Himalaya through Film and Text - Fall 2012

Fall 2012
Himalaya through Film and Text
Anthropology (ANTH) 338, Film Studies (FILM) 329 & South Asian Studies (SAST) 372/672

Brief Outline of Class

An exploration of the Himalayan region through film and ethnography. Comparing visual and textual genres of storytelling and narration, we examine topics such as adventure, caste, education, gender, religion, ritual and violence by watching, analyzing and critiquing selected visual and written texts. Films and readings are drawn from Bhutan, northern India, Nepal and Tibet.

Class Aim and Objectives

This seminar takes films and documentaries from and about the Himalayan region as primary sources, viewing them as texts in their own right, and brings them into conversation with ethnographic writings on Himalayan studies. By comparing visual and textual modes of narrative production, we examine the limits of what these genres can achieve, and assess their varied forms of authority. In particular, we interrogate the agenda of film makers, and contrast this with ethnographic and narrative writing styles.

Using new visual media to ask old questions, we will address issues of ethics, representation and translation, both literal and cross-cultural. Through viewing compelling films from Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, and articulating these with relevant readings, we will come to challenge assumptions about conflict, gender, imagination, migration, religion and travel.

Yale students click here to access a detailed syllabus.

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