"Indian Philosophy in Religious Context:
Hindus & Buddhists Envisioning the Ultimate in South Asia"

(Religion 387)



Assignments & Evaluation

Analytical Papers
Critical Response
Synopsis & Interpretation
Final Paper

(1) Attendance, Preparation and Participation: Class sessions will consist primarily of class conversation, generated by students’ written contributions presented at the start of each class (see #2 & 3 below).  This means that:

• Attendance is absolutely required for all course meetings.  (For details on precisely how attendance affects your performance, see "Attendance Policy.")

• The required preparation for each session involves reading carefully all assigned materials prior to the class meeting, and bringing all relevant materials to class with you.  This includes the analytical papers that will be posted on the course web site (& outside of Olin 149 as a back-up)) each Friday (see below); these should be printed out and brought with you to the following Monday’s class.  (NOTE: readings are generally assigned for a Wednesday/Monday pair of classes.  You should finish roughly half of the reading by the Wednesday session, though what you read need not be sequentially the first half of the pages assigned.)

• Once you have prepared and have made it to class, your participation is also called for, though in evaluating this I will take into consideration your personal style.  My precise expectations for preparation & participation, as well as what grade you can expect for a given level of commitment, are described in "Standards for Participation.I will ask you to assess yourself in relation to these standards around the middle of the term, and then give you my own assessment so that you have a chance to assimilate feedback.

Evaluation of these three elements combined will account for 20% of your grade; but note that your attendance percentage is not added to but multiplied by your preparation & participation g
rades.  See “Attendance Policy.”

(2) Analytical Papers: Each student will be expected to submit two (2) short (1000-1500 words = 3-5 pages in most fonts) papers setting forth key themes and/or issues in the reading(s) assigned for the week during which they are submitted, and then reflecting on the significance of those themes/issues for the study of Indian philosophy in its religious context.  One of these papers should deal with the primary texts—those written by Indian thinkers themselves—while the other should deal with the secondary analysis of those texts, written by contemporary scholars.  The schedule for presentation of these papers will be worked outand distributed (both in hard copy and on-line) during the first week of class; both should be submitted both electronically (via the course web site) and in hard copy (outside of Olin 149) by Friday noon immediately preceding the Monday class for which the texts in question are assigned.  Further details about these papers are provided in the "Guidelines for Paper Assignments." (15% x 2, for a total of %30 of your grade)

(3) Responses and Reflections.  To complement the above--to be submitted for different weeks of the term--each student will be expected to present one critical response to the analytical papers posted on the course web site the previous Friday (also posted outside of Olin 149 as a backup).  This should take roughly 5-8 minutes to present (800-1200 words for most people), and should be typed out and brought to the following Monday’s class in multiple copies; once again see the "Guidelines for Paper Assignments" for additional details. In addition, each student will prepare a one-page synopsis & interpretation of the previous Monday’s class, to be typed out, brought to the following Wednesday’s meeting in multiple copies, and read to the group.  These should not be detailed minutes of the conversation (although taking careful notes will greatly assist in composing the synopsis), but rather should pull together and briefly reflect on the main themes, issues, and/or questions around which the class conversation principally revolved, as per the "Guidelines for Paper Assignments." The above-mentioned schedule of analytical papers will also included scheduling of these two types of papers. (15% & %10 respectively, totaling 25% of your grade)

(4) Final Paper: The longer (2500-3000 words = 10-12 pages with most fonts and margins) final assignment will challenge you to work with one or two related primary texts  that are somehow linked to a topic or theme explored in one of the above written contributions.  In deriving a claim about your chosen work(s), you should make some reference to the way religious context informs the philosophical claims of the author(s).  I will ask you to submit a strategic plan for this paper during the final few weeks of the term, and then to meet with me individually to review your plan. As usual, all of this is spelled out in the "Guidelines for Paper Assignments." (25% of your grade)

Overviews & Objectives

Attendance Policy

Required Texts

Schedule of Topics & Readings

Assignments & Evaluation (TOP)

Notes on Written Work