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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2006

E 322 • Women Writers in South Asian Diaspora

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
33396 MWF
3:00 PM-4:00 PM
HRH 3.102A

Course Description

In this course we will read contemporary novels, short stories, and poems by women of South Asian descent living in North America. A primary aim of the course is to ask what, if anything, these writers and their works have in common. In addressing this question, we will examine issues of migration, identity, race, religion, gender, sexuality, and class while considering the utility and limitations of the notion of a South Asian diaspora. We will also explore the causes and effects of the recent popularity of literature in English by South Asian diasporic authors, particularly female ones, with American readers. Background readings on a variety of topics (including the authors' biographies, South Asian and Asian American history, feminist theory, and literary criticism) will enhance our discussions of the literary works.

Grading Policy

Attendance and class participation 10%
Weekly postings to a discussion forum 10%
Group presentation and accompanying paper (4 pages) 20%
Midterm paper, first a rough draft then a final version (6 pages) 30%
Final paper (6 pages) 30%


Meena Alexander, Raw Silk
Anita Rau Badami, The Hero's Walk
Anita Desai, Fasting, Feasting
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Queen of Dreams
Tenuja Desai Hidier, Born Confused
Ginu Kamani, Junglee Girl
Sorayya Khan, Noor
Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake
Bharati Mukherjee, Desirable Daughters
Tahira Naqvi, Attar of Roses
Kamila Shamsie, Salt and Saffron
Bapsi Sidhwa, An American Brat
Course packet


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