Course NoHS 140
TitleVisual Culture in Colonial South Asia
DescriptionThe course will begin by reflecting on the “visual turn” in humanistic studies generally and specifically in South Asian studies; it will look into the ways in which the “visual turn” sought to rethink the dominance of written sources in constructing historical narratives on South Asia. It will highlight some of the major themes, including the relationship between the Empire and social construction of vision, contribution of mass circulated printed images in giving expression to popular nationalism, and colonial anxiety over popular images, that underpin the many historical experiences in colonial South Asia. Finally the course will enquire the possibility of “ways of seeing” that may be specific to the geographical region.
  1. J. Berger, Ways of Seeing, British Broadcasting Corporation and Penguin Books, London, 1986.
  2. K. Jain, Gods in the Bazaar: The Economies of Indian Calendar Art, Duke University Press, Durham, 2007.
  3. W. J. T. Mitchell, What Do Pictures Want? The Lives and Loves of Images, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2005.
  4. C. Pinney, Photos of the Gods: The Printed Image and Political Struggle in India,Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2004.
  5. C. Pinney, Camera Indica: The Social Life of Indian Photographs, Reaktion Books, London, 1997.
Course References