South and Southeast Asian Studies
Professor Ruth Vanita, Advisor
The Liberal Studies Program offers undergraduates at the University of Montana-Missoula an opportunity to study South and Southeast Asian peoples, cultures, histories, societies, as well as their literary, artistic and religious traditions. The minor encompasses the regions of South and Southeast Asia, including the states of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, East Timor, and the Philippines.
The South Asianist faculty of Liberal Studies and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences work closely with those faculty from other disciplines at the University of Montana who have research and teaching interests, and competency in regional languages of either South or Southeast Asia.
Students may choose to minor in South and Southeast Asia with a major in any discipline. They must register with the program advisor, and are encouraged to plan their course sequence at least one semester in advance, in consultation with an assigned core faculty advisor from those listed below.
Special Degree Requirements
Requirements for a Minor
Major in any discipline, with a minor in South and Southeast Asian Studies
- ANTY/SSEA/LS 102H (three credits).
- Six credits from the following lower-division (100-200) courses: [SSEA/LS 202X, SSEA/RLST 232H (RELS 232), SSEA/RLST 234 (RELS 234), and SSEA/SOCI 212S (SOC 212S)].
- Nine credits from the following upper-division (300 and above) courses, of which at least 3 credits must be in the humanities (SSEA 342, SSEA 353, SSEA 366, SSEA 368), and 3 credits in the social sciences (SSEA 330X and SSEA 440).
- No language courses are required. However, students are encouraged to study regional languages through summer institutes, such as SEASSI, or through accredited study abroad experiences in either South, or Southeast Asia.
U= for undergraduate credit only; UG = for undergraduate or graduate credit, R after the credit indicates the course may be repeated for credit to the maximum indicated after the R. Credits beyond this maximum do not count toward a degree.
South and Southeast Asian Studies (SSEA)
U 102H Introduction to South and Southeast Asia 3 cr. Offered spring. Same as ANTY 102H/LS 102H. An introduction to South and Southeast Asian regions, cultures, societies, and histories, with particular emphasis on artistic, religious and literary traditions from prehistory to the present. An overview approach with different materials and emphases.
U 195 Special Topics 1-6 cr. (R-6) Offered intermittently. Experimental offerings of visiting professors, offerings of new courses, or one-time offerings of current topics.
U 202X South Asia 3 cr. Offered alternate years. Same as LS 202X. Introduction to Southern Asia, its history, cultures, societies, artistic, religious and literary traditions from antiquity to the modern era.
U 212S Social Issues in Southeast Asia 3 cr. Offered even year autumn. Introduction to the cultures, social organization, and contemporary events of Southeast Asia.
U 232H Buddhism 3 cr. Offered autumn. Same as RLST 232H (RELS 232H). A historical introduction to the development of Buddhist thought and practice in the cultures of Asia and the West.
U 234X Hinduism 3 cr.Offered spring, odd-numbered years. Same as RLST 234X (RELS 234). Critical exploration of selected aspects of Hindu thought, narrative and practice, both in contemporary and historical perspective. Focus primarily on India, but with consideration of Hinduism's transformation and impact beyond South Asia.
U 295 Special Topics Variable cr. (R-12) Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one-time offerings of current topics.
U 330X Peoples and Cultures of the World: Indonesia and the Philippines 3 cr. Offered autumn odd-numbered years. Same as ANTY 330X (ANTH 330X). Ethnographic survey of societies and cultures of Indonesia and the Philippines.
U 342 Topics in Comparative Literature and Religion 3 cr. Offered every second semester. Same as LS 342. These courses compare major traditions, texts and trends in two or more world civilizations or cultures. Works of literature and/or philosophy are examined in their historical contexts, and in relation to each other.
U 353 Topics in South Asian Religions 3 cr. Offered at least once every three semesters. No prerequisites. This course will examine select topics of central importance with respect to the history of interaction between the major religions (Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism) of South Asia.
U 366 Tibetan Civilization 3 cr. Offered once every two years; no prerequisites. An exploration of the history and culture of a unique civilization that has influenced greatly the cultures of Himalayan, East and South Asia. Special attention will be given to Tibetan religions, modernity, and globalization as they have presented profound challenges to Buddhist traditions.
U 368 Contemporary Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia 3 cr. To be offered at least once every two years, no prerequisites. Like other major religions, modernity and globalization have presented profound challenges to Buddhist traditions. In this course we will explore various contemporary issues that have affected Theravada Buddhist societies-colonial and post-colonial revivalism, religious nationalism, women's rights and social reform-as case studies of some of the major ways religions have confronted modernity.
U 395 Special Topics Variable cr. (R-12) Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one-time offerings of current topics.
UG 440 Contemporary Issues of Southeast Asia 3 cr. Offered spring even years. Same as ANTY 440 (ANTH 340). Prereq. SSEA 102. An examination of the major issues that affect the contemporary experience of Southeast Asians.
UG 495 Special Topics Variable cr. (R-12) Seminar designed for students with a minor in South and Southeast Asian Studies. Regional or temporal focus may vary.
Bradley Clough, Ph.D. Columbia University 1998. (Liberal Studies)
Ranjan Shrestha, Ph.D. Ohio State University 2007 (Economics)
Teresa Sobieszczyk, Ph.D. Cornell University 2001 (Sociology)
Ruth Vanita, Ph.D. Delhi University 1992 (Liberal Studies)
G.G. Weix, Ph.D. Cornell University 1990 (Anthropology)