Topics in South Asian Literature and Culture, Fall 2004

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Arts and Humanities, Literature
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M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
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Full Course, Homework/Assignment, Syllabus
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Downloadable docs, Text/HTML
The Empire Strikes back refers to the theoretical framework introduced to study texts and their recurrent themes. Theory explores the ways in which post-colonial texts have a problematic relationship with the colonizer's language. Explores strategies used to subvert and appropriate the pre-existing discourse of the Empire in order to give rise to a new form. Introduction to post-colonial literature from South Asia, as well as from the South Asian diaspora. Through study of novels by Rushdie, Ghosh, Seth, Roy, Desai, Ontaatdje, Suleri, Sidhwa, and Lahiri, students explore the phenomenon of the post-colonial writer's encounter with modernity. Examines how authors articulate recurrent themes of the post-colonial condition: migration and history, memory and desire, and rootlessness and hybridity. Taught in English. This subject aims to provide an overview of contemporary texts in regional languages in South Asian Literature and Cinema. We will cover major authors and film makers, writing from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Within India, we will look at authors and directors working in different regional languages and as we examine their different socio-cultural, political and historical contexts we will attempt to understand what it means to study them under the all-unifying category of "South Asian Literature and Culture". Some of the major issues we shall explore include caste, gender, globalization and social change. We will end with exploring some of the newer, younger writers and directors and try to analyze some of the thematic and formal shifts in their work. Authors include Ashapurna Devi, Manto, Vijayan, Premchand, Mohanty, and Nasreen and film makers will include Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, Aparna Sen and Rituporno Ghosh.