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Conferences and Workshops
List of conferences and workshops held at and conducted by CSCS in recent years.

Fellowships at CSCS
The CSCS Fellowships Programme began in 2002 to make its substantial library and faculty resources available to a range of researchers outside the institution.

Visiting Fellows
CSCS provides affiliation to Indian and international researchers for varying periods of time. In addition CSCS also invites academics to interact with faculty and students and to present their work at the Centre.




Current State: Published
1. The Concept of Culture




This section will look at the various meanings associated with the word ‘culture' and explore ways of understanding the relationship between culture and society. The lesson will take you through a discussion of the following topics:

i. meanings and usages commonly associated with the word 'culture'
ii. range of practices generally denoted by the word 'culture'
iii. history of its usage in English language
iv. new questions for the study of culture in our own context

What is Culture?

What do we understand by the word ‘culture’ today?
When does something become ‘cultural’?
What do we understand when someone talks of ‘cultural events’?

Let us look at the section ‘In the City’ in the Deccan Herald, where events are listed. These include dance programmes, announcements of exhibitions in art galleries, music concerts, religious programmes and book release functions. If we ask right-wing political activists who protested against the film Fire or the film Girlfriend what ‘culture’ might be, they would come up with a definition of ‘culture’ that links it to our ‘tradition’ and ‘nation’ (Please take a look at the CSCS Fire Dossier to know more about the controversy and debates around the film)

Let us look at this excerpt from the Lonely Planet description of 'Indian Culture':
Indian art is basically religious in its themes and developments, and its appreciation requires at least some background knowledge of the country's faiths. The highlights include classical Indian dance, Hindu temple architecture and sculpture (where one begins and the other ends is often hard to define), the military and urban architecture of the Mughals, miniature painting, and mesmeric Indian music. Of course, India's creativity continues to thrive, its most lively contemporary expression being filmi culture.
Religion, cultural diversity, food, classical Indian dance, music, temples, sculpture and architecture, all denote "Indian culture". If you read these lines carefully, you will also notice that these are the descriptions that make India an ancient cultural space. The only way India’s 'creativity continues to thrive’ is through its ‘filmi culture’.

These statements clearly reveal not only the presuppositions being made about India, its past heritage and its current ‘filmi culture’ but also the assumption that culture refers to cultural artefacts. From these statements we get an idea of the commonly held notions about culture.
Within the academic disciplines, however, the word ‘culture’ may be used in more specific ways than this.

For example, in anthropology, ‘culture’ has the specific connotation of ‘a way of life’, and refers to practices of specific groups of people. Let us now try to figure out what we mean by culture in our everyday conversations. Where do we see the word ‘culture’ being used?




Activity:
What are the things that you are likely to describe as ‘cultural’? What do they say about some commonly held views about ‘culture’? Let us now list some common associations that come to our mind when we talk of ‘culture’

Reading 1:
Raymond Williams, ‘Culture’, Keywords (See Williams on Culture) Let us now turn to the entry on ‘culture’ in Williams’ Keywords. The purpose of reading this text is not to arrive at a new definition of the word ‘culture’ but to try and understand how the term has been used in the past in different locations, and what kind of meanings get added to it today.

Reading 2:
Tejaswini Niranjana, P.Sudhir and Vivek Dhareshwar ed.,"Introduction", Interrogating Modernity

Activity II:
Politics of Culture:

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