Directory of India Studies in Canada



India Studies courses have been offered from the earliest years of the University, in spite of the fact that the University's membership in the Shastri Institute dates from 1977 only. With the growth of the University, India Studies offerings have become more substantial. Currently the University of Calgary offers 20 half (i.e. thirteen week) courses dealing almost exclusively with India: 15 of these are in the area of Religious Studies; 11 at the undergraduate level, and 4 at the graduate level. 4 are found in History, 3 at the undergraduate level and 1 at the graduate level. English has 2, 1 at the graduate level and 1 at the undergraduate level. 7 additional courses concentrate heavily on India, 2 each in History, Religious Studies and Communications and Culture and one in Art. 17 courses give significant attention to India, 8 in Religious Studies, 4 in English, 2 each in Economics, Sociology and the Faculty of Communications and Culture, and 1 each in Education and Social Work.

Recently, the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge jointly mounted a new course entitled India Imagined in which faculty members from the two universities and senior undergraduate students collaborated on a series of projects relating to various aspects of Indian culture, religion, society and history. Funding for this was provided by the two universities as well as through a pilot grant from the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute. The success of this program had led to plans for it to be offered on a regular basis in the future, for it enabled the resources of the two institutions to be used most effectively.

A total of 12 full-time faculty members and a number of sessionals in Religious Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Education, English, History, Social Welfare and Economics devote considerable time in their teaching or research, or in some cases both, to India. Despite the recent loss of several senior faculty members, the number of courses in Indian studies has been kept up, and we are finding a steady increase in the number of undergraduate students who are electing to register in the courses we offer.

Introductory level courses in history and religious studies often reach as many as 100 students per term. Growth is also occurring at the graduate level. In particular, the M.A. program in Religious Studies is now well-established and regularly attracts students for the study of Indian religion and philosophy. To this has recently been added a PhD in Religious History in which students can also work on Indian topics. And in history, upwards of three to four applications per year are now being received from students wishing to do an M.A. in Indian history.

The English Department has increased its offerings in International Literature, an area in which the study of Indian literature plays a significant role. The University does not have a formal India Area Studies Committee. However, the University of Calgary Shastri Committee, consisting of Indianists on the faculty, functions to fill this need for the University. In addition, the University boasts an Asian Studies Group which has recently formed a South Asia Studies sub-committee to represent the interests of India and South Asia to the office of the Associate Vice-president (Academic).

The University of Calgary also regularly runs a Term Abroad Program for Canadian students to travel to India and study India-related courses there. This program is run in conjunction with the University of Pune and normally draws around 20 students per year.

University of Calgary Faculty:

Bruce Arnold, Sociology.
A.W. Barber, Philo Hove, Morny M. Joy, Leslie Kawamura, Ronald Neufeldt, Religious Studies
Victor Coelho, Music
Cecille DePass, Education
Raj S. Gandhi, Sociology
Clara A. B. Joseph, English

Karim-Ali Kassam, Arctic Institute and Faculty of Communication and Culture
Inder Kher, English (emeritus)
Anthony Parel, Politicial Science (emeritus)
Aradhana Parmar, Communication and Culture
Douglas Peers, History
Aruna Srivastava, English
John Stocking, Art

University of Calgary Theses:


English M.A. (1990) Kaur, Kanwaljit. "Insider-Outsider: Anita Desai as a Socialist Novelist"

English M.A. (1990) Mathur, Ashok. "Outside the Colonial Whale: Salman Rushdie's Post-Colonial Vision in Midnight's Children"

English M.A. (1992) Selvaraja, Uma. "Feminine Consciousness in the Novels of R.K. Narayan"

History M.A. (1995) Hobson, Kevin. "Indian Labour and the Uganda Railway"

History M.A. (1995) Semple, Rhonda. "Creating Images of India for British Readers: The Life and Writings of Philip Meadows Taylor"

History M.A. (1998) Montgomery, Carina. "Gurkhas and Colonial Knowledge"

Religious Studies M.A. (1987) Singh, Pashaura. "Sikh Self-definition and the Bhagat Bani"

Religious Studies M.A. (1987) Waldock, Deborah. "An Interpretation of Manikkavacakar’s Tiruvempavai"

Religious Studies M.A. (1992) Clayton, Barbara. "Plato's Philosopher and the Jivanmukta: a Comparison of Two Views of Human Perfection"

Religious Studies M.A. (1992) Dhand, Arti. "Women in Hinduism: Ambiguities in the characterization of Sita in the Valmiki Ramayana"

Social Work M.S.W. (1991) Murzello, Francis. "Quality of Life of Elderly East Indian Immigrants"

In Progress:

History M.A. Kinsey, Danielle "Victorian Iconography and British Imperialism in India"

History M.A. Warren, James "Gender, Sexuality and the Making of Colonial Law in India"

History M.A. Hinshaw, Judith "Sati and Widowhood in Victorian Britain"

Religious Studies Ph.D Daughrity, Dyron "Bishop Stephen Neill and Religious Dialogue"

Religious Studies PhD. Eason, Andrew. "Salvation Army and Missionary Activity"

Religious Studies Ph.D. Hawley, Michael "Re-Experiencing Experience: a Study of the Concept of Experience in the Writings of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan"

Religious Studies M.A. Richards, Ian "Orientalism and Hinduism"

Religious studies M.A. Goulet, Nicole "Changing Rites of Sadhus in the 19th Century"

University of Calgary Courses:

Art 323 Survey of Far Eastern Art: India and Related Civilizations
Codes: U/T/50-75%//every second year
A chronological examination of the art and architecture of ancient India and related civilizations, with special emphasis on Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic art.

Development Studies 375 Women in Developing Societies
Codes: U/T/25%//each year
Interdisciplinary study of the roles of women in developing societies, with special attention to the contributions of women to development. Topics will include cultural variance, the importance of myth, religion and ideology, historical and socio-economic factors that influence women's roles in education, technology and family.

English 392 International English Literature
Codes: U/T/10-25%//each year
Special topics in literatures written in English outside of Canada, Great Britain and the United States encompassing representative works from several areas such as Africa, Australia, the Caribbean and the Indian subcontinent..

English 392 International English Literature
Codes: U/T/10-25%//every third year
Literatures written in English outside of Canada, Great Britain, and the United States, encompassing representative works from several areas such as Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, and the Indian subcontinent.

History 311 An Introduction to History: South Asia and the Indian Ocean from 2500 BC to the present
Codes: U/T/75-100%//each year
Major events and themes in the history of South Asia and the Indian Ocean littoral. Topics include state formation, the trading world of the Indian Ocean, social and religious developments, the impact of Islamic and European states and economies, modes of reaction to colonial rule, and the course of nationalism.

History 403 An Outline of South Asian History from 1750 to 1947
Codes: U/T/75-100%//every second year
Thematic treatment of South Asian societies from the end of the Mughal period to Independence in 1947; the interplay of British and South Asian factors; nationalism and anti-colonialism in India.

History 501Topics in Imperial History
Codes: U/T/75-100%//every second year
Imperialism in India and Africa studied thematically and comparatively

Religious Studies 203 World Religions—Eastern
Codes: U/T/50-75%//each year
Introduction to Eastern religions such as Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism.

Religious Studies 211 Sanskrit I
Codes: U/T/100%//every second year
Classical Sanskrit language; the development of ability in the critical reading of ancient Hindu or Buddhist texts.

Religious Studies 213 Sanskrit II
Codes: U/T/100%//every second year
Continuation of Religious Studies 211.

Religious Studies 309 Nature and Function of Religious Experience
Codes: U/T/10-25%//every second year
A study of ancient views and some contemporary psychological analyses of the nature and function of religious experience. Such religious phenomena as the genesis and development of religious behaviour, conversion and mysticism will be examined.

Religious Studies 311 The Classical Hindu Tradition
Codes: U/T/100%//each year
The background, basic literature, thought and practices of classical Hinduism.

Religious Studies 313 The Early Buddhist Tradition
Codes: U/T/75-100%//every year
Buddhist development from Buddha to Mahayana.

Religious Studies 317 Medieval Hinduism
Codes: U/T/100%//every second year
Religious developments in medieval Hinduism with an emphasis on Bhakti developments and their implications for traditional concepts and practices.

Religious Studies 321 Religion in Modern India
Codes: U/T/100%//every second year
Religious developments in modern India with an emphasis on religious reform and its implication for traditional religious concepts, social practices and law.

Religious Studies 323 The Mahayana Buddhist Tradition
Codes: U/T/25-50%//each year
Mahayana developments in India and China or Tibet or Japan.

Religious Studies 325 Images of the Feminine in Eastern Religions
Codes: U/T/25-50%//every third year
Feminine images in eastern religions such as goddesses, women as saintly persons, the Ultimate in female symbols.

Religious Studies 333 Belief in an Afterlife
Codes: U/T/25-50%//each year
An examination of the belief in life after death in various world religions, its interaction with other aspects of those religions, and the difficulties which it has to face in modern thought.

Religious Studies 341 New Religious Movements
Codes: U/T/10-25%//each year
An examination of the beliefs, practices and developments of new religious movements of both Eastern and Western origins (e.g. Krishna Consciousness, Transcendental Meditation, Unification Church, Children of God, etc.)

Religious Studies 381 Women and the Great Religious Traditions
Codes: U/T/25-50%//each year
An examination of the origins, content and influence of the view of women contained in the religious traditions and expressed in the religious practices of West and East.

Religious Studies 409 Readings in Sanskrit Literature I
Codes: U/T/100%//each year
A study of selected works from both the Hindu and Buddhist works from the turn of the Christian Era to the present.

Religious Studies 423 Advanced Studies in Indian Religion and Philosophy
Codes: U/T/100%//every second year
Selected themes, movements and texts in Indian religion and philosophy (e.g. Bhakti, Islam in India, Yoga Sutras, philosophy of language).

Religious Studies 425 Advanced Studies in Buddhist History
Codes: U/T/25-50%//every second year
Selected themes, movements, and sects in Buddhism (e.g. historic Buddha, lay Buddhist, Hwa Yen school).

Religious Studies 443 Comparative Mystical Traditions
Codes: U/T/25-50%//every second year
An examination of the beliefs and practices of contemplatives in various religious traditions.

Religious Studies 501 Studies in South and Central Asian Religious Literature
Codes: U/T///every year
Readings in selected Sanskrit or Tibetan Religious literature. Course may be arranged by theme or by text according to language.

Religious Studies 603 Studies in Eastern Religions

Religious Studies 683 Specialized Studies in Eastern Religions

South Asian Studies 315 Understanding South Asia
Codes: U/T/75-100%/110/each year
The roots of ancient civilizations; society, resources and environment; racial, ethnic and cultural diversities; philosophic and religious traditions; arts and aesthetics; historical bases of tradition and modernity; role of education in social development; ideological differences and economic development. Primary focus on India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

Sociology 481 Socio-Cultural Change
Codes: U/T/10-25%//each year
An introduction to the theories of social change with an emphasis on their relevance to pre-industrial and industrial societies.

Sociology 487 Sociology of Development
Codes: U/T/10-25%//each year
A study of the process of change and modernization in the developing areas of the world.

Educational Policy and Administrative Studies 537 Education in Asia
Codes: G/T/10-25%//every second year
Comparative studies are used to examine central issues and concerns of stakeholders who make and implement educational policies in Asian countries.