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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Fall 2003

GOV 365L • Politics and the Novel in South Asia - W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35840 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
CAL 22

Course Description

Course number may be repeated for credit when topics vary. Contains a substantial writing component and fulfills part of the basic education requirement in writing. This upper-division, writing intensive course will explore fictional representations of political agendas pursued since decolonization and their outcomes for the lives of peoples of South Asia. The British withdrew from South Asia in 1947, leaving behind two-hastily created states. Nationalist mobilization secured the end of colonial rule: however, the same forces have had far less benign outcomes as evidenced in the trauma of Partition and more recent events. We will begin with a quick overview of the past half century and look at how religious, ethnic and caste tensions have shaped key political events, structured regional relationships and have been articulated within some important novels of the period. These texts will be read to seek their insights into the trajectory of collective and political aspirations on the sub-continent. Further class discussions will look into questions of representation and ideology raised by these texts, and how these relate with the threat to democracy and pluralism on the sub-continent. All texts read in class will be in English. Additional readings from the fields of politics and history will provide students with the requisite background to understand context and milieu of the novels. This course is aimed at all those interested in comtemporary South Asia and its literary and political history.

Grading Policy

Course Evaluation: Class Attendance: 10% Participation and Discussion: 20% Two Critical Book Reviews, 4-6 pages: 30% Research Paper (10-12 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12pt., one inch margins: 40%


Sidhwa: Cracking India Rohinton Mistry: A Fine Balance Rushdie: Shame Ghosh: Shadow Lines Arundhati Roy: God of Small Things


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