HS 830: Ethnicity and Nationalism

This course introduces students to the field of ethnicity and nationalism, which have become crucial issues in todays world. In this course the different perspectives on ethnicity, nationalism and multiculturalism will be discussed in general and the issues will then be related to the Indian scenario. The gender issues involved in nationalist and communal discourses will also be taken up for discussion.

 1.  Genealogy of the terms Ethnicity and Nationalism and their relationship with contrasting and allied concepts like race, religious community, linguistic and regional groups, etc.

2.   Perspectives on Ethnicity: Focus on writings of Fredrick Barth, Moynihan and Glazer, Cynthia Enloe.

3.   Perspectives on Nationalism: Focus on works of Anderson, Hobsbawm and Ranger, Anthony Smith, Gellner and Partha Chatterjee.

4.  Communalism in India: Formation of communal identities and its relation with colonial state, nationalist movement, partition and post-independence reforms.

5.   Secularism and its discontent: Its relation with modernity and religious strife. Adoption in the Indian context. Current debates on secularism in India.

6.   Multiculturalism: focus on the writings of Charles Taylor and Will Kymlicka.  Its relevance in the Indian context.

7.  Gender, communalism and nationalism: perspectives on women and nation-state, motherhood and nation, nationalist resolution of the womens question, gender and communalism.


Anderson, Benedict.  Imagined communities: Reflections on origin and Spread of Nationalism, London: Verso & New Left books, 1980. 

Hobsbawm and Rangers (eds).  The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. 

Chatterjee, Partha.  The Nation and its fragments, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1993. 

Glazier and Moynihan (eds).  Ethnicity: Theory and Experience, Cambridge Mass: Harvard University Press, 1975. 

Bhargava, R.  (ed).  Secularism and its Critics, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998. 

Kymlicka, W.  Multicultural Citizenship, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995. 

Gutmann, A. (ed) .  Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994. 

Bhargava, Bagchi & Sudarshan (eds).  Multiculturalism, Liberalism and Democracy, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999. 

Yuval-Davis and Anthias.  Women and Nation-stae, London: Macmillan, 1989. 

Jayawardena, Kumari.  Feminism and nationalism in the Third world, London: Zed press, 1986. 

Desai, A. R., Social Background of Indian Nationalism, Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 1986. 

Brass, Paul.  Ethnicity and Nationalism, Theory and Experience, New Delhi: Sage publications, 1991.