REL 246 Fall 2014 India's Identities: Religion, Caste, and Gender (D) (W)

Cross Listed as ANTH246, ASST246, WGSS246
This course considers India's contradictory legacy as a booming Asian democracy and fragile society built upon deep and enduring divisions. India's rapidly growing populace and landscape is often described in terms of multiple identities or fragmenting oppositions: Hindu/Muslim, rich/poor, high caste/outcaste, male/female, and so forth. This course deconstructs the historic roots and ongoing causal factors that produce structural violence against women and religious minorities in modern India. It highlights the social practices that have produced critical axes of difference around the themes of religion, gender, and sexuality using key moments or regions of India as points of departure. It contrasts the explosive effects of religion, gender, and caste during the tragedy of Partition with the ongoing production of communal and gender-based violence in India today, using Kashmir and New Delhi as microcosms for our study. We will consider the ways that multiple subjectivities and polarized identities intersect with individual agency to produce a social landscape of hierarchy and conflict across India today. We are also interested in the socio-cultural forces that reproduce or shore up these binaries as much as third terms or middle paths that attempt to transcend or diffuse them. For instance, we explore the ways that Buddhism is and is not a middle way between Hindu/Muslim conflict in Indian Kashmir and how the notion of a third sex is and is not a middle term that transcends the gender binary of male/female. Course resources include ethnographic and sociological analyses, oral histories, and popular media that complicate our understanding India's diverse and fragmented society. This course fulfills the Exploring Diversity Initiative by theorizing the ways that difference has been used to effect profound historical, social, and individual changes in the Indian subcontinent.
Class Format: tutorial
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly writing assignments and tutorial attendance every week
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: majors in Anthropology and Sociology, Religion, Asian Studies, or Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies
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Divisional Attributes: Division II,Exploring Diversity, Writing Intensive
Other Attributes: INST South + Southeast Asia Studies Electives,PHLH Bioethics + Interpretations of Health,REL South Asian Traditions Courses, WGSS Racial Sexual + Cultural Diversity Courses
Enrollment Limit: 10
Expected Enrollment: 10
Class Number: 1751
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER ENRL CONSENT
REL 246 - T1 (F) TUT India's Identities (D) (W) Division 2: Social StudiesExploring Diversity InitiativeWriting Intensive Kim Gutschow
TBA 1751
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