From Parle G To Pehlwani: How Popular Culture Influences South Asian Society



What will I Learn?

Every Saturday, Sunday between Dec 18 to Jan 3
09:00 am to 10:00 am IST

In this course, students will learn practical skills to read, analyze, and create work in humanities-based disciplines like anthropology and popular culture studies. We will explore popular culture phenomena such as “play,” Maggi, Tinkle, “I’m Lovin’ It,” Beyblade, and observe how they interact with South Asian culture at large. Students will watch ads and videos, listen to jingles, research popular culture trends, and more.


By the end of the course, you will
  • Identify contemporary trends, objects, and sayings like Barbie dolls and “I’m Lovin’ It” as popular culture

  • Differentiate popular culture from high culture like Carnatic music and Islamic calligraphy

  • Formulate your own anthropological analyses based on day-to-day observations of popular culture

  • Create content to add to the canon of South Asian popular culture studies.





Who is Teaching This Course

Nikita Chinamanthur

English, Scripps College of the Claremont Colleges

In her limited spare time, she enjoys writing poetry, watching all sorts of movies, and listening to music (especially film soundtracks and a variety of South Asian hits). When you meet her in December, she will have published her first novel, Ants!
Email Instructor

Ruchika Goel

Environmental Studies, Yale-NUS College

Ruchika is a creative writer and anthropologist deeply invested in alternate histories, environmental pop culture, and creating communal spaces that don't involve money. She's always available to talk D&D and why play is underrated.

Apply here!