In addition to the Midterm and Final Papers (requirements for which are listed below), students will be required to write four 1 page (maximum length; can be single spaced) response papers on any of the assignments (due before the reading or film is discussed).

Students will also be required to make a 15 minute in-class presentation on their final paper topics.

Midterm Paper

3 page midterm papers due in class on Ses #6 or before by email. Papers should be double spaced and include complete bibliographical references of works cited. Do not cite any secondary sources.

Your assignment is to view the film “Chandni Bar” and write a paper comparing the role of the bar girl in the film to the traditional courtesan figures we have encountered in readings and films (Chandramukhi in the novel or films, Rose in the novel, Vibha/Natasha in the film “Laaga chunri men daagh”). You can discuss the dichotomy of tradition versus change in society, the role of the city in the character’s life, and/or the social, political, economic elements in the story. You can compare “Chandni Bar” to one or more text and/or film, not everything listed above!

Reminder: Do try to go to the talk by Sonia Faleiro on “Inside the Secret World of Bombay’s Dance Bars” on Tuesday, March 13.

You may also read the following essay, about the traditional courtesans of Lucknow, for information, but do not cite from it: Oldenburg, V. “Lifestyle as Resistance: The Case of the Courtesans of Lucknow, India.” Feminist Studies, Inc., 1990.

Final Paper

8 page paper due on the last day of class. Please email it to me in Word or PDF format. Primary and secondary sources should be documented in either the MLA or University of Chicago format. Extension requests should be made by email.

Your essay will be on a city or region in India and a literary work (novel/short story/essay) and/or film connected with it. Your paper must be in two linked parts:

  1. Based on your class report, provide the historical and cultural background for the place you are writing about. You should ask and answer questions such as: What is the significance of this place in India today? How is this different from the past? Has the name or nature of the population changed in recent times? If yes, in response to what?
  2. Introduce the work(s) you have chosen in the context of the background you have provided. Do a close reading of the work(s), focusing on the importance of place in the plot or narrative. You can compare two works, one of which should be a new text; the second can be something from the class syllabus.