ASIA 4400 Open Topics in Asian Studies: South Asia: Climate and Society

Instructor Contact:

First Last: Atreyee Bhattacharya


Office Location: Remote (on zoom)

Office Hours: By appointment

About the Course:

This course will explore the myriad ways in which climate, environment and ecology have shaped south Asian society and culture. In learning about these connections, you will learn research skills related to the analysis of the climate society linkages and will conduct original research in the format of course based undergraduate research experience (CURE). This novel method of Instruction – also known as course based undergraduate research education (CURE) will allow you a unique opportunity to conduct original research. The process can appear a bit messy but is most thrilling and no, it is not literature review.

Course Prerequisites: Not Applicable


  1. Describe the main phases of rise of complex societies of South Asia, especially in the context of climate, environment and ecology
  2. Identify the factors that connect climate, environment and ecology with south Asian society and culture
  3. Analyze the patterns, of both natural and societal, that aid underlie societal and cultural shifts in south Asia.
  4. Infer how the current state of climate, environment and ecological issues will impact human south Asia society and culture.
  5. Assess how future changes in climate, environment and ecology will impact south Asian societies and cultural practices.

Required Texts: Not applicable

Grading (out of 100 points):

There will be four kinds of assignments/graded activities, three of which will be per week and the research project will be every module

  1. Support group activity: Here you will learn a new skill (how to analyze case studies, how to make graphs, how to analyze data etc.) together with your classmates. One such activity per module.
  2. Discussion post: You will need to post based on your readings and comment on posts made by two of your peers. On occasion these posts would also be reporting progress/challenges/high points as you work on your module project. Two discussion posts per module (remember, each module will be 2 weeks long)
  3. Quizzes: These would be to help you assess your learning from the readings
  4. Research project: There will be four types of projects- a flowchart, a poster, an oral presentation (recorded) and a news article to communicate your research findings in the four modules.

Submission Policies

All submissions should follow the assignment instruction carefully. If for some reason you are unable to submit, please check in with the instructor to arrange for alternative means of submission.

Grading Criteria and Points Breakdown

The introduction will have 2 point. Each of the three modules will have 26 points and the fourth module (short one) will have 20 points. Breakdown of points for module 1-3 are shown below

  1. Support group activity: 3+2= 5 points
  2. Quizzes: 5 points
  3. Discussion posts: 2+1+2+1=6 points
  4. Project deliverable: 10 points

For module 4, the breakdown is as follows

  1. Discussion post: 3+2=5 points
  2. Support group activity: 3+2 = 5 points
  3. Assignment: 10 points

Please review each assignment carefully to see the rubric associated with the grading scheme.

Grading Scale

Grades will be assigned as follows:

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
94-100 90-93 87-89 83-86 80-82 77-79 73-76 70-72 67-69 63-66 60-62 <60

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