Indian Culture I

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course means first of all to
- develop a solid and consolidated knowledge, both diachronic and synchronous, and a deep understanding of different aspects of Indian culture, traditions and habits;
- develop the understanding of the main features of the different, religious and social, communities Indian society is made of and divided in, also in order to learn how to properly and effectively interact with Indian people depending on their social and cultural profile;
- develop the ability to relate and interact properly with Indian people living both in India and abroad using different linguistic registers and communicative skills depending on the social and cultural features of the community the Indian speaker belong to;
- develop different ways of relating to people based on their social identity;
- develop the understanding of the social, political and cultural relationships among the different communities living in India;
- train the students to understand and decipher the Indian point of view on a number of subjects ruling everyday social life;
- train the students to detect the problems and the difficulties Indian people living abroad do usually experience. The course also is supposed to give the students the instruments both to understand the social and cultural experiences Indian immigrants have to go through in order to integrate into the new social and cultural scenario and to detect the main problems they usually face depending on their social and economic status and on their religious identity;
- the course is also supposed to develop the students's ability to explain to someone who is not aware of any features of Indian culture, society and traditions its main aspects and contents. The students at the end of the course should be aware of the cultural and historical meaning of Indian demeanors, behaviors, and automatic physical and mental patterns. They should also be able to increase their knowledge of Indian culture autonomously, orienting themmselves in the vast array of available studies and researches on Indian culture.
Expected learning outcomes
After attending the course, students should be able to recognize the main theoretical positions emerging in the contemporary debate on the historiographical and anthropological representation of the development of Indian society. The course is also supposed to promote students' ability to critically deal with methodological problems and to use appropriate scientific terminology. Students are expected to become familiar with academic and specialist literature and the course means to promote students' autonomy in studying topics related to Indian culture.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
According to the evolution of the Covid-19's spread, it could be necessary to rely on online teaching. In that case lessons will be held in synchronous, using Teams; only in specific cases and duly communicated, the lessons will be held in asynchronous. The timetable of the lessons will remain unchanged and every needed information will be provided through the Ariel website of the course. Course materials and slide presentations will be uploaded regularly on the Ariel website.
In any case all the variations will be always fine-tuned to the University's official directions.
Course syllabus
Since India will mark the 75th anniversary of Independence Day on August 15, 2022, the course will focus first of all on the different historical and ideological stages of the freedom struggle, analysing in depth the period between 1857 and 1947. A specific attention will be paid to the concrete and intellectual contribution given by both the main freedom fighters and the architects of modern India, the visionaries who laid the foundations of the pluralist, democratic and secular Indian nation. The course also means to introduce the students to the history of post-colonial India, outlining the social, economic, political and cultural achievements of the country over the past 75 years. A thorough institutional, social and linguistic profile of the country as well as its legal framework will be sketched out. We shall investigate the development, reform, progress, governance, policy and achievements of Union of India over the years through primary sources of various types (literary, historical, journalistic, artistic) focusing on the literary and non-literary works, films, discourses, art forms and cultural practices which contribute to inform the Indian debate on national, social and cultural identity.
Prerequisites for admission
No previous knowledge of Indian history and Indian culture is required.
Teaching methods
Classroom-taught lesson, practical exercises and role-play. Conferences, lectures and seminars related to the course topic will be scheduled with invited speakers and scholars.
Teaching Resources
- AAVV, The Passenger. India, Iperborea, Milano, 2019.
- G. Borsa, Gandhi. Un uomo di pace che divenne la fiera anima di un popolo, Bompiani, 2003.
- F. D'Orazi Flavoni, Storia dell'India. Società e sistema dall'indipendenza a oggi, Marsilio, 2000.
- M. Torri, Storia dell'India, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2000 (da studiare nel dettaglio i capitoli compresi fra il X e il XVII).
TRE LIBRI DA SCEGLIERE FRA I SEGUENTI (original edition or Italian translation):
1. V.S. Naipaul, India. Un milione di rivolte, Mondadori, Milano, 1991.
2. W. Dalrymple, Nove vite, Adelphi, Milano, 2011.
3. D. Lapierre-L. Collins, Stanotte la libertà, Il Saggiatore, 2011.
4. S. Mehta, Maximum City, Einaudi, 2006.
5. R. Dasgupta, Delhi, Feltrinelli, 2015.
6. A. Giridharadas, Ritorno in India, Dalai Editore, 2012.
7. P.K. Varma, Dentro l'India. Potere, ricchezza, tecnologia, nazionalismo, Lindau, Torino, 2008.
8. B. Sidhwa, La spartizione del cuore, Neri Pozza, 2003.
- L. Acquarone, Tra Dharma, Common Law e WTO. Un'introduzione al sistema giuridico dell'India, Unicopli, 2016.
1. Barbara Pozzo, A Suitable Boy: The Abolition of Feudalism in India, Erasmus Law Review, Vol. 1, No. 3, 2008,
2. Domenico Francavilla, Le lingue del diritto in India,
3. Domenico Amirante, Giustizia ambientale e green judges nel diritto comparato: il caso del National Green Tribunal of India,
4. Luca Giacomelli, «I am what I am, so take me as I am» e il carattere «trasformativo» dei principi costituzionali: la Corte Suprema indiana depenalizza i rapporti omosessuali,«I-am-what-I-am-so-take-me-as-I-am»-e-il-carattere-«trasformativo»-dei-principi-costituzionali-la-Corte-Suprema-indiana-depenalizza-i-rapporti-omosessuali.pdf
5. Domenico Francavilla, Il diritto dell'India post-coloniale tra imitazione e autonomia - Tutela dell'ambiente e judicial activism,
6. Mario Prayer, Ambedkar e la costruzione di un'India democratica ed egalitaria,
7. Amrita Ghosh & Pratyusha Kar, Pre-Nuptials Agreements in India: an Analysis of Law and Society, NUJS Law Review 12 NUJS L. Rev. 2 (2019),…
8. Lorenza Acquarone, La 'Donna di Sostanza' si è opposta ai 'Miracoli del Destino': casi celebri in materia di diritto d'autore in India,
9. Marco Seghesio, La tutela degli animali: confronto tra Occidente e Oriente,
10. Matteo Dragoni, Accordo Trips, brevetti e resistenze in India,
11. Monica Senor, Il riconoscimento della tutela costituzionale del diritto alla privacy in India,…
Assessment methods and Criteria
The oral test the exam consists in means to verify the acquisition of both theoretical knowledge and skills in discussing and presenting effectively and properly the subjects the course revolves around. Grading, besides student's preparation, will also take into account her/his ability of analysis and synthesis, clarity in exposition, use of an appropriate terminology. An organic vision of the topics discussed in the course, the capacity for critical analysis and the use of a precise and appropriate language will be tested. The student's active participation in the lessons and activities organized within the course will be taken into consideration.
The student may write and discuss a short paper dealing with one of the subjects or contents analysed during the course. The student who wants to present and discuss an essay instead of the course bibliography should send the essay (minimun 10.000 characters) to professor Angelillo one week before the day of the exam. The assessment takes into consideration the strength of the preparation, the student's ability to critically deal with methodological poblems, the clarity and the ability to use appropriate scientific terminology.
Without the following formal characteristics the short paper will not be taken into consideration: quotations always accompanied by the bibliographic reference of the source;short final bibliography written accordingly to one of the bibliography models accepted in the academic publications.
Lessons: 60 hours