Dr. Shobna Nijhawan Office hours:
Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics Tu 2.30-3.30
Office: Ross S570 Th 2.30-3.30 and
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org by appointment
Phone: (416) 736-2100 ext. 88725
AP/HND 3600 3.0 (Fall 2013)
South Asian Literary Activism:
Women Writers and Filmmakers in South Asia and the Diaspora
Thursdays 11.30-2.30, Ross S 133
This course introduces students to literary expressions of women from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the South Asian diaspora. We begin with an investigation of the conditions under which women wrote in the early twentieth century through the writings of those women who participated in a male-dominated public sphere. We then discuss post-Independence women writers, activists and filmmakers to explore how women use literary and filmic genres as forms of artistic expression and intervention in the public sphere. Throughout the course, we discuss how women writers in the past and present day redefine not only their so-called traditional roles as wives, mothers and homemakers in light of their responsibilities as subject-citizens of their respective nation states, but also their classification as Third-World Women and their emergence as South Asian feminists.
The literary readings cover different South Asian vernaculars (Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada) in English translation or are originally written in English. Original Hindi and Urdu texts are available upon request. They include the genres of the essay, short story, autobiography, poetry and one play. The language of instruction is English. The literary readings are accompanied by scholarly essays.
Course structure, requirements and Grade distribution
The class meets once a week for three hours. The course involves interactive lecturing followed by discussion and close reading of the course materials (often in group work). There will be student presentations in selected weeks, which are also followed by discussion.
The final grade will be calculated as follows
Attendance and Participation 20%
4 Journal entries (5% each) 20%
2 tests 20%
Final paper 20%