Cultural Practices & Resilience


To study and review sociological and cultural heritage perspectives on the meaning of resilience from a South Asian lens. The questions of cultural practices in-built in the everyday urbanism of Indian cities are inextricably tied to the questions of resilience. A number of urban studies scholars, sociologists, ecologists, and anthropologists have stressed the importance of deploying a cultural ecology perspective to better understand urbanization, urban processes and urbanism in the Indian context (Baviskar et al 2007, Srinivas 2004, D’Souza and Nagendra 2011). Gidwani and Baviskar (2011) as well as Nagendra and Ostrom (2014), Manjunatha and Nagendra (2016), and Parthasarathy (2011) have engaged with the idea of urban commons in re-theorizing cities in India from a socio-ecological perspective.

Course Objectives

Resilience, as a construct has myriad connotations. In the global South, particularly in South Asia resilience takes a different meaning based on context specific experiences and altogether different challenges posed by cities. Through a variety of scholarly readings and several examples and case studies this elective seeks to develop a holistic sociological understanding of resilience through the lens of cultural practices and every day urbanism in Indian cities. The specific objectives of the course include a better understanding of the following:

• Cultural Heritage, resilience and change
• Case studies for site at risks- Venice, Kyoto, Kathmandu, Jakarta, Rio de janerio, Paris
• Capacity to absorb disturbance
• Adaptability and transformability
• Climate change and heritage
• Resource management
• Memory & place in heritage resilience
• Future of the past

Learning Outcomes

Theoretical understanding of the diverse sociological and cultural heritage perspectives of resilience

• Students will read a variety of scholarly literature with a specific focus on the Global South
• They will simultaneously get a global understanding of the subject
• Develop understanding of urban morphology through phenomena of cultural heritage and social practices
• Identify various forces and possible threats in the morphological structures and understand their relationships
• Develop suitable visual and creative methods to depict urban resilience with specific real-life examples from their eco system.

Course Duration

16 weeks, Once a week.

Course Frequency

Every Year

Course Format

Elective/Lectures/ reading/presentations