Contemporary India Through Literary and Cultural Texts

Texts ranging from the years before and after Independence to the India of the 21st century.

This second course in the Literature in Context’ segment of the English core will allow students to explore literary and cultural modes of narrating India in the period after 1947. The aim of this course is to allow students to engage with their location as readers of texts written in and about India. They will learn to enjoy and become familiar with a range of texts while they simultaneously gain a critical approach to those texts in terms of historical, social and formal/​aesthetic analysis. The course will build on the learning of An Introduction to Literature” to see how literary and cultural texts are a product of a particular place and time, with specific reference to four key conceptual and experiential domains in modern India. Literary form, context and theme will therefore be analytically brought together in each unit. Some key questions the course will ask are: what are some literary forms that emerge in India in the present and why? How do these forms participate in narrativizing nation, language, selfhood and the body? How do writers as far apart, literally and figuratively, as Salman Rushdie, Temsula Ao, Mahadai Das, Siddalingaiah and Sara Joseph represent contemporary India in their writing? Besides extensive reading, students will also be encouraged to write, drawing on their own experiences of contemporary India