The Anxieties of Orientalism: India and the Diaspora – One credit course open for students and public by Professor Vrinda Nabar, Kavivarya Bakibaab Borkar Chair in Comparative Literature from From 06th Febuary to 15th February, 2017

  • Goa University


    Kavivarya Bakibaab Borkar Chair in Comparative Literature


    Dept of English


    One credit course for PG Students and open for General Public


    The Anxieties of Orientalism: India and the Diaspora 


    From 06th Febuary to 15th Febuary, 2017


    Professor Vrinda Nabar,

    Kavivarya Bakibaab Borkar Chair in Comparative Literature,

    Goa University


    Venue- Department of English, Goa University.


    Class schedule & screening schedule:


    Monday, 6 February, 2:00-4:00 p.m.: Introduction;

    Tuesday, 7 February, 2:00-5:00 p.m.:  Screening (Bend It like Beckham), followed by discussion;

    Wednesday, 8 February, 2:00-4:00 p.m.: Palace of Illusions, “Draupadi”;

    Thursday, 9 February: 4:00-6:00 p.m.: Public talk (“Revisiting Mahabharat: An Individual Perspective”);

    Friday, 2:00-4:00 p.m.: Desirable Daughters, “Rites of Passage”, “The Initiation”, The Namesake;

    Monday, 13 February, 2:00-4:00 p.m.: Screening (excerpts from Sati), discussion, and wrapping up;

    Wednesday, 15 February, 2:00-4:00 p.m.: Examination/Class written test; 2 hours


    Enrollment Limit- Only 25 students will be selected to offer this as a credit course. However, other students and general public will be permitted to attend the course and certificate will be awarded for attending all the sessions.

      Dr. Anjali Chaubey,                                                 Ramrao Wagh

    Course Coordinator                                                  VRPP Coordinator


    This course would connect with the two earlier ones (“The Gender of Literatures and the Literatures of Gender”; “Imagining Women: Representations in Literature and Cinema”). It would carry forward some of the ground covered in these, but move beyond their focus on gender and women to offer a more holistic perspective.

    The introductory session would cover concepts like Orientalism and Colonial/Postcolonial. Students would be introduced to the more recent debates on these themes and some of their key concerns. They would be encouraged to understand the problematics of how “Orientalism” (or neo-Orientalism) functions in the present world by studying select Diaspora writing alongside writing from India (in English and in English translation). Our study would also include representations in Indian and Diaspora cinema.

    In a globalized world where the playing field is unfortunately far from level, the course would provide a comparative framework and offer students insights into ways of re-examining their own understanding of the politics of literary and cinema discourse.

    A tentative list of the syllabus content would include: Edward Said: Orientalism; Ania Loomba: Colonialism-Postcolonialism; Om Dwivedi and Lisa Lau, eds, Indian Writing in English and the Global Literary Market; Chris Tiffin and Alan Lawson, eds.: De-Scribing Empire: Post-colonialism and textuality; selections from the work of Bharati Mukherjee, Chitra Banerji Divakaruni, Jhumpa Lahiri, V.S. Naipaul, U. R. Ananthamurthy, Mahasweta Devi, Bulbul Sharma; and the films of Aparna Sen and Gurinder Chadha. The class would be required to respond to what they read and see, and write an assignment of 20 marks in the second week. In addition, 5 marks would be reserved for class attendance, participation and evidence that the prescribed material has been read and thought about.

    Enrollment Prerequisites: Students who enroll are expected to be familiar with the prescribed readings and express cogent responses during class discussions. No allowances will be made for absences or failure to adhere to the prescribed syllabus.

    Grading: 20 Marks would be reserved for the written assignment, 5 for continued interaction and participation. Marks would be deducted for unauthorised absences or whimsical analyses based on individual rather than prescribed reading. Students would be encouraged to bring in their knowledge but the core emphasis would have to be on the prescribed readings and screenings.

    Vrinda Nabar




    Recommended Readings:

    Edward Said: Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient (Introduction);

    Ania Loomba: Colonialism-Postcolonialism;

    Vrinda Nabar: Writing India Right: Indian Writing in English and the Global Literary Market (in Om Dwivedi and Lisa Lau, eds, Indian Writing in English and the Global Literary Market, Palgrave Macmillan)

    Chris Tiffin and Alan Lawson, eds.: De-Scribing Empire: Post-colonialism and textuality; Bharati Mukherjee, Desirable Daughters Book 1, Chapter 1;

    Chitra Banerji Divakaruni, Palace of Illusions;

    Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake;

    U. R. Ananthamurthy, “The Initiation” (Contemporary Indian Short Stories ed. Ka Naa Subramanyam);

    Mahasweta Devi, “Draupadi” (Breast Stories);

    Bulbul Sharma, “Rites of Passage” (In Other Words: New Writing by Indian Women).


    Bio of Professor Vrinda Nabar

    Vrinda Nabar studied at the universities of Mumbai and Oxford. A former Chair of English at the University of Mumbai, she has been a Visiting Professor at Northwestern University (Illinois, USA) and at the Open University (Milton Keynes, UK), and is currently Kavivarya Bakibaab Borkar Visiting Research Professor and Chair in Comparative Literature, Visiting Research Professors Programme, Goa University.

    Her teaching and research interests in Mumbai, Northwestern, the OU and Goa have focused on postcolonial issues, Indian literature in English and in English translation, India and the Diaspora, and transnational feminisms. She has also made public presentations of her work at Northwestern University, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Loyola University (Chicago), West Chester University (PA, USA), the Open University (UK), the Sahitya Akademi, Xavier Instititute of Communication, Mumbai, and various universities and colleges in India.

    In addition to academic papers and review articles, Vrinda Nabar’s published work includes: the academic bestseller Caste as Woman; the feminist memoir Family Fables & Hidden Heresies: A Memoir of Mothers and More; The Bhagavadgita (Introduction and Translation); The Endless Female Hungers: A Study of Kamala Das; and Snake-Skin and Other Poems of Indira Sant (co-translated from the Marathi). She has co-edited Postcolonial Perspectives on the Raj and Its Literature, and Mapping Cultural Spaces: Postcolonial Indian Literature in English. She has also published translations from the poetry of Bakibaab Borkar, Sadanand Rege, Narayan Surve, Mangesh Padgaonkar and Jibanananda Das.

    Vrinda Nabar has freelanced extensively for Indian newspapers, radio and television since the 1970s.  Besides customary reviews and articles, she wrote the monthly columns “Book Beat” (The Times of India), “First Person” (The Free Press Journal) and “View from My Window” (Harmony); a fortnightly column of arts and ideas for The Indian Post; and was Literary Editor (Fiction) for The Independent (Bombay). She conceptualised and compèred the monthly show “A Time For Books” for Bombay Doordarshan. She presented Marathi poets in translation, as well as a series of literary magazines, titled “Writers of Tomorrow”, for All India Radio, Bombay. For a short while she also worked as a senior Consultant in Corporate Communications with the Tata Group. She lives in Mumbai, India.