When I was finishing school and I had to choose
the subject I’d like to graduate in, I opted for
comparative literature at Jadavpur University, for
I felt that the course would open up avenues to read World Literature.
While in JU, I received rigorous training in analysing and comparing literary pieces and was overwhelmed by its range. Graduation soon came to an end and I knew I always had the option of continuing with comparative literature but I wanted to explore visual and performative arts.
The MA programme in Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi, caught my attention and I browsed through the course material for months. One of the few places in India that offers postgraduate degree courses in the theoretical and critical study of the cinematic, visual and performing arts, what sets it apart from the rest is its multidisciplinary approach.
The depth of the course kept me hooked for I was now reading about theatre, art, film, architecture and sculpture that have been a part of both Indian and world history. I realised that this course would be the perfect gateway to diversify further from literature into other arts. The hard work paid off, I did qualify and got admission into the School of Arts and Aesthetics (SAA), JNU. It has been 10 months, and I am enjoying myself.
The best part about studying at SAA is that students are encouraged to adopt a range of research methods that is a combination of archival, theoretical, ethnographic and cultural approaches. It has taught me to view individual arts through the prism of history, politics, sociology, semiotics, gender, cultural studies, and so on. The name of the course may invoke an incredulous reaction from many, for
surprisingly it is still not as popular as others.
However, I know I have made the right choice as I have a strong inclination towards all forms of arts, through different courses on film theory and analysis, postcolonial performance, comic traditions in theatre, Western and Indian art and popular visual cultures among others.