Reading and Composition- India in the Writer's Eye

TTh 9:30-11am
Miller, Robert Alan

Course title: Stories Shape the World: Ethics and Identity in Indian Buddhist Narratives


Description: This course examines the role of storytelling in ancient India, with a focus on Buddhist narratives. In India’s rich storytelling tradition, questions of ethics, identity, gender, and sexuality are explored through animal fables, epics, and drama. Drawing on literary studies, anthropology, sociology, folklore, and psychology, we will consider how such stories shape as well as challenge cultural and religious values in the ancient and modern worlds. These discussions will then help us reflect on the ways literature becomes an instrument of resistance and subjectification in our society today. Readings will include selections from ancient Indian works such as the Pañcatantra, Jātaka Tales, and Aśvaghoṣa’s Handsome Nanda as well as modern works by authors such as Borges, Freud, Durkheim, and Foucault.

Spring 2020