From Christopher Columbus' misguided search for a mythical notion of India, to the Incredible India branding campaign launched by the Indian State's Department of Tourism, to the allure of yoga and true love, the notion of "India" has its own history. In this Advanced Seminar we trace the invention of India - as a concept - over time. We'll learn how the fabrication of India has proceeded through the centuries, and how the many meanings of "India" coalesce, nimbly side-stepping any popular or professional narrative of Indian history. Mobilizing an array of interdisciplinary tools, we will plot how the fetishization of "India" has itself become a flexible industry, how the management of Indian exceptionalism drives caste expansion. We'll study how the process renders certain subject positions and hierarchies as neutral and hegemonic while violently discarding others; how "India" is a product collectively manufactured, circulated, and consumed by a range of people around the world; the very real work of translation in bringing "India" into our everyday lives and imaginaries.
This course fulfills the History major capstone requirement as an Advanced Seminar.
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; AS LCD