Postcolonial Theory Course Content:
This course provides a full spectrum on thinkers, writers, and theorists who have commented on the colonial occupation of non-European nations and its aftermath. It places the evolution of postcolonial theory in a historical context and gives the learner the tools to apply it in evaluating the postcolonial Hindu condition. Simultaneously, it also unfolds the limitations of postcolonial theory in fully addressing the postcolonial Hindu condition, identifying the need for Hindus to have their own postcolonial theories.
Though a large part of the world today exists independent of the direct political domination of the European imperial nations, it still suffers from the consequences. The civilizational, sociological, and psychological consequences of colonization are numerous, and they do not go away just because the political dominance or domination has ended. These consequences must be studied deeply if a civilization, like the one of Hindus, must advance without carrying the baggage or shadows of the colonial past. Colonial intervention creates a civilizational and cultural trauma, which the erstwhile colonized and their progenies try to forget or shove under the carpet.
The trauma, however, is like a festering wound which must be tended to and healed, which can only happen if it is examined comprehensively and treated. Given that the European colonization was a world-wide phenomenon, thinkers from around the world have studied its consequences. Their insights or theories are extremely helpful in analyzing the current postcolonial Hindu condition, which will be in the future extremely beneficial in connecting the Hindu civilization and society to its yogic paradigm.
This course provides an overview of anticolonial and postcolonial theorists from around the world, which sets the stage for studying some of them in a greater detail in subsequent courses, like Anticolonialism and Postcolonialism and Orientalism. These courses, as outlined in the Postcolonial Hindu Studies concentration, further help in the analysis and discussion of the postcolonial Hindu condition, specifically addressed in courses like Decolonizing the Hindu Condition, Orientalism and Hinduism, and Critical Issues in Hindu Studies.
Note about the title photo: The title photo of the course description is from the back panel (called the “Altar of Kings”) of the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, which was built over the temple of the Aztecs and from the materials engendered from ruining it. The gold that you see on the panel was looted from the Aztecs, who were described to the hilt as savages by the Spanish conquistadors.
Course Learning Objectives:
In this course, the students will
- comprehensively learn about and explore the ideas and theories of the major figures who have shaped the postcolonial theory as we understand today.
- learn about and examine the postcolonial theory in historical and current perspectives.
- gain a comprehensive understanding on how to apply postcolonial theory to the Hindu context.
- critically examine postcolonial theory to understand where it falls short in addressing the postcolonial Hindu condition.
There will be a minimum of 3 contact hours with the faculty every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion, dialogue, and debate based on the study of and reflection on study materials each week. The content discussed in each class and the discussions that follow will continue for about 180 minutes.
Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study
Faculty/Instructor: Dr. Kundan Singh
Quarter Offered: Spring 2022
Time: 02:00 pm EST – 05:00 pm EST
Start Date: April 16, 2022
End Date: June 25, 2022