Course Details

Course offered Winter 2013

Honors 211 B: Indian Literature & Popular Film (A&H)

Honors 211 B: Indian Literature & Popular Film (A&H)

SLN 14736 (View UW registration info »)

Heidi Pauwels (Asian Languages and Literature)

Credits: 5
Limit: 30 students

Honors Credit Type

This course focuses on how Indian literature is transformed in film and on television, including the creative appropriation of scripture on the screen. The goal is to foster understanding of Indian aesthetics for appreciating literature and film as well as to question the use of literature (religious and secular) for socio-political agendas. The class raises questions at the interface of cinema and literature, such as how popular Indian films change the way literature is read, offer different (broader or narrower) interpretations, and shift plots, stories, and characters to accommodate the medium and the economics of the genre. It also raises issues of canonization of literature and film classics. We explore the multiple agents at work in such processes, paying special attention to political, sociological, psychological and economic forces of the market place.

Format and Evaluation
Students complete a weekly writing assignment (try-out in W1, counts from W2-9): totaling 8 screening reports that count for their grade. They will post this on our GoPost class board after seeing the movie (suggestions for format, see guidelines). It has to be posted either on the same Wednesday night or at the latest by the next morning 9 am, so others can see it and read prior to the discussion. In preparation for the paired discussions, each partner will read and prepare comments on the other’s post. After the discussion, students will incorporate the peer-feedback and polish their initial draft into a short essay, which they keep for their final portfolio. They have to polish their screening reports into a full essay only every other week, for a total of 4 such essays (see guidelines for details).

Students will work towards a final presentation in class during the final week of instruction, which they will write up as a paper due during final’s week. By the middle of week 9, students will post an abstract indicating the topic and outlining the basic argument of their paper, which they will present in class the next week. The instructor will organize the papers in panels and let students know when they are to present by the end of week 9. The presentations take place during week 10. All students are expected to attend all peers’ presentations and give peer feedback to each other.

Evaluation will be based on:
– Final paper and presentation: 30 + 10%
– Weekly screening report and bi-weekly essay for final portfolio: 10+40%
– Participation in discussions and class: 10%