Postgraduate Course: Cinema and Society in South Asia, 1947-Present (PGHC11358)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||As the largest and most popular medium in South Asia, cinema occupies a central place in the lives of most people. This course seeks to examine the economic, social, cultural, and political forces that shaped the development of the cinema industry in post-colonial South Asia from independence to the present day. In addition to tracing changes in the production and exhibition of films, broader themes of political culture, corporate corruption, inequality and social tension based around gender, caste, religion, region as well as transnational/global South Asian cinema will be addressed. Key films covering each decade since independence will be examined in order to analyse social change in a post-colonial context. The focus will extend beyond mainstream commercial cinema to take in the emergence of art house/new wave cinematic forms, and regional cinema. An interdisciplinary approach will form an important aspect of the delivery but the fundamental question of the place of history in film and how this popular visual medium has dealt with historical themes and events will be the core guiding principles underpinning our approach. Methodological issues concerning the uses, value and drawbacks of film for the historian will be addressed.
The focus in the course will be on the manner in which contemporary South Asian history has been characterized in film form. Post-colonial cinema has depicted conflicts between modernity and tradition. It has also provided a forum to comment on, and perhaps reflect, changing concepts of regional, religious, caste and class identity and the development of modern nationalism in the postcolonial context. The main objective is to examine how and why film has been used to this end and to consider possible consequences, which have resulted. The course will develop an understanding of the changing relationship between cinema and the wider society in South Asia and foster a critical awareness of theories, methodologies and concepts used by historians arising from the use of visual sources to the study of modern South Asia.
This course will examine the development of South Asia as a region since independence, with particular emphasis on social change in a post-colonial context. Films will be used to examine the trajectory of South Asian society in the recent past. This source material will be complemented with literary sources and major historical works on post-colonial societies.
1. The 1940s: Do Bigha Zamin - nation-building and the poor
2. The 1950s: Mother India - women in the construction of the nation
3. The 1960s: Saat Hindustani - the unification of India and assertion of communal harmony
4. The 1970s: Sholay - persistent inequality and the growth of grass roots discontent:
5. The New Wave in India Cinema: Ray and his successors
6. The 1980s: (name film) student movements of the left
7. The 1990s: Bombay ¿ communal conflict and the rise of Hindu nationalism
8. Regional Cinema: Tamil, Telugu and Maratha film (name film)
9. Regional Cinema: Tamil, Telugu and Maratha film (name film)
10. Indian cinema in the 21st century: Kutch, Kutch Hota Hai ¿ the diasporic turn
11. Popular interpretations of Democracy and Corruption in contemporary Indian Politics: Rajneeti and Peepli Live
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
| After successfully completing the course, students will be able to demonstrate:
*An advanced understanding of the uses of cinema as a primary source for understanding social change in South Asia
* A critical appreciation of the contribution of sources, both literary and filmic, to an understanding of cinema's development over time.
*Awareness of the major historiographical debates and themes in the study of post-colonial South Asia
*Ability to analyse independently historical evidence
*To develop an understanding of the changing relationship between cinema and the wider society through the period.
|Carnes, Mark C. (ed.) (1995) Past imperfect: history according to the movies. New York: Hold and Company.|
Chapman, James and Nicholas J. Cull (2009) Projecting empire; imperialism and popular cinema. London: I.B. Tauris.
Custen, George F. (1992) Bio/pics: How Hollywood constructed public history. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
Guynn, William (2006) Writing history in film. London: Routledge.
Landy, Marcia (1996) Cinematic Uses of the Past . Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Landy, Marcia (ed.) (2001) The historical film: history and memory in media. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press,
Ricoeur, Paul (2004) Memory, history, forgetting. Trans Kathleen Blamey and David Pellauer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Rosen, Philip (2001) Change mummified: cinema, historicity, theory. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press.
Rosenstone, Robert A. (1995) Visions of the past: the challenge of film to our idea of history. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Rosenstone, Robert A. (2006) History on film/ film on history. In series: History: concepts, theories and practice, ed. Alun Munslow. Harlow: Pearson Education.
Toplin, Robert Brent (2009) History by Hollywood. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
¿ Adorno, Theodor (2001). The Culture Industry, London: Routledge.
¿ Banaji, Shakuntala (2006) Reading ¿Bollywood¿: the young audience and Hindi films. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
¿ Chakravarty, Sumita S. (1996). National identity in Indian popular cinema 1947-1987, Delhi: Oxford University Press.
¿ Desai, Jigna (2004). Beyond Bollywood: The cultural Politics of South Asian Diasporic Film, New York: Routledge.
¿ Dudrah, Rajinder K. (2002). Vilayati Bollywood: Popular Hindi Cinema- Going and Diasporic South Asian Identity In Birmingham (UK), Javnost ,1,19-36.
¿ Dwyer, Rachel (2005) One hundred Bollywood films. London: British Film Institute/Berkeley: University of California Press/New Delhi: Roli Books.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||Cinema Society South Asia
|Course organiser||Dr Talat Ahmed
Tel: (0131 6)50 3762
|Course secretary||Mrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948