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Responding to Difference: The Aesthetic Turn in International Relations

What is the role of theory in making the world intelligible? How does it shape and condition what we look at and how we look at it? Does location matter in IR? This course aims to open up knowledge practices from sites and positions that are usually not immediately addressed or recognized in mainstream debates in International Relations. International Relations is also enacted and performed through various mediums such as popular culture, films, literature, music, art, paintings, museums, sports, etc. The course will enable the students to look at the two-way relationship between aesthetics and international politics − both shaping and structuring the other. It will also underline that aesthetics and its deployments are deeply political acts and not value-neutral. The course will simultaneously familiarise students with conceptual and methodological tools drawn from different fields to understand the art and craft of international politics by other means. In doing so it explores what counter imaginations may exist to conventional disciplinary understandings regarding statehood, citizenship, borders and boundaries, violence, development, human rights, social change and subjectivity as well as what new political horizons and alternative modes of scholarly engagement might unfold from them.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka