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ANTHRO 128B: MAXIMUM CITY: Post-Colonial Mumbai at the Crossroads of Global and South Asian Culture (URBANST 143)

There are few cities more emblematic of the rapid urbanization of today's global population than Mumbai, India, formerly known as Bombay. With over 20 million residents, Mumbai today stands as the most populous city in one of the world's most populous countries, an ever-expanding metropolis marked by starkclass disparities and a heterogenous collage of religious, ethnic, and caste communities struggling to find space on a narrow peninsula painstakingly reclaimed from the Arabian Sea. The city's glitz, glamour, and diversity have long made it an object of fascination for both Indians and foreigners alike. Not only is Mumbai a major engine of culture and politics within India, but the city also has a long history of furnishing imagery of South Asian life to the wider world, whether as a site for documentaries and novels or through colorful Bollywood films. In this course, students will have the opportunity to use Mumbai as a jumping-off point to explore South Asian culture and society, a more »
There are few cities more emblematic of the rapid urbanization of today's global population than Mumbai, India, formerly known as Bombay. With over 20 million residents, Mumbai today stands as the most populous city in one of the world's most populous countries, an ever-expanding metropolis marked by starkclass disparities and a heterogenous collage of religious, ethnic, and caste communities struggling to find space on a narrow peninsula painstakingly reclaimed from the Arabian Sea. The city's glitz, glamour, and diversity have long made it an object of fascination for both Indians and foreigners alike. Not only is Mumbai a major engine of culture and politics within India, but the city also has a long history of furnishing imagery of South Asian life to the wider world, whether as a site for documentaries and novels or through colorful Bollywood films. In this course, students will have the opportunity to use Mumbai as a jumping-off point to explore South Asian culture and society, as well as contemporary themes in global urban studies: How do issues such as gentrification, rural-urban migration, segregation, the globalization of capitalism, and decolonialization play out in a city such as Mumbai? What happens to supposedly timeless identities such as religion, caste, and ethnicity when they are subjected to the pressures of intense urbanization? What kinds of data can we use to answer these questions, and what are their respective strengths and limitations?We will address these questions through a wide range of materials, including film, literature, and academic texts. By the end of the quarter, students should not only find themselves with expanded knowledge of South Asia, Mumbai, and global urbanism, but also with increased confidence regarding the types of data, methodology, and analysis they can employ in their own projects. No prior knowledge of South Asia or urban studies is assumed for this course.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-EDP, WAY-SI
Instructors: Gray, B. (PI)
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