Bombay or Mumbai is India’s foremost urban center and is well known today as a truly global city. It is the heart of India’s commercial life comparable in vibrancy and multiculturalism with the world’s emerging cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo.
What are the historical elements that contributed to the making of India’s most modern and global metropolis? What are the antecedents of the modernity, the vibrant culture, dark underbelly and economic diversity that characterize Bombay today? What does the history of Bombay tell us about modernity in India and the emerging countries of the third world in general?
This seminar will help students to answer these questions through historical materials on Bombay as well a wide range of multimedia sources including cinema, photography and literature. With a focus on the 19th and 20th centuries, we will explore themes like the commercial culture of a colonial port city, the modern public sphere, theatre and film, labor migration, public health and prostitution to understand what went into the making of this modern metropolis.
The primary objective of this course is to introduce students to a wide range of historical sources and ways of interpreting them. The other objective is facilitating their understanding of the history of modern India through the history of its most important city.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
assessment will be based on class participation and weekly written responses to readings (2 pages), 2-3 short papers (4-5 pages), leading to an oral presentation and final paper (10-12 pages). All writing assignments are structured to build up the final paper.
First years and sophomores only
first-years, and then sophomores who have not previously taken a 100-level seminar
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
Weekly reading response (2 pages), several short papers leading to a final research paper. Peer reviews and instructor feedback of all written work to improve writing skills and opportunities to write several drafts.
GBST South + Southeast Asia Studies Electives
GBST Urbanizing World Electives
HIST Group B Electives - Asia