ENG 397 Gender, Nation, Modernity: South Asian Women's Literature

South Asia has a long history of women’s writing that explicitly interweaves concerns of race and gender. This tradition has become even more diverse since the 20th century with the rapid transformation of these countries, both politically and socially. The first half of the century inaugurated a push toward national independence that mobilized thousands of women, sparking discussion about gender roles and women’s rights. These debates are ongoing in contemporary, globalizing South Asia. We will examine our selected works with an eye toward the specific historical contexts that shaped each text, keeping in mind the wide variety of cultures and experiences that they portray. We will read works in English and translations that will include texts by Kiran Desai, Arundhati Roy, and Ismat Chugtai, among others.