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    Massachusetts College of Art and Design
   
 
  Dec 12, 2017
 
 
    
Academic Catalog 2014-2015 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LASS224 Culture, History and Philosophy of India 3 cr.


The course will be highly interdisciplinary and will explore the basic cultural roots of India through the study of a group of writers both ancient and modern. We will start our mental journey with the ancient Indian philosophical text “Isha Upanishad” in translation which is at the root of Indian culture and written by a group of unknown scholars in ancient times. We then come to the medieval India and read “Gita-Govinda” by Jaydeva the legend of Radha and Krishna which combines literature, philosophy and history of India during that time period. Thus, in the first phase, we read Pre-Colonial India through “Upanishad” and “Gita-Govinda” thus looking at the texts and listening to musical chanting. In the second phase, we study colonial India through Tagore’s novel “Home and the World” and study British colonization and culture of India during that time. To delve into philosophy we also read Tagore’s “King of the Dark Chamber” which deals with the critique of colonization and the notion of redemption and transcendence in colonial time. At the last phase, we construct the modern and postmodern Indian culture, history and philosophy through the writers who are writing in the USA both male and female, for example writers like Amitav Ghosh, Chitra Banerjee and Jhumpa Lahiri. We read Chira Banerjee’s “Mistress of Spices” and Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Namesake,” as well as Amitav Ghosh’s “Calcutta Chromosomes.” A special attraction of the course will be films of Satayjit Ray and Aparna Sena, the two great filmmakers of India.

Prerequisites: LALW100; FRSM100

Lecture/Seminar
Culturally Diverse Content
All College Elective