Undergraduate Course: South Asian Public Culture: Keywords (SCAN10071)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The course will be informed by the existing concerns in the anthropology of South Asia but focuses on areas largely neglected by it, thereby providing students with a firm understanding of key contemporary debates in the study of South Asian public culture. Introducing major themes through critical and current ethnographic work, this course focuses on the tangible public forms that global cultural flows, political economies and social formations take. This emphasis on contemporary public culture allows a concrete consideration of abstract and changing social and cultural forces that define the region.
This course aims to provide students with a solid understanding of important contemporary debates in the study of South Asian public culture. Introducing key themes through critical and current ethnographic work, this course focuses on the tangible public forms that global cultural flows, political economies and social formations take. This emphasis on contemporary public culture allows a concrete consideration of abstract and changing social and cultural forces that define the region. The course will be informed by the existing concerns in the anthropology of South Asia but focuses on areas largely neglected by it. Inspired by Raymond Williams┐ ┐keywords┐ approach to culture and society, this course examines the subcontinent from unexpected and innovative angles by gathering key ethnographic readings under conceptual keywords to be explored empirically and theoretically.
Indicative keywords and topics (flexible and subject to change in the light of current events):
* Indicative reading: Appadurai, Arjun and Carol A. Breckenridge. 1988a. Editor┐s Comment. Public Culture 1(1): 1-4.
* Indicative reading: Dadi, Iftekar. 2007. Political Posters in Karachi 1988-1999. South Asian Popular Culture 5(1): 11 ┐ 30.
* Indicative reading: Ali, Kamran Asdar. 2005 Strength of the State meets the Strength of the Street: The 1972 labor struggle in Karachi. International Journal of Middle East Studies 37: 83-107.
* Indicative reading: Mazzarella, William. 2006. Internet X-Ray: E-Governance, Transparency, and the Politics of Immediation in India. Public Culture 18(3): 472-505.
* Indicative reading: Cohen, Lawrence. 1995. The Pleasures of Castration: the Postoperative Status of Hijras, Jankhas, and Academics, in Sexual Nature, Sexual Culture, P. Abramson and S. Pinkerton, eds. pp. 276-304. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
* Indicative reading: Verkaaik, Oskar. 2004. Migrants and Militants: Fun and Urban Violence in Pakistan. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
* Indicative reading: Guha-Thakurta, Tapati . 2007. ┐Our Gods, Their Museums┐: The Contrary Careers of India┐s Art Objects. Art History 30(4): 628-657.
* Indicative reading: Freitag, Sandria B. 2001. Visions of the Nation: Theorizing the Nexus between Creation, Consumption, and Participation in the Public Sphere. In Rachel Dwyer and Christopher Pinney (eds.). Pleasure and the Nation: The History, Politics and Consumption of Public Culture in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Pp. 35-75.
* Indicative reading: Khan, Naveeda. 2006. Flaws in the flow: Roads and their modernity in Pakistan. Social Text 89: 87-113.
* Indicative reading: Osella, F and Osella C. 2000. Migration, Money and Masculinity in Kerala. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 6(1): 117-133.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Have a thorough understanding of key debates in the anthropology of South Asia and South Asian public culture
- Have a solid grip on sophisticated theoretical approaches to South Asian ethnography
- Understand how important anthropological themes crystallize in contemporary ethnographic explorations of the region.
- Learn to approach South Asia theoretically and empirically as an integrated socio-cultural and historical space, rather than as made up of radically separated nation-states.
- Develop the ability to identify and characterise key approaches from social anthropology, from other social science disciplines, and from interdisciplinary fields like cultural studies and science and technology studies to understanding and evaluating issues concerning South Asian public culture, and identify advantages, problems and implications of these approaches.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Jacob Copeman
Tel: (0131 6)50 6860
|Course secretary||Miss Lauren Ayre
Tel: (0131 6)50 4001