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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Spring 2010


Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

In this course, we will critically engage images and narratives of the South Asian diaspora through the work of South Asian women writers and artists living in North America.

Through our discussions of contemporary novels, stories, essays, and films, we will explore a number of questions: What is the South Asian diaspora, and what does it mean to write as a woman from that complex location? How do gender, nationality, and location impact the ways in which writers and artists imagine the world and their own communities? The ways they define notions of home and belonging? To what extent is diaspora an abstract concept, and to what extent is it a material condition for South Asian women in North America? What possibilities are enabled and foreclosed by living and writing in the diaspora—in terms of culture, politics, desire, and forms of community and exchange? How are writers and artists imagining diaspora in relation to globalization and transnational flows of people, commodities, and ideas? In addressing these questions, we will consider the usefulness and the limitations of "diaspora"; how race, class, ethnicity, and nationality play into conceptions of home and community; exile and migration, particularly with respect to the forms of violence that force people to leave one home and the politics of immigration in the US; nationalism, sexualities, and queer diasporas; and relationships between memory and popular culture.


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