Popular Culture & International Relations

An Ashoka University online course for high-school students.


Ananya Sharma

Course Dates

23rd May – 7th June


INR 12,000 + GST


Mon, Tues – 4:30 to 6pm

About The Course

Popular culture is widely understood to intersect with and shape our understanding of world politics. Game of thrones, K-Pop, Call of Duty and Harry Potter are important sites of cultural production and engage with political discourses on geopolitics, terrorism, immigration, globalisation and arms control, to name a few. The turn to ‘popular culture’ and aesthetic engagements with the political offer particularly powerful ways to reconfigure our sensory experience of the world and challenge the boundaries of what is visible and invisible, thinkable and unthinkable, and, thus, of what can and cannot be debated in politics. This course will enable the students to look at the two-way relationship between aesthetics and international politics − both shaping and structuring the other.

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    Course Faculty

    Mahavir Jhawar

    Ananya Sharma

    Ph.D. Jawaharlal Nehru University
    Ananya Sharma is assistant professor of international relations (IR).

    Her principal areas of academic focus include IR theory, intellectual histories of the global south, disciplinary histories of IR, gender in IR, and more recently the implications of utopianism in the discipline of IR. Several of her research articles have been published in edited volumes and conference proceedings.

    Ananya earned a PhD from the Centre for International Relations, Organisation and Disarmament, School of International Studies, JNU.

    Horizons Course Objectives

    Discover Your Interest and Aptitude

    Go Deep Into Specific Disciplines

    Learn with Amazing Peers from Schools across India

    Explore Unique Perspectives and Ideas

    Develop New Skills and Abilities

    Learning Support for the Course

    Dipanita Malik

    Teaching Assistant
    Dipanita Malik – Teaching Assistant
    Dipanita Malik is a final year undergraduate student at Ashoka University. She is a student of Political Science, International Relations and Media Studies, whose diverse subject areas of interest include post-colonialism, gender studies, cultural populism, decision sciences, electoral studies, Indian politics and political thought, and aesthetics.

    Madhavi Menon

    Professor of English, Ashoka University

    Director, Centre for Studies in Gender & Sexuality

    Director of the PhD Programme in English

    Ph.D. Tufts University

    Madhavi Menon is an eminent theorist and scholar of gender, sexuality, politics, and identity. 

    She joined Ashoka University in 2013 as one of its founding faculty members. She went on to establish the university’s Centre for Gender & Sexuality Studies (CSGS), which is the first of its kind in India. Previously, she was a professor at Ithaca College and American University

    Most prominently known for her work on queer theory and Shakespeare, she has also edited the collection Shakesqueer and written three books on Shakespeare and sexuality. She is also most recently the author of Infinite Varieties: A History of Desire in India and Law of Desire: Rulings on Sex & Sexuality in India. 

    In addition to being Director of CSGS, she is the Director of the Ph.D. programme in English and Professor of English at Ashoka University.