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Art Theory I From Pre-modern to 18th century

Art Theory I From Pre-modern to 18th century

- Prof Parul Dave Mukherji

This course broadly aims to explore art theories that were formulated in the pre-modern India and the west concerning the intersections of art and metaphysics/philosophy/ritual. It takes up a comparative approach to the study of key aesthetic concepts cross culturally such as theories of visual representation, mimesis, anukrti, catharsis and tragedy so as to foreground their cultural specificity and conceptual intersections. It will also explore the status of truth and knowledge in production of art and understanding of aesthetic experience, the role of the spectator/ audience and that of skill in the rendering of visual experience across the history of western and Indian art writings. To what extent the social and political hierarchy based on class, caste and gender differentiation came to under-gird different classification of arts as high and low, desi and margi and also the genres of art will also be addressed. How pervasive was the category of religion and ritual in the formulation of pre-modern art theories across cultural boundaries and how with Renaissance aesthetics, a shift to author centric approach came to dominate western theories? That the myth of anonymous creativity in traditional Indian art was created more by the nationalist imperatives than attested by traditional notions of aesthetics will be explored. Similarly, the Romantic theories of artist as genius may be compared with parallel Indian concepts of Pratibha and Riti that had made comparable investment in individual creativity. It will also be demonstrated via a detour to Tamil aesthetics the limitations of any monolithic understanding of Indian aesthetics as Sanskrit aesthetics.

Key Readings:

• Forrest E Baird and Walter Kaufmann Eds., From Plato to Derrida, Prentice Hall, 2002.

• K C Pandey, Indian Aesthetics, Vol. I, Choukhambe Press, Varanasi, 1956.

• V K Chari, Sanskrit Criticism, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1990.

• E Deutsch, Comparative Aesthetics, in Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, Vol. 1, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1998 pp. 409-12.

• G N Devy Ed Indian Literary Criticism, New Delhi: Orient Longman, 2000

• Raymond Williams Drama from Ibsen to Brecht, Penguin Books • Bharat Gupt Dramatic Concepts: Natyashastra and Poetics, New Delhi: MLBD

A warm welcome to the modified and updated website of the Centre for East Asian Studies. The East Asian region has been at the forefront of several path-breaking changes since 1970s beginning with the redefining the development architecture with its State-led development model besides emerging as a major region in the global politics and a key hub of the sophisticated technologies. The Centre is one of the thirteen Centres of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi that provides a holistic understanding of the region.

Initially, established as a Centre for Chinese and Japanese Studies, it subsequently grew to include Korean Studies as well. At present there are eight faculty members in the Centre. Several distinguished faculty who have now retired include the late Prof. Gargi Dutt, Prof. P.A.N. Murthy, Prof. G.P. Deshpande, Dr. Nranarayan Das, Prof. R.R. Krishnan and Prof. K.V. Kesavan. Besides, Dr. Madhu Bhalla served at the Centre in Chinese Studies Programme during 1994-2006. In addition, Ms. Kamlesh Jain and Dr. M. M. Kunju served the Centre as the Documentation Officers in Chinese and Japanese Studies respectively.

The academic curriculum covers both modern and contemporary facets of East Asia as each scholar specializes in an area of his/her interest in the region. The integrated course involves two semesters of classes at the M. Phil programme and a dissertation for the M. Phil and a thesis for Ph. D programme respectively. The central objective is to impart an interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of history, foreign policy, government and politics, society and culture and political economy of the respective areas. Students can explore new and emerging themes such as East Asian regionalism, the evolving East Asian Community, the rise of China, resurgence of Japan and the prospects for reunification of the Korean peninsula. Additionally, the Centre lays great emphasis on the building of language skills. The background of scholars includes mostly from the social science disciplines; History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, International Relations and language.

Several students of the centre have been recipients of prestigious research fellowships awarded by Japan Foundation, Mombusho (Ministry of Education, Government of Japan), Saburo Okita Memorial Fellowship, Nippon Foundation, Korea Foundation, Nehru Memorial Fellowship, and Fellowship from the Chinese and Taiwanese Governments. Besides, students from Japan receive fellowship from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.