Not available in 2019/20
AN467 Half Unit
The Anthropology of South Asia
This information is for the 2019/20 session.
Dr Mukulika Banerjee OLD 5.09
This course is available on the MSc in Anthropology and Development, MSc in Anthropology and Development Management, MSc in Social Anthropology and MSc in Social Anthropology (Religion in the Contemporary World). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
This course will aim to address issues of citizenship, inequality and social justice, religious faith and practices, migration and labour and consumption patterns in rural and urban South Asia. The course will cover both classic and current literature and weekly sessions will be organised thematically. We will start by looking at the history of South Asia's democracies and consider the challenges posed to them. South Asia is an ideal setting to examine many paradoxes that exist elsewhere - alongside some of the highest rates of economic growth there is growing inequality, there is a growing middle class but high rates of precarious poverty, the countries remain largely rural yet they will hold the largest urban population in the world in less than ten years and so on. In order to understand these paradoxes, it is essential that issues of macro economic policy, social inequality, infrastructural development, political mobilisation and popular culture, mobilisation along religious lines in each country and the rise of the 'threatened majorities' that behave like minority populations - be examined in greater detail. Using a rich body of anthropological research on South Asia, this course will examine several of these issues and more in this course. The literature on India is the largest available but every attempt will be made to cover the anthropological literature on Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh alongside.
All these issues and more will be addressed in this course through the rich corpus of anthropological literature on the subject alongside examples from India’s vibrant media and popular culture.
10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT.
Attendance at film screenings are essential for this course. Sessions will be scheduled at the start of term for a weekday evening (3 hours). The course has a reading week in Week 6 of the LT.
Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.
Please do at least TWO of the following background reading before the start of the course and certainly by the end of the second week of the course.
Sunil Khilnani The Idea of India
Ramachandra Guha India After Gandhi
Sen The Argumentative Indian
Corbridge, S. and Harris, J. 2000, Reinventing India: Liberalization, Hindu Politics and Popular Democracy. London: Polity Press
Rana Dasgupta Capital
Vikram Seth A Suitable Boy
Rohington Mistry A Fine Balance
Take home exam (100%) in April.
Total students 2018/19: 10
Average class size 2018/19: 12
Controlled access 2018/19: No
Value: Half Unit