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Online Course

Indian Fiction in English

Indian Institute of Technology Madras and NPTEL via Swayam

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Overview

The course intends to provide a comprehensive understanding of fiction written in English in India since its emergence in the 19th century and to introduce the learners to the literary ground covered in major literary histories, anthologies and critical discussions from the 1960s onwards. Apart from a chronological survey, the course will focus on the historical and literary origins of the genre, its political and economic underpinnings, the debates and controversies within the field and the crisis in contemporary literary studies. The objective of the course is also to expose the students to questions of nation, secularism, caste, gender, region and identity inherent in the writings. To enable a more nuanced engagement selected novels will be read and analysed within current critical frameworks such as postcolonialism, feminism, caste studies, historiography studies etc. the new trends in writing and publishing are also discussed in order to give a perspective of the genre in the present century. The pedagogy will include lectures, discussions and presentations by students. The locus of the course will be on peer learning and also on developing the skills for critical enquiry and academic research. The students are expected to read the prescribed novels and critical material.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Students, general audience with interest in FictionPREREQUISITES: NIL

Syllabus

COURSE LAYOUT

Week 1: Introduction, background and literary history - From Srinivasa Iyengar, M.K.Naik and ArvindKrishna Mehrotra - Questions of language, legitimacy and nationalism - Regional writing vs. writing in EnglishWeek 2 : Early novels of the 19th century - Discussions based on Meenakshi Mukherjee’s works - thegenealogy of Indian novel - Indulekha - Rajmohan’s WifeWeek 3 : ‘Gandhi Novels’ of the 1930s-1940s and beyond - From Priyamvada Gopal and Rumina Sethi -Kanthapura - Waiting for the MahatmaWeek 4: Novels of the 1950s and 1960s - dominant themes and traditions – Post-independence writing -Heat and Dust - The Strange Case of Billy BiswasWeek 5: Women and Indian Fiction in English - The question of gender, feminist concerns, the idea of ‘home’ - Cry, the Peacock - Nayantara SehgalWeek 6: Post-1980s and Rushdie: Writing the Postcolonial Nation - Midnight’s Children - The Shadow LinesWeek 7: Post-1980s and Rushdie: Writing the Postcolonial Nation - Ice Candy Man - The Hungry Tide - RiotWeek 8: The region vs. the nation in Indian Fiction in English - Bombay in IE fiction - Writings from the North East - Temsula Ao’s short stories - “The Remains of the Feast” by Gita HariharanWeek 9: Caste in Indian Fiction in English - Untouchable - The God of Small Things - A Fine BalanceWeek 10:The global market, Booker events and literary canon - The ‘Stefanian’ writers - Arvind Adiga and
Kiran DesaiWeek 11: Indian fiction in English in the contemporaryWeek 12: ‘Other’ writings

Taught by

Prof.Merin Simi Raj

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