ANS 301M • Indian Village Life
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
Mahatma Gandhi said, "The true India is not to be found in its few cities, but in its seven hundred thousand villages. If the villages perish, India will perish too." This sentiment is often repeated in India today by village and city dwellers alike. In this course we will explore reasons for the persistence of this sentiment, and attempt a definition of "the Indian village," against the backdrop of the Indian city and the Indian nation. We will approach the village as a central object of analysis, through studies of village ethnography, literature, folklore and performance, politics, economy, education, and religion. We will also consider the village on the margin: the role of the Indian village in urban imagination, and its role in overseas Indian communities. We conclude with a "village response" in which we consider the impact of village research, and hear from much-studied individuals, and individuals from much-studied village communities.
Attendance and Participation (20%). Essays (20%) Quizzes (20%) Midterm Exam (15%) Final Exam (25%)
Behind Mud Walls: Seventy-five Years in a North Indian Village. Charlotte Wiser and William Wiser. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000 [original, 1963] Siddharth Dube. Words Like Freedom: The Memoirs of an Impoverished Indian Family. New Delhi: Harper Collins Publishers, 1998. Sarah Lamb. White Saris and Sweet Mangoes: Aging, Gender, and Body in North India. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. Diane P. Mines. Fierce Gods: Inequality, Ritual, and the Politics of Dignity in a South Indian Village. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005. Ann Grodzins Gold and Bhoju Ram Gujar. In the Time of Trees and Sorrows: Nature, Power, and Memory in Rajasthan. Ashis Nandy. An Ambiguous Journey To The City: The Village And Other Odd Ruins Of The Self In The Indian Imagination. Course Reader