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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Tanvi P Patel
ENGL 440
Seattle Campus

Special Studies in Literature

Themes and topics offering special approaches to literature.

Class description

Special Studies in Literature: The Mumbai Diaries

This course focuses on various novels, short stories and films set in the excitingly chaotic and vastly diverse city of Mumbai. Formally known as Bombay, this devastatingly complex city is the commercial and entertainment capital of India and the sixth largest metropolis in the world. Probing the intricacies of Mumbai, from its thriving film industry to its urban slums, students will consider modern developments in politics, religion, crime, society and culture through a pantheon of literature and cinema. Attending to the city’s landscapes and peoples, the course will examine transitions between public and private spaces, the increasing burden of globalization and modernity, expanding class and caste gaps and differences between third world realities and first world mentalities. Special Studies in Literature: The Mumbai Diaries

This course focuses on various novels, short stories and films set in the excitingly chaotic and vastly diverse city of Mumbai. Formally known as Bombay, this devastatingly complex city is the commercial and entertainment capital of India and the sixth largest metropolis in the world. Probing the intricacies of Mumbai, from its thriving film industry to its urban slums, students will consider modern developments in politics, religion, crime, society and culture through a pantheon of literature and cinema. Attending to the city’s landscapes and peoples, the course will examine transitions between public and private spaces, the increasing burden of globalization and modernity, expanding class and caste gaps and differences between third world realities and first world mentalities.

Central readings will include: Window Seat: Rush-hour Stories from the City by Janhavi Acharekar, Love and Longing in Bombay by Vikram Chandra, Breathless in Bombay by Murzban Shroff, Maximum City by Suketu Mehta, Mumbai Fables by Gyan Prakash, among others.

Films include: Dhobi Ghat, Salaam Bombay, Satya and Slumdog Millionaire

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Discussion-based classroom.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Evaluation will include oral presentations, essays, quizzes and exams.

Course work includes a willingness to challenge one's current aesthetic values about film and literature and keep an open mind; weekly engaged, in-person critical discussion; online research of literary and film terms via UW databases; critical written analysis of stories, films and their relevant critical work.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Tanvi P Patel
Date: 09/04/2011