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South Asian Studies

South Asian Studies Director: Ian Barrow (History)
Phone: 802-443-2554

What is South Asian Studies? We have all heard the clichés: colorful cultures, ancient civilizations, extremes of wealth and poverty. And we have all read the news headlines: renewed Indo-Pakistan tensions, the rise of outsourcing centers, the prominence of the South Asian diaspora. The South Asian Studies program will take you beyond the clichés and the headlines by providing a broad introduction to the region and a focus on one or more of the region’s issues or countries (with an emphasis on Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). In Middlebury learn about the region’s art, history, literature, politics, and religions. Then study in India on Middlebury’s program, learn Hindi, and discover what lies behind the clichés or what never makes it to the headlines.

As a South Asian Studies major you will take IGST 0101, five regional and three global courses, study abroad for at least a semester, and take a senior seminar. The program recommends you attend the Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad in India based in Delhi, one of the oldest capital cities in the world and home to some 15 million people today. Students in this program will either be enrolled at St. Stephen’s College or at Lady Shri Ram College for Women (just for the ladies), two of the finest institutions in India. While college classes are conducted in English, students also take instruction in Hindi.

When you graduate you will have a deep knowledge of the region, a familiarity with a South Asian country from having lived there for four months or longer, at least beginning-level language skills, and an understanding of the global forces that tie South Asia to the rest of the world.   


Introduction to International and Global Studies. Students must take IGST 101 before studying abroad. IGST 0101 is not open to seniors except for those who declared the major as sophomores and spent the fall semester of their junior year abroad. Students who declare their major as a sophomore but have not taken IGST 0101, and plan to study abroad for only one semester must take it in the fall of their junior year prior to going abroad.

Regional specialization. Five courses on India or South Asia in at least three departments (at least one of which should be in Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science or Sociology). At least three regional courses must be taken at Middlebury. See available courses here.

Global Courses. Three global courses from the Global list; only one can be at the 0100 level. These global courses are thematic, trans-regional, emphasize connectivity of places and the circulation of ideas and phenomena. Except for students who study abroad an entire year, these courses must be taken on the Middlebury College campus.

Language Study. South Asian Studies majors must study an Indian language when abroad, but are not expected to complete an advanced language course once they return. Instead, they will take one additional regional or global course in their senior year.

Study Abroad. Students must study in a Middlebury approved program in India for at least one semester. Students may count up to two courses toward the major per semester of study abroad. Major credit will be granted, pending approval, upon the student’s return from abroad. For regional courses, approval is granted by the track director and for global courses by the IGS director. Students should share the syllabi and all written work for all courses they wish to count with the track or program director, respectively,

For the of the class of 2022 and 2022.5, 2023, and 2023.5 only: in lieu of study abroad, students will take, at a minimum, two additional regional courses, to be selected in consultation with the track director.

Senior Program. The senior program consists of: (1) a senior IGST seminar at 400-level or with permission of IGS director, a thematic senior seminar in a department and (2) an additional course focusing on East Asia or a global course, after returning from abroad.

Honors. Students who seek to graduate with Honors may elect to write a two-term senior honors thesis. Students are eligible to write an honors thesis if they have a 3.5 GPA or better in all courses that count for the major. These include all language courses, all regional courses, all global courses, all courses taken abroad, and all courses with an IGST designation. Thesis grades do not count in the calculation of the GPA for honors. Thesis guidelines and procedures can be found at go/igsthesis.

To assist you in tracking the completion of your requirements, please meet with your advisor to complete and submit the advising wizard for your track.

Ian Barrow

Professor of History

 work(802) 443-2554
 Fall 2021: Monday 10:15-12:15; Tuesday 10:00-11:00 via Zoom and by appointment
 Axinn Center 339