MEDIA AND SOCIETY IN SOUTH ASIA
This course will focus on the relationship between media structures and products and the society in which they are produced. Major areas of investigation will include the oral tradition, the film industry, and electronic media including radio, TV, and computer networks. Particular emphasis will be on Indian film industry, including its effects on older art forms, social and political conflicts it has addressed and which it has engendered, and its popularity outside of India and South Asia. The following films are among those that will be viewed and discussed in class:
MOTHER INDIA (1957) Still one of India’s most popular movies. Starring Nargis and Sunil Dutt. The classic story of peasant struggles against landlord exploitation, and how a mother tries alone to raise dutiful sons. SHOLAY (1975) Starring Amitabh Bacchan, the movie which ushered in the era of violence as entertainment in Indian film. JAI SANTOSHI MA (1975) A film which engendered a cult around a particular goddess who is the title character in this film. GARAM HAWA (1973) Chronicles the plight of a Muslim family in post-partition North India. The Mirza family in Agra must decide whether to emigrate to Pakistan or not, and this film illustrates the slow dispersal and disintegration of the family as it deals with this dilemma. RAMAYANA (1987-88) Television serial produced by Ramanand Sagar, it was (at the time) the most popular serial ever broadcast in India. Based on the epic of the same name, we will investigate its impact on Indian social, political and religious life. BAAZIGAR (1993) A remake of Kiss before Dying which became quite controversial because the main star takes the role of a murderer. It is also notable for introducing a n umber of young actors to the Indian cinema. With Rakhee, Shah Rukh Khan, siddharth, Kajol and Shilpa Shetty.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Course Assumptions: Students are not required or expected to have any prior knowledge of South Asia. Students are not required or expected to have any prior knowledge of media studies.
Class assignments and grading
Presentation: You will be assigned a topic on which you will be required, working with 2-3 other students, to make a short (15 minutes) presentation in class.
Short Paper. A 2 page paper with your ideas about a topic you select. More details at the end of this syllabus.
Final Paper A 10-15 page research paper which includes your original ideas about a topic you select, and which is documented and written in correct academic style. More details at the end of this syllabus.
Participation: Your participation in class will be assessed on a daily basis. There are several criteria for defining good participation: 1)Presence in class 2) preparation for class (completion of required readings and assignments) 3)constructive and informed spoken contributions to class discussions 4) interest in and efforts to maintain an environment in which every class member feels able to learn and participate.
Grade Computation: Class Participation 20% 200 points Presentation 20% 200 points Short Paper 20% 200 points Final Paper 40% 400 points