11:15a-12:30p TR (30) 3 cr.
OPEN TO MAJORS ONLY. DECLARED MINORS OBTAIN AUTHORIZATION FROM BH
This course will be organized around the topic of "Partition Plots,"
examining the phenomenon of territorial partition and its ongoing
legacy of regional conflicts in South Asia, Ireland, and the Middle
East. Implemented by the British government as an expedient political
solution to demands for self-determination by natives in its colonies,
partition completely altered the social landscape, almost overnight,
by rendering members of majority populations into minorities and
minority populations into majorities. In the process, large numbers
of people were displaced from their homes, dispossessed of their
property, and families were often divided. As Robert Schaeffer notes,
"because political relations within divided states tended to
become the subject of controversy between divided states,
officials came to regard indigenous protest as synonomous with
‘foreign' meddling, and they began to treat minority populations as
disloyal aliens who owed their allegiance to a foreign power."
Consequently, members of minority populations were often discriminated
against and prevented from being equal participants in civil
We will examine fiction, primarily novels, and films that represent
the experiences of partition and of being a minority population living
under military occupation. In other words, we will investigate the
ways in which individuals continue to live, love, and struggle under
extraordinary circumstances. While analyzing the formal, artistic
features of these works, we will also situate them within their
historical contexts. Our critical approach will combine
post-colonial, feminist, and Marxist methods of analysis. A tentative
list of readings includes Bapsi Sidhwa's Cracking India, Salman
Rushdie's Shame, Bhisam Sahni's Tamas, Sahar Khalifeh's
Wild Thorns, Edward Said's After the Last Sky, Etel
Adnan's Sitt Marie Rose, Aly Renwick's Last Night Another
Soldier, and Nell McCafferty's Peggy Deery. We will also
view the following films and video: Garm Hawa (Hot Winds),
The Women Next Door, and The Visit.
Students should expect to participate actively in class discussion,
keep a group email journal, write a 5-6 page paper, and take a midterm
and final exam.