SAS4003 – Deep reading for South Asian studies

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course activates a ‘deep reading’ mode in further preparation for the individual research that awaits you in the final year of your MA degree. The course readings consist of three anthropological/historical monographs from the South Asian region, which all participants will read thoroughly and discuss in a manner that is keenly attentive to detail. Besides deepening your knowledge of their respective subject matters, this reading modality enables you to compare and contrast the research processes that underpin them. Examples of the questions that will be emphasized include:

  • How have other scholars of South Asia grappled with research planning?
  • What did they do if the realities of fieldwork necessitated their research plans to be rethought?
  • Which methods did they employ to produce their data, and what did they do to convert their data to empirical evidence – if ‘data’ and ‘evidence’ are the right terms?
  • How did they articulate their findings and structure their academic arguments?
  • Which impact, if any, have the authors’ positioning (i.e. gender, age, nationality etc.) had on their research?
  • How did they make use of theory?
  • How did they draw the line between their main topic and its contextual/historical backdrop?
  • How did they craft their written dialogues with former scholars in the field to accentuate which knowledge they draw on, which knowledge they reject and which insights they add to their selected field of scholarship?

Learning outcome

  • In-depth knowledge about the subject areas covered by the selected course monographs
  • Awareness of the complex entanglements between the societal phenomena addressed in each course monograph, which would commonly be ‘isolated’ in an article or textbook format
  • Recognition of the theory-dependency of data production and its resultant academic knowledge
  • Comparative insight into the process of planning and carrying out a research project – and, in some cases, adjusting it according to local circumstances
  • Sensitivity to the possibility of unforseen ethical dilemmas and awareness of how they can be handled
  • Insight into how complex field data can be converted to text, analysed and structured
  • Awareness of the implications of researcher positionality in field research
  • Capacity to read scholarly work from the perspectives of methodology, theory and research ethics
  • Ability to discuss the aforementioned issues verbally and in writing


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


The teaching equals 10 seminars, combining regular seminar discussions with half-day workshops. The schedule will be fixed in cooperation with the participants during the first course meeting. The teaching will make extensive use of flipped classroom approaches.

Compulsory activities

  • Participation in at least 75% of the seminars/workshops
  • Submission of draft assignment
  • Giving feedback on fellow students’ draft assignment

All compulsory activities must be approved in order to qualify for the exam. It is the student’s responsibility to check whether or not the compulsory activities are approved. This is how you apply for valid absence from compulsory activities/compulsory attendance.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


A 10-page written essay towards the end of the term.


Previous exam questions and censor guidelines.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language