Jnanapravaha | think critical. think art.

Upcoming Programmes

MAR Onwards
Theoretical Foundations
Module VI
Rohit Goel
MAR Onwards
Community Engagement
JPM Write
Rohit Goel
Criticism & Theory
Art & Post-digital Culture
Kristoffer Gansing
APR Onwards
Indian Aesthetics
Bhakti, Beauty and Bloodshed in Indian C
Neeraja Poddar
Criticism & Theory
What could the future of humanity be?
Matthijs Cornelissen

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Queens Mansion, 3rd Floor, G. Talwatkar Marg, Fort, Mumbai - 400001. India.
E-mail: to.jnanapravaha@gmail.com, info@jp-india.org
Tel      : +91-22-2207 2974 / 2207 2975
Landmark: We are next to Cathedral Middle School, in the lane opposite J.B.Petit School.



PG Diploma in Theoretical Foundations

Course Description

JPM’s new postgraduate diploma in Theoretical Foundations provides students a rigorous study of critical social, political, anthropological, psychoanalytic, and aesthetic theory. Over two years, JPM’s Academic Director Rohit Goel will offer six, ten-session modules each July, November, and March.


The modules for 2016 - 2018 are as follows


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This course analyzes understandings of justice in 'post-conflict' societies. We critically examine the theoretical literature on 'transitional justice' to investigate how, after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, scholars and citizens alike have relegated evil to the past, permanently deferred justice to the future, and framed the present as a time between wrong and right. The class investigates the political effects-on nationalism, sovereignty, and citizenship-of the dominant, post-Cold War discourse of human rights through a variety of cases, including post-war America, Germany, India, South Africa, Yugoslavia, and Lebanon. The course is structured by a detailed reading of Robert Meister’s recent work, 'After Evil: A Politics of Human Rights' (2010), which spans the disciplines of political theory, history, philosophy, jurisprudence, and theology. This course enables students to think critically about the uniquely post-Cold War temporality of evil and justice, when evil’s end, far from precipitating justice, postpones it indefinitely.


July 1st, 5th, 6th, 7th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 18th, 21st & 22nd


6.30 - 8.30 pm

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In this course, students closely read seminal psychoanalytic accounts of the self’s relation to capitalist society: Marx, Freud, Lacan, Herbert Marcuse, Slavoj Žižek, Mladen Dolar, Alenka Zupancic, Lorenzo Chiesa, Samo Tomšic, and Aaron Schuster. We closely read and discuss Marx’s ‘Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844’ and Capital; Freud’s Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis and Civilization and its Discontents; selections of Lacan’s Seminars and Ecrits; Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization; Žižek’s The Sublime Object of Ideology; as well as more recent texts by the so-called “Slovenian School” of psychoanalytic philosophers.


November 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd, 29th & 30th


6.30 - 8.30 pm

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This seminar series offers a rigorous account of Marx’s oeuvre, connecting his early work on alienation, ideology, and historical epochs to his mature social theory of capital. We will read and discuss selections of Marx’s “Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844,” “Theses on Feuerbach,” and “Communist Manifesto,” move through his method of political economy in the “Grundrisse,” and arrive at his critical analysis of Capital. In the final seminar, we will situate our analysis of time, labor, and social domination in the context of subaltern approaches to studying European colonial expansion in South Asia. Focusing on Ranajit Guha’s seminal text, “The Prose of Counter-Insurgency,” participants will learn to read official or “canonical” texts and images contrapuntally-against the grain-a means to writing subaltern voices of resistance to capital and colonialism.


March 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th & 30th


6.30 - 8.30 pm

INTERPRETIVE METHODS (July 2017) (Writing required)
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This course will provide students with an introduction to interpretive methods in the humanities and social sciences. Students will learn to "read" texts and images while also becoming familiar with contemporary thinking about interpretation, narrative, ethnography, and social construction. Among the methods we shall explore are: semiotics, hermeneutics, ordinary language philosophy, discourse analysis, psychoanalysis, subaltern studies, and Marxian analysis.

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This seminar offers a comprehensive account of postcolonial theory and its critics. From its inception as a Euro-American academic discipline in the 1980s, postcolonial theory has attempted to reconcile Marxist concerns with “subaltern” justice with postmodern criticisms of structural analysis. As such, the theoretical moment of “the postcolonial” has been at once creative and controversial. The course begins with an analysis of the “Subaltern Studies” school, an effort to grasp the aims of postcolonial research as well as its audience, considering Gayatri Spivak’s provocative claim that the subaltern subject cannot speak. Second, we turn to Dipesh Chakrabarty’s ambitious effort to “provincialize Europe,” putting Marx and Heidegger into conversation to show how practices such as democracy, nationalism, and exchange have operated in alternative ways in postcolonial India. We analyze Chakrabarty’s “alternative modernities” thesis alongside the Marxist critic Fredric Jameson’s contention that modernity is “singular.” Third, the course moves to postcolonial understandings of the “nation form” of political community, considering Partha Chatterjee’s celebrated critique of Benedict Anderson in his work on Gandhi, Nehru, Bengali culture and the making of modern India, as well as Manu Goswami’s neo-Marxist challenge to Chatterjee’s thesis. Fourth, we take up Edward Said’s influential concept of “Orientalism” through the lens of his postcolonial critics, specifically Aijaz Ahmad. The course concludes with a reading of Vivek Chibber’s recently celebrated attack on postcolonial theory, Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital, a defense of the radical Enlightenment tradition that postcolonial theory ostensibly aims to deconstruct. Armed with a thorough understanding of the postcolonial tradition of analysis, the class will critically evaluate Chibber’s argument to consider the fate of the postcolonial today.

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The first half of the course begins with the structural linguistics of Saussure and Jakobson, moves to Barthes’s semiotics, and finishes with the structural anthropology of Levi-Strauss, Sahlins, and the early Foucault. Situating the shift to poststructuralism in the historical context of the 1960’s and 1970’s, the second half of the course begins with the later Foucault’s History of Sexuality and Discipline and Punish, moves to Derrida’s notion of différance and Deleuze’s conception of desire, and finishes by putting Marx into conversation with the later Lacan. Students will gain a foundational understanding of the epistemological contours and stakes of structuralism and poststructuralism.



- Graduation Degree

Admission Requirements

  • A copy of your last degree certificate
  • A copy of your complete bio-data
  • Two passport size photographs

Fees (per module)

Rs. 10,000/- (Participation with 75% attendance, and writing required)


Students can choose to do one or more modules; those who participate in and complete the writing assignments for at least three of the modules offered between 2016 and 2018 are awarded a diploma in Theoretical Foundations from JPM. Students are expected to read and be prepared to discuss assigned texts for each session and indicate whether they intend to write for the course upon registration, when they receive their course packets.


How to Apply

You are required to submit two passport size photographs, photocopies of your bio and last degree certificate at our center after filling in the enrollment form. Course fees are accepted only in cash, or cheque in favor of 'Jnanapravaha'.

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PG Diploma in Theoretical Foundations
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Queens Mansion, 3rd Floor, G. Talwatkar Marg,
Fort, Mumbai - 400001. India.
Tel: +91-22-2207 2974 / 2207 2975.
Fax: +91-22-2207 2976.
Email: to.jnanapravaha@gmail.com,

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