|No. Of Credits
Semester and Year Offered: Winter
Course Coordinator and Team: Dr Rajan Krishnan
Email of course coordinator: rajan[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in
The course seeks to introduce to the students of masters/ research program in SCCE and the university certain key critical texts on major conceptual axes of the contemporary world, namely capitalism, colonialism, modernity and nationalism. The key thematic issues of post-colonial nationalism and capitalist modernity impinge on every conceivable human activity and hence are linked to all disciplinary formations. Hence the course is offered as an elective to all MA students.
The course basically prompts the question of what are the defining characteristics of contemporary times? What constitutes and determines life today as against a transcendental notion of a human life? In responding to the prompted question the course uncovers four axes of historical lineage in which the contemporary life is situated.
The course consists of four modules. The module on capitalism discusses the historical origins, key anthropological elements and certain basic tenets from the works of Blaut, Marx and Giovanni Arrighi; the module on colonialism reads Edward Said’s formulations in the key text of Orientalism, Frantz Fanon and David Scot to discuss colonial and post-colonial difference; the module on modernity covers the writings of Dipesh Chakravarthy, Timothy Mitchel and Bruno Latour; the last module on nationalism will just carefully read selected passages from Benedict Anderson and Partha Chatterjee.
The objective is to create an awareness of the historical context of contemporary life.
Brief description of modules/ Main modules:
Lineages of the Contemporary
It is a four module course each running for 3 or 4 weeks each. ONLY SELECTIONS FROM THE TEXTS INDICATED WILL BE NECESSARY READINGS AND NOT THE WHOLE BOOKS.
Module 1: Capitalism
Blaut, James M. 1492 : the debate on colonialism, Eurocentrism, and history
Marx: Grundrisse, Capital Volume I Chapter 1/ Ellen Melkins Wood, Origin of Capitalism
Giovanni Arrighi: Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power and the Origins of our Time
Module 2: Colonialism
Edward Said, Orientalism.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks
David Scot, Refashioning Futures
Module 3: Modernity
Dipesh Chakravarthy, Habitations of Modernity / Hardt & Negri – Empire
Timothy Mitchell, Introduction, Questions of Modernity
Bruno Latour, We have never been Modern
Module 4: Nationalism
Benedict Anderson, Imagined Community
Partha Chatterjee, Nationalist Thought in the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse
Assessment Details with weights:
See module description above.