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Module

SEL3370 : Writing the Postcolonial Nation: Literature from the Indian Subcontinent

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Neelam Srivastava
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module will include novels, short stories, non-fiction and poetry by writers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the region known today as South Asia. In examining the rich literature of the region, we will focus especially on the following themes: nationalism, independence/partition, marginality, religion and secularism, globalization, diaspora, and language. Authors covered will consist of internationally known writers such as Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Amitav Ghosh, Arundhati Roy, and others, as well as literature by Dalit writers and other non-Anglophone texts in Indian languages (in translation). The module will consider postcolonial South Asian writing both in the context of the wider literary production of the subcontinent, and in relation to contemporary processes taking place in the global literary marketplace.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus may include a selection of the following authors/texts (though these are subject to change):
Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children (1981)
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (1997)
Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger (2008)
Amitav Ghosh, The Shadow Lines (1988)
Bama, Karukku (2000)
Vikram Seth, selected poems, The Collected Poems (New Delhi: Penguin, 1995).
Arun Kolatkar, Jejuri [1976] (New York: New York Review of Books, 2005).
Mahasweta Devi, “Shishu/Children”, Women Writing in India, vol. II, ed. Susie Tharu and K. Lalita (Oxford University Press, 1993)
Bharati Mukherjee, “The Management of Grief”, The Middleman and Other Stories (1988)
Jhumpa Lahiri, “When Mr Pirzada Came To Dine”, The Interpreter of Maladies: Stories (1999)

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials82:0016:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion142:0042:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading185:0085:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Online
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion181:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study122:0022:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures provide the contextual basis and the theoretical background for the students to learn about South Asian literature. The lectures will include an analysis of the texts on the syllabus. They will also examine events and political-social processes that have marked the recent history of the Indian subcontinent and which are represented in literature, and will include some activities and space for reflection directed at the students. The synchronous seminars are forums where the students discuss the primary texts, in relationship to topics raised in the lectures, while bringing in secondary reading that relates to the set texts. The synchronous seminars will be accompanied by structured non-synchronous discussion, conducted via discussion boards and other platforms.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A85One essay of 3,200 words, due at the end of Semester 2.
Prof skill assessmnt2A15Participation and engagement in module activities will receive a summative mark.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay2MThis is a 2,500-word formative essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This module covers a variety of literary texts, and engages with a number of theoretical and critical concepts. While providing a solid general framework through the lectures and seminar discussions, it also encourages students to forge their own connections between the texts. For this reason, it is felt that the best method of assessment in relation to the learning and skills outcomes is the submitted essay of 3,200 words (worth 85% of the mark), since it will allow students the scope to develop an independently researched essay, incorporating both primary and secondary material.

15% of the assessment will be based on class participation and engagement. Since the majority of teaching will take place online via synchronous and asynchronous scheduled teaching activities, it is essential for students' learning outcomes that they engage with and participate in these activities (as per the Education Resilience Framework). Thus this summative mark has the aim to help them focus on these tasks. Participation and engagement will also help students learn to contribute to academic debates around literature and literary scholarship in and on South Asia.

There is also a mid-module formative essay that is designed to help students prepare for the final essay.

Reading Lists

Timetable