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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 identities. 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.
Course description This course provides a way into understanding twentieth century South Asian history through the medium of cinema. In addition to entertainment value cinema has been used as a vehicle to explore and interrogate political, social, cultural and economic phenomenon. Broad themes such as identities based on religion, caste, gender and region will be examined as well as conflict over socio-economic inequalities and political power. 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 main aim of this course is to examine the historical evolution of the silver screen and invites students to consider the variety of 'cinemas' in South Asia: art-house, commercial, regional and national. These cinemas will be used to study the nature of social change and reflect upon historical processes in South Asian society across the colonial and post independent periods.
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 **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. Demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Erik Barnouw and S. Krishnaswamy, Indian Film 1980, New Delhi: OUP
Mihir Bose, Bollywood: A History (Stroud: Tempus Publishing Ltd., 2006)
Bhagwan Das Garga, So Many Cinemas (Bombay: Eminence Designs, 1996)
Mushtaq Gazdaa, Pakistan Cinema (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997)
K. Moti Gokulsing and Wimal Dissanayake, Indian Popular Cinema: A Narrative of Cultural Change (London: Trentham Books, 1998 and 2002 revised edition)
Subhash K. Jha, The Essential Guide to Bollywood (Varanasi: Lustre Press, 2005) Lalit Mohan Joshi (ed.), Bollywood: Popular Indian Cinema (London: Dakini Ltd, 2001)
Nasreen Munni Kabir, Bollywood: The Indian Cinema Story (London: Channel 4 and Pan Macmillan, 2001)
Nasreen Munni Kabir, Bollywood Dreams: An Exploration of the Motion Picture Industry and Its Culture in India (London: Phaidon Press, 2003)
Dinesh Raheja and Jitendra Kothari, Indian Cinema: the Bollywood Saga (London: Aurum Press, 2004)
Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen, Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1994)
Firoze Rangoonwalla, A Pictorial History of Indian Cinema (London: Hamlyn, 1979)
Paul Willemen and Behroze Gandhy, Indian Cinema - BFI Dossier No 5 (London: BFI Publishing, 1980)
Rosenstone, Robert A. (2006) History on film/ film on history. In series: History: concepts, theories and practice, ed. Alun Munslow. Harlow: Pearson Education
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 3775
Course secretaryMs Marie-Therese Talensby
Tel: (0131 6)50 3780
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