81962 - INTELLECTUAL HISTORY OF COLONIAL AND POST-COLONIAL SOUTH ASIA (1) (LM)

Scheda insegnamento

Anno Accademico 2020/2021

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

Students will acquire high-level knowledge of intellectual transformations and history of thought in modern and contemporary South Asia, specifically during the colonial and post-colonial period. Students will know in depth the issue of religious and social reforms and recognize the main theoretical positions emerged in the current debate on the historiographical and anthropological representation of the development of South Asian society. Students are also able to properly communicate in written and /or oral form what they learned, using appropriate bibliography in view of further original research.

Contenuti

The course aims to provide students with the notions (in the fields of Indology, History, Religious Studies and Anthropology) indispensable for critically analyzing South Asian Intellectual History in colonial and post-colonial times.

The course will deal with the following subjects:

- Discourse on religion and religious conflicts in colonial and postcolonial India. The paradigm of religious and social reform (Rammohan Roy). New canonizations of ancient texts. Religious controversy, apologetics, and "constructive orientalism". Dharma and religion in colonial India. From religious modernization to the assertion of the cultural superiority of Hinduism: Bankim, Tilak, Vivekananda, Aurobindo. Universalism, tolerance, inclusivism in the self-representation of Neo-hinduism (Radhakrishnan, Theosophy). Religious truth and secularism in the thought of Gandhi, Savarkar and the ideology of Hindutva).

- The debate on historiography in post-colonial India (Subaltern Studies, Marxist Historiography, Nationalistic Historiography).

- The criticism of "secularism" in postcolonial India.

- Representations of social marginality in contemporary South Asia.

Additional subjects will be proposed and selected after discussion with the students, for example:

- Religions in the Constitution of the Indian Union.

- Exit from Hinduism: the case of Ambedkar.

- Communal clashes and religious fundamentalism in contemporary India.

- The "Renaissance paradigm" in Bengal

- Representations of Europe in colonial and postcolonial India.

- Aesthetics in colonial India.

 

Provisional weekly schedule:

Week 1: The paradigm of religious and social reform (Rammohan Roy). New canonizations of ancient texts. Religious controversy, apologetics, and "constructive orientalism". Dharma and religion in colonial India.

Week 2: From religious modernization to the assertion of the cultural superiority of Hinduism. Universalism, tolerance, inclusivism in the self-representation of Neo-hinduism.

Week 3: Religious truth and secularism in the thought of Gandhi, Savarkar and the ideology of Hindutva. (Exit from Himduism: the case of Ambedkar)

Week 4: The debate on historiography in post-colonial India (Subaltern Studies, Marxist Historiography, Nationalistic Historiography)

Week 5: Representations of social marginality in contemporary South Asia. Dalits and tribals in contemporary political debates.

 

 

Testi/Bibliografia

[Please, note:
Students who are not familiar with Indology and Indian History should read Trautmann, T.R., India : brief history of a civilization, New York ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2011, which provides a good introduction].

Reading list
1) Halbfass, W., India and Europe. An Essay in Philosophical Understanding, Albany: S.U.N.Y. Press, 1988 (only chapters 12, 13, 14, 16, 17 and 18).

2) Chakrabarty, D., Provincializing Europe. Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference, Princeton ; Oxford : Princeton University Press, 2000 (only chapter 4).

3) One text to be selected among:

- 3a) Kaviraj, S., The unhappy consciousness: Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay and the formation of nationalist discourse in India,
Delhi [etc.] : Oxford University Press, 1995.

- 3b) Ahmad, A., In theory : classes, nations, literatures,
London ; New York : Verso, 1994.

- 3c) Sartori, A., Bengal in global concept history: culturalism in the age of capital, Chicago and London : The University of Chicago press, 2008.

In the "flipped classrooms" part of the course students will be expected to read directly some sources and some brief essays, to be selected after discussion with the teacher.

 

Reading list for

Students who do not attend class work:

1) Halbfass, W., India and Europe. An Essay in Philosophical Understanding, Albany: S.U.N.Y. Press, 1988 (only chapters 12, 13, 14, 16, 17 and 18).

2) Chakrabarty, D., Provincializing Europe. Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference, Princeton ; Oxford : Princeton University Press, 2000 (Introduction and Chapter 4).

3) One text to be selected among:

- 3a) Kaviraj, S., The unhappy consciousness: Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay and the formation of nationalist discourse in India,
Delhi [etc.] : Oxford University Press, 1995.

- 3b) Sartori, A., Bengal in global concept history: culturalism in the age of capital, Chicago and London : The University of Chicago press, 2008.

 

Metodi didattici

The course consists of A) taught classes and B) "flipped classrooms" teaching (with students expected to read a selection of texts at home and to participate in a classroom discussion (under the teacher's guidance).

Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Students who attend at least 75% of the lessons are considered to be attending.

Oral examination, with a simultaneous discussion of a short essay (max. 10,000 characters) produced by the student on a topic selected in agreement with the teacher.

The exam interview starts from a brief discussion of the short essay. Two questions follow: a general one on colonial or posto-colonial history of South Asia, and a question relating to intellectual history. The assessment takes into account the strength of the preparation, the student's ability to critically deal with methodological problems, the clarity and the ability to use appropriate scientific terminology.

Grading is based primarily on an assessment of the student's preparation, but will also take into account her/his ability of analysis and synthesis, clarity in both written and oral exposition, and use of an appropriate language.

More specifically:

  • An comprehensive vision of the topics dealt with in the course, the capacity for their critical analysis, and the use of a precise and appropriate terminology, will be evaluated with excellent to good marks;
  • A good / acceptable, but not in-depth knowledge of the subject, a limited ability in elaborating a synthesis and in producing an analysis, a use of an acceptable but not always accurate language, will be evaluated with marks ranging form mere pass level to average;
  • The lack of knowledge of the topics dealt with, the lack of preparation in elaborating analysis and synthesis, the use of inaccurate terminology and the lack of familiarity with the course bibliography, will lead to the failure to pass the examination.

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Saverio Marchignoli