This table provides an overview of the topics and material covered in each class session. For the specific reading assignments for each session, please see the Readings page.

1 Introduction

India/Hindustan/Bharat/South Asia; map, dates, timeline

Last part of BBC documentary narrated by Michael Woods, The Story of India

2 Partition

Manto, Toba Tek Singh, Mozail (short stories); Amrita Pritam, Pinjar (novella)

Earth (film), by Deepa Mehta

3 Sexuality and Gender

Ismat Chughtai, The Quilt (short story)

4 short pieces by Mukul Kesavan (“Men at Work,” “Cine Qua Non: An Undergraduate History of Indian Cinema,” “The Ugliness of the Indian Male,” “The New Indian Actor”)

Fire (film), by Deepa Mehta; Project Bolo

Part 4 of I am (film)

4 Modernity

Devdas (novella) by Saratchandra

Clips from film versions of Devdas (1935 and 2000) and Dev D. (2010)

5 From Courtesans to Bar Girls

Guide by R. K. Narayan (novel)

Laaga Chunri Men Dagh (film)

6 Midterm Chandni Bar (film)
7 History and Memory

Romila Thapar, “[In Defence of History]( romila thapar.htm).”

A. K. Ramanujan, “Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation.”

Guest lecture on Dalit Literature (Richard Delacy, Harvard University)

I, Dalit: Reclaiming Dignity (film)

8 Lost in Translation

Chetan Bhagat, 2 States: The Story of my Marriage

Clips from films Jodhaa-Akbar and Bombay

9 Poetry in Contemporary India

Guest lecture: Riyaz Latif, Urdu poet

In Custody (film)

10 Stories from India, A Traveler’s Literary Companion: North India

Salman Rushdie, “The Prophet’s Hair”; Qurratulain Hyder, “The Sound of Falling Leaves”; Kunal Basu, “The Accountant”

Part 2 of I am (film)

11 Stories (cont.): Rural India

Mamang Dai, “The Scent of Orange Blossom”; Phanishwarnath Renu, “Panchlight”; Fakir Mohan Senapati, “Asura Pond”; Nazir Mansuri, “The Whale”

Peepli Live (film); Well Done, Abba (film)

12 Stories (cont.): Urban India

Bibhutibhushan Bandhopadhyay, “Canvasser Krishnanlal”; Vikram Chandra, “Ganesh Gaitonde Sells His Gold”; Anjum Hasan, “Eye in the Sky”

Khobi Ghat (film)

13 Stories (cont.): South India

Jayant Kaikini, “Dots and Lines”; Lalithambika Antherjanam, “In the Moonlight”; Githa Hariharan, “Halfway Animals”

BBC documentary on sports in South India (film)

14 Reports on final paper