Friday, December 2, 2016

Course Offerings at GWU


Section 10; CRN: 56862
Prof. Kavita Daiya
Wednesdays: 4.10 pm-6 pm.

Focusing largely on Asia, this course explores 10 great contemporary works of global Anglophone fiction, graphic narratives, and theory that attempt to take the measure of our times.  The twentieth century was, as noted scholars like Zygmunt Bauman and Hannah Arendt have noted, an era of migration.  As more people have left their birthplace than at any other point in human history, whole cultures and communities have been reinvented by the movement of people across regional and national borders.  In complex ways, women and children have borne the brunt of these changes.  This course explores the literary representation of this brave new world in which the ceaseless movement of people-due to war or work, love or study, pleasure or dispossession-has altered conceptions of belonging, community, and agency. 

We study representations of migration through key postcolonial Anglophone literatures and graphic narratives primarily, though not exclusively, from Asia.  How gender, sexuality, religion, and race inhabit and inflect these stories about belonging will be central to our investigation. We will conclude with a discussion of two international films that speak to our interest in gender, diaspora, and migration. In the process, this course invites us to consider contemporary aesthetic explorations of the gendered experience of decolonization, migration, and globalization.  Texts we will read include:

Vishwajyoti Ghosh, ed., This Side, That Side: Restorying Partition
Marjane Satrapi, The Complete Persepolis
Zia Haider Rahman, In the Light of What We Know
Jhumpa Lahiri, Unaccustomed Earth
Chimamanda Adichie, Americanah
Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost
Nadine Gordimer, None to Accompany Me
Viet Thanh Ngyuen, The Sympathizer
Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy
Lisa Lowe, The Intimacy of Four Continents

Open to BA/MA students, and graduate students interested in international issues, gender studies, or Asia.  No pre-requisites. Meets Wednesdays 4-6 pm.

Section 10; CRN: 57596
Prof. Kavita Daiya
Wed: 12.45 pm - 3.15 pm.  Film screenings to be held Sundays 6-9 pm.

This course is a selective, historical introduction to the industry of popular Hindi film known as Bollywood, with a special focus on the changing relationship between gender and nationalism in modern South Asia.  Bollywood is today the world’s largest producer of films; since the fifties, its consumption beyond India, in places as far flung as Pakistan, Kenya, Nigeria, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Russia, UK, and North America, suggests that it is also the most widely consumed popular cinema in the world.  Bollywood cinema is based in Mumbai, India; yet, despite its name, the tradition of Bollywood cinema can be identified as having particular generic conventions and visual codes that are distinct from Hollywood.  Bollywood films are largely musicals; they are also well-known (and sometimes criticized) for their formulaic and “unrealistic” storylines, their simple moral codes (good vs. evil), and their typical heteronormative happy endings.

This course will introduce students to Bollywood through screenings of a range of films from the 1950s until today. We will place individual films within their larger political, social, and aesthetic contexts; simultaneously, we will develop a set of reading practices to explore the genre of melodrama, which often appears resistant to interpretation. Topics discussed will include gender, sexuality, nationalism, modernity, religion, family, globalization, diaspora, heroism, and villainy. There are no pre-requisites for the course. Films we will study include: Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Delhi-6, Rang de Basanti, Queen, Om Shanti Om, Deewar, Sholay, among others.

Required books include: 
Tejaswini Ganti, Bollywood: A guidebook to popular Hindi cinema
Madhava Prasad, Ideology of the Hindi Film: A Historical Construction
Coursepack (available at bookstore)