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Course 703: Modernity, Time, History




Instructor: Rochelle Pinto

Course requirements: student presentations and 2 short assignments

This course familiarizes readers with some approaches that examine the intersections of modernity, time and history as concepts, and structures of ordering and explanation. The initial weeks present contesting discussions within Europe over the origins, understanding and implications of modernity and the terms within which it has been discussed. Among these, discussions on how modernity produces and intersects with notions of time and history have been selected as a focus. These are drawn predominantly from critiques that trace the origins of specific and commonsensical usages of time and history as a consequence of modernity and of enlightenment thought. One point of focus in this course is to examine how modernity is reproduced and reconceptualized through its critique.

Subsequent weeks are devoted to examining the shape and implications of these debates in a colonial context, with specific reference to colonial India.

Students are required to complete the readings for each week before they come to class. By the last week, students are expected to have read Shahid Amin’s Event Memory Metaphor, and come to class with a review of the text in the light of the readings through the course.

Session 1: Modernity and its critique

Immanuel Kant, ‘An Answer to the Question: "What is Enlightenment?"’ , in Practical Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, translated and edited by Mary J. Gregor, 1996, pp. 11-22.Link found here.

Michel Foucault ‘What is Enlightenment?’, in Rabinow (P.), ed., The Foucault Reader, New York, Pantheon Books, 1984, pp. 32-50.Link found here

Alain Touraine, ‘The Light of Reason’, in Critique of Modernity, David Macey trans., Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, 1995, pp. 9-32.Link found here

Session 2: How Modernity is imagined

Bernard Yack, ‘Imagining the Modern Age’, in The Fetishism of Modernities: Epochal Self-Consciousness in Contemporary Social and Political Thought, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997, pp. 17-40. Link found here

Bernard Yack, ‘Disentangling theory and practice in the modern World’ in The Fetishism of Modernities: Epochal Self-Consciousness in Contemporary Social and Political Thought, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997, pp. 119-136. Link found here

Alain Touraine, ‘The Meaning of History’ in Critique of Modernity, David Macey trans., Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1995, pp. 61-89. Link found here

Session 3: Structure of time and history

Reinhart Koselleck, ‘Modernity and the Planes of Historicity’, in Futures Past, New York: Columbia University Press, 2004, pp. 9-25. Link found here

Reinhart Koselleck, ‘History, Histories and Formal Time Structures’, in Futures Past, New York: Columbia University Press, 2004, pp. 93-104. Link found here

Skaria, Ajay; 1999; Some Aporias of History: Time, Truth and Play in Dangs, EPW; 34 (15); 897-904. Link found here

Session 4: Memory and Time

Maurice Halbwachs, ‘Historical Memory and Collective Memory’, in The Collective Memory, USA, Harper and Row, 1980, pp. 50-87. Link found here

Sudipta Sen, ‘Semantics of History and Time in the Medieval Indo-Persianate culture of North India’ in Invoking the Past, Daud Ali ed., New Delhi ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 231-257. Link found here

Mikael Aktor, ‘Smrtis and Jatis: The Ritualisation of Time and the Continuity of the Past’, in Invoking the Past, Daud Ali ed., New Delhi ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 258-279. Link found here

Session 5: Foucault and history

Michel Foucault, ‘History’, from Order of Things : An Archaeology of Human Sciences, New York, Random House, 1973, pp. 367-73. Link found here

Paul Veyne, ‘Foucault revolutionizes history’, in Foucault and His Interlocutors, Arnold I. Davidson, ed., Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1997, pp. 146-182. Link found here

Hayden White, ‘Foucault Decoded: Notes from Underground’, in Tropics of Discourse: essays in cultural criticism, Baltimore, John Hopkins Press, 1978, pp. 230-260 hLink found here

Session 6: Narrating history

Hayden White, ‘The Historical Imagination – Between Metaphor and Irony’, from Metahistory – The Historical Imagination in 19th Century Europe, Baltimore, John Hopkins Press, 1973, pp. 45-80. Link found here

Hayden White, ‘The Poetics of History and the Way Beyond Irony’, in Metahistory – The Historical Imagination in 19th Century Europe, Baltimore, John Hopkins Press, 1973, pp. 81-131 Link found here

Session 7: Experience and history

Hayden White, ‘Foreword’, Reinhart Koselleck, The Practice of Conceptual History, Samuel Todd Presner trans., Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2002, pp ix-xiv. Link found here

Reinhart Koselleck, ‘Introduction’, Hayden White, Tropics of Discourse: essays in cultural criticism, Baltimore, John Hopkins Press, 1978, pp. 38-44. Link found here

Reinhart Koselleck, ‘Transformations of Experience and Methodological Change, in The Practice of Conceptual History, Samuel Todd Presner trans., Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2002, pp. 45-83 Link found here

Session 8: Locating the colonies

Ronald Inden, ‘Orientalist Constructions of India’, Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 20, No. 3. (1986), pp. 401-446. Link found here

Walter D. Mignolo, Coloniality of Power and Subalternity, Mignolo, ‘Coloniality of Power and Subalternity’, in Ileana Rodriguez, ed., Latin American. Subaltern Studies Reader, Durham: Duke University Press, 2001, pp. 424-444.Link found here

Wang-Hui, ‘Imagining Asia, A Genealogical Analysis’ Link found here

Session 9: Encountering modernity

Udaya Kumar, Seeing and Reading: The Early Malayalam Novel and Some Questions of Visibility, in Early Novels in India, Meenakshi Mukherjee ed., Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 2002, pp. 161-192. Link found here

Ashis Nandy, ‘History’s Forgotten Doubles’ in Ashis Nandy ed. The Romance of the State, and the fate of Dissent in the Tropics, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 83-109. Link found here

Dipesh Chakrabarty, ‘Subaltern Histories and Post-Enlightenment Rationalism’ Habitations of Modernity – essays in the wake of Subaltern Studies, New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2002, pp. 20-37. Link found here

Session 10: Producing Tradition

Frederick Cooper, ‘Postcolonial Studies and the Study of History’ in Postcolonial Studies and Beyond, Ania Loomba, Suvir Kaul, Matti Bunzl, Antoinette Burton, and Jed Esty,ed, Duke University Press, 2005, pp. 401-438. Link found here

Javeed Alam, ‘Tradition Under Stress’ in Living With Modernity, Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 169-190. Link found here

Session 11: Discovering Hinduism

Guest Lecturer: Anup Dhar

Richard King, ‘The Modern Myth of Hinduism’ in Orientalism and Religion – Postcolonial Theory, India and ‘The Mystic East’, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 96-117. Link found here

Richard King, ‘Mystic Hinduism’ in Orientalism and Religion – Postcolonial Theory, India and ‘The Mystic East’, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 118-142. Link found here

Session 12: Time and the Other

Johannes Fabian, ‘Time and Writing About the Other’, in Time and the Other – how anthropology makes its object, New York: Columbia University Press, 2002, pp. 71-104. Link found here

Ajay Skaria, ‘Notes for a Politics of Hope’, Hybrid Histories, Delhi: OUP, 1999, pp. 1-18. Link found here

Reinhart Koselleck, ‘Time and History’ in The Practice of Conceptual History: Timing History, Spacing Concepts, USA, Stanford University Press, 2002, pp. 100-114. Link found here

Session 13: Time, primitives, the everyday

Prathama Bannerjee, ‘Introduction’, Politics of Time : ‘Primitives’ And History-writing in a Colonial Society, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006, 1-39. Link found here

Prathama Bannerjee, ‘Debt, Time and Extravagance’, Politics of Time : ‘Primitives’ And History-writing in a Colonial Society, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 119-157. Link found here

Prathama Bannerjee, ‘Conclusion’, Politics of Time : ‘Primitives’ And History-writing in a Colonial Society, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 236-248. Link found here

Session 14

A review of Shahid Amin, Event Memory Metaphor Chauri Chaura 1922-1992, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1995.

 




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