• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

This course will examine the cultural politics of modern South Asian film. It will explore how cinema from South Asia has sought to imagine specific nations and their histories, worked to articulate particular visions of modernity, and served as a conduit that links South Asian nations to their diasporas and to other countries around the world. Topics may vary from year to year, but may include such emphases as the history of Bollywood cinema, the politics of gender, the representation of historical trauma, the role of independent and alternative film, the rise of celebrity culture, and the globalization of South Asian cinema.  Students will have the opportunity to engage both critically and creatively with the distinctive histories of South Asian film, with options of using written, visual, and multimedia approaches to the subject.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Analyse, orally and in writing, the cultural politics of modern South Asian film
  2. Demonstrate the ability to think critically and creatively about these cultural politics
  3. Produce close readings of filmic and cultural texts
  4. Create coherent analytical arguments with the key concepts of the course
  5. Reflect on and discuss your own learning as it relates to the course

Indicative Assessment

Close Reading (students will be asked to choose a scene from a film and interpret the significance of textual and visual elements) - 500 words - 15%

Cultural Analysis (students will be asked to develop an argument about the cultural politics of a particular film, which might include such emphases as its role within cultural discourses of nation, gender, or globalization; its reception in different contexts; its circulation; or the material conditions of its production) - 1000 words - 25%

Capstone Project: Research Essay OR Creative/Critical Project (students will be asked to choose between two options: the first, a research essay, will ask students to combine close reading, cultural analysis, scholarly research, and original argument in an examination of two or more films; the second, a creative/critical project, will ask students to design a 2000-word or equivalent creative project that engages with the history of South Asian cinema and to compose a 1000-word exegesis that explains how this creative project effectively uses key concepts and key questions raised in the course) - 3000 words - 50%

Workshop Participation (students will be asked to participate regularly in workshops in ways that demonstrate their close attention to the films, their reading of the secondary material, and their preparation of oral or brief written materials that form the staging ground for the other assessments) - 10%

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Two hours of lectures per week and 3 x four-hour workshops.

Assumed Knowledge





Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $2856
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4080
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

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