This course explores landscape and memory in South Asia, with a focus on Bengal. Landscapes evoke wonder and nostalgia on the one hand, and exploitation, displacement, and cultural appropriation on the other. How do the communities whose livelihoods and ways of life depend on the soil, the water, or the forest respond to the forces of political, social, and environmental change? How are their voices imagined, written, heard, or read? We will look at landscape in relation to conflicting constructions of the “folk,” the dalit (“oppressed”) and the adibasi (indigenous), the “traditional” and the “modern.”
this course, we will study the theme of love and longing in the new Indian
novel. The new Indian novel is a diverse genre that houses urban tales, pulp,
graphic novels, and other literary forms. These stories, written by established
and upcoming authors such as Chetan Bhagat, Sarnath Banerjee, Arvind Adiga,
Jeet Thayil, and others writing in English, show how love shapes everyday life
in rapidly changing urban and semi-urban India today. In distinct ways, these
novels give us a taste of love and longing in the new India—a heady mix of
development, poverty, glitz, addiction, violence, toxicity, and politics.
Intersectionalities of Rural and Urban India in 21st-Century Hindi Films
In this course, we will analyze portrayals of the rural-urban divide in India as well as more liminal spaces in 21st-century Hindi films. Additionally, we will explore how and why the characteristics of these spaces in the popular imagination map onto the intersectional identities of the films’ characters. We will use the theory of intersectionality to deconstruct power dynamics between different spaces and the identities with which they are associated. Some of the films we will view include Omkara (2006), DevD (2009), Udaan (2010), Ishaqzaade (2012), NH10 (2015) and Dum Lagaake Haisha (2015); in addition to viewing these films, we will read articles relating to the films themselves as well as pertinent sociological, cultural and literary topics.
This course is an introduction to the cultures,
histories, and literatures of Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore,
Brunei and East Timor, nations that comprise an area known traditionally as the
Malay World. Grounding ourselves in the classical kingdoms of Southeast Asia
through the coming of Islam and the early modern era, we will pay particular
attention to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: the entrenchment of
European and American imperialism, the rise of Southeast Asian nationalism, and
developments in modern Southeast Asia up through the aftermath of the fall of
Marcos, Soeharto, and Mahathir. We will analyze the role that history, and
especially “classical” history, plays in modern Southeast Asia. We will discuss
the place of religion, of Islam and Roman Catholicism, in private and political
life, situating insular Southeast Asia both within a global and a regional
Southeast Asian context. These themes will be introduced, as much as possible,
through works of fiction and primary source materials in translation. The
course has a research component—methods for conducting original research and
use of library collections will lead to a focused research paper. Readings will
include fiction by Jose Rizal, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Lat, Sonny Liew, Muhammad Radjab, Eka Kurniawan, and Carlos Bulosan, and scholarly writings by Clifford Geertz, James
Scott, and Benedict Anderson.
What is the relationship between literary representation and the "real world" in South Asian literature? What assumptions about truth, art and language are implied in this question? This class looks at over 2000 years of reflection on this question in both literature and literary and linguistic theory produced in the scholarly and literary traditions of South Asia. We will also draw on texts from the Euro-American tradition on topics ranging from mimesis to performativity and magical language in order to have a better understanding of concerns shared across linguistic and geographic boundaries as well as the diverse cultural and historical contexts that produced a particular theoretical framework.
Prerequisites: Hindi 101A or consent of the instructor. It is a continuation of Hindi 101A, with the goals of conversational fluency and advanced reading and writing competence. Students will be exposed to a variety of contemporary literary genres. Weekly readings and class discussions will be on short stories, poems, and dramatic sketches from representative authors. In 101B students will also work on films based on well-known literary texts, such as those of Premchand. These readings and films focus on various social, cultural, political, and historical aspects of Indian society. Students are encouraged to explore these issues in their written assignments as well as in their class discussions. Furthermore, students are expected to investigate a topic in depth and write a research paper in Hindi. The class will be conducted entirely in Hindi and students will acquire language skills sufficient to approach literary texts on their own.
This introductory level course focuses on
progressive acquisition of language skills to communicate effectively in both
written and spoken Tamil. It facilitates development of Listening, Speaking,
Reading and Writing competence along with basic grammar.
Prerequisite : Completion
of fall semester Tamil 1A / Instructor’s
Note: Excerpts from
contemporary short stories, novels, prose and other forms of Tamil literature
authored by popular Tamil writers will be used as reading material. Films will
be used as supplementary material for discussions.
Completion of fall semester Tamil
101A / Instructor’s consent.
This elementary level course focuses on
progressive acquisition of language skills to communicate effectively in
Telugu. It facilitates development of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing
competence along with basic grammar.
Completion of fall semester Telugu
1A / Instructor’s consent.