The two-year, 80-credits MA program in Society and Culture at IIT Gandhinagar aims to provide analytical lens and theoretical perspectives in disciplines including History, Culture Studies, Literature, Translation Studies, Sociology, Political Science and Anthropology. The MA curriculum combines core learnings in theory and methods with a range of advanced electives in specific disciplines. That is, students interested in particular disciplines may take specific tracks that allow them to deepen their knowledge and critically engage in the contemporary body of scholarship shaping the humanities and social sciences intellectual traditions. Please note that, students can also complete the program without opting for a specific track. As a capstone project, all MA students complete a Master’s level thesis that allow them to work closely with a faculty advisor in the students’ preferred field of specialization. Overall, the MA program trains graduate students in independent research allowing them to pursue an advanced academic degree (e.g. PhD) and also prepares them for professional careers in journalism, writing, social development sector and public policy.
MA in Society and Culture has a very flexible curriculum. The objective of the curriculum is to enable students to design the program according to their preference. For the 2017-2019 cycle, three discipline specific tracks are offered:
Literature and Society
This track invites students to creatively understand and critically engage with literary texts in English as well as Indian Languages across time and space, while reflecting on the fundamental tropes within societies and cultures. With a broad focus on India, the courses offered under this track address some of the focal socio-cultural dualism pervasive in the critical idiom, such as; colonial and postcolonial, classical and modern, regional and cosmopolitan, print and digital cultures, cinema and society, caste and class. The courses encourage students to debate and initiate dialogues revolving around central literary and socio-cultural discourses.
History and Politics
This track will train students to develop critical thinking in a range of themes and perspectives that fall within the academic disciplines of History and Political Science. Courses in this track have been designed with a broad focus on India, its immediate colonial history and the functioning of the post-colonial nation state and society.
Public Policy and Human Development
This new track will train students to critically review the contested idea of development using a multidisciplinary lens while examining questions of intersectionality in stratification systems and their interaction with state, market and society. Grounded in critical social science theories, this new track will go beyond the traditional dichotomies of wellbeing, culture, development and modernity and encourage students to think about politics and policy as part of their everyday life. Courses in this track will involve training students in the methodological tools necessary for the practice of social science inquiry ( such as demographic methods; data analytics; human development and impact measurement) as well as an understanding of evidence-based, applied social research (such as education policy; social epidemiology; disease, health and inequality).
These courses will help students develop a critical appreciation of the nuances of historical transformation, power and agency, articulation of class and community identities, the role of civil society, democratic mobilization, mob psychology and so on.
MA Program Highlights:
- Opportunity to specialize in discipline specific concentrations
- Opportunity to engage in original research
- Off campus academic and policy internships
- Student led graduate seminars and symposiums
- Courses and mentoring offered by distinguished faculty who are experts in their fields
- Research awards and conference support (on a competitive basis) for MA students
In short, the MA program allows students to deepen their knowledge of a set of disciplines and yet remain free of boundedness that is so characteristic of other systems Given below is a list of core and specialized track courses to provide a view into the nature and scope of the program:
Perspectives in History, Perspectives on Politics, Critical Approaches to Anthropology and Sociology, Perspectives on Indian Civilization, Theoretical Perspectives in Literary Studies, Research Methods in Social Sciences and Humanities.
Reading English in English Classical Indian Literature, India Through the Writer’s Eye, World literature and Readings from Bengal, South Asia through Literature.
History of Modern India (1930-1964) Paradox of Indian Democracy, Social History of Dissent Mobs, Crowds and Citizens: Democracy and Mass Mobilisation in India, Global Poverty and Developmental Aid.
Introduction to Demography: Population Measures and Social Processes, Global Poverty & Development Aid, Disease, Health & Inequality, Human Development: Theory, Measures and Policies, Education in Modern India: History, Policies & Process of Reforms, Theories of social epidemiology.
M.A Program Credit Structure
Minimum credits required for graduation is 80. An indicative distribution of course credits is the following. Core Courses (20 Credits), Track/General electives (26 Credits), Summer Internship (4 credits), Electives outside HSS discipline (6 credits), Cultures of Communication (4 credits), Dissertation (20 credits).