January-April, 2012 :
'Rethinking Mental Health: Between the Windscreen and the Rearview Mirror' (Anup Dhar)
'Culture-Gender in InterAsia: Work, Sexuality, Religion' (Tejaswini Niranjana, CSCS; Naifei Ding, National Central University, Taiwan)
'Researching Human Rights: Contemporary Challenges' (Sitharamam Kakarala)
'Women, Mental Illness, Clinical-Cultural Histories' (Radhika P.)
August-November, 2011 (Application Deadline 20th July):
Short Seminar 'Stars at Work' (SV Srinivas)
'Language and Death in the Epoch of Politics' (Milind Wakankar)
1. Course Title: Rethinking Mental Health: Between the Windscreen and the Rearview Mirror
Course Instructor: Anup Dhar
Date: Jan 2nd- Jan 8th 2012
This course will look at two kinds of questions that need to be addressed in mental health: one, coming from the present (i.e. coming to view through the windscreen) and the other, coming from the past (i.e. coming to view through the rearview mirror). One set of questions look at the contemporary, from the issues being generated by neurobiology, cognition studies, disability studies, critical legal studies, public health/private health service related debates, incitement to discourse around mental states like stress, anorexia post-globalization, de-institutionalization, de-pathologization, informed consent, living will, ECT, client’s perspective, bio-ethics etc. A second set of questions will look at the Indian past and the Indian context: including issues of faith healing, pre/non-modern and non-western approaches to mental health, debates around Indian Psychology, around plurality of approaches to biomedical psychiatry, institutional and community mental health etc. The purpose of this course is to explore ideal conditions for the patient/client/survivor, and the kind of clinical/community engagement we need to strive towards in the mental health setting.
The course shall be open to pre-PhD and PhD level students as also to 'mental health activists' with appreciable experience of the mental health field/sector.
Aiming to address a diverse constituency (post-graduate and PhD students, activists, professionals) the courses can have flexible timings (weekends or late weekdays) and duration (intensive or extensive) where desired.
For specific course related enquiries write to
2. Course Title: Culture-Gender in InterAsia: Work, Sexuality, Religion
Course Instructors: Tejaswini Niranjana, CSCS; Naifei Ding, National Central University, Taiwan
Date: March 26-30, 2012; 10 am-5 pm
Course Assistants: Maithreyi Mulupuru, Judith Nazareth Garg, Teena Antony, Nitya Vasudevan
Course Credits: 2 CSCS credits (equivalent to 42 hours, including online sessions)
This course has taken shape within an inter-Asia context in the belief that our present moment poses a series of new questions to the previous articulation of gender-culture issues that has now entered into feminist commonsense.
The antithetical relationship between modernity and culture produced by nationalist discourse in the non-Western world has implied the linking of women with the cultural and the authentic. Feminisms in Asia were first aligned with and then critical of nationalism; while they raised the question of culture, they also tended to see it as antithetical to modernity of which feminism was a part. Therefore, in order to ask the culture question in all its complexity - so that it becomes part of the investigation of our modernity rather than lying outside of it - there has to be a re-complication of the ways in which gender perspectives deal with culture.
The course will ask what valency the existing conceptual legacies have as we are confronted with unprecedented changes in the way gender is being thematised across the social domain. We have selected three aspects of that domain – work, sexuality, religion/custom – through which to explore the new analytical frameworks feminists across Asia are putting forward.
Revisiting and rethinking the relationship between the concepts Gender and Culture might show how to reconfigure both our theory and our politics, and give us a new basis for knowledge production by opening up new objects of enquiry and new terrains of investigation.
Course format: The course will run for 5 days, 10 am to 5 pm. Mornings will be devoted to instructor presentations and discussion of required readings. Afternoons will be for group activities and question sessions. Face-to-face instruction will be supplemented by online work on the CSCS Moodle platform. All course readings are available on this platform, and students will get their login details on enrolment.
For details and reading list, please see: http://www.cscs.res.in/courses_folder/courses.2011-12-09.3191238867/papers.2011-12-09.7969277784
3. Course Title: Researching Human Rights: Contemporary Challenges
Course Instructor: Sitharamam Kakarala
Dates: March 10-11; 24-25; April 14-15, 10am to 5pm;
Mode: Intensive Workshops
Human Rights is the idea of 20th century. Probably there are very few other concepts that shaped the intellectual as well as institutional histories of our times as human rights did, and has been doing, since the beginning of 20th century. The enormous growth in the institutional and legal frameworks and standard setting processes, huge volumes of court litigation at the local, national and international levels, and the social movement action process before and after these settings created a vast archive of action and reflection that sustained academic programmes in many a western university for the last few decades. In India, over the last 15 years there have been concerted efforts in ‘teaching’ human rights in the universities. Though not yet sufficiently curricularised, except in a quantitative way (there are many universities, colleges and law schools now teaching human rights as a subject), human rights as a theme has gained currency over the last few decades. A critical problem in ‘teaching’ human rights in India is lack of teachable ‘local’ materials. An important source of that vacuum is lack of serious research in the field. Though human rights has widespread currency in the social context, exploring its uses, meaning and potential in the life of Indian democracy is still a long way to go. This course is an attempt at creating an appetiser towards that task!
The course will be taught in intensive workshops mode. There will be three week-end workshops spread over 6 weeks beginning 10th of March 2012. The workshops require serious reading and active participation from all the course participants. The materials will be provided in advance in digital form. The course will have a series of shorter assignments in lieu of a term paper.
For details and reading list, please see: http://cscs.res.in/courses_folder/courses.2011-12-09.3191238867/papers.2011-12-09.9942523539
4. Course Title: Woman and Mental Illness: Clinical-Cultural Histories
Course Instructor: P.Radhika
Dates: Mid-May (dates to be announced)
Undoubtedly the ‘mad woman’ has been an important subject and trope within clinical and cultural imaginations in the West. These imaginations have been extensively documented and theorised within scholarship: Michel Foucault’s seminal work showed the eighteenth century as a period of the pathologisation of madness, bringing it under the purview of medicine (1965); Elaine Showalter argues that madness emerges as a ‘female malady’ in 19th century within the medical and cultural realms—be it the ‘Ophelias’ of Shakespeare or the ‘Augustines’ of the neurologist Charcot (1985). In response to the discourse of pathology, there have been attempts to ‘retrieve’ the ‘mad woman’ and ‘restore’ her subjectivity by both women writers (Gilman 1899; Plath 1971, 1981) and feminist critics (Gilbert and Gubar 1980; Showalter 1985). These critiques suggest that the medical and cultural realms have constructed her if not in oppositional, then definitely in divergent ways. As against the discourse surrounding the ‘mad woman’ in the West, the questions that the course will ask are: How do we understand the construction of the ‘mad woman’ in post-colonial contexts like India, given that such a category was beginning to be thought of with the establishment of ‘lunatic asylums’ in the mid-eighteenth century. Was there a similar or different production of the ‘mad’ subject here? What were the narratives around her that were beginning to be written, both in the clinical and cultural realms?
The course will specifically look at the region of Princely Mysore State that houses a mental health institute (the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, better known as NIMHANS) that goes back to the 1832 and where medicalisation of psychiatry begins in the late 19th-early 20th century. It will inquire into the trajectory of psychiatry in NIMHANS that shaped the imagination of and practice of mental health in India given that NIMHANS was chosen as the national institute that set up the first post-graduate training in psychiatry. Mysore is specially interesting for producing a remarkable set of popular cultural texts—novels by Triveni in the 1950s and cinema directed by Puttanna Kanagal in the 1970s—revolving around women with 'psychological disorders' that are not only central to a Kannada cultural imaginary but show an alternate entry point to understanding the ‘mad woman’.
The course raises conceptual issues of how to think woman, mental health and mental illness today and arrive at methodologies to address clinical and cultural representations. The course might include a few guest lectures. The course will be conducted in 3 modules over a period of 3 weeks. The entire course credit is 2. Participants have the option of taking a combination of any 2 modules, amounting to 1 credit.
For reading list and detailed schedule, please see: http://www.cscs.res.in/courses_folder/courses.2011-12-09.3191238867/papers.2011-12-09.1560398793
1. Course Title: Stars at Work
Course Instructor: S.V. Srinivas
Film stars are a ubiquitous presence in Indian public life today. While all film industries in the world create and are dependent on stars to reach audiences, in the Indian context they have been a visible presence in politics as well. This course examines how stars are produced by cultural industries, how they work in films and the world at large. Students will be introduced to discussions on stardom in the disciplines of film theory, sociology and political science. The general features of stardom will be illustrated with the help of examples from Indian and non-Indian film industries and cultures. Case studies from Bombay and South Indian cinemas will be analysed.
The objective of the course is provide a conceptual-critical tool-kit to journalists, art practitioners, cultural critics, college/university teachers, academic researchers and creative industry managers, who encounter stars in their line of work. Participants will be required to make brief presentations and take active part in classroom discussions. They are encouraged to bring to class films and other material relevant to the course. Assessment will be on the basis of a mini-research study undertaken by participants. Saturdays 10-1.
For specific course related enquiries write to
2. Course Title: Language and Death in the Epoch of Politics
Course Instructor: Milind Wakankar
Does reticence necessarily entail a form of withdrawal from action? Are there traditions of silence that nonetheless do not leave unheeded the call of politics? The course seeks to imagine a subject of silence beyond will and community, but one that is prior both to individual (spiritual) repose and to self-empowerment.
1. Basic Concepts Hegel, Section on Determinate Being, Science of Logic; Eugen Fink, Selection from Metaphysics and Death; Michel de Certeau, Mystic Fable; Andre Padoux, Vac; Heidegger,' Language in the Poem: A Discussion on Georg Trakl's Poetic Work’;
2. Traditions of Silence:Selections from The Millenium Kabir Vani; Dnyaneswara, Anubhavamruta and Chhangeopasasti; Rosenzweig, The Star of Redemption; Benjamin, Origin of the German Mourning Play; Peter Szondi, Essay on the Tragic;
3. Death and Alterity:Five Sessions on Agamben, Language and Death, juxtaposed with Levinas, Otherwise than Being and Beyond Essence.
For specific course related enquiries write to
Registration for Courses
The courses can be taken individually or in combination. The fees for a 14-week course (approx 42 hours) will be Rs.6000/- only.
Participants can convert course credits retroactively to earn a Diploma in Culture and Contemporary Systems (8 credits required at 2 credits per 14-week course).
To Apply: Applicants should send an email to with “Registration: 2011 CSCS Open-mural Course” as Subject. They should mention which course/s they wish to be enrolled in and send in their CV. There is no minimum qualification required.Only applicants who wish to enrol in four 14-week courses to subsequently earn a diploma need to credential their post-graduation. Such applicants should send in a copy of their PG marks-card along with their CV.