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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: History of South Asian Cinema: 1913-Present (HIST10353)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummarySouth Asian cinema is arguably the largest film industry in the world and as such occupies a central place in the lives of most people. This course enquires into the role played by cinema in shaping social, cultural and political idenitites. Being an examination of the history of the silver screen in South Asia from its inception to the present, it offers students an introduction to a vital aspect of contemporary South Asian culture and is designed to give a coherent overview of the development of cinema within the subcontinent. Tracing the progress of popular cinema from 1913 onward, the course considers the representation of history in film and film in history. It will examine the usage of film as a primary source to interrogate popular culture and the promotion of national narratives/histories through this medium. Key films will be examined in order to document and analyse social change through the colonial and independence periods. The course emerges from course organiser's research interests and fieldwork in India and Pakistan that formed part of the work for my first monograph.
Course description 1. Introduction: historical themes and concepts
2. History in film, Film in History and docu-drama
3. Silent era and early Bombay talkies 1913-1930
4. Neo-realism in cinema 1946-53 nation-building and the poor
5. Post independence commercial cinema 1950s
6. Art House cinema - Bengal new wave/parellel cinema- 1955-59 Apu Trilogy
7. Mother India- women and the construction of nationhood
8. Bombay popular films - Sholay - persistence of social inequalities and corruption
9. Partition and film - history of 'remembering'
10. 'Bollywood' and 21st c. cinema - NRI experience
11. South Asian Diaspora and 'global' cinema - Bend it like Beckham
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
Students who take this course will be able to demonstrate through written coursework, examination and participation in class discussions:
1. An appreciation of the role of film in historical discourse
2. A better understanding of how cinema has reflected and commented on social change in South Asia
3. A critical understanding of principles theories and concepts
4. An enhanced understanding of debates around uses of film and related visual meduim for historical purposes
5. An enriched understanding of the changing relationship between cinema and the wider society through the period
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students wiil acquire an enhanced capacity to:
1. Grapple with complexity and historical argumentation through use of visual medium
2.Integrate material from a range of primary sources to analyse historical events in the making of modern South Asian society
3. A capacity to use theoretical insights to make sense of concrete historical circumstances
4. Improved presentational skills through seminar presentations and essay-writing

KeywordsSouth Asian Cinema
Course organiserDr Talat Ahmed
Tel: (0131 6)50 3762
Course secretaryMs Marie-Therese Rafferty
Tel: (0131 6)50 3780
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