Special One Credit Course for Fall 2009: “Narrating the Nation: From Gandhi to Glocalisation”

Each year under the rubric of “Studies in Contemporary Literature,” the English Department brings you the chance to study for a time with a visiting international scholar or writer. The course is typically structured around a kind of “book club” format, with readings in four works (usually novels) over four nights. Students compose a reflection paper at the end and receive one credit. Past versions of this course have been offered by Nadeem Aslam, Suhayl Saadi, and Edward P. Jones.

In fall 2009 we are please to offer a “Studies in Contemporary Literature” focused upon literature in English composed in India. The course will be taught by Dr.v Navneet Sethi, a visiting Fulbright professor from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. There are no prerequisites and all are welcome. The course description is below.


Studies in Contemporary Literature
“Narrating the Nation : From Gandhi to Glocalisation”
A special, one credit course taught by Dr. Navneet Sethi, Jawaharlal Nehru University

In this course we will read four works of fiction in English by writers of Indian origin. Through these novels, we will explore and examine the idea of “nation” and “nationalism” as it impinges upon the experience of being an Indian. Working with Benedict Anderson’s definition of ‘nations’ as “imagined communities,” the readings will move within the theoretical framework of the Postcolonial critical terrain. From Kanthapura by Raja Rao (1938) that unequivocally defines nation as a real community guided by the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, to the uncharted mazes of money and murder as the only brand of ‘nationalism’ for our times in The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (2008), we will, in between these two works, explore the creation of two nations in Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh (1956) and the gift of a life and a dilemma at the very moment of the birth of a nation in Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (1981).

This one credit course meets: 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, and 10/20.

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