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401: Culture and Democracy




Credits: 2
Course Requirements: Classroom presentations and a short assignment for each module.

This course is intended to explore some of the ways in which we might theorise the connections between democracy and culture in contemporary India. It will also serve as an introduction to the kind of inter-disciplinary research being done at CSCS. The first module will look at the issues surrounding our understanding of the colonial past, of the nationalist struggle, and the present-day critiques of those earlier historical-political moments. Module Two presents some of the key formulations that have emerged in cultural studies in India, focussing in particular on the attempts to conceptualise popular cultural practices. The third module of the course addresses public space. It will explore the translation of concepts of public access, the right to access and the terms of access, into geographic and later narrative definition. The three sessions address three moments in the history of abstract space: cinema space, video space and cyber space. Module Four looks at questions of linguistic nationalism. It will also explore how a specific form of regionalism gets articulated as linguistic identity. The fifth module looks at contemporary discourses of rights and analyses their implication in questions of culture; we will also discuss the debates around multiculturalism and their possible relevance for the Indian context.

Module 1: Colonialism, Nationalism, Decolonization
Instructor: Tejaswini Niranjana
Readings
Session I: Colonialism and the Nation Question.

M.K.Gandhi, Hind Swaraj, Link found here

Jawaharlal Nehru, selected essays; Link 1

Link2

Link 3

B.R.Ambedkar, Annihilation of Caste Link found here


Session II: Nationalism and its Politics.

Partha Chatterjee, "The Thematic and the Problematic Link found here

" Rajni Kothari, "Rise of the Dalits and the Renewed Debate on Caste", Link found here

Ashis Nandy, "The Twilight of Certitudes: Secularism, Hindu Nationalism and other Masks of Deculturation" Link found here


Session III: Colonialism and the Present.

Tejaswini Niranjana, "Left to the Imagination: Indian Nationalisms and Female Sexuality in Trinidad" (ms. Version), Link found here

Paul Gilroy, "The Black Atlantic as a Counter-Culture of Modernity",

Partha Chatterjee, "Beyond the Nation? Or Within?" Link found here

Module 2: Histories of Cultural Studies
Instructor: S.V. Srinivas
Readings
Session I: Interpretation and Resistance.

Guha, Ranajit, "Prose of Counter-insurgency" and Elementary aspects of peasant insurgency (selections), Link found here

Amin, Shahid. 1984. "Gandhi as Mahatma: Gorakhpur District, Eastern U.P., 1921-22",Link found here

Todd Gitlin, "The Anti-Political Populism of Cultural Studies"


Session II: Ideology and Culture.

Madan Gopal Singh, "Technique as Ideology".

Ashish Rajadhyaksha, "Beaming Messages to the Nation",

Sudipta Kaviraj, "Capitalism and the Cultural Process"

. M. Madhava Prasad, "Cinema and the Desire for Modernity".


Session III: Culture as field of the Political.

Vivek Dhareshwar, "Caste and the Secular Self". Link found here

Ashish Rajadhyaksha, "Epic Melodrama".

Tejaswini Niranjana, "Nationalism Refigured : Contemporary South Indian Cinema and the Subject of Feminism".

Module 3: Explorations in Narrative Space
Instructor: Ashish Rajadhyaksha
Readings:
Session I: Urban Space/Public Space/Film Space
'Cinema and the City in History and Theory' Mark Shiel (from Mark Shiel and Tony Fitzmaurice ed. Cinema and the City),

'Narrative Space', Stephen Heath (from Questions of Cinema)


Screening: D.G. Phalke's Kaliya Mardan and Shri Krishna Janma


Session II: Mediatized Space, Video Space
Frederic Jameson. 'Video', from Postmodernism, Or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism.
Ashish Rajadhyaksha, 'Video, Art, Medeamaterial'.
Screening: Nalini Malani's Medeamaterial


Session III: Virtual Space
Donna Haraway,"A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century" (From The Cybercultures Reader),

Gareth Branwyn, "Compu-Sex: Erotica for Cybernauts" (From The Cybercultures Reader)
Screening: Shilpa Gupta's websites, Cyber games.

Module 4: Region, Language and Identity
Instructor: Shivaram Padikkal
Readings:
Session I:
Anderson, Benedict .1991. Imagined Communities. London: Verso

Bali, Arun P ed., 2001. Refashioning The New Economic Order: Karnataka In Transition. New Delhi: Indian Council of Social Science Research, Rawat Publications. Hall, Stuart. 1992. eds, Modernity and its Futures. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Jeffrey, Robin. 1997. "Kannada: We Fake It There Is Competition" EPW VolXXXII(12) pp 566-570,

Manor, James.1977. Political Change in an Indian State New Delhi: Manohar


Session II:

Nair, Janaki.1996, "Memories of Underdevelopment" EPW Vol.XXXI (41&42) 2809-2816 Link found here

Niranjana, Tejaswini, P. Sudhir and Vivek Dhareshwar eds.,1993. Interrogating Modernity: Culture and Colonialism in India. Seagull: Calcutta. Link found here

Rao,Raghavendra. 2000. Imagining Unimaginable Communities Hampi: Kannada University.


Session III:

Rubinoff 1998, The Construction of a Political Community New Delhi: Sage.

Saberwal, Satish.1971. "Regions and their Social Structures" Contributions to Indian Sociology. No, V December. Pp 82-98.

Soja, Edward 1993. The Postmodern Geography, the Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory. London: Verso.

Vyasulu, Vinod. 1997. Facets of Development: Studies in Karnataka. Jaipur: Rawat Publications Karnataka.

Module 5: Culture and the Discourses of Rights
Instructor: Sitharamam Kakarala
Readings:
Session I: Cultures of Modern Rights
A selection of historical documents that capture the variety and complexity of 17th-early 20th century dynamics of rights-based discourses

Jawaharlal Nehru, "On Civil Liberties",

Charles Taylor, Modernity and the Rise of the Public Sphere,

J.C.D. Clark, The Language of Liberty-1660-1832, Ch 1,

Sudhir Chandra, Enslaved Daughters Link found here


Session II: Cultural Critiques of Modern Rights


American Anthropological Association's statements on human rights (1947 & 1999)

Talal Asad, "Anthropology and human rights"

Tagore, "Civilization and Progress" and "Nationalism",

Gandhi, "Duties and Rights",

Macau Mutua, "The Metaphor of Human Rights"


Session III: Multicultural Response and the Future of Rights and Democracy
Joseph Raz, "Multiculturalism", Indian debates on "secularism and minority (cultural) rights"

Ashis Nandy, to be announced

 




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