This course seeks to equip students from the humanities and especially the social sciences with methods which they might fruitfully deploy when engaging with problems related to culture. The course is made up of four units . The first comprises a set of readings that engage with one of the central problems in the analysis of modern culture : the deeply ambiguous role of technology in the production of culture . The second unit will address another cultural effect of modern capitalism – its capacity to produce desire. The third and fourth sections focus on recent methodological breakthroughs that have unfolded in the key domains of women’s and post-colonial studies.
Unit 1: Culture and Industrial Capitalism
Theodor Adorno, ‘Culture Industry Reconsidered’ in The Culture Industry – selected essays on mass culture. Edited and with an introduction by J. M. Bernstein, London, Routledge, 1991, pp. 98-106.
Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility ” in Walter Benjamin, Selected Writing 1935- 1938 , Harvard University Press, 2002,pp 101-134
Unit 2: Desire of the insubstantial
Marx, “On the fetishism of commodities” From Capital Vol. 1, Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 4.
Freud ,“Fetishism” from the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud . J. Strachey tras. Hogarth Press, pp 147-57
Jean Baudrillard,The System of Objects Verso, 1966
Unit 3: Gendering Cultural Studies
Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century” in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. Routledge: New York, 1991, 149-181.
Gloria Anzaldua, "How To Tame a Wild Tongue." in Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. Aunt Lute Books: San Francisco. 1999, 75-86.
bell hooks, “Gangsta culture" in We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity. Routledge: New York, 2004, 15-31.
Linda Zerelli, "We Feel Our Freedom': Imagination and Judgment in the Thought of Hannah Arendt" Political Theory 33, No. 2 (April 2005): 158-188.
Moira Weigel" Further Materials Towards A Theory of The Man Child" The New Inquiry. July 9, 2013.
Wendy Brown, "Freedom and the Plastic Cage." in States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity. Princeton University Press; New York. 1995, 3-29.
Unit 4: Post-colonial Cultural Studies
Gayatri Chakraborty Spivak, "Moving Devi" in Other Asias. Blackwell Publishing: Oxford, 2003, 178-208.
Rajeswari Sunderajan, “The Ameena Case” in The Scandal Of The State: Women: Law and Citizenship in the Postcolonial State. Duke University Press; Durham, 2003, 45-71.
Dipesh Chakraborty, “Of Garbage, Modernity and the Citizen's Gaze." in Habitations of Modernity: Essays in The Wake of Subaltern Studies. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 2002, 65-79. 17
Bill Ashcroft, “Sugar and slavery” in MSF Dias ed. Legacies of Slavery: Comparative Perspectives. Cambridge Scholars Publishing: Newcastle, UK, 2008, 108-125.
Evaluation in this course will be continuous and conducted throughout the semester. The object of evaluation will be to test a student’s knowledge of the material taught through the course and the development of her analytical, critical and writing abilities. A final grade will be awarded on the basis of written presentations in seminars, participation in seminars and a 2,000 words term paper to be submitted at the end of the course. The course instructor may also set a short written examination to test the student’s knowledge of the texts taught.