The course focuses on studying culture in Modern India. Drawing upon theoretical materials and insights from the fields of Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, Sociology and Anthropology the course proposes to build an understanding of the concept of culture and its relation to the concepts of power and social formations. The focus on Modern India will be developed through an emphasis on caste and gender. In this the course addresses two issues: the shits and transformations in the cultural formations and their constituent agents and the representation of caste and gender in cultural forms, especially in music, theatre, other performance forms and literature. At another level the course aims to develop methods of ‘textual’ analysis as the primary mode of understanding cultural forms and using archival and ethnographic material as for enhanced understanding of textual analysis.
The course will be divided into the following main units
1. Colonial period: Emergence of new cultural forms, issues in tradition and modernity, shifts in the agents of cultural forms, issues of appropriation and exclusion, processes of classicization, cultural nationalism and radical cultural movements.
2. Contemporary cultural formations: Issues in post colonial period, making of the nation and its problematization, emergence of identity formations, political and cultural resignification, feminist interventions and emergence of the studies of popular culture.
The attempt will be to develop teaching units that juxtapose the contemporary with the past for developing an understanding of ‘tradition’, history, genealogy and the archive.
The first two weeks of the course will focus on acquiring the skills for analyzing cultural practices and arriving at basic and working definitions of the three concepts in the title.
After two weeks the course will require to watch/read or listen to a sample of a cultural practice and read theoretical and informative material to build an understanding of how studying cultural practices allow us to understand and study caste and gender in Modern India.