E 370W • Gender and Sexuality in South Asia and the Middle East
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
This course will examine South Asian and Middle Eastern culture and literature written in English from a variety of genres including novels, essays, performance art, film and some translated short stories and poetry. We will explore discourses on gender, sexuality and spirituality in colonial and postcolonial contexts, making connections between written narrative, oral culture, and media images. We will explore perspectives on colonialism, gender, ethnicity, race, class, and spirituality. We will also do some background reading of theory to identify modern notions of sexual identity. It will be useful for students to have taken at least one course in Asian Studies or Middle Eastern Studies; an equivalent background in women's studies or gender studies will be an advantage. Please consult with me if you are not sure about your preparation for the course.
Three 4-page papers every two to three weeks 20% each
One final 8-10-page paper and group project 20%
Class attendance and participation 20%
Texts (I will choose 3 or 4): Andre Aciman, Out of Egypt; W. G. Sebald, The Emigrants; Fatima Mernissi, Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Childhood; E. M. Forster, A Passage to India; Bapsi Sidhwa, The Bride; Salman Rushdie, Shame; Shauana Singh Baldwin, What the Body Remembers; Arundhatti Roy, The God of Small Things
Films and Videos (3 or 4 of this list): Fire, Paris is Burning, A Passage to India, Bandit Queen, Rockstars and Mullas, The Square Circle, Monsoon Wedding, Bhaji on the Beach
Course packet with articles, short essays, and translated short stories and poems. Critical texts will also be put on reserve.