REL 246
India's Identities: Reproducing the Nation,Community and Individual Fall 2017 Division II; Writing-Intensive; Exploring Diversity Initiative; Cross-listed as ANTH246 / ASST246 / WGSS246 / REL246
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This course considers India’s contradictory legacy as a booming Asian democracy and fragile society built upon deep and enduring divisions. Why is India’s growing population so often described in terms of multiple identities or fragmenting oppositions — Hindu/Muslim, rich/poor, high caste/outcaste, male/female? What are the historic roots and ongoing causes that produce structural violence around these axes of difference? We pay particular attention to key moments (Partition, communal riots in Gujarat in 2003, Hyderabad in 1990, Delhi in 1984), and places (Punjab, Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir) for our analysis of how religion, gender, and caste intersect to produce a landscape of communal violence, social hierarchy, and fragmented subjectivity in India today. We are as interested in discourses and practices that shore up these binaries as well as the third terms that attempt to transcend or diffuse them. For instance, we look at how Buddhism is and is not a middle path between Hindu/Muslim conflict in Indian Kashmir. Our course readings include ethnographic, sociological, and historical analyses, as well as oral histories and popular media. This course fulfills the Exploring Diversity Initiative by theorizing the ways that difference has been used to effect profound historical & social changes in India.
The Class: Type: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1330
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly writing assignments and tutorial attendance every week
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: majors in Anthropology and Sociology, Religion, Asian Studies, or Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Distributions: Division II; Writing-Intensive; Exploring Diversity Initiative;
Attributes: GBST South + Southeast Asia Studies Electives; PHLH Bioethics + Interpretations of Health; WGSS Racial Sexual + Cultural Diversity Courses

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