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This course deals primarily with novels or short stories written in English by either Indians or Pakistanis; most of the novels were written since the Indian/Pakistani partition in 1947.

This course samples novels written in English in the twentieth century by Indians and Pakistanis. Though many subjects will be discussed, the following foci will be included in the discussion of the appropriate novels: Indian and Pakistani cultural values (family, home, treatment of children and so on), sexual politics, east-west relations, mysticism, colonialism, post-colonial history, language, Hinduism, sikhism, ghandism, and vedic philosophy. The class will be a combination of lecture and discussion with the instructor providing introductory overviews for each writer and novel followed by close reading and discussion by class members. Requirements: Class attendance and participation (including the assigned leading of the class for part of one or more meetings), one short paper, one in-class midterm, one in-class final, and one long paper on a novel not discussed in class. Participation through listserv will be expected every week in response to questions and other prompts provided by the instructor and other students. Readings may include: R. K. Narayan ( The Guide), Kamala Markandaya (Nectar in a Sieve), Raja Rao (Kanthapura), G. V. Desani (All About Mr. Hatterr), Anita Desai (Clear Light of Day), Bharata Mukherjee (The Tiger's Daughter), Ruth Jhabvala (Heat and Dust), some selections from Rabindanath Tagore, and Khushwant Singh (Train to Pakistan). Be prepared to read at a pace of about one novel for every 3-4 class meetings. Reading quizzes will be given as we start each novel.


Further Reading


Links: Understanding Cultural Context

This Page was last updated 9/7/02. Other pages may have been updated more recently