Asian Canadian Literature

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSOL2EN3314

Semester and Year Offered: II and IV Semesters (Winter Semester 2020)

Course Coordinator and Team: Dr.Amit Singh

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: The course is aimed at familiarizing the students with the writings of those Canadians who trace their origins to Asia, either directly- from India or Japan, for instance- or via some other nation such as Tanzania or Jamaica, and who form significant diasporic communities within the multicultural milieu of Canada.

The selected texts will be studied in the larger socio-politico-cultural context of history of migrant communities, the economic and political reasons for such inter-national movements of communities and groups of people, their assimilation or otherwise in the host countries and their umbilical cord relations with mother nations. In short, the process of diaspora formation will provide the backdrop to the course. Various theoretical positions about diasporic writing will also be studied in this course to enable an informed analysis of the selected literary texts.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules: The present course will be transacted through the following modules.

Module I: A) The Politics and Poetics of Diaspora Formation: Sociology of Terms like Exile, Immigration and Diaspora

B) Theoretical Positions and Practice of Diasporic Writing

C) Canada: History, Policy of Multiculturalism, Various Diasporic Communities and their Dynamics in Canadian society

Module II: Detailed Study of The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

Module III: Detailed Study of The Assassin’s Song by M. G.Vassanji

Module IV: Detailed Study of Obasanby Joy Kogawa, and The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy.

Module V: Detailed Study of Tales from FerozshaBaagby RohintonMistry, and Her Mother’s Ashes by Nurjehan Aziz

Students will be assigned special readings of stories, plays and poems by writers other than those mentioned above for assignments and presentations.

Assessment Details with weights:

S. NoAssessmentDate/period in which Assessment will take placeWeightage
1Class AssignmentLast Week of January/ First Week of February10%
2Mid Semester ExamAs per AUD Calendar25%
3PresentationLast Week of March25%
4Question BankSecond Week of April10%
5Term PaperThird Week of April30%

The pattern of assessment is subject to revision depending on the composition and size of the class.

Reading List:

Michael Ondaatje: The English Patient

M. G. Vassanji: The Assassin’s Song and The In-Between World of VikramLall

Joy Kogawa: Obasan

Wayson Choy: The Jade Peony

RohintonMistry: Selections from Tales of FirozshaBaag

Nurjehan Aziz: Selections from Her Mother’s Ashes

Poems by Uma Parmeswaran, Neamat Imam, Fred Wah, Joy Kogawa,

Lists of suggested readings for secondary material will be provided in class. Supportive reading material relevant to the course will be put together and placed in the photocopy shop for students to buy and use.