The blog is aimed to project and archive the classroom attempts of the students interested or pursuing the course urban anthropology at the university of Delhi. It marks itself as a class room project with the third-year students of the B.Sc. Anthropology who opted for the course urban anthropology. It was for the first time this course was offered as a choice to opt at the level of B.Sc. otherwise it was a dedicated course of specialization for the M.Sc. students only.
Thus, the writings are at the infantile stage of probing disciplinary queries of urban anthropology through writings while it focusses more on providing a learning ground meanwhile showcasing “what we have learned”.
The blog currently showcases the vibrant works of eleven students, who were asked to work on the three themes which includes;
- Photo shoot in any city life, Creating captions and texts relating to urban anthropology findings.
- Media-popular culture behaviour
- Doing place based sensory ethnography.
For each of the projects the students were made informed about the concepts and theories through the class room presentations and discussion. Later, each student picked a domain of their interest and conducted the study.
For the first project “Photo shoot in any city life”, the students were asked to make a field visit to Chandani Chowk, Old Delhi in order to unravel the hidden connections and processes, that are linked to the successful functioning of this Old Delhi market place. Through a chosen object, as the subject of a few photographs, each photographic essay tries answering questions related to urban anthropological findings of social relation, social class, producer-consumer relation, business community, density of population, urban space and transportation. Objects as agency, have the capacity to evoke emotions in the very individuals who created them. We humans give objects a purpose, which in turn gains agency when used for specific reasons by different people. People attach their own meanings to the objects, below which lies the hidden facts of their way of life, of how they build their social ties and how they’re placed and sustain in this society. The photographic essays would be capturing these masked agencies and how the objects hold different connotations in people with respect to their frame of mind in the urban setting.
For the second Project “Media-popular culture behaviours”, we aimed at achieving the understanding and shaping of popular culture behaviours associated with the role of media through the paradigm of urban anthropology. This section entails the numerous sources of popular culture in the form of a primary source the mass media, especially popular music, film, television, radio, video games, books and the internet. In order to understand the happenings of the world allowing us to perceive “what popular culture behaviours are?” and “what role the media plays in its popularity?”.
For the third and the last project “Doing sensory ethnography”, the students divided themselves into three groups and ventured in the kamla nagar market probing the field through three sensory categories i.e. the vision, the sound and the smell. And provided a documentation on the observational accounts on the respective themes.
From these stated projects we are aspiring to grow further as the time passes by. Please reach out to us through the “CONTACT” page if you have ideas, recommendations or any queries to make.
Concept By: Dr. C. Mahajan (Asst. Professor at the Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi).
Maintenance By: Nikhil Kaithwas (M.Phil. Research Scholar at the Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi).