Instructor: Professor Chinnaiah Jangam

Course Description

In the history of modern world, Mohandas K. Gandhi stands out as an intriguing personality about whom Albert Einstein once remarked: “Generations to come…will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.” Recognized as an apostle of non-violence and the champion of anti-colonial movement in South Asia, he inspired generations of humans across the world towards the paths of struggle for liberation. Gandhi was essentially a product of modernity and its encounter with the ‘other’. Ironically, standing on the shoulders of modernity, he tried to challenge modernity and render its influences as illegitimate. The course, while tracing the cultural and intellectual origins of Gandhi, his ideas, mission and struggles, tries to contextualize his relevance to the contemporary world. Most importantly this course focuses on Gandhi’s engagement with the issues of caste, race and gender and critically evaluates limitations of ideas and political practice.

Required Texts:

  • M. K. Gandhi, An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiment with Truth, Beacon Press, 1993.  ISBN-10: 0807059099; ISBN-13: 978-0807059098
  • M.K. Gandhi (Author), Anthony J. Parel (Editor), Gandhi: ‘Hind Swaraj’ and Other Writings, Centenary Edition (Cambridge Texts in Modern Politics), Cambridge, 2009. ISBN-10: 052114602X; ISBN-13: 978-0521146029.

Class Format: Each week students will be expected to attend a three-hour lecture in which there will be discussion about the course readings, and opportunities to prepare for the course assignments.

Assessment:  Students will be assessed on their written work, in class presentation, and their participation in class.  There will be at least two written assignments.