This course will look at the ways that religion intersects with media in South Asia-- exploring how the medium is the message. The class begins with a discussion of how it is difficult to define "religion" and "media" in the Global South, specifically in South Asia. We will analyze how religion and media are inextricable, and also how news media has gone about the business of turning religion into news. The class will familiarize students with a variety of media forms aside from the obvious sources of internet, TV and newspaper-- these include traditional architecture, devotional texts, devotional poetry, music, visual-sensorial worship, modern film, recorded music, clothing, and live performance. We will conclude with a look at religion in forms of contemporary media, with particular attention to new media (TV, radio, internet). The course also offers students lectures providing a foundation of knowledge on a few of the primary religious traditions that will be central to the regions under discussion: Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity. There will be guest speakers and a visit to Penn Museum. While much of the course will be immersed in the history and the past, we will conclude by considering contemporary contexts, both globalized and local. There is no prerequisite for the course. All students are welcome.
Section 401 - LEC
MW 0200PM-0330PM