Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the sociopolitical and cultural evolution of modern South Asia through the lens of cinema. Going beyond the overwhelming focus on 'Bollywood', it examines the diversity of South Asian cinematic cultures. Through an interdisciplinary perspective that utilises films and literary sources, it highlights theoretical and methodological concerns about history and cinema in a postcolonial, transnational context.
Course description This course explores the making of modern South Asia through the lens of cinema. It examines not just the ways in which cinema mirrors society, but calls on students to think of South Asian cinema itself as politics, as postcoloniality, as modernity, and indeed, as social revolution. It does so through two key points of focus: first, the course goes beyond the overwhelming focus on 'Bollywood', the mainstream Hindi film industry, to highlight the linguistic and regional diversity of South Asian cinematic cultures. Second, even as it provides a chronological history of cinema in postcolonial South Asia, the course is concerned with tracing the hierarchies of caste, class, gender, religion and language that continue to define the role and form of cinema and society.

Each week is structured around a set of films and aided by literary and academic sources that facilitate discussion about a number of diverse themes including the trauma and afterlives of Partition, the experiences of the South Asian diaspora, the question of 'national' and global cinema, the intertwining of cinema and Dravidian politics, the rise of Dalit cinema, and the cinematic gaze over Kashmir/Tibet as a 'territory of desire'. In addition to the focus on cinema, we will also pay attention to documentaries and television dramas. This course therefore examines postcolonial South Asia through a critical, bottom-up approach that views cinema as both subject and archive.
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 Kalathmika Natarajan
Course secretaryMs Cristina Roman
Tel: (0131 6)50 4777
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information