Professor N. Bhatia
Fall Half Course.
“Where do we locate postcoloniality—in the spaces between and across cultures and traditions or in national states, which, in spite of a certain crisis of legitimacy, still continue to demand affiliation from their citizens and subjects?” asks Simon Gikandi in a critical article on the relationship between globalization and postocloniality. To address this and related questions, questions that have acquired urgency in the wake of cultural and literary global formations that celebrate cultural flows while simultaneously highlighting ongoing economic and political disparities, this course will cover literary-cultural texts from and about India. Approached from gendered, national, transnational and class perspectives, the readings will entail an examination of historical, colonial, postcolonial, institutional and linguistic contexts that frame the texts and speak to the ruptures, crossovers and influences 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. To this end, 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 understanding the links between literary-cultural engagements, postcoloniality, and narratives of globalization.