English | Studies in British and American Authors
L369 | 1897 | Bose


11:15a-12:30p TR (30) 3 cr.

TOPIC: SALMAN RUSHDIE AND THE RESIDUE OF EMPIRE

This course will focus on the writings of Salman Rushdie, the Indian-
born British author, who went into hiding after Ayatollah Khomeini
pronounced a death sentence on him in judgement against the novel
The Satanic Verses.  Khomeini's fatwa initiated an international
debate about the relationship between the state, religious identity,
neo-colonialism, censorship, and artistic freedom.  While these issues
were thrown into sharp relief by the death sentence against him,
Rushdie's writings demonstrate a long engagement with them.  His
travel narrative through Sandinista-era Nicaragua, THE JAGUAR'S
SMILE, his novelistic indictment of Emergency in MIDNIGHT'S
CHILDREN, and the excesses of Bhutto and Zia in SHAME all
interrogate the relationship between authoritarian governments, their
critics, and writing.  In this course, we will trace these thematic
concerns in Rushdie's fictional and nonfictional writings.  Particular
attention will be placed on situating these works in their historical
and geopolitical contexts.  A tentative list of readings includes:
MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN, SHAME, THE SATANIC VERSES,
THE MOOR'S LAST SIGH, HAROUN AND THE SEA OF
STORIES, THE JAGUAR'S SMILE, and IMAGINARY
HOMELANDS.  Students should expect to write one research paper
(10-12 pages), which will be broken down into stages, participate
actively in classs discussion, and take a midterm and final exam.