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Current State: Published
Course 802: Culture and the Disciplines

Instructor: Tejaswini Niranjana

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:


Week 2:
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:
Dipesh Chakrabarty, 'Postcoloniality and the Artifice of History', from Provincializing Europe Link found here
Ranajit Guha, 'The Prose of Counter-Insurgency' Link found here
Sumit Sarkar, 'The Many Worlds of Indian History' Link found here

Week 4:
Film and Visuality Studies (SVS)
Christopher Pinney, 'The Possibility of a Visual History', from Photos of the Gods Link found here Chapter6 Link Chapt. 1 Link
David MacDougall, 'The Visual in Anthropology' Link found here
Ravi Vasudevan, 'Shifting Codes, Dissolving Identities: The Hindi Social Film of the 1950s as Popular Culture' Link found here
Ashish Rajadhyaksha, 'The Phalke Era' Link found here

Week 5:
Anthropology and Sociology
Clifford Geertz, 'Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture', from The Interpretation of Cultures Link found here
James Clifford, 'On Ethnographic Authority', from The Predicament of Culture Link found here

Week 6:
Law and Culture (TBA)
Rosemary Coombs, 'Contingent Articulations: A Critical Cultural Studies of Law' Link found here
Alternative Law Forum, 'Of Master Plans, Laws and Illegalities in an Era of Transition' Link found here
Flavia Agnes, 'State Control and Sexual Morality: The Case of the Bar Dancer of Mumbai' Link found here

Week 7:
Jacques Derrida, 'Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences' Link found here
Louis Althusser, 'Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses' Link found here

Week 8:
Science and Society (AA)
Thomas Kuhn, from The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Link found here
Bruno Latour, from Science in Action Link found here
Donna Haraway, 'Situated Knowledges'. Link found here

Week 9-10:
Mid-term student presentations

Week 11:
Political science (SK)
Rajni Kothari, 'Introduction to Caste in Indian Politics' Link found here
'The Grassroots Phenomenon', from Politics and the People Link found here
R. Ram Reddy and G. Haragopal, 'The Pyraveekar: ‘The Fixer’ in Rural India'' Link found here

Week 12:
Economics and Feminism (PK)
 Paula England, "Seperative and Soluble Selves: Dichotomous thinking in Economics", in
Marianne A. Ferber and Julie Nelson eds., Feminist Economics Today: Beyond Economic Man. Link found her
Marianne A Ferber,  "A feminist Critique of the Neoclassical Theory of the Family", in
Karine S Moe ed., Women, Family and Work: Writings on the Economics of Gender. Link found here
Jane Humphries, "Rational Economic Families? Economics, the Family and the Economy", in Joanne Cook, Jennifer Roberts Georgina Waylen (eds.), Towards a Gendered Political Economy. Link found here
Amartya Sen, "Gender  and Co-opeative Conflict". In Irene Tinker (ed.) Women and World Development. Link found here

 Week 13 
Caring Labour (PK)
Nancy Folber, "Holding Hands at Midnight: The Paradox of Caring Labour". Link found here
Paula England and Nancy Folbre, :Contracting for Care", in Marianne A. Ferber and Julie Nelson eds., Feminist Economics Today: Beyond Economic Man. Link found here
Susan Himmelweit, " The Prospects for Caring: Economic theory and Policy Analysis". Link found here

Week 14
Student presentations

All sessions will be handled by the course instructor unless otherwise specified.

SVS: SV Srinivas
SK: Sitharam Kakarala
PK: Praveena Kodoth
AA: Asha Achuthan
TBA: To be announced

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