E 314V • South Asian Lit/Cul Snc 1990s
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
In the last two decades, writing from and about South Asia has acquired a global readership and prominence in new ways. With the publication of Salman Rushdie's Midnights Children, the immediate international acclaim it received after winning the Man Booker Prize in Literature, and the rise of an interest in third-world, magical realist literature, South Asian literature was quickly becoming not only trendy but important outside the subcontinent. South Asian writers writing in English have won, not only the Booker, but also the Pulitzer, the Nobel, and the Canadian Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. Inside the subcontinent, though, a debate raged, one that was longstanding but which developed a new vocabulary, about whether it was responsible or not for English-language writers to trade on their knowledge of (and perhaps misrepresentations of) subcontinental cultures, traditions, and histories. This class will begin by examining the debate between Salman Rushdie and Amit Chaudhuri and proceed by examining some of the best literature to emerge from the subcontinent in the last twenty years in order to produce an understanding of the language debates, the global traffic in national literatures, and the transnational circuits of identity and nationality that are central to South Asian fiction. Through the lens of the language debates we will also work at refining our skills at formal, historical and cultural critique by looking at the debates about national independence, gender and caste, globalization, and translation.
Weekly blackboard entries, 20%; Final Paper (8-10 pages), 30%; Short Paper (5-6 pages), 20%; Response Papers (4, 2 pages @), 20%; Participation and attendance, 10%
Ananthamurthy, Samskara (1965); Chaudhari, The Vintage Book of Modern Indian Literature; Desai, The Inheritance of Loss (2006); Devi, Imaginary Maps (1994); Karnad, Collected Plays (1996); Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies (2000); Mistry, A Fine Balance (2001); Roy, The God of Small Things (1998); Rushdie, Midnight's Children (1988); Rushdie, Mirrorworks