CULP 328 - Politics S. Asia in Lit & Film

In this course, we will take a look at the politics of South Asia through the lens of literature and film. The focus of our discussions will be the transformative historical and political moments that have shaped the Indian subcontinent since 1947, the year of Indian and Pakistani independence from British rule. We will begin by reading fictional accounts of the Indian Partition in order to understand the violent legacy of this great divide and the ways in which it continues to haunt the body politic of India and Pakistan seventy years after Independence. We will also explore fictional accounts of the Bangladesh War (1971) and the long-drawn-out civil war in Sri Lanka (1983-2009) in order to understand the profound and devastating effects of these wars on civil(ian) society in South Asia. The impact of influential political figures such as Zia-ul-Haq on South Asian fiction will also be considered. In addition, we will examine the fissures inherent in the production of a modern postcolonial South Asian nation state by watching contemporary films which tackle such urgent and critical issues as minority belonging, ethnic and gendered violence, and the rise of religious fundamentalism in the region.
SFS/CULP Humanities, SFS/RCST Asia
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Fall 2019, Fall 2018
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