Course Descriptions


SDP 101 Development and Social Change (AHSS Requirement)

This is an introductory course in social development and provides an overview of ideas, theories and concepts as well as a discussion on critical development challenges. This includes issues of urbanization; food security; migration; intersectionality and gender; as well as war disasters and conflict. The purpose of this course is to answer key questions about development and social change by introducing students to the history, theory, and the contemporary practice of development. The concept of ‘development’ will be defined within the broader field of social sciences. We will be shifting the analytic focus from instrumental outcomes of development policies to the meanings, implications, and consequences they have, as expressions of societal beliefs and values.

SDP 201 Qualitative Research Methods (SDP Major)

Combining theory and hands-on practice, this course will expose students to key approaches and methodologies of qualitative research methods in the social sciences. Students will understand when and how qualitative research methods are used and combined. They will learn and practice a variety of methods and tools including participant-observation, interviews, focus groups and discourse analysis. Alongside, they will study and debate the ethical complexities of conducting scholarly research and implementing both research and development projects.

SDP 202 Quantitative Research Methods (SDP Major)

Quantitative Research Methods will introduce various techniques of quantitative analysis used within social sciences. This is a foundational course to teach basic mathematical and statistical techniques used in social science research. Students will cover several topics including functions, graphs, mathematical relationships, and statistics and probability, among others, to best equip students with analytical methods for use both in the classroom and the field with a specific focus on survey research. This course will also prepare students to take higher level quantitative research methods courses offered in the program.

SDP 203 Social Theory (SDP Major)

This course introduces students to foundational concepts and theories in the social sciences. Starting with enlightenment thinking and the emergence of positivism and empiricism, this course tackles this major transition in the way social order is conceptualized and theorized. Students will be exposed to key social theorists, including Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Fanon and Freire as well as some of their legacies. Students will tackle different levels of analysis, understand structural forces and societal dynamics, and engage in social interaction analysis from a social-psychology perspective in contrast to the grand theory tradition.

SDP 301 Public Policy (SDP Major)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the world of public policy. The concepts of ‘public’ and ‘policy’ will be critically defined within the broader field of governance. Students will engage in an analysis of the genealogy, conditions of existence, and effects of specific policies in various sectors. Our approach to this course will be anchored on mixed methods, including critical humanist, and positivist approaches. Students will be exposed to reading material from a wide variety of disciplines. We will consider the empirical dimensions of policy building and impact from the perspective of multiple interpretive communities.
Prerequisites: SDP 101, SDP 201 or SDP 202.

SDP 303 International Political Economy (SDP Major)

Students majoring in SDP will have to fulfil this requirement as a mandatory elective, by completing one third-year elective course, which tackles the dynamics of International Political Economy. Various options will be offered yearly to allow students to complete this requirement.
Prerequisites: SDP 101, SDP 201 or SDP 202.

Regional Language Requirements

LANG 101 Sindhi Sikhiya I
This introductory course introduces students to Sindhi language. It covers the fundamentals of Sindhi Language including the basic competencies in reading, writing, and speaking.

LANG 201 Sindhi Sikhiya II
This intermediate course enhances students’ reading and writing skills in Sindhi language. Students will be exposed to folklore rhymes, folk songs, fables and tales, and poetry. The course will introduce major Sindhi language Sufi poets and prose writers from 1843-1947. At this level, students will learn to contextualize readings in a larger Sindhi cultural context.

LANG 301 Sindhi Sikhiya III
This advanced level course aims to equip students with more in-depth reading and writing skills in Sindhi language. The students will read classical and colonial Sindhi poets and fiction writers, and will develop interpretative tools to understand Sindhi literature and culture.

LANG 102 Punjabi Rachna I
Punjabi Rachna will enable students to develop a basic understanding of Punjabi language in the context of Punjabi culture, idiom, linguistics and literature. This is the first of a three course sequence, with each module being interlinked in a systematic flow starting with an emphasis on linguistics, moving on to literature and finally to history of the Punjabi language.

LANG 202 Punjabi Rachna II
Punjabi Rachna II is a continuation of Punjabi Rachna I. Students will hone their Punjabi language skills further and be exposed to more complex literary forms.

LANG 302 Punjabi Rachna III
Punjabi Rachna III is the final course of the required Punjabi language sequence. Students will acquire advanced skill in reading and writing Punjabi. They will be exposed to advanced literary forms and genres.
We will also be offering Pushto Language this year

Other Program Requirements

SDP 302 Practicum
The major purpose of the practicum is to enable students to acquire skills and competencies in their interaction with individuals, communities, development agencies, and organizations. Moreover, students are expected to contextualize their learning as the practicum allows students to select agencies working on a range of thematic areas. Students will complete a specified number of hours and meet other practicum requirements. Although every practicum experience will be different, learning outcomes will include building networks, engaging in advocacy, and working with various stakeholders.

Students majoring in SDP will have the choice to complete a Major Research Paper (MRP) plus an additional upper level SDP elective for a B.Sc. or write an Honors Thesis for a B.Sc. (Honors).

SDP Electives

FALL 2018

Marxian Economics
Marxian Economics is a comprehensive analytical framework to understand the functioning of capitalist economics and their relations with each other. The framework as such covers all the usual topics that are taught in more standard micro- and macroeconomics courses, i.e. price theory, labor economics, firm behavior, technological change, trade, etc. The course aims to develop an understanding of this framework and Marx’s critique of capitalist mode of production by closely reading volume one of Das Kapital. The course aspires to give students necessary theoretical base in Marxian economics to enable them to take more advanced courses in the future. Another aim is to stress upon the idea that Marxian economics exist as an alternative framework to understand the workings of an economy. The course will particularly focus on value creation and its distribution during the production process; how prices are determined within the Marxian framework; and how did Marx explain the crisis in capitalist mode of production.

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
The course introduces students to the intricacies of human cultures and highlights the interlacing of cultural patterns with the forces of modernity. For instance, how do gift-exchange practices of local communities help us understand the politics of international aid? How do rituals of magic explain the commodity fetishism of capitalism? Does understanding cultural theories of identity help us rethink notions of the modern developmental subject? Does tribal social organization undergird or conflict with the modern nation-state? Addressing questions like these will provoke students to think critically of culture as an important tool for making sense of patterns of contemporary social development.

Political Sociology of Modern Sindh
Despite living in Sindh we seldom study historical and contemporary dynamics that drive politics of this region inhabited by people of diverse religious, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds. Our course on politics and society of contemporary Sindh invites the student to study Sindh, its people, institutions, and politics in multi-disciplinary manner to develop critical understanding of the present informed by history. Drawing upon primary and secondary sources of historians, politicians, sociologists, economists and creative writers our aim is to understand and appreciate complex nature of present day society and politics of Sindh. Such an understanding is vital for engaging with the society as an informed citizen. Successful completion of the course will enable you to challenge stereotypes that are passed on as ‘knowledge’ about modern Sindh. Religious, linguistic, class, and ethnic diversity of Sindh and its attendant politics contributes in reinforcing stereotypical image of ‘others’ living in the same society. One aim of the course is to question these stereotype on the basis of critical learning that is based on empathy for the ‘other’.

Socialization and Cultural Identities
This is an interdisciplinary course, which combines conceptual and theoretical notions drawn from psychoanalysis, psychology and sociology (social psychology), and the broader foundations of cultural studies and social philosophy. This course is a fundamental course for those interested in understanding the processes that shape our ways of being, thinking, and acting. It looks at the construction of the self, first in clinical terms, and moving on to intellectual, moral and social terms. Questions such as ‘who are we?’ and ‘why we are the way we are?’ are at the core of our inquiry into the formation of the self. The toggle between structure and agency represents the constant negotiation of individuals and collectives in defining themselves according to parameters consisting of socially produced categories, institutional practices, norms, expectations, traditions, ideological discourses, and a complex system of rewards and constraints, produced and experienced in context as the general conditions of one’s existence. Those interested in mental health, marginality and ‘deviance’, social roles, power dynamics, relational hygiene, counseling, or ‘caring’ and ‘healing’ work, will find this course useful.

Sacred Geographies
Las Bela remains understudied, despite its pivotal location between Iran, Kalat, and Sindh, and Bela’s role as the capital city of a state, which not long ago encompassed Karachi. The recent opening of this region provides a unique opportunity to make academic forays into Bela. This course seeks to expand inter-disciplinary horizons, with the aim of designing a cross-departmental course where students can participate and design various aspects of a field-based study.

Introduction to Political Philosophy
This course aims to provide an introduction to some of the key issues about politics as addressed in different philosophical traditions. While also exploring European and Western political philosophy, it will do so in the context of a comparative and comprehensive effort to bring in alternative perspectives and schools of thought. We may think of political philosophy as an ensemble of questions that routinely appear across time and space to which thinkers provide different answers. Political philosophy is thus, at the same time, a truly universal endeavor given the commonality of questions and a highly diverse and specific practice given the variety of answers. In this light, the course presents a range of authors from vastly different traditions exploring recurrent themes and inquiries in political philosophy. These issues concern the nature of power, the concepts of order, authority, legitimacy, justice and freedom: how do Kautylia’s Arthashastra and Thucydides’s Melian Dialogue talk about politics? What did Machiavelli say about power, and what was instead Ibn Khaldun’s or Weber’s position? The course will also tackle specific topics of our modern (or postmodern) era: what is a modern state? Is Orwell’s 1984 another version of Hobbes’s Leviathan? What is democracy? Did Ghandi get it right or should we look at the Islamist version of Ali Shariati in Iran? How do we understand political violence? What does Fanon say about it in the context of anti-colonialism? And is he taking up Marxian idea of political revolution or charting new paths?

Food! Food Security, Urban Farming and Appropriate Technology (I)
This course aims to make the connection between politics of environmental conservation; food security; the market and the social determinants of health through a hands on practice based pedagogical approach. This course will be taught in workshop format over working Saturdays and will include field visits; designing appropriate technology solutions; composting; making organic pesticides; and sustaining demo plots for urban farming. The course will be a one credit hour with the duration of six months (Oct 2018-Mar/Apr 2019).

Women Work and Islam
This course aims to study the relationship and encounters between women, nation, modernity, religion and socio-economic factors in Muslim contexts with a specific focus on Pakistan. By the end of the courses students should be able to understand the multiple factors that affect gender and class in Pakistan, the role of development, NGOs, liberal feminism, Islamist women’s politics and class-based struggles and movements by and for women’s economic interests.

Principles of Macroeconomics
This is an introductory course in economics, which focuses on teaching basic concepts required to understand the workings of a market based economy. We will focus on markets and what role they play in modern capitalist economies. The role of the government in managing economies will be emphasized, particularly how money is created and circulated in society (via banks), how the interest rate is determined, where inflation comes from, how international trade impacts a small-to-medium sized economy like Pakistan, and other questions that will be explored particularly in the context of Pakistani economy.

Education and Development
This course introduces students to major debates on the relationships between education, development and globalisation, with a distinct view from the ‘South’. Within a historical approach to education for national development from the decolonisation era onward, students will acquire the conceptual, theoretical and empirical foundations for critical analysis of (a) how the global governance of education shapes national education policy-making in the South today; and (b) past and present initiatives by the South for the South. Themes discussed will include: structural adjustment & education; the global knowledge economy and lifelong learning; trade in education services; education and conflict; education and religion; adult, non-formal & popular education; international aid to education; South-South cooperation in education & development; the SDGs and education. The syllabus will be adjusted to students’ specific topical interests, case studies, and available guest speakers, and students will be encouraged to relate their coursework to the Pakistan context.

Advanced Topics in Qualitative Research Design: Participation and Intersectionality
This 400 level course aims to provide students interested in pursuing qualitative research from a critical theory perspective an opportunity to be introduced to methodologies which have participative and intersectional considerations. This includes but is not limited to participatory action research; participatory reflection and action; and feminist research methodologies. Matching methodologies to student research objectives will be of primary importance.


Food! Food Security, Urban Farming and Appropriate Technology (II)
This course aims to make the connection between politics of environmental conservation; food security; the market and the social determinants of health through a hands on practice based pedagogical approach. This course will be taught in workshop format over working Saturdays and will include field visits; designing appropriate technology solutions; composting; making organic pesticides; and sustaining demo plots for urban farming. The course will be a one credit hour with the duration of six months (Oct 2018-Mar/Apr 2019).

Anthropology of Possibilities
Anthropology has long struggled to be recognized as a science that examines what it is to be a part of human society. Science fiction, on the other hand, is often dismissed as escapist pulp. But the best science fiction is as descriptive as it is speculative, exploring what it means to be a part of contemporary society by pushing against the boundaries of what society is and what it can be. We will pair anthropological writing with works of science fiction in order to explore how the methods of anthropology can be applied to understanding and addressing contemporary problems. Throughout the semester, students will collapse descriptive ethnography and science fictive speculation while borrowing from the techniques of speculative design to create innovative ethnographic fictions and imagine possible futures. Rather than repeating the old dictum that anthropology should be ‘objective’, this course embraces the notion of a politicized anthropology that must engage with thorny ethical issues in the process of imagining and instigating possible futures.

Migration Diaspora and Transnationalism
This courses covers major issues surrounding past and present human migrations and mobility, from nomadism to sedentarism, all the way to modern global population movement. This course covers the legacies of imperialism, colonization and decolonization and the emergence of modern nation states, as the contexts which largely shapes the power relations between various categories of migrants on one hand, and national ‘host’ country populations and governments on the other hand. By identifying different types of migration (forced displacement, asylum, economic and/or political migration, temporary or cyclical migration, legal/illegal, regular/ irregular, among others), important distinctions will be drawn surrounding various forms of privilege or lack thereof, lifestyle, agency, citizenship, transience vs. permanence, etc.
In this course, students will be required to learn the principal tenets of a sociological analysis of migration flows and patterns, accounting for push/pull forces, insider/outsider dynamics, and processes such as acculturation, enculturation, adaptation, segregation, ghettoization, assimilation, integration, cultural appropriation, etc. Students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of the conditions afforded by regional, continental and global political economies as structural forces that influence migration flows and migratory experiences. They will explore the effects of migration on receiving and sending countries, as well as the political and legal frameworks that regulate exit, entry, residence, labor conditions, wages, remittance flows, etc.

Cultures of Greed
This course explores discourses on greed and avarice in historical, literary, and anthropological scholarships. The course raises a key question of our time: how the discourse on excess shapes desire (khuwahish) for money and wealth. By bringing desire at the heart of the discussion of money and capitalism, we open an existential approach to the study of economics. The debate comes closer to the self, to the visceral and corporeal experience, as well as to the human soul. This line of inquiry demands that students read historical accounts on avarice and greed while asking some key questions – why was excessive desire for money considered a sin or vice in pre-modern times? When did the epistemological break from ‘greed is sin’ to ‘greed is good’ occur? These questions offer students a critical insight into the nature of excessive desire for money, and explains some of the radical causes of human suffering.

International Political Economy
This course examines various disciplinary fields comprising International Political Economy (IPE), an area of inquiry where economy, politics, security and history intersect.
The course seeks first to define the scopes and boundaries of IPE. It addresses issues such as the historical origins of the field, the emergence of globalization, its functioning and main dynamics, the formation of global institutions and their underlying ideologies, as well as topics such as natural resources, the politics of oil and urbanization. Then, on this basis, the fundamental aim is to ask questions about the nature of the international system as understood from the perspective of IPE. Rather than accepting views and learning notions, we shall try and investigate where do those views and notions come from. We may possibly come to a more comprehensive and engaged understanding of the world as citizens who live within it.
The course is reading intensive, and it requires a commensurate level of commitment. This syllabus represents the anticipated scheduling of lectures and readings. Changes may be made to suit the actual composition, competencies and interests of the class.

Program Planning and Design
The course is conceptualized to run as a workshop and will require students through the semester to work in teams to design an actual program/project using an RFP (Request for Proposals) on a specific social development issue. It will take students through the various stages of program design from identifying community needs, to developing a theory of change; identifying program goals and objectives; considering the ethics of intervention, participation and stakeholder engagement; the question of sustainability and scaling up; understanding the role of research in design and planning; developing a logical frame and indicators; building a basic monitoring and evaluation framework; designing a budget and doing a risk assessment. Students will work in collaborative groups on assignments and are expected to contribute equally to the project development process. At the end of the semester a half day seminar will be arranged where students will be expected to make presentations of their designed program/project. A panel of experts from the field will be invited to review the proposals.

Economic Analysis
Intermediate macroeconomic theory further develops the tools and concepts introduced in principles of macroeconomics. This is primarily a theory course that explores the macro-economy using abstract analysis—economic models, graphical analysis, and mathematical analysis—but we will also apply economic theory to real world events and policy decisions. Topics include measurement of aggregate output and income, economic growth, income inequality, aggregate demand, aggregate supply, unemployment, inflation, the Phillips curve, and fiscal and monetary policies.
In this course we will pay careful attention to recent events, such as the widening gap between rich and poor (income inequality), changing nature of work (employment/unemployment), and future of capitalism (sluggish economic growth in recent decades). We will also critically discuss topics such as the role of state in the globalized world (fiscal and monetary policies), and culture of consumerism (while discussing aggregate demand).
While emphasizing on history and methodology, we will investigate the claim that the era of standard Keynesian Economics has come to an end (the collapse of Philips Curve); we will also discuss the birth of a new interpretation of Keynesian Economics, namely Post-Keynesianism (financialization of Western economies as well as the recent financial crisis). The soul and spirit of this course will be Keynesian, but that should not bar us from referring to alternative and competing approaches to macroeconomics, most importantly Marxian and Hayekian ones.

Development and Conflict
The course aims to introduce students to key themes and approaches in the study of development and conflict. During the twentieth century, armed conflicts destroyed societies and families, and undermined development prospects in many parts of the world. These ‘civil wars’ and ‘interstate conflicts’ have affected countries, regions and in some cases have global implications. The concept of ‘new wars’, ‘insurgencies’ and ‘counterinsurgencies’ are all familiar to students but need to be brought in to their knowledge via academic discourse.
Many of the more devastating conflicts (in terms of their social, economic and human costs) have become entrenched. The course pays particular attention to the perspectives of marginalized actors in the international system (Third World states, non-state actors, etc.) and to their interactions with hegemonic actors and structure.

Anthropology of Trade
This course explores historical and contemporary trade networks in South and Central Asia, and Middle East. The course offers insights into how commercial networks have been shaping the cultural and geographical imaginations in the region. The objective of the course is to rethink the ways in which people have been conducting long distance trade. The students will read classic work on bazaar and mercantile networks by Claude Markovits, Stephen Dale, K.N. Chaudhry, Sanjay Subhramanyam, and C.A. Bayly.

Economic Growth and Technological Change
This course explores the tendencies and causes of economic growth in capitalism, with a focus on the role of technology broadly defined. Students will investigate a variety of ways of understanding technology’s relation to economic growth, notable among these being four major paradigms and traditions in economic theory: Neoclassical, Schumpeterian, Endogenous Growth, and Marxian. Examining these theories and various sources of technological change such as R&D, learning-by-doing, and shifts in human capital–will inform discussions of the political economy of technology within current economic systems, taking a comparative perspective. The profound social, political and cultural consequences of these dynamics will also be examined.