Class Participation- 10% of the final grade Weekly Learning Checks – 10 % of the grade Critical Essay- 20% of the grade Group Presentation- 20% of the grade Research Proposal Draft- 30% of the final grade (Unit 4).


 

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka

    [current_url]