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Centre for the Study of Culture and Society

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Course 901:Culture and the Disciplines

The objective of this course is to introduce the contemporary debates in the social sciences and humanities relating to the ‘cultural turn’ of the 1990s. We will, on the one hand, look into how the question of culture has been dealt with in the disciplines, and on the other, examine how the emergent domain of cultural studies has engaged with the disciplines. Of interest here would be the claims to inter-disciplinarity made by cultural studies practitioners, and the many diverse institutional locations of cultural studies that appear to be multi- rather than inter-disciplinary. The dual focus of the course will be on  understanding the disciplinary legacies of cultural studies in India and on strengthening the methodologies of cultural studies research.

Week 1-August 7:


Week 2-August 14:
Literary studies and cultural studies
Gauri Viswanathan, Introduction, Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India Link
Susie Tharu and K.Lalita, “Empire, Nation and Literary Text” Link

Week 3-August 21:
Anthropology and Sociology I
Clifford Geertz, “Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture”, from The Interpretation of Cultures: Link
James Clifford, “On Ethnographic Authority”, from The Predicament of Culture: Link

Week 4- August 27(Thurs):
Anthropology and Sociology II (AG)
Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson, “Culture, Power, Place: Ethnography at the End of an Era” Link
Satish Deshpande, “Squinting at Society”Link

Week 5-Sept 4:
Hans-Georg Gadamer: from Truth and Method (Part 2: The development of the concept of language in the history of Western thought) Link
Ferdinand de Saussure: “Third Course of Lectures on General Linguistics”Link
Sheldon Pollock: “Cosmopolitanism and Vernacular in History”Link

Week 6- Sept 11:
Dipesh Chakrabarty, “Postcoloniality and the Artifice of History”, from Provincializing Europe Link
Ranajit Guha, “The Prose of Counter-Insurgency”Link
Sumit Sarkar, “The Many Worlds of Indian History” Link

Week 7 – Sept 17 (Thurs):
Film and Visuality Studies I (SVS)
Christopher Pinney, “The Possibility of a Visual History”, from Photos of the Gods Link

Christopher Pinney,  "What pictures want now:Rural consumers of images 1980-2000", from Photos of the Gods Link

David MacDougall, “The Visual in Anthropology” Link

MID-TERM BREAK: Sept 18 - 25

Week 8 – Oct 1 (Thurs):
Film and Visuality Studies II

Madhava Prasad, Cine Politics:On the Political Significance of Cinema in South India.Link
S.V.Srinivas, from Megastar, chiranjeevi and telugu cinema after N.T.Rama Rao Link
Ashish Rajadhyaksha, from Indian Cinema in the Time of Celluloid:The Indian Emergency:Aesthetics of State Control Link

Week 9 – Oct 9:
Psychoanalysis I (AD)
Sigmund Freud, “An Outline of Psychoanalysis”
“A Note on the Mystic Writing Pad” Link

Week 10 – Oct 16:
Jacques Derrida, “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences” Link 
Louis Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” Link

Week 11 – Oct 23:
Psychoanalysis II (AD)
Jacques Lacan, “Seminar on The Purloined Letter" Link
Ashis Nandy, “The Savage Freud” Link

Week 12 – Oct 30:
Political Science (SK)
Rajni Kothari, Introduction to Caste in Indian Politics Link
Rajni Kothari, “The Grassroots Phenomenon”, from Politics and the People Link
R. Ram Reddy and G. Haragopal, “The Pyraveekar: ‘The Fixer’ in Rural India”Link

Week 13 – Nov 6:
Development Economics

On the Mechanics of Economic Development: Robert. E. Lucas Jr. Link

Budget Speech of Manmohan Singh:Manmohan Singh ,Minister of finance: Budget 1991-92 Link

Week 14 – Nov 12:
Student presentations


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