Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG369H1S L0101

ENG369H1S     L0101     M12, W12-2
South Asian Literatures in English  
Instructor: Margaret Herrick

Office Address: TBA.
Email address

Brief Description of the Course:
This course will introduce students to the wide diversity of literatures written in English from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the South Asian diaspora. We will discuss some of the major preoccupations of this body of work: Who gets to tell their stories? Who belongs and who doesn’t belong? And how are gender, sexuality, caste, class, religion, ethnicity, and language linked to nationalism and the nation? What is a family, and who is it ok, and not ok, to love? In a world of increasing mobility and interconnectedness, how does the diaspora shape the subcontinent and vice versa? How do we come to terms with the traumas of history? And how do we face increasing environmental devastation? Finally, of course, we will examine how these questions and concerns are moulded and shaped into the artifice of fiction or the stanzas of poetry. We will explore how South Asian artists and writers have reimagined literary forms, tools and strategies to grapple with the realities on the streets of Delhi, or, for that matter, the streets of Vancouver.

Required Reading: Anil’s Ghost, Michael Ondaatje, Clear Light of Day, Anita Desai, The Ever After of Ashwin Rao, Padma Viswanathan, The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy, The Guide, R.K. Narayan, In Other Rooms Other Wonders, Daniyal Mueenuddin, In the Light of What We Know, Zia Haider Rahman, Shame, Salmon Rushdie.

Short readings from Agha Shahid Ali’s The Country Without a Post Office and Sara Suleri’s Meatless Days will be made available on blackboard.

*Readings subject to minor revisions

First Three Authors/Texts: Narayan, Desai, Roy

Method of Evaluation: Participation (15%);  mid-term essay (25%); final essay (35%); final exam (25%).

Link to ARTSCI Calendar Course Descriptions.

Link to ARTSCI 2016-17 Timetable with Room Allocations.

Return to 300 Level Courses.

Return to 2016-17 Fall-Winter Courses.

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