Course requirements

1. a. Attendance in class and participation in class discussion, based on assigned reading. In addition to free-form participation in discussion, students will be asked to take turns in identifying issues for discussion and leading /opening discussion of readings of your choice.

You should come to class having completed the assigned reading indicated for each class meeting (i.e., indicated in the syllabus under the date of a particular class meeting) , except, of course, at the first class meeting.

More than three absences (except in case of illness, in which case, please inform me) will result in your final grade for the course being reduced by half a grade-point. Thus, A will become A-, B+ will become B. I will take attendance in class and at films.

b. Viewing the 5 required films shown outside of class (mostly Tuesday evenings).

See schedule of films for the course at the end of the syllabus. All the required films (videotapes) are on reserve at the Reserve Desk at Williston Library. Students who cannot attend the scheduled shows may borrow the videos from the Reserve desk and view them; in this case, please ask me for a slip which the Reserve Staff will sign for you to bring to me after you have viewed the video. Be prepared to participate in class discussions connecting class readings with the films.

25% of the grade for the course.

2. Writing assignments.

Two 8 to 10- page papers on a topic of your choice.

I will give broad suggestions for potential topics. For each paper, please submit by e-mail a topic, brief abstract and bibliography for your paper by the designated date. I will respond to the proposal with comments and suggestions.

Please note deadlines for the submission of papers and meet them.

Late papers (upto 7 days beyond the deadline) receive an automatic reduction of half a grade point (e.g., A becomes A-). Papers handed in later than 7 days beyond the deadline will not be graded.

75% of the course grade.


Deadlines for topic and abstract submission for papers: Thursday, October 5 and Tuesday, November 21.

Deadlines for submission of papers: Friday, October 27, and Monday, December 18.

Reserve List All the videotapes required for viewing, and many books which are likely to be heavily used, especially as reference for your papers, have been placed on reserve at the Reserve Desk, Williston Library.


Material required for purchase:

a. Books

At the College Bookstore, Blanchard Hall:

Gloria G. Raheja and Ann Grodzins Gold, Listen to the Heron's Words: Reimagining Gender and Kinship in North India. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994 (paper).

Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day. 1978. Penguin paperback.

b. Course packet:

At 112 Ciruti Language Center, the office of the Asian Studies Dept.

The cost of the packet will be approximately $23 (the final figure will be announced after the class list has stabilized, after the first two weeks). For Mount Holyoke students, the fee will be charged to your student account, unless you wish to pay cash or by check. Non-MHC stuents may pay cash or by check, made out to Mount Holyoke College. The persons handling the sale of packets are: Tracie Alfano-Aube (e-mail talfaube), Senior Administrative Assistant for Asian Studies and Russian Studies, who is available at the Asian Dept office, 112 Ciruti (538-2885) , or at the Russian dept office adjacent to 112, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (M -Fri.), with a break for lunch. The student assistant for Asian Studies will post her hours soon, and may also be available to handle course packets.

Strongly Recommended for purchase (at the College Bookstore)

Susie Tharu and K.Lalita, Women Writing in India. Vol. 1 800 B.C. to the twentieth century (New York: The Feminist Press, 1991). paper

This anthology provides texts by Indian women from the 9th century B.C. to the 20th century, along with biographies and discussions of the work of each author. The general introductions to works by women in the classical, medieval and modern periods are very helpful. An indispensable volume.

Radha Kumar, The History of Doing: An Illustrated Account of Movements for Women's Rights and Feminism in India, 1800 -1900 (Delhi: Kali for Women. 1993). paper

As the title indicates, this beautifully written, lavishly illustrated book is a historical account of women's movements and activism in relation to women's issues such as property law, widow remarriage, the practice of sati, labor law, dowry, divorce, reproductive choice, and so on in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Noteworthy for its fine biographical accounts of major Indian women leaders of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Another indispensable guidebook.