programme

Issues of Gender in Indian Literary Texts

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSUS1EN2644

Semester and Year Offered: Yet to be launched

Course Coordinator and Team: Usha Mudiganti

Email of course coordinator:usha@aud.ac.in

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: The objective of the course is to introduce the student to the pluralities within the category of gender and to notice the ways in which gender gets performed. While looking at the mainstream gender categories of masculine and feminine, the course will try to problematise the set notions within these categories. The course will also sample texts dealing with gender choices that question the clear categories of masculine and feminine such as the literature which emerges from or have become a part of the LGBTI movement in India.

This course engages with the construction and perpetuation of gender identities in Indian literature. The course will have selections from Indian literary texts written in English or translated into English. While the focus will be on literature emerging from post-colonial India, a portion of the course will be devoted to Indian literature from the periods recognised as the ancient and medieval periods so that the changing notions of gender can be traced through literature. The course will commence with the texts written during the nationalist movement in India. The rationale for commencing with the late- nineteenth century is to capture the self-consciousness regarding gender as performance. This period also showcases the questioning and re-allocating of gender roles in society. Beginning at this crucial juncture, the course will examine the formation of gender identities in Indian societies and will look at the ways in which these identities are perpetuated through social structures and are represented in literature.

Course Outcomes:

  1. Develop the ability to reflect on lived experiences, self and society
  2. Ability to embrace moral and ethical values to conduct one’s life
  3. Apply research skills to source material for class presentations and assessment.

 

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

This course, a portion of the course will be devoted to Indian literature from the periods recognised as the ancient and medieval periods so that the changing notions of gender can be traced through literature. The course will commence with the texts written during the nationalist movement in India. The rationale for commencing with the late- nineteenth century is to capture the self-consciousness regarding gender as performance. This period also showcases the questioning and re-allocating of gender roles in society. Beginning at this crucial juncture, the course will examine the formation of gender identities in Indian societies and will look at the ways in which these identities are perpetuated through social structures and are represented in literature. The following are the modules:

  1. Gender roles and performativity in contemporary India: This module will engage with the construction and perpetuation of gender identities in Indian literature. The course will have selections from Indian literary texts written in English or translated into English. The focus will be on literature emerging from post-colonial India.
  2. Gender in the time of strife: This module will focus on the ways in which gender was perceived during times of violence in Indian society.
  3. Formation of gender identities: This module will look at the formation of different kinds of gender identities during the colonial period.
  4. Looking back: This module will look at gender in Indian mythology and its interpretations in contemporary fiction. It will also look at issues of gender in Indian folk tales.

 

Assessment Details with weights:

  1. Mid-term examination – Middle of March – 30%
  2. Class Presentations – End of March – 30%
  3. End-term examination – End of April –20%
  4. Journal – Throughout the semester – 20%

 

Reading List:

A few of these texts will be selected for class discussions and a few others will be earmarked for class presentations:

  • Selections from Das, Kamala. Selected Poems. New Delhi: Penguin, 2014.
  • Selections from De Souza, Eunice. “Marriages are Made”. These My Words: The Penguin Book of Indian Poetry. New Delhi:Penguin, 2012.
  • Selections from Merchant, Hoshang. Sufiana: Poems. New Delhi.: HarperCollins India,2013.
  • Selections from Nair, Rukmini Bhaya. Poems from Yellow Hibiscus. New Delhi: Penguin, 2014.
  • Selections from Namjoshi, Suniti. The Fabulous Feminist: A SunitiNamjoshi Reader. New Delhi: Zubaan, 2012.
  • Pritam, Amrita. “Stench of Kerosene”. Contemporary English. Ed. Chandra Mohan. Delhi: OUP, 1999.
  • Excerpts from Roy, Rahul. A Little Book on Men. Delhi: Yoda Press, 2007.
  • Bedi, Rajinder Singh. “Lajwanti”. Cultural Diversity, Linguistic Plurality and Literary Traditions. Ed. Sukrita Paul Kumar. Delhi: Macmillan, 2005.
  • Butalia, Urvashi. “Honour”. The Other Side of Silence. Delhi: Penguin, 1998.
  • Chughtai, Ismat. “The Invalid”. The Quilt Stories. Delhi: Penguin, 2011.
  • Manto, Saadat Hasan. “A Woman’s Life”. Kingdom’s End: Selected Stories. Trans. Khalid Hasan. Delhi: Penguin, 2007.
  • Abburi, Chaya Devi. “Srimathi – Udyogini”.Trans. Srinivas Rayaprolu. Women
  • Writing in India. Vol. II. Ed. Susie Tharu and K. Lalita. Delhi: OUP, 1993.
  • Excerpt from Bond, Ruskin. The Room on the Roof. New Delhi: Penguin, 1956.
  • Kipling, Rudyard.“The Son of his Father”.Stories of India. Ed. SudhakarMarathe. New Delhi: Penguin, 2003.
  • Ramabai, Pandita. The High-Caste Hindu Woman. New York: Fleming H Revell Company, 1901.
  • Rabindranath Tagore “A Wife’s Letter” Selected Short Stories. Ed. Sukanta
  • Chaudhuri. New Delhi: Oxford UP, 2000.
  • Excerpt from Satthianadhan, Krupabai. Kamala. Ed. ChandaniLokuge. Delhi: OUP,1998.
  • Senapati, Fakir Mohan. “The Bride Price”. The Harper Collins Book of Oriya Short Stories. Trans. and Ed. K. K. Mohapatra et al. New Delhi: HarperCollins Publishers India, 1998.
  • Shinde, Tarabai. “From Stri-PurushTulna”. Women and Social Reforms in Modern India. Vol. II. Eds. Sumit Sarkar and Tanika Sarkar. Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2011.
  • Karve, Iravati. “Bhima”. Yugantar. Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2007.
  • Ramanujan, A. K. “A Flowering Tree: A Woman’s Tale”. The Collected Essays of A.K. Ramanujam. Ed. Vinay Dharwadekar. Delhi: OUP, 1999.
  • Volga, “The Reunion” in The Liberation of Sita. New York: Harper Perennials, 2016.

 

ADDITIONAL REFERENCE: