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New Visual Methodologies in Teaching Modern South Asian History

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In the context of a steadily growing interest in investigating modern history with the help of visual research methods a number of historians, anthropologists and artists (Pinney 2004, Pushpamala N. 2004, Tan 2005, Spencer 2011, Kahlon 2011) have recently employed theories of visual rhetoric in the study and representation of South Asian identities. Moreover, the use of visual records as primary research sources is not anymore the prerogative of cultural historians but a pedagogical tool recurrently used by teachers and students of South Asian history. In this talk I will present several teaching and learning platforms which I have developed since 2011 in collaboration with British and South Asian historians. The talk will also include a selection of visual essays produced by thirty history teachers during a one-week workshop which I co-organised with the Azim Premji University, Bangalore, in September 2013. This workshop was a pedagogical exercise that highlighted the ways in which Indian history teachers could successfully use colonial amateur footage as a valid primary research source able to complement the Indian history curriculum for classes VIII -XII. The talk will conclude with a discussion on the urgency of interdisciplinary research and pedagogical methodologies pertinent to reliable and long term knowledge-transfer programs within modern South Asian studies.

This talk is part of the Centre for Commonwealth Education (CCE) series.

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