We are devoting one unit in this course to the study of the great Indian epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

We will approach the Mahabharata through DK's lavish overview of that story, Illustrated Mahabharata: The Definitive Guide To India's Greatest Epic (New York: 2017).  We will discuss the first half of the book on this Thursday, February 4th.  We will then discuss the second half of DK's introduction to the Mahabharata on Thursday, February 25th.

In between those two Mahabharata discussions are both Reading Week (February 15-21) and a February 11th session devoted to the Ramayana.  We will approach the Ramayana through one chapter of Diana Eck's recent book on the Sacred Geography of India and through some news stories about some news stories that feature the Ramayana.

Note that the First-Half Note-Taking Assignment is due at the beginning of Reading Break.  (Due February 14)

We will have a heavy book reading schedule from mid-February onwards.  I recommend that you buy the Rig Veda, Karen Armstrong's biography of Buddha, and the Autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi now if you have not already done so.  Each of those volumes is available for purchase at the NIC Bookstore.  I also sent you e-mails earlier in the semester with e-text ordering information about those books.


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