Indigenous Writing From Northeast: Fiction

Home/ Indigenous Writing From Northeast: Fiction
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSOL2CL1114

Semester and Year Offered: MS2018 and MS2016
Course Coordinator and Team: Shelmi Sankhil
Email of course coordinator: shelmi[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in
Pre-requisites: None
Aim: This course explores fictional works in English by the indigenous people in India’s northeast. The term “indigenous” is here used to mean those groups of people for whom literacy and writing culture came with and after their encounter with the colonial. The course aims to extend academic focus to this major constituency in the region, especially their shifting historical locations and relations with one another and the othercommunities in the region as amply embedded and represented in fictional works. The course is designedly interventionist. It largely addresses the inaccurate notion of homogeneity of the region reflected widely in the practice of tokenism in “Indian Literature” component of syllabi making in universities across the country. It also diversifies courses offered in literature and cultural programmes in AUD.
Course Outcomes:Students are expected to be in a position

  1. To enhance their experience and knowledge about the creative and cognitive roles of literary self-representations, especially when it comes to those who largely exist at the periphery of the national political and cultural imagination.
  2. Tap and explore viable areas and topics for in-depth research on the region.
  3. To command general fluency on the region.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:
Module 1: Introductory: Mapping the Terrain This module will acquaint the student on two necessary issues: the literacy histories of the individual communities represented by the texts in this course, and otherwise, and the inherent contradictions of the term “indigenous” in its origin and usage in the Indian context. This survey-like exercise is expected to function as the necessary frame for the course.
Texts Beteille, Andre. “The Idea of Indigenous People.” Current Anthropology, Vol 9, No.2 (April 1998) pp. 187-192 Ghosh, Anindita. “An Uncertain Coming of the Book: Early Print Cultures in Colonial India.”Book HistoryVol. 6 (2003), pp. 23-55. Mwiria, Kilemi. “Education for Subordination: African Education in Colonial Kenya.” (1991) History of Education. Taylor & Francis Online.pp. 261-273, DOI: 10.1080/0046760910200306 Remi P. Client and Philip J. Foster. “French and British Colonial Education in Africa.” Comparative Education Review. Vol. 8, No.2 (Oct. 1964), pp.191-198 Selections from Harish Trivedi et al. eds. The Nation Across the World: Postcolonial Literary Representations. Oxford University Press, 2007. Viswanathan, Gauri. Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India. Oxford University Press, 1998. Verma, Rajesh. History of Northeast India. Mittal Publication, 2013. Xaxa, Virginius. “Tribes as Indigenous People of India.” Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 34, No. 51 (Dec. 18-24, 1999) p. 3589-3595
Module 2: Short Stories This module contains a diverse collection of short stories from writers belonging to Manipur, Nagaland, and Meghalaya. The pedagogical focus of this module is to enhance the student’s close reading skills as they engage with richly embedded texts that resonate with a wide spectrum of social, political, cultural, and aspirational concerns. The module also aims to encourage the students to conceptualise their textual and aesthetic experience comparatively. Texts Janice Pariat. “19/87” and “Laitlum” from Boats on Land. Random House India, 2012. Shelmi Sankhil. “Survivor”. Unpublished. 2016. Temsula Ao. “The Boy Who Sold an Airfield”, and “Three Women” fromLaburnum for My Head. Penguin, 2009. Module 3: Novels This module will continue the same objective of module two. The scope the novel form affords allows for a more exhaustive and diverse representation of experiences that are restricted in the short story format. Students will be encouraged to critically respond to the important themes and moments in the texts in the module. Texts Easterine Kire. A Terrible Matriarchy. Zubaan, 2007. Malsawmi Jacob. Zorami: A Redemption Song. Primalogue Publishing Media, 2015. Mamang Dai. The Legends of Pensam. Penguin Books, 2006. Additional References Baruah, Sanjib. Durable Disorder: Understanding the Politics of Northeast India. Oxford University Press, 2005. ________ . Beyond Counter-insurgency: Breaking the Impasse in NortheastIndia: Oxford University Press, 2009. Pou, Veio. Literary Cultures of India’s Northeast: Naga Writings in English. Heritage Publishing House, 2015 Pou, Veio. Literary Cultures of India’s Northeast: Naga Writings in English. Heritage Publishing House, 2015 Spivak, G. C (1993). “Can the Subaltern Speak?” in Williams, P. & Chrisman, L. (eds.)
Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory. A Reader. Hemel Hempstead, Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993. pp 66-111. Syiem, Esther. “How Conflicts are Reflected in Literature: Transcribing Troubled Realities in the Written and the Oral” in Search for Peace with Justice: Issues Around Conflicts in Northeast India, Walter Fernandes, ed., Guwahati: North Eastern Social Research Centre, 2008. pp. 28-35. Zama, Margaret. Emerging Literatures from Northeast India: The Dynamics of Culture, Society and Identity.Sage Publication, 2013.
Assessment Details with weights:

  1. 10% for class participation;
  2. 40% for reading journal. (Monthly review to monitor the progress of their weekly reflections)
  3. 10% for review/short paper;
  4. 40% forterm paper.