• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Non Language Asian Studies, Cultural Studies, Asian Studies, Asia Pacific Studies, Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Shameem Black
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

Political battles over the soul of modern India are fought, in part, through the imagination. This course explores India's vibrant modern traditions of Bollywood film, new fiction, and emerging creative industries to understand changing visions of the world's largest democracy. Film, writing, and new media reveal a space where right-wing Hindu activism meets global neoliberal norms, where "new women" and "angry young men" critique longstanding social roles and gender inequalities, and where India defines a place for itself as a rising force in a globalising world. As the course explores how the Indian state has mobilized culture as part of its bid to become a global power, it investigates how battles fought through and over the imagination reveal underlying anxieties and aspirations for the economic and political future of India.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate the ability to critique historical and current events and developments that have shaped relationships between culture and power in India;
  2. Integrate a range of theoretical frameworks to analyse contemporary systems of popular culture and creative industries in India;
  3. Evaluate how global events and developments in popular culture and creative industries have affected India;
  4. Design independent evidence-based research projects using analytical, practice-based, and/or creative methods.
  5. Communicate ideas, both in writing and orally, in forms that justify research methods and theoretical frameworks.

Indicative Assessment

  1. 1. Seminar Participation with 4 x 500-word blog posts (40) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  2. 2. Critical-Creative Project (20) [LO 1,2,4,5]
  3. 3. Research Essay OR Documentary Design (3500 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The total workload for this course is 130 hours, including in class time and independent study. 

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

Reading materials will be available on Wattle. 

Preliminary Reading

Mulk Raj Anand, Untouchable
R.K. Narayan, The Ramayana 
A.K. Ramanujan, 300 Ramayanas (selections)
Ulka Anjaria, ed, A History of the Indian Novel in English (selections)
Awaara, dir. Raj Kapoor (1951)
Vijay Mishra, Bollywood Cinema: Temples of Desire (selections)
Nina Paley, Sita Sings the Blues 
Sholay, dir. G.P. Sippy (1975)
Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day
Fire, dir. Deepa Mehta (1996)
Naisargi N. Dave, Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics (Durham: Duke University Press, 2012) (selections). 
Ruth Vanita, ed., Queering India: Same-Sex Love and Eroticism in Indian Culture and Society (New York: Routledge, 2002) (selections). 
Shruti Saxena, Stilettos in the Boardroom (New Delhi: Zubaan, 2009).
Sanja Srivastava, Passionate Modernity: Sexuality, Class and Consumption in India (New Delhi: Routledge, 2007) (selections). 
Court (2014), dir. Chaitanya Tamhane
Vishwaroopam (2013), dir. Kamal Haasan
So Heddan, So Hoddan (2011), dir. Anajali Monteiro and K.P. Jayashankar

Assumed Knowledge

Some prior study of India and/or cultural studies is desirable, but not required. 


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
2019 $3360
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5160
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9470 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person View

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