Overview

BA (Humanities) is a carefully curated liberal arts degree that inculcates varied critical and creative skills across three years (six semesters). Keeping the larger goals of multi-disciplinarity in mind, the first two years of the program offer a wide range of Foundation Courses for a strong grounding in fundamental concepts and recent scholarship. Foundation Courses are offered from the following disciplines and topics – Literature, Sociology, History, Philosophy, Film Studies, and Gender Studies. 

Electives in the final year of the program give students the option of a Major in English, Sociology, or History. The program culminates with a research project and the writing of a thesis with faculty guidance. 

Students are encouraged to participate in workshops, conferences and guest lectures by reputed scholars and artists during the academic year. They will have opportunities to explore allied fields such as art history, creative writing, theatre, film appreciation etc.  

MCH aims to train its students to be active and dynamic participants in whichever profession they choose to pursue. The BA program has a twofold aim—a) prepare interested students to pursue higher studies in the best institutes in India and abroad, and b) prepare students with a knowledge and communication skill set that allow them to work in varied institutional settings—governmental and non-governmental, corporate as well as international bureaucracy and philanthropy.  

Life at MCH not only offers a nurturing academic environment but an opportunity to savour a taste of life by the sea. Flanked by the sylvan greens of the Western Ghats and the golden beaches of the Arabian Sea, Manipal facilitates time for personal growth, sports, and cultural events. 

Key Dates & Deadlines

15

15

Mar ' 23

Last date to Apply

'

Tentative Course Commencement Date

BA Courses Offered during Academic Year 2021-2022

Note: These courses are selected from a list of titles approved by the Board of Studies, MCH, MAHE. The titles offered each year depend on faculty availability and expertise, and are subject to change. 


    This course introduces students to Sociology as a disciplinary perspective. The course explores classical sociological thought (Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim) and various methodological points of view to examine society. The course attempts to analyze mainstream, contemporary societies through relevant sociological concepts and theories – conflict theory, functionalist perspective, structuralism, symbolic interactionism, ethnomethodology etc. It also familiarizes students to important thinkers such as Erving Goffman and Michel Foucault’s works which examine society from the margins.   

    This course introduces the discipline of history. What is history? When did it get included as a compulsory subject within school curriculum? As a modern academic discipline, the history of history is not older than a couple of centuries. The consolidation of history as an academic discipline in the nineteenth century was coeval with colonial constructions of India as ‘ahistorical’—as living outside history. In this course, we unravel the politics of history.

    We begin with Carr, Collingwood and Berlin, and ask whether objectivity is possible in history; whether history illuminates facts of the past or interpretative choices of historians; about what we imply when we talk about the ‘wheels of history’. We then relocate the debate on ‘what is history’ to the Indian subcontinent. With A. L. Basham and Romila Thapar, we study the distinctiveness of the Itihasa-Purana tradition of early India. But was that ‘history’? Or, instead, just a different mode of relating to the past built upon—what Vinay Lal and Ashis Nandy would call—‘wilful amnesia’?

    The course provides an introduction to three central philosophical problems—metaphysics, epistemology, and virtue ethics—in Greek philosophy (of Plato and Aristotle). The problem of understanding metaphysical reality, the question of knowledge and certainty, and the ethical inquiry on virtue are the important philosophical debate in the course. Sample Readings: Verity Harte, “Plato’s Metaphysics.” In The Oxford Handbook of Plato, ed. Gail Fine (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011); Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy: Greece and Rome, Vol 1 (New York: Image Books, 1993).

    When we hear the term “literature,” what comes to our minds are works of fiction and poetry – both in book and digital forms. And, when ‘we say we like literature’ we mean we like reading and enjoy it. Other activities that are involved around ‘literature’ are appreciating, criticizing literary works. This course, while taking these into consideration, prepares you to develop critical ability to understand and analyse literary works, and familiarize you the various ways of doing this. Further, it equips you to engage in intellectual conversations with other subjects in humanities and social sciences such as History, Sociology, Political Science, Philosophy. The purpose of this conversation is to develop a critical understanding of, what we may call, the human condition today. This knowledge, in turn, enables us to participate in the everyday world in a more meaningful and creative way, and to transform it. The course will use poetry, fiction, drama from a wide variety of times and contexts for attaining its goal. Some of them include works of Sylvia Plath, Mayakovsky, Kamala Das, Leonard Cohen.

    The course begins by engaging with the frames of a nineteenth century academic and administrative common-sense—that caste and religion were the keys to understanding the Indian people. What was the pre-history of these concepts in India? What was the relation between the concept of varnasrama-dharma laid down in some early Indian texts and the specific social and cultural worlds that human-beings inhabited in India? How did British administrative initiatives in the direction of producing knowledge about the Indian people open up a process of construction, contestation and reproduction of identities of caste and religion? We study a range of scholars from A. L. Basham and Romila Thapar to Bernard Cohn, Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar, Ashutosh Varshney, MSS Pandian and others to engage with social histories of the subcontinent across time. If the twentieth century brought with it an unprecedented promise of emancipation for the Indian Dalit, how did she envision her freedom? 

    This course will aim to introduce students to debates on culture, modernity and globalisation. It will be divided into four units. The first will explore technology, culture and social relations today; the second unit will engage with culture, fashion and consumption, the third unit will critique modernity through a reading of the environment, and the fourth unit will examine cultures of emotions and capitalism. Sample Reading: Appadurai, Arjun. 1996. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Chapter 1; Hochschild, Arlie Russell. 2012. The Outsourced self: What happens when we pay others to live our lives for us. New York: Picador; Illouz, Eva. 2007. Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism. Uk, Polity.

    Historical Figures and Ideas profiles select key personalities, themes and events in colonial India. The main aim is to bring out the diverse voices that constitute Indian history and historiography. We historically analyse the very make-up of colonial modernity and power/knowledge as entry points into why and how ideas of ‘progress’ and ‘civilisation’ became crucial in the various narratives of colonialism and nationalism. We engage with various kinds of source materials, both textual and visual. Some of the key readings for the course are Lata Mani, Contentious Traditions, Andrea Major, Sovereignty and Social Reform in India; Ramachandra Guha (ed), Makers of Modern India; Antoinette Burton, ‘From Child Bride to “Hindoo Lady”: Rukhmabai and the Debate on Sexual Respectability in Imperial Britain’; and Indrani Sen, ‘Resisting Patriarchy: Complexities and Conflicts in the Memoir of Haimabati Sen’, among many others.

    The course is an attempt to familiarise students with some of the classic of world literature. Hence we discussed texts from older historical periods (sections of the Mahabharata, Shakespeare’s Macbeth), as well as acclaimed literatures from diverse parts of the world. Some of these texts discussed, in part or full, were Herman Hesse’s Demian, Agyeya’s Shekhar, Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Paradise, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold, and selected short stories by Alice Munro. Thus students got exposed to literature from all over the world—Europe, Africa, North and South America. Students were also exposed to novel questions of genre—such as that of science/speculative fiction as in the case of Ishiguro. Students were thus able to convincingly remark on the resemblances of the formal innovations of science fiction vis-a-vis the formal structures of pre-modern texts such as that of the epic and drama. 

    The course introduces students to some of the canonical writers and texts of the twentieth century. The module encourages students to approach literary texts critically; to this end, they will be introduced to some of the most dominant currents in literary theory and criticism. By the end of this programme, the students will be in a position to appreciate and critically evaluate the major movements and trends that characterise twentieth-century literature. Sample Texts: Terry Eagleton’s Literary Theory; Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness;  Jorge Luis Borges’ The Garden of Forking Paths; Rohinton Mistry’s Of White Hairs and Cricket.  

     

    This course will aim to introduce students to the development and debates within social anthropology in the West and in India. It will be divided into three units. The first unit will introduce the theory and practice of social anthropology in the West; the second unit will introduce students to ethnography; and the third unit will engage with the development of social anthropology in India. The third unit will help students to conduct fieldwork for their assignments and term papers. Sample Reading: Pritchard, Evans. 1951. Social Anthropology. London, Routledge; Hammersley, Martyn and Paul Atkinson.2008. Ethnography- Principles in Practice. London, Routledge; Geertz, Clifford. 1973. “Thick Description: Toward an Interpretative theory of culture” in The Interpretation of Cultures, New York: Basic Books; Srinivas, MN. 1959. “Social Anthropology and the Study of Rural and Urban Societies” Economic and Political Weekly, 11 (4): (pp 133-140). 

    The course explores the history of India from 1000 to 1800, a period dominated by a remarkable political churning along with the presence of powerful empires that defined the pre-modern era in Indian history. The history of medieval India has decisively shaped the politics, culture, ethos of the contemporary society. The course begins with the discussion on the early medieval India and then proceeds to important events such as the capture of Delhi by the Sultanate in 1192. It travels through the historically rich stretch that also captures the career of some prominent empires like Mughals and the Marathas. Although the focus of the course is to highlight the political history of the period, it would also make an attempt to look into the religious, economic and wider societal changes taking place in this period.

    Indian History and Historiography delves into the different ways in which history has been written and conceptualised in India and about India, particularly from the late eighteenth century onwards. We, therefore, look into various approaches to Indian history writing and their critiques. It also involves an in-depth understanding of the production of knowledge itself in a colonial setting like India. Orientalism and colonialism were underscored by the notion of a time lag between the coloniser and colonised. This particularly figured in nineteenth century knowledge production as the colonised also came to be marked as ‘unhistorical’. Muzafffar Alam and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, The Mughal State 1526-1750; Romila Thapar, ‘The Theory of Aryan Race and India’; Thomas R. Trautmann, Aryans and British India; Edward Said, Orientalism; Bernard S. Cohn, Colonialism and its forms of knowledge; and Ranajit Guha (ed.), Subaltern Studies I Writings on South Asian History and Society; among others.

    This course is designed to develop a historical understanding of the formation of a modern literature in the Indian context. The course adopts an interdisciplinary approach to understand the constitutive character modern Indian literature. Two issues will be dealt with in detail in the course: the notions of “modern” and “literature.” After discussing some foundational essays that help in gaining clarity on “modernity”, the course will discuss a few early Indian novels and the way to approach them critically. The suggested novels will be read alongside the scholarly essays in order to understand various methodological approaches to understand the literary form of the novel as a site to understand colonial modernity. Some of the scholarly books that the course makes use of include Stuart Hall and Bram Gieben edited Formations of Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press,1992, and Ranajit Guha edited Subaltern Studies Reader 1986-1995, New Delhi: OUP, 2021 (1997).

    The course introduces the students to the different subfields of research approaches within the field of humanities and social sciences. The course is divided into four modules: critical theory, hermeneutics, phenomenology, and deconstruction--each of which deals exclusively with one research approach. Within each module, the orientation of the course is to apply theoretical knowledge to various social and political phenomena. Sample Texts: Marinopoulou A. (2019) “Critical Theory: Epistemological Content and Method.” In Liamputtong P. (eds) Handbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences. Springer, Singapore. Pp. 133-148; Kristin Gjesdal, “Hermeneutics and the Question of Method.” In The Cambridge   Companion of Philosophical Methodology, eds Giuseppin D’Oro, and Soren Overgaard, 337-344.

    Over a period of time “Development Studies” as a discipline has gained immense popularity in all quarters of the world. Tracing the evolution of this discipline, this course will focus on the various theoretical models and the debates that shaped this discipline. Drawing from different case studies, this course will also engage in current discussions pertaining to the idea of “development”, with a special focus on India. In this course, students are taught how to compare different development policies across the globe. The other major aim of this course is to train students to write policy briefs on contemporary development issues. Some of these issues include labor laws, education policies, maternity policies, health policies, and gender norms, among others. The key texts of this course are Emile Durkheim’s The Division of Labor in Society (1895); Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze’s An Uncertain Glory (2013); Nandini Gooptu and Jonathan Parry’s Persistence of poverty in India (2014).

    The course provides a thematically based overview of modern European history that began with the 1750s and ended with the Second World War. The course seeks to emphasize its focus on the French revolution, evolution of the nation-state in Europe, industrialization, socialism, fascism and its impact on society and politics.

    This course seeks to engage with different ways in which notions of gender and sexuality are understood, constructed, experienced, and resisted in specific academic and cultural contexts. At the core of our explorations are questions of the body, its biological and social formations; normative, performative and alternative sexualities; cisgender and transgender identities; feminisms and masculinities. While we pay close attention to key theorists in the field, and weave our way through memoirs and literary texts, we are equally interested in how these issues shape our personal narratives and perceptions. In other words, this course is also about an embodied and reflexive engagement with one of the central questions of human existence: desire and sexuality as framed through various disciplines – biology, psychology, history, and the literary. Sample Texts: The Madwoman in the Attic by Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar; Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea; Anne Fausto-Sterling’s Sexing the Body; Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir Fun Home. 

    The course introduces students to the creative uses of the formal aspects of cinema by various film genres and movements in history, such as Film Noir, Italian Neo-Realism, French New Wave, Third Cinema, and the New Cinema Movement of India. The course enables students to speak and write intelligibly about film, locate styles and patterns historically and for their ideological moorings, and identify the connections between the form and content of cinema. The readings are mostly film manifestoes. The thrust of the course is towards practical criticism of films with a historical perspective.  

    This course aims to bring together select writings on nations, nationalisms and national identities from across the globe. Throughout this course we will address one central question ‘what is a nation?’ Theorising nationalism as a set of specific beliefs varying from one group to another ultimately involves forming a nation. Millions of people have also died in wars defending their ideas of the nation, including the World Wars. An interdisciplinary approach to the key concepts like nation, ‘race’, eugenics, gender, and language, among others, will be taken in order to add greater clarity to our discussions. We will also engage with various case studies based on specific themes of nation-building. For example, in case of India, we will explore the socio-political role of women as ‘Mother India’ in the very making of the nation. Some of the key readings include: Hans Kohn, The Idea of Nationalism, N. Hudson, ‘From “nation” to “race”; Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes, Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, The Invention of Tradition, Benedict Anderson, Imagined communities; Ernest Gellner Nations and Nationalism; and Mrinalini Sinha (ed.), Katherine Mayo’s Mother India.

    The course provides a thematically based overview of writings on history and society of India from the beginning of the eighteenth-century to the making of the republic in 1950. It seeks to highlight the impact of colonial empire on modern India. It unpacks standard narratives about nationalism, colonialism and popular culture in modern India, mainly through historical perspectives. This engagement is expected to enable learners to comprehend various aspects of social and political discourses that emerged in the modern period.

    The course provides a medium specific approach to visual and aural artefacts, enabling its participants to approach the artefact for their specific features, and as cultural texts. The specificity of the medium, and the affordances of each of them is a central concern for the course. The role of society as the facilitator and receptor of media, and the question of representation, are connected to the specificities and affordances of each medium. The course introduces students to some of the key texts and theorists of the field, familiarize them with the unique register of each, and train students in site specific analysis. 

    Adopting an interdisciplinary perspective, this course will draw from the Sociology of Health and Illness scholarship to examine the intersections between health, inequality, and society. One of the key aspects of this course would be a sociological and anthropological evaluation of death, pain, and grief. In particular, this course will discuss different forms of caregiving arrangements to understand how disability and end-of-life care need considerable attention in theory as well as policy. Ethnographic narratives of various scholars will be an integral component of this course and for the final term paper, students will be encouraged to conduct their own digital or onsite fieldwork as well. This course also relies on different documentaries that focus on surrogacy, menstruation, and other reproductive issues of women, to explain the feminist contribution to the Sociology of Health. The core texts of this course are Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1969). On Death and Dying; Arima Mishra. (2010). Health, Illness, and Medicine; Sujatha, V. (2014). Sociology of Health and Medicine. 

    This course aims at introducing the students to various aspects of the theatre such as the stage, direction, and acting, and their formations historically. It also aims to equip them to engage critically with the performing art of theatre in its own terms rather than merely reading and interpreting plays as literary texts. The course focuses primarily on the formation and evolution of European drama. It uses some of the foundational theoretical texts and seminal modern European plays such as Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1953) and Dario Fo’s Accidental death of an Anarchist (1970) in order to arrive at a more informed knowledge on the relationship between the theatre and issues of modern existence and politics in twentieth century Europe. The suggested plays will be read alongside the scholarly essays in order to understand various methodological approaches involved in studying the literary form of the play.

    Has there ever been just one English? This course explores how varieties of English, referred to as Englishes, have evolved and uses the ‘Inner, Outer and Expanding Circles’ theory proposed by Kachru as a starting point to this field of study. The course goes on to discuss specific regional manifestations of World Englishes and explores what happens when these ‘Englishes’ become ‘literary Englishes’. In order to discuss the Englishes in depth, there is an emphasis on linguistic skills, moving to a close reading based on a stylistic approach for the World Englishes literary texts. 

    The course introduces students to theoretical perspectives from Anthropology and Sociology on social structural conditions of human living. The course examines theories as an exploration in methodological perspectives, such as Structuralism or Structural functionalism as methodological interventions. The approach of the course is historical. It allows students to comprehend the evolution of sociological theories not as discrete development but dialogues between and among different theoretical traditions. In the process, the course highlights how the contemporary theoretical interventions by Anthony Giddens or Pierre Bourdieu are product of such productive dialogues. 

    The course will introduce students to contemporary debates on identity and intersectionality. It will give them an overview of the discussions within social sciences on gender and sexual identity. It will also introduce students to newer fields of research on identities, like singlehood. The course will help students analyse critically different forms of identity politics, engage with the intersection of identity and gender, sexuality, and caste, and explore the relationship between identities and desire in India.  Sample Readings: Jenkins, Richard. 2008. Social Identity. London, Routledge; Appiah, Kwame Anthony. 2005. “The Demands of Identity” in The Ethics of Identity. New Jersey, Princeton University Press. Giri, Ananta Kumar. 2001. “Civil Society and the Limits of Identity Politics”. Sociological Bulletin, 50.2: 266-285; Butler, Judith. 2007. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York, Routledge; Menon, Madhavi. 2018. Infinite Variety: A History of desire in India. New Delhi, Speaking Tiger. 

    The course explores the relations between the telling of history and the forging of collective identities. Are there self-evident collective identities whose histories wait to be brought to light? Or is it histories that create identities? We look at how community identities that emphasize on ‘authenticity’ deploy history. We also explore how revolutionary collectives that look forward to a future different from the past still use the historical mode of argument. Do identities that are affirmations by the underprivileged speak history the same way as those that carve majoritarian blocs? Finally, we ask whether there can be (or has been) the possibility of collective self-identifications that lie outside the pale of history and the obsession with historical tellings.  The reading list includes some key reflections on history and its public lives by Eric Hobsbawm, Sumit Sarkar, Sudipta Kaviraj, Dipesh Chakrabarty and Ranajit Guha.

    This course focuses on tracing the historical trajectories of the two major historical events in 1857 and 1947. The course looks at basic concepts and different approaches in historiography to aid diverse understandings of these two specific ruptures namely: the Great Rebellion (1857), and the Partition (1947). We critically analyse these historical ruptures as these were crucial in the making of the grand narratives of colonialism, anti-colonial nationalism and communalism. The main readings for the course include: Bismamoy Pati (ed.) The 1857 Rebellion, Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, From Plassey to Partition, Urvashi Butalia, The Other Side of Silence, and Ritu Menon and Kamla Bhasin, Borders and Boundaries, among others.

Duration

3 years (6 semesters)

Facilities

 

The greatest strengths of MCH are its location, architecture, and facilities for artistic and scholarly thought. The building is designed in the traditional style of the inner courtyard, and students gather organically in the many cozy nooks and corners of the building. There is a renowned art gallery (K K Hebbar art gallery, full of original work of the internationally renowned painter), as well as performance spaces for art practices such as theatre and music. The classrooms are equipped with excellent audio-visual facilities, and there is a substantial curated library (over 6,000 volumes and online journal subscriptions). Finally, there is a 180-seater intimate theatre (the Gangubai Hanagal auditorium) which has hosted some of the finest artists and scholars from the country and abroad. MCH students also have full access to shared MAHE facilities.

 

 

Career Paths

Many MCH Alumni have gone on to have successful careers in media, publishing, education, social sector, corporate sector, and arts management. Students have also been accepted in doctoral programs in prestigious international universities such as the University of Pennsylvania (USA), University of Chicago (USA), Columbia University, University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA), University of Toronto (Canada), University of Kent (UK), University of Groningen (Netherlands), University of Western Ontario, and Australian National University.

Facilities

Hospitals
Access to hospital facilities gives student hands-on training.

Innovation Centre
State-of-the-art Innovation Centre facilitates multi-disciplinary research.

Labs
Laboratories give students the opportunity for practical experience.

Sports & Fitness
Marena has world-class facilities with courts for badminton, tennis, soccer & squash, as well as a well-equipped gymnasium.

Libraries
Libraries give students access to study resources, digital, and print.

Student Housing
Student hostels are their homes away from homes.

Next Steps

Get the perfect start to your dream career by joining the Institution of Eminence