Professor Nandi Bhatia
Fall Half Course.
This course will investigate major topics in postcolonial theory - such as Orientalism, subalternity, mimicry, exile, home, community, nation, and diaspora - and assess the scope and relevance of these topics for studying literary and cultural texts from and about India. Approached from gendered, national, race and class perspectives, the readings will entail an examination of the historical contexts of colonialism and decolonization, the diverse geographies of migration as a result of colonization, and the institutional and linguistic contexts that frame the texts. Such an approach will necessitate an exploration of the inter-linkages between literary-cultural forms and politics in order to address how the texts speak to the ruptures and entanglements that have resulted from Britain’s longstanding engagement with India since the transfer of power from the East India Company rule to the British Crown in 1858 until independence-Partition in 1947. As well, it will enable an exploration of the pluralistic approaches of writers and thinkers who render contentious the term “postcolonial.” With the paradigmatic shifts that mark the new Indian writing and the cultural representations of postcolonial diversity and identity politics that characterize the contemporary global condition, the attempt will be to understand the ongoing relevance and viability of postcolonial criticism in fostering cross-cultural dialogue.