This course on South Asian literature in Urdu welcomes students to examine how narratives about women, for women, have changed over the years, especially in works written by men. As women begin to occupy a more significant position in the workforce and choose to navigate their way outside of the small cloisters of domestic spaces, it is important to study how male writers expressing themselves in Urdu, present and represent the women of their world.
We will delve into literary and visual cultural productions of South Asia. The narratives we will explore are written by some renowned writers who brought several startling and untold stories about women, and the obstacles and hardships faced on account of direct and indirect influences of society. Each of the stories is fascinating in describing and showcasing the most common everyday experiences of women in the most extraordinary way.
We begin with the short stories of Rajinder Singh Bedi and Krishan Chander, who can be classified as fathers of realistic portrayals of women in Urdu literature, and we shall conclude with the visual rendition of Farhat Ishtiaq's novel, Humsafar, to see how a male director's production can lend insight into multiple ways of 'seeing' women. The mix of genres in the course will also allow students to delve into the relationship between form and content, and between form and context.
The following stories will be studied (reading and visual material will be provided in class), which will develop students' skills of close reading and analysis:
- Woman - Rajinder Singh Bedi
- Give Me Your Sorrows - Rajinder Singh Bedi
- Preeto - Krishan Chandar
- By the Roadside - Saadat Hasan Manto
- Bismillah - Saadat Hasan Manto
- Awaiting the Zephyr - Syed Muhammad Ashraf
- Bol - Written and directed by Shoaib Mansoor
- Humsafar - Written by Farhat Ishtiaq and directed by Sarmad Salman Khoosat
A storyteller, writer, and educator
MA in Comparative Literature from King's College London
Faculty at LUMS and whose prose and poetry have been published in the anthology, ???Chronicle of Memories???, and in Luphyr Magazine.
Course Fee: TBA
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