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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Cinema and Society in South Asia, 1947-Present (PGHC11358)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis 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
Course description 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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. An advanced understanding of the uses of cinema as a primary source for understanding social change in South Asia
  2. A critical appreciation of the contribution of sources, both literary and filmic, to an understanding of cinema's development over time
  3. Awareness of the major historiographical debates and themes in the study of post-colonial South Asia
  4. Ability to analyse independently historical evidence
  5. To develop an understanding of the changing relationship between cinema and the wider society through the period.
Reading List
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.

Guynn, William (2006) Writing history in film. London: Routledge.

Landy, Marcia (1996) Cinematic Uses of the Past, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota 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.

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.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsCinema Society South Asia
Course organiserDr Talat Ahmed
Tel: (0131 6)50 3775
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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