Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Claire Maes


PhD, Ghent University, Belgium

Lecturer
Claire Maes

Contact

Interests


Indian Buddhism; Jainism; Monasticism

Courses


ANS 340J • Jainism: Rlgn Non-Violence-Wb

31655 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM
Internet
GC (also listed as R S 341F)

With its emphasis on vegetarianism, its modern discourse on ecology and its regard for all life-forms, Jainism is commonly and justly known as the religion of non-violence. Having its historical origins in North India about 25OO years ago, Jainism is an ancient but thriving religion. It has a distinctive community of both male and female ascetics and a supporting community of laypeople. Jainism’s unique theory of karma, ethics of non-violence (ahimsa), and its multisided approach (anekantavada) to truth and reality have influenced in some way or other all major religions and orthodox philosophical traditions in India.

This course will introduce students to this fascinating religion by examining its history, doctrines, philosophical tenets and religious practices. Students will learn about Jainism’s dynamic contribution to the religious and cultural heritage of South Asia. Readings will be drawn from primary sources, contemporary Jain writings and secondary scholarly literature. In the second part of the course, we will move on to a thematic discussion of Jainism. Themes will center on gendered experience of religion, devotion and divinity, the relationship between laypeople and monastics, pilgrimage and festivals, Jain views on life and death, its ethics of non-violence and its modern discourse on ecology. This thematic approach will encourage students to engage with these various themes from the perspectives of their own background and interests. Each student will write a research paper and give a class presentation on a topic of her or his choice.

SAN 506 • First-Year Sanskrit I-Wb

32525 • Fall 2020
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM
Internet

Course Objectives and Outcomes

This course is the first semester of a complete introduction to the Sanskrit language. You will learn many essentials of Sanskrit grammar including present and past tense verbs, nominal declensions, participles, infinitives, gerunds, and compounds. You will also learn Devanāgarī (a script in which Sanskrit, as well as other South Asian languages, is commonly written). You will learn to recite Sanskrit verses, compose simple sentences, and you will discover the many different types of literary production that are written in Sanskrit (for example, law codes, ritual manuals, medical treatises, and love poems), as well as learn about the cultural contexts that produced them. You will also begin to translate original Sanskrit literature. Some say Sanskrit is a “dead” language, but through this course you will find that this ancient language is very much alive in music, literature, drama, politics, yoga studios, popular culture and in everyday life in South Asia and beyond.

SAN 312K • Second-Year Sanskrit I-Wb

32530 • Fall 2020
Meets MW 8:30AM-10:00AM
Internet

Introduction to classical Sanskrit prose literature; readings from the  Epics and Kathasaritsagara.  Prerequisite: Sanskrit 507 with a grade of at least C.

Course Description

स्वागतम्! Welcome! In this intermediate level Sanskrit course you will read authentic Sanskrit literature, primarily the Hitopadeśa, or “The Book of Useful Advice”. This is a collection of human and animal tales and maxims framed as advice to young princes who cannot be bothered to learn statecraft. It gives advice on how to gain and lose friends, recognize behaviors that lead to war, and ways to achieve peace. Through close reading and engagement with the text, you will consolidate and enrich your knowledge of Sanskrit grammar, grow your vocabulary, perform analyses of compounds and derivations, and improve your recitation skills. Through a collaborative blog assignment, you will also explore Sanskrit in popular culture, and deepen your understanding of the contemporary cultural contexts of the Sanskrit language. 

 

ANS 340 • Death/Dying In South Asia

32200 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 303
GC (also listed as R S 341)

“It is hard to have patience with people who say, ‘There is no death’ or ‘Death doesn’t matter.’ There is

death. And whatever is matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible.” (C.S. Lewis 1996 [1961]: 15) Subscribing to these short but powerful statements, this course explores the various beliefs, practices, attitudes, and understandings of the dying experience, death, and the afterlife across South Asian cultural areas. During the course of the semester, we will be looking at the philosophical, ethical, and legal issues of death from a variety of perspectives. We will explore in detail how South Asian religious traditions have been approaching the problem of death within their broader cultural, historical, and social contexts. We will focus on various religious traditions, among others Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Central themes will include the changing meaning of death, the contemporary issue of the medicalization of death, and the funeral service industry. Discussions will center on the questions of ‘What is a good death?’, ‘What does the end of life mean for oneself and for others?’ and most basically but importantly ‘What is life?’ and ‘How is it envisioned after death?’ We will work with religious and philosophical treatises on death, as well as with different types of literary forms, ethnographies, documentaries, and feature-length films.

 

Grading Policy

Attendance and Participation (15 %)

Reading Responses and Documentary/Film reviews (25 %)

Midterm (25%)

Final (25%)

Oral Presentation (10 %)

SAN 507 • First-Year Sanskrit II

33075 • Spring 2020
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.104

Detailed study of problems of grammar and syntax; reading of extracts from original Sanskrit texts. Five class hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Sanskrit 506 with a grade of at least C.

SAN 312L • Second-Year Sanskrit II

33080 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM CAL 21

Introduction to classical Sanskrit poetry and philosophical literature; readings from the Upanishads and Kalidasa's Meghaduta.  Prerequisite: Sanskrit 312K with a grade of at least C.

ANS 302K • Introduction To South Asia

31624 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 103
GC (also listed as ANT 310L)

This course is designed to introduce students to the various historic and contemporary cultures that constitute South Asia. Students will learn about South Asia through a variety of disciplinary lenses. A wideranging exploration of the histories, religions, literatures, arts, etc. will acquaint students with the diversity found in South Asia. This course will expose students to various perspectives that complicate the question “What is South Asia?”

SAN 506 • First-Year Sanskrit I

32530 • Fall 2019
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM CAL 221

Course Objectives and Outcomes

This course is the first semester of a complete introduction to the Sanskrit language. You will learn many essentials of Sanskrit grammar including present and past tense verbs, nominal declensions, participles, infinitives, gerunds, and compounds. You will also learn Devanāgarī (a script in which Sanskrit, as well as other South Asian languages, is commonly written). You will learn to recite Sanskrit verses, compose simple sentences, and you will discover the many different types of literary production that are written in Sanskrit (for example, law codes, ritual manuals, medical treatises, and love poems), as well as learn about the cultural contexts that produced them. You will also begin to translate original Sanskrit literature. Some say Sanskrit is a “dead” language, but through this course you will find that this ancient language is very much alive in music, literature, drama, politics, yoga studios, popular culture and in everyday life in South Asia and beyond.

SAN 312K • Second-Year Sanskrit I

32535 • Fall 2019
Meets MW 8:30AM-10:00AM CAL 21

Introduction to classical Sanskrit prose literature; readings from the  Epics and Kathasaritsagara.  Prerequisite: Sanskrit 507 with a grade of at least C.

Course Description

स्वागतम्! Welcome! In this intermediate level Sanskrit course you will read authentic Sanskrit literature, primarily the Hitopadeśa, or “The Book of Useful Advice”. This is a collection of human and animal tales and maxims framed as advice to young princes who cannot be bothered to learn statecraft. It gives advice on how to gain and lose friends, recognize behaviors that lead to war, and ways to achieve peace. Through close reading and engagement with the text, you will consolidate and enrich your knowledge of Sanskrit grammar, grow your vocabulary, perform analyses of compounds and derivations, and improve your recitation skills. Through a collaborative blog assignment, you will also explore Sanskrit in popular culture, and deepen your understanding of the contemporary cultural contexts of the Sanskrit language. 

 

ANS 302K • Introduction To South Asia

32165 • Spring 2019
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM PAR 306
GC (also listed as ANT 310L)

This course is an introduction to South Asian cultures and histories, especially to areas of study pursued in the Department of Asian Studies and at UT-Austin. Students will be introduced to major thinkers, ideas, histories, issues, and movements of South Asia. While a clear set of factual information will be integral to the course, the equally important goal of the course is to learn how to engage South Asia on terms similar to other courses in the liberal arts. Stated plainly, we want to do more than learn about South Asia; we want to learn from it as well.  The institutional and traditional obstacle to this approach stems from the simple fact that most American students, whatever their ethnic origins, are taught that “our” intellectual heritage begins with the Greeks and ends with contemporary European and American thinkers. Who “we” are and what makes us a “we,” however, is not as clear as it seems. Most of us are simply not taught how and why to understand South Asian (or other area) literatures, art, religion, law, or other cultural expressions as sources for our own humanistic and ethical development. Thus, the primary goal of this course is to train students in how to “read” South Asia in such a way that it can mean something to them, rather than merely being what other people do—not to make South Asia “ours,” but to take the ideas, history, and people of South Asia seriously.

SAN 507 • First-Year Sanskrit II

33040 • Spring 2019
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM GAR 2.124

Detailed study of problems of grammar and syntax; reading of extracts from original Sanskrit texts. Five class hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Sanskrit 506 with a grade of at least C.

SAN 312L • Second-Year Sanskrit II

33045 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 1.134

Introduction to classical Sanskrit poetry and philosophical literature; readings from the Upanishads and Kalidasa's Meghaduta.  Prerequisite: Sanskrit 312K with a grade of at least C.

ANS 340 • Hinduism In Us Pop Culture

32315 • Fall 2018
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM JES A205A
GC (also listed as R S 346)

Please check back for updates.

SAN 506 • First-Year Sanskrit I

33175 • Fall 2018
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.104

Introduction to basic grammatical principles, with reading of Ramayana episodes as illustrations.

SAN 312K • Second-Year Sanskrit I

33180 • Fall 2018
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM RLP 0.124

Introduction to classical Sanskrit prose literature; readings from the  Epics and Kathasaritsagara.  Prerequisite: Sanskrit 507 with a grade of at least C.

ANS 340 • Jainism: Relig Of Non-Violence

31174 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.102
GC (also listed as R S 341)

With its emphasis on vegetarianism, its modern discourse on ecology and its regard for all life-forms, Jainism is commonly and justly known as the religion of non-violence. Having its historical origins in North India about 25OO years ago, Jainism is an ancient but thriving religion. It has a distinctive community of both male and female ascetics and a supporting community of laypeople. Jainism’s unique theory of karma, ethics of non-violence (ahimsa), and its multisided approach (anekantavada) to truth and reality have influenced in some way or other all major religions and orthodox philosophical traditions in India.

This course will introduce students to this fascinating religion by examining its history, doctrines, philosophical tenets and religious practices. Students will learn about Jainism’s dynamic contribution to the religious and cultural heritage of South Asia. Readings will be drawn from primary sources, contemporary Jain writings and secondary scholarly literature. In the second part of the course, we will move on to a thematic discussion of Jainism. Themes will center on gendered experience of religion, devotion and divinity, the relationship between laypeople and monastics, pilgrimage and festivals, Jain views on life and death, its ethics of non-violence and its modern discourse on ecology. This thematic approach will encourage students to engage with these various themes from the perspectives of their own background and interests. Each student will write a research paper and give a class presentation on a topic of her or his choice.

 

TEXT:

Cort, John E., Jains in the World. Religious Values and Ideology in India. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. (Available as electronic resource at University of Texas Libraries)

Long, Jeffrey D., Jainism: An Introduction. London & New York: I. B. Tauris, 2009.

 

           

GRADING:

Attendance and Participation: 10 %

Four Quizzes: 40 % (10% each)

Oral Presentation: 25%

Writing assignment: 25%

 

ANS 301M • Introduction To Buddhism

31605 • Spring 2017
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.102
GC

Please check back for updates.

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