Visions of the land in India (by marc hatzfeld)
Visions of the land in India: Approach of an anthropological survey is an online workshop offered by Professor Marc Hatzfeld, a French anthropologist working on social and urban issues whose recent work encompasses India. Designed and based on Moodle tools, pedagogy will alternate between guided discussions with suggested readings and a direct and concreat engagement of the participants with the ‘vision of land’ through interviews of key respondents. The objective is to introduce ‘land’ to the learners through an anthropological lens and provide an understanding of the lived experiences of it.
The effort, through such an approach, will be to engage with larger questions such as: Who has rights upon land? Who is entitled to change the rights upon land? At the same time, learners will have a hands-on experience of the tools and methodologies of an anthropological approach through the practicum requirements of the learning module. The anthropological interest of this survey is to venture beyond classical categories of exploitation, robbery, hierarchy, submission, grabbing, etc. Without erasing those categories, the idea is to find and define other categories, maybe more accurate, maybe complementary to the previous, maybe adding an angle or a colour to the usual anthropological toolbox.
And for those who still wonder how a workshop can be done on line, Trimukhi Platform is proposing a WEEK-END-APPETIZER VERSION on Friday 22nd (evening), Saturday 23rd (all day) and Sunday 24th November 2013 (afternoon)...
Visions of the land in India
approach of an anthropological survey
Marc Hatzfeld, anthropologist, Paris
WEEK-END-APPETIZER VERSION = 3 intensive days: Friday (evening) + Saturday (all day) + Sunday (afternoon) >> Course fee: INR 900
FULL WORKSHOP = 5 weeks class + 4 weeks personal practice (alternating: 1 week class / 1 week practice, etc.) >> Course fee: INR 5000
- How to carry out an anthropological survey?
- How to compare and combine the individual contribution to a survey and the collective understanding triggered by this survey?
- How to define a specific angle to a disputed issue so that it opens up spaces for participatory debates?
- The principle of the workshop: a survey
The triggering factor of this investigation is the dispute in West Bengal, across India and in many places in the world, about land. Who has rights upon land? Who is entitled to change the rights upon land?
The anthropological interest of this survey is to venture beyond classical categories of exploitation, robbery, hierarchy, submission, grabbing, etc. Without erasing those categories, the idea is to find and define other categories, maybe more accurate, maybe complementary to the previous, maybe adding an angle or a colour to the usual anthropological toolbox.
The level of this investigation is not the political level. The students are not supposed to take side in the dispute or even to argument the political involvements.
The investigation focuses on the representations, the visions one has about land. The idea is to search what images, emotions and thoughts come in the interviewed person’s mind, when ’land’ is spoken of. It can bring memories of a specific land, feelings about the atmosphere given by the land or some land, analysis, comparisons. It can induce anything.
- The methodological approach
Every two weeks, the students involved will carry out one interview on a given theme. The interview will last between one hour and one and a half hour. The interview will be recorded (if possible), translated (if necesary), transcripted and shared with the professor and the other students.
Following the gathering of the interviews, students and professor will exchange views. The professor will make methodological comments about each contribution as well as theoretical comments. For each stage of the process (each session), one or two of the students will attempt a synthesis of the given theme, based on the interviews.
At the end of the workshop, professor and students together will attempt a global although short synthesis.
- Progress of the course
The workshop will be carried on through online forums for five sessions (one session = one week), with sessions on alternate weeks: four on the investigation (the survey), one on the synthesis. In the opening week-session of the workshop, the professor will give a two-pages methodological sheet about the survey rules on this specific issue and occasion. Before each session, the professor will send a one-page roadmap containing the theme of the week, the specific aspects of the method involved and a short bibliography on the matter. The last session will deal with the global synthesis.
As of now, the suggested themes are:
- What is your own, personal, intimate relationship with land?
- What is your aesthetic vision of land?
- Who should debate the relation of humans with land and how should it be debated?
- What relationships do you see between land, nature, bhoomi, earth, territory, etc?
- Can you think of ways to evoke land, allowing reaching a common vision?
In the progress of the course, the titles of the themes may evolve.
- Bibliography (The students will be welcome and encouraged to add any novel, film, poetry and other pieces of literature or art, to this rather technical bibliography...)
Leonard K. Elmhirst (with Rabindranath Tagore). Poet and plowman, Visvah Bharati, 1975
Arild Engelsen Ruud, Poetic of village politics, Oxford University press (New Delhi), 2003
Annu Jalais, Forest of tigers, Routledge, 2010
Dayabati Roy, Partha Sarathi Banerjee, Contemporary politics in West Bengal, Purbalok publications, 2012
Winin Pereira, Tending the earth, Earthcare books, 1993
P. Sainath, Everybody loves a good draught, Penguin India, 1996
Madhav Gadgil, Ramachandra Guha, This fissured land, Oxford India, 1992
Pavan K. Varma, The great Indian middle class, Penguin, 2007
Vandana Shiva, Earth democracy, Natraj publishers, 2010
- Assessment of the work done
The students will be appraised on the five theme surveys, on their ability to work together and on their contribution to the specific and general synthesis. The level of the student will determine the expected contribution. For this specific online workshop appraisal will be certified by Trimukhi Platform .
- Students invited to the workshop
Any individual interested or engaged in sociological, ethnological, philosophical or anthropological studies or practices can follow this workshop.
- Registration process
The process for registration is as follow:
- Send an e-mail to Partha Datta ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) explaining - in a personal manner - why you want to take this workshop. Give also some details regarding your experience and degrees in relation to the course.
- The Academic Coordinator will revert by e-mail, to give you his approval or to ask you a few more questions or suggesting you to not take this course.
- The Academic Coordinator will then give you the Trimukhi Platform bank account number (State Bank of India) so you can pay the course fee. For those residing in India, this deposit can be done through net banking. For those residing outside India, the deposit should be done trough Paypal (extra charges applicable).
- Once your deposit is processed and confirmed, Trimukhi Platform will send you a receipt (in PDF) and your user name and password to access the course page on Moodle (http://www.trimukhionline.org/) as well as some instructions and guidelines to use the Moodle tools easily.
- On Monday 14th October 2013, the first forum will be open online at http://www.trimukhionline.org/.
For more information or enquiry, please contact Partha Datta email@example.com
Biography of the professor
Marc Hatzfeld is a social anthropologist based in Paris. He studied law and political sciences in Paris (University Paris 1 and Sciences-po) in the sixties, then ethnology (Ecole pratique des hautes études) in the early nineties. He was an assistant professor in Paris 1 and Vincennes universities in 1970 and 1971. From 1972 to 1979, he travelled on the five continents, living out of any kinds of odd jobs. From 1980 to 1990, he lived in Toulouse (France) as a social worker. In the late nineties he started consulting for big corporations on human resources. Back in Paris in 1990, he started to work as a consultant on social issues, for city boards, local NGOs and ministerial bodies. From then on he progressively shared his professional life between research programs related to social issues (unemployment in the city, homelessness, mediation and respect, suburban management, health in popular neighbourhoods, juvenile transgression, etc.) and coaching projects and actors in suburban areas. He co-animates a seminar in the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, gives lectures in urban sociology in University René Descartes in Paris. He published : Quand la marge est créatrice (Underground labour in the city), Petit traité de la banlieue (An ethnological approach of French suburbs), Les Dézingués (About homelessness), La culture des cités, Petites fabriques de la démocratie (on participatory democracy), Les lascars (on juvenile transgression). He directed two documentaries: Pas de problème (on youth and labour), Portes & passages (on immigration in Paris proper) and participated in What to build means? (on the construction of Trimukhi Cultural Centre in a remote Indian tribal village). He collaborated with Jean-Frédéric Chevallier for two theatre performances: Guignol's dol in India and Nous n'habitons plus les paysages in France.
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