Education, Society & Science in Modern India

I taught this course for doctoral students in the Graduate School in Science Education at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, in the fall semester of 2015.

Click here to download the full course syllabus as a PDF. All the course readings listed below are available to download on Google Drive.

About the Course

This graduate course is designed to expose doctoral students to the history and sociology of modern science education in colonial and post-colonial India, with a focus on ideas and institutions, concepts and thinkers, and major debates in this emerging field.

The seminar will meet twice per week for four months, and is spread over three units or themes of five weeks each on 1. “Colonialism & Modernity”, 2. “Nation & State” and 3. “Education, Policy & Society”.

Participants shall take turns writing three 500-600 word review/discussion papers on the assigned readings for prior circulation via the mailing list, as well as to lead discussion in that day’s seminar session.

The main requirement is a long essay or research paper of 5,000-6,000 words, comprising a literature review, social, demographic or other data with a theoretical argument on education, science and society in India. Rough drafts are due mid-way in the term.

All seminar participants are expected to complete close reading of assigned texts in advance in every session, and be prepared to participate in person and online via the course mailing list.

1. Colonialism & Modernity

1.0. INTRODUCTION

MONDAY 3 AUGUST – Course Introduction

FRIDAY 7 AUGUST

  • Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi. ‘Indian Science Today: An Indigenously Crafted Crisis.’ In India’s World: The Politics of Creativity In a Globalized Society, edited by Arjun Appadurai and Mack, Arien, 240–64. New Delhi: Rupa & Co., 2012.

  • Visvanathan, Shiv. ‘Democracy, Plurality and the Indian University.’ In Higher Education in India: In Search of Equality, Quality and Quantity, edited by Jandhyala B. G. Tilak, 36–57. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2013.

1.1. Modernity & Rationality

WEDESDAY 12 AUGUST

  • Kaviraj, Sudipta. ‘1. On State, Society and Discourse in India.’ In The Imaginary Institution of India, 9–38. Bangalore: Permanent Black, 2010.

  • Shukla, Sureshachandra. ‘From Pre-Colonial to Post-Colonial-Educational Transitions in Southern Asia.’ Economic and Political Weekly vol. 31, no. 22 (1 June 1996): 1344–49.

THURSDAY 13 AUGUST

  • Gramsci, Antonio. ‘On Education.’ In Selections from the Prison Notebooks, edited by Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith, 24–43. New York: International Publishers, 1971.

  • ———. ‘The Intellectuals.’ In Selections from the Prison Notebooks, edited by Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith, 3–23. New York: International Publishers, 1971.

1.2. Colonial Power

MONDAY 17 AUGUST

  • Habib, S. Irfan, and Dhruv Raina. ‘Copernicus, Colonialism, and the Role of Science in 19th Century India.’ In Social History of Science in Colonial India, 229–51. Oxford University Press, 2007.

  • Kaviraj, Sudipta. ‘2. On the Construction of Colonial Power: Structure, Discourse, Hegemony.’ In The Imaginary Institution of India, 39–84. Bangalore: Permanent Black, 2010.

WEDNESDAY 19 AUGUST

  • Baber, Zaheer. ‘Science, Technology and Colonial Power.’ In Social History of Science in Colonial India, edited by Irfan Habib and Dhruv Raina, 102–58. Oxford University Press, 2007.

  • Kumar, Deepak. ‘4. Science in Education.’ In Science and the Raj: 1857-1905, 113–50. New Delhi: Oxford University Press India, 1995.

1.3. Colonial Science

MONDAY 24 AUGUST

  • Acharya, Poromesh. ‘Indigenous Education and Brahminical Hegemony in Bengal.’ In The Transmission of Knowledge in South Asia: Essays on Education, Religion, History and Politics, edited by Nigel Crook, 98–118. Oxford University Press, 1996.

  • Cohn, Bernard S. ‘The Command of Language and the Language of Command.’ In Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge, 16–56. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996.

WEDNESDAY 26 AUGUST

  • Arnold, David. ‘The Colonial Prison: Power, Knowledge and Penology in 19th Century India.’ In A Subaltern Studies Reader, 1986-1995, edited by Ranajit Guha, 140–78. Minneapolis: Univ Of Minnesota Press, 1997.

  • Kumar, Deepak. ‘5. Research in Science.’ In Science and the Raj: 1857-1905, 151–79. New Delhi: Oxford University Press India, 1995.

1.4. Indian Science I

MONDAY 31 AUGUST: NO CLASS

WEDNESDAY 2 SEPTEMBER

  • Nandy, Ashis. Alternative Sciences: Creativity and Authenticity in Two Indian Scientists. 2nd Edition. New Delhi: Oxford University Press India, 2001.

1.5. Indian Science II

MONDAY 7 SEPTEMBER: NO CLASS – Paper Outline & Bibliography Due

WEDNESDAY 9 SEPTEMBER

  • Prakash, Gyan. ‘3. Translation and Power’ and ‘4. The Image of the Archaic’ In Another Reason: Science and the Imagination of Modern India, 49-85, 86-122. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999.

2. Nation & State

2.1. Indian Nationalism

MONDAY 21 SEPTEMBER

  • Dhareshwar, Vivek. ‘Politics, Experience, and Cognitive Enslavement.’ In Education and Society: Themes, Perspectives, Practices, edited by Meenakshi Thapan and T. N. Madan, 81–97. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015.

  • Prakash, Gyan. ‘7. A Different Modernity.’ In Another Reason: Science and the Imagination of Modern India, 201–26. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999.

  • SUPPLEMENT: Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand. Hind Swaraj, Or, Indian Home Rule. Madras: G.A. Natesan, 1921.

WEDNESDAY 23 SEPTEMBER

  • Chatterjee, Partha. ‘The Nation and Its Women’ in The Nation & Its Fragments – Colonial & Postcolonial Histories, 116-134. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995.

  • Kumar, Nita. ‘The Strength of Women Educators and the Weakness of History.’ In Lessons from Schools: The History of Education in Banaras, 151–85, New Delhi; Thousand Oaks; London: Sage Publications, 2000.

  • SUPPLEMENT: Kishwar, Madhu. ‘Arya Samaj and Women’s Education.’ Economic and Political Weekly 21, no. 17 (26 April 1986).

2.2. Democracy & Education

MONDAY 28 SEPTEMBER

  • Acharya, Poromesh. ‘Educational Ideals of Tagore and Gandhi – A Comparative Study.’ Economic and Political Weekly vol. 32, no. 12 (22 March 1997): 601–5.

  • Beteille, Andre. Universities at the Crossroads. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2010, pp.10-31.

  • Rao, Parimala. ‘Compulsory Education and Political Leadership in Colonial India, 1840–1947.’ In New Perspectives in the History of Indian Education, 151–75. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2013.

WEDNESDAY 30 SEPTEMBER

  • Ambedkar, B. R. The Essential Writings of B. R. Ambedkar. Edited by Valerian Rodrigues. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004, pp.60-74.

  • Velaskar, Padma. ‘Education for Liberation: Ambedkar’s Thought and Dalit Women’s Perspectives.’ Contemporary Education Dialogue 9, no. 2 (1 July 2012): 245–71.

  • Zelliot, Eleanor. ‘Dalit Initiatives in Education, 1880–1992.’ In New Perspectives in the History of Indian Education, edited by Parimala Rao, 45–67. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2013.

  • SUPPLEMENT: Ambedkar, B. R. ‘Annihilation of Caste: Speech Prepared by Dr B.R. Ambedkar for the Annual Conference of the Jat-Pat-Todak Mondal of Lahore, But Not Delivered’. 15 May 1936.

2.3. National Science

MONDAY 5 OCTOBER

  • Chatterjee, Partha. ‘The National State.’ In The Nation & Its Fragments – Colonial & Postcolonial Histories, 200–219. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1993.

  • Prakash, Gyan. ‘6. Technologies of Government.’ In Another Reason: Science and the Imagination of Modern India, 159–200. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999.

WEDNESDAY 7 OCTOBER

  • Advani, Shalini. ‘Educating the National Imagination.’ Economic and Political Weekly 31, no. 31 (3 August 1996): 2077–82.

  • Visvanathan, Shiv. Organizing for Science: The Making of an Industrial Research Laboratory. Oxford University Press, 1985, pp.99-200.

## NO CLASS – Reading Week, 12-16 October

MONDAY 19 OCTOBER: PAPER PRESENTATIONS – Paper Half Rough Draft Due

2.4. Science Fiction

FRIDAY 23 OCTOBER

  • Ghosh, Amitav. The Calcutta Chromosome: A Novel of Fevers, Delirium & Discovery. Harper Perennial, 2001.

FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER: PAPER PRESENTATIONS

3. Education, Policy & Society

3.1. Democracy & Merit

MONDAY 2 NOVEMBER

  • Poonacha, Veena. ‘Uncovering the Gender Politics of Science Policies and Education.’ Economic and Political Weekly, 15 January 2005, 241–46.

  • Subramanian, Ajantha. ‘Making Merit: Indian Institutes of Technology and the Social Life of Caste.’ Comparative Studies in Society and History 57, no.2 (2015): 291–322.

  • Subramanian, Jayasree. ‘Perceiving and Producing Merit: Gender and Doing Science in India.’ Indian Journal of Gender Studies 14, no. 2 (1 June 2007): 259–84.

WEDNESDAY 5 NOVEMBER

  • Beteille, Andre. Universities at the Crossroads. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2010, pp.40-113.

  • Madan, Amman. ‘Sociologising Merit.’ Economic and Political Weekly vol, 42, no. 29 (21 July 2007): 3044–50.

3.2. Popular Science & Culture

FRIDAY 13 NOVEMBER 15.00-17.00

  • Kaur, Raminder. ‘2. The Dawn of the Atomic Age in India’, ‘5. Nuclear Truths and Cracks in the the Surface’ and ‘9. Atomic Comics’ in Atomic Mumbai: Living with the Radiance of a Thousand Suns, 21-54, 122-156, 241–73. New Delhi: Routledge India, 2013.

3.3. Knowledge & Revolution

SUNDAY 15 NOVEMBER – Paper Full Rough Draft Due

WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 11.00-13.00

  • Ilaiah, Kancha. Selections from Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution. New Delhi: Sage India, 2009, pp.ix-xxvi, 1-48, 67-85, 125-140, 210-231, 267-295.

3.4. Schools & Society

MONDAY 23 NOVEMBER 15.00-17.00

  • Bhog, Dipta, Purwa Bharadwaj, and Disha Mullick. ‘Plotting the Contours of the Modern Nation: A Feminist Reading of Geography Textbooks’. In Education and Society: Themes, Perspectives, Practices, edited by Meenakshi Thapan and T. N. Madan, 358–75. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015.

  • Powell, Avrill. ‘Perceptions of the South Asian Past: Ideology, Nationalism, and School History Textbooks’. In The Transmission of Knowledge in South Asia: Essays on Education, Religion, History and Politics, edited by Nigel Crook, 190–223. Oxford University Press, 1996.

WEDNESDAY 25 NOVEMBER 15.00-17.00

  • Page, Elspeth. ‘Negotiation and Compromise: Gender and Government Elementary Education’ in Educational Regimes in Contemporary India, edited by Radhika Chopra and Patricia Jeffrey, 178–95. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2005.

  • Thapan, Meenakshi. ‘“Docile” Bodies, “Good” Citizens or “Agential” Subjects?’ Economic and Political Weekly, 30 September 2006, 4195-4203.

FRIDAY 27 NOVEMBER 11.00-13.00

  • Alam, Arshad. ‘Controlling Minds, Disciplining Bodies: Life Inside a Madrasa’. In Sociology of Education in India: Changing Contours and Emerging Concerns, edited by Geetha B. Nambissan and S. Srinivasa Rao, 224–41. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2012.

  • ———. ‘Science in Madrasas’. Economic and Political Weekly, 30 April 2005, 1812–5.

  • Vaugier-Chatterjee, Anne. ‘Plural Society and Schooling: Urdu-Medium Schools in Delhi’. In Educational Regimes in Contemporary India, edited by Radhika Chopra and Patricia Jeffrey, 99–117. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2005.

3.5. CONCLUSION

MONDAY 30 NOVEMBER 17.00-20.00: OPEN SESSION & DINNER Final Paper Due

MONDAY 15 DECEMBER 11.00-16.00: Education Science & Society Graduate Workshop

Other Suggested Readings

  • Abraham, Itty. The Making of the Indian Atomic Bomb : Science, Secrecy and the Postcolonial State. London: Zed Books, 1998.

  • Althusser, Louis. ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes Toward an Investigation).’ In Mapping Ideology, edited by Slavoj Žižek, 100–140. London: Verso, 1994.

  • Basu, Aparna. Essays in the History of Indian Education. Concept, 1982.

  • Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi, ed. The Contested Terrain : Perspectives on Education in India. New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan, 1998.

  • Carnoy, Martin. Education as Cultural Imperialism. 1st edition. New York, NY: David McKay Company, 1974.

  • Deshpande, Satish, and Usha Zacharias, eds. Beyond Inclusion: The Practice of Equal Access in Indian Higher Education. New Delhi: Routledge India, 2013.

  • Dewey, John. Democracy and Education. New York: Free Press, 1997.

  • Ellis, Catriona. ‘“Snapshots” of the Classroom: Autobiographies and the Experience of Elementary Education in the Madras Presidency, 1882—1947’. Childhood 18, no. 3 (2011): 384–401.

  • Foucault, Michel. The Archaeology of Knowledge. New York: Pantheon Books, 1972.

  • ———. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. New York: Pantheon Books, 1971.

  • Kumar, Krishna, and Joachim Oesterheld, eds. Education and Social Change in South Asia. New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan, 2006.

  • Minault, Gail. Secluded Scholars: Women’s Education and Muslim Social Reform in Colonial India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press India, 1998.

  • Paik, Shailaja. Dalit Women’s Education in Modern India: Double Discrimination. Routledge, 2014.

  • Phalkey, Jahnavi. Atomic State: Big Science in Twentieth-Century India. Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2013.

  • Stoler, Ann. Race and the Education of Desire : Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things. Durham: Duke University Press, 1995.

  • Williams, Raymond. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

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