Author Archives: Filippo Menozzi


ENG 7340: Women at Risk–South Asian Women’s Writing
Spring 2016
Instructor: Alpana Sharma
Wright State University

Required Primary Reading:
Shashi Deshpande, The Dark Holds No Terrors (India)
Anuradha Roy, An Atlas of Impossible Longing (India)
Githa Hariharan, In Times of Siege (India)
Manju Kapur, Home (India)
Farah Ghuznavi, ed. Lifelines: New Writing from Bangladesh (Bangladesh)
Kamila Shamsie, Kartography (Pakistan)
V. Ganeshananthan, Love Marriage (Sri Lanka)

Required Secondary Reading (to be added to throughout the semester):
Chaudhuri, Maitrayee, ed. Feminism in India. New Delhi: Kali for Women, 2004.          (Excerpts)
Deshpande, Shashi. Writing from the Margin and Other Essays. New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2003. (Excerpts)
Mohanty, Chandra T. Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing      Solidarity. Durham: Duke University Press, 2003. (Excerpts)
Nair, Sridevi. “Transnationalism and Women of Color Courses: Diversity, Curricula, and New Pedagogies Of ‘Race.’” Feminist Teacher 24.1-2 (2014): 1-17.
Spivak, Gayatri C. “Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism.” “Race,” Writing, and Difference. Spec. Issue of Critical Inquiry 12.1 (Autumn 1985): 243- 261.

About the Course:
When it comes to gender, South Asia is at a ruptural moment in its modern history. What has brought its dominant modes of being to crisis is the subcontinent’s rapid modernization due to global economic forces; at the same time, while globalization has entailed sweeping changes in centuries-old cultural mores and attitudes and brought women into the public sphere, correspondingly there has been a powerful push-back to women’s self-empowerment from patriarchal, conservative, and fundamentalist quarters. Hence, South Asian women’s writing embodies a certain kind of risk as it dramatizes new forms of empowerment in a cultural context that appears to deny the value of female empowerment. The objective of this course is to introduce students to modern Anglophone South Asian women’s writing as a powerful and risky medium of self-expression. It invites students to think critically about the cultural context(s) that produces themes, styles, and forms that are specific to South Asian women’s experience of their changed and changing worlds. What forms of empowerment do these writers’ works take? Which literary forms and styles do they find useful to convey their ideas? How do their interests converge and diverge? Which feminist methodologies best help us to understand what is at stake in contemporary South Asian women’s literature? How does answering this question help us to disentangle the imperatives and aims of South Asian feminism from those of canonical Western feminism?

Course requirements:
Attendance and participation; weekly journal; class presentation; research paper, 16-18 pages.

Recommended Readings

Ragini Srinivasan, University of California, Berkeley


(Some) Critical Readings of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Fiction

Alfonso‐Forero, Ann Marie, “Immigrant Motherhood and Transnationality in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Fiction,” Literature Compass 4.3 (2007): 851-861.

Bahmanpour, Bahareh. “Female Subjects and Negotiating Identities in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies,” Studies in Literature and Language 1.6 (2010): 43-51.

Bandyopadhyay, Debarati, “Negotiating Borders of Culture Jhumpa Lahiri’s Fiction,” Journal of Literature, Culture and Media Studies 1.1 (2010).

Bhalla, Tamara. “Being (and Feeling) Gogol: Reading and Recognition in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake,” MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the US 37.1 (2012): 105-129.

Bhardwaj, Ritu. “Identity and Diaspora in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake,Current Research in English Language and Literature 1.1 (2013): 11-14.

Brada, Williams, Noelle. “Reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies as a Short-Story Cycle,” MELUS 29.3-4, pp. 451-464, Autumn/Winter 2004.

Caesar, Judith. “American Spaces in the Fiction of Jhumpa Lahiri,” English Studies in Canada 31.3, pp. 50-68, August 2005.

–. “Gogol’s Namesake: Identity and Relationships in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake,” Atenea 27.1, pp. 103-119, June 2007.

Chakraborty, Mridula Nath. “Leaving No Remains: Death Among the Bengalis in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Fiction,” South Atlantic Quarterly 110.4, pp. 813-829, Fall 2011.

Chetty, Raj. “The Indian on the Bookshelf: Placing Jhumpa Lahiri in Contemporary American Literature,” South Asia and Its Others: Reading the Exotic (2009).

Dhingra, Lavina and Floyd Cheung, eds. Naming Jhumpa Lahiri: Canons and Controversies. Maryland: Lexington Books, 2012.

Friedman, Natalie. “From Hybrids to Tourists: Children of Immigrants in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake,” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 50.1 (2008): 111-128.

Heinze, Ruediger. “A Diasporic Overcoat? Naming and Affection in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake,” Journal of Postcolonial Writing 43.2 (2007): 191-202.

Hogue, W. Lawrence. “A Cosmopolitan Reading,” American Book Review 36.5 (2015): 8-9.

Koshy, Susan. “Minority Cosmopolitanism,” PMLA 126.3, pp. 592-609, May 2011.

–. “Neoliberal Family Matters,” American Literary History 25.2, pp. 344-380, 2013.

Kral, Françoise. “Shaky Ground and New Territorialities in Brick Lane by Monica Ali and The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri,” Journal of Postcolonial Writing 43.1 (2007): 65-76.

Mishra, Shubha. “The Identity Crisis—An Immigrant Experience as Reflected in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Novel The Namesake,” Indian Writings in English, </em>eds. Binod Mishra and Sanjay Kumar, New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers, 2006.

Munos, Delphine. After Melancholia: A Reappraisal of Second-Generation Diasporic Subjectivity in the Work of Jhumpa Lahiri. Vol. 169. Rodopi, 2013.

Rao, K. Narasimha, “Simulacra of Identity Interstices: The Select Fiction of Chitra Banerjee and Jhumpa Lahiri,” IUP Journal of English Studies 10.3 (2015): 7.

Reddy, Vanita. “Jhumpa Lahiri’s Feminist Cosmopolitics and the Transnational Beauty Assemblage,” Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism 11.2 (2013): 29-59.

Sarangi, Jaydeep. “Bond without Bondage: Bharati Mukherjee and Jhumpa Lahiri,” Studies in Women Writers in English 2 (2004): 139.

Song, Min Hyoung. “The Children of 1965: Allegory, Postmodernism, and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake,” Twentieth Century Literature (2007): 345-370.

Srinivasan, Ragini T. “Lahiri, High and Low,” Public Books, January 20, 2014. Available from <>

Srivastava, Ramesh K. “Comic Touches in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies: Stories of Bengal, Boston and Beyond,” New Perspectives on Indian English Writings (2007): 16.

Williams, Laura Anh. “Foodways and Subjectivity in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies,” Melus (2007): 69-79.


Web Sites

Free online resources about South Asian Women’s Writing:

sawnet: South Asian Women NETwork

Excellent website including fora on main topics and a Bookshelf page, with a list of South Asian women writers and intellectuals

Postcolonial Studies at Emory

One of the most important websites in postcolonial studies since 1996. It includes useful resources, a book review section and a digital bookshelf page

South Asian Women’s Creative Collective

“A non-profit arts organisation dedicated to the advancement, visibility and development of emerging and established South Asian women artists and creative professionals”

Bibliography of South Asian women’s writing from the University of Washington library website

Very useful resource, including bibliography on poetry & poetry anthologies

Jaipur Festival Speakers

Bios of speakers at the Jaipur Festival

Issues of Gender in teaching SAW

Short essay on teaching South Asian women’s writing on Amherst College website, by Ambreen Hai

South Asian Women Writers Challenge

Website including a reading list of works by South Asian women writers


Call for Abstracts

We invite proposals for a volume in the MLA Options for Teaching series entitled Teaching Anglophone South Asian Women’s Writing, edited by Deepika Bahri and Filippo Menozzi.

This volume seeks meaningful responses to the following questions: What do we teach when we teach South Asian women’s writing? How do we teach it in a variety of contexts? How is our pedagogy changing in response to new developments: digital contexts, emergent genres, changes in the publishing industry, and growing anxiety about the under representation of nonanglophone writing? Click Detailed Description for more information about the proposed volume.

Send 2-page CVs and %00-word proposals for essays of 3,000-3,500 words to  Please use the subject line “SAW proposal.” Proposals should include the proposed essay title, name(s) of the writer(s) proposed for discussion, the argumentative thrust of the proposed article, and clear pedagogic implications.