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South Asian Utopias

SAS 365/COM 399/REL 389

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We live in uncertain times, marked by ever-escalating crises. It's no surprise that the moment has seen a revival of utopian thought: a casting about for radical solutions, a quest for dramatic reinvention. Historically, utopia has largely been seen as a Western construct. But what models -and by extension potential solutions- does the non-Western world offer? This course examines utopia from a South Asian perspective. Considering a range of examples (the nation state, Maoist revolution, environmental movements, intentional communities), it asks how change occurs, and what cautionary lessons history offers those seeking a more perfect world.
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Section S01