GLITS 313 C: Literature Across Places

Spring 2024
TTh 2:30pm - 4:20pm / CMU 243
Section Type:
Joint Sections:
C LIT 322 A , S ASIA 498 A
Jennifer E Dubrow
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):


S ASIA 498/GLITS 313A/C LIT 322A

Partition Literature and Film

Spring 2024


Link to Course Schedule


Instructor:  Prof. Jennifer Dubrow, Associate Professor, Asian Languages and Literature (she/hers)


Office: M212 Gowen Hall (note: on the mezzanine level, above the 2nd floor)

Office Hours: F 1-2 PM, on Zoom, at:

Class Times and Place: TTh 2:30-4:20 PM, in 243 Communications Hall

Course Description:

This course studies literature and film associated with the 1947 Partition of British India into the modern nations of India and Pakistan, which produced a mass migration of 15 million people. We will study key artistic works that engage with the Partition and its enduring legacy. We will read a selection of short stories, poetry, and graphic novels, and watch 2 films and a TV series (Ms. Marvel) to consider: what literary and artistic techniques have been used to imagine and represent this historical moment? How does art engage with trauma? What are connections between Partition and more recent events, and how have these connections been explored in literature and film? We will also explore recent works (Bheed, Ms. Marvel) that examine Partition through other modes (Covid; the superhero narrative).

This course is open to all students interested in South Asian literature and film. There are no prerequisites, though any introductory course on South Asian literature (such as S ASIA 206) or film will be helpful. Please note that much of the content will be disturbing (featuring violence and sexual assault). If you have advanced Hindi or Urdu proficiency, much of our readings will be available in their original language (marked with H or U on the course schedule). 

Course Goals:

    • Become familiar with historical circumstances of the Partition of British India and its representations in literature and film
    • Relate 1947 Partition to the idea of ongoing or “many” Partitions (Emergency, 2022 Covid lockdowns) in the South Asian context
    • Examine how different modes (realist, non-realist, satirical, symbolic) and media (short story, graphic novel, film) produce various experiences of Partition
    • Engage with multi-modal responses to Partition through a creative final project that imitates or analyzes aspects of the texts we read (for graduate students: produce a conference-length analytical paper on themes related to the course)

Assignments and Grading:

The final grade in S ASIA 498A/GLITS 313A/C LIT 322A will be comprised of the following factors:

  • A Partition journal, in which you make weekly entries describing your response to that week’s reading(s), class discussion, or another aspect of Partition that came up in class (20%). Due on Fridays at 11:59 PM in Weeks 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8.
  • Short response (1-2 pages double-spaced) on readings from Weeks 1-4 (15%), due Monday, April 29 at 11:59 PM.
  • Proposal for final project (10%, credit/no credit), due Friday, May 17 at 11:59 PM
  • Oral presentation of final project in class (15%), due either Tuesday or Thursday class in Week 10, sign-up sheet for slots.
  • Final project (for graduate students: conference paper, 10-12 pages double-spaced): Students will develop individual final projects that respond to selected readings through video essay, manga/graphic novel, oral history project, short story, or written analytical essay. (20%)
  • Participation in class and on discussion board, which includes asking questions, bringing passages for discussion, and thoughtful and respectful engagement in class discussions. (20%)

Course Discussion Board and Reading Groups:

Because the subject of this course is disturbing and sure to bring up emotions, we will have a course discussion board where you can share responses to the readings or class and enter dialogue with your fellow students. I will also have Canvas place you in small (3 people) reading groups. You can use this group to check in about the reading, ask each other questions, support each other, etc.

Policy on Late Assignments:

For Partition Journal Entries: Entries in your Partition journal are due on Friday at 11:59 PM on Weeks 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8. If you need more time for your entry, you can have until the Sunday of that weekend at 11:59 PM, without emailing me. After that time, no late entries will be accepted, because we have to move on to the next week's assignments.

For short responses: The most common cause of plagiarism in this course is a student not being done close to the deadline and then panicking. If you find you are unable to make a deadline for the Short Response, email me and let me know. I can usually grant an extension. In your email, propose a deadline by which you can submit the Response. A common extension is for 24 or 48 hours. I will email you back to confirm or propose a different deadline. I cannot accept a short response more than 5 days late (the time listed for "Available until" on the assignment). After that you will receive a zero.

For the final project: Because this is spring quarter, we have very tight deadlines by which to grade your project and then submit the final grade for the course. The latest a final project can be accepted is 2 days after the deadline, Thursday, June 6 at 11:59 PM. After that time, the only way I can accept a late project is if we agree that you will not receive your final course grade until after the quarter is over. Please note that if you are graduating, you will not receive credit for the course until after graduation. You will have to check with your advisor to make sure this will not prevent you from graduating. If we agree on this, you will receive a X (no grade now) for the course until your project is submitted. Because I will be offline for the summer, the absolute latest I can accept a final project for this course is Thursday, June 13 by 11:59 PM. If your final project is not turned in by that date, you will receive a 0 for the final project and I will calculate your final grade for the course with that 0 for the final project.

Note on Chat GPT:

We shouldn't have any occasion to use Chat GPT in this course. But, just to be clear: No use of Chat GPT is allowed in this course. Assignments that have been found to have used Chat GPT will be given a zero. Chat GPT relies on information culled from various sources on the internet. We are dealing with sometimes controversial events surrounding Partition, so relying on internet sources is dangerous. Furthermore, the level of critical thinking that Chat GPT responses reflect is usually that of about a freshman undergraduate--not of use for our course.

Note on Office Hours:

My office hour is Friday 1-2 PM on Zoom. If you are struggling in class, want to know how you can do better, or want to discuss assignments, please come to my office hour--that's what it's for! If that time doesn't work for you, just let me know and we'll set something up.

Student Responsibilities:

Students are responsible for carrying out assigned readings by the dates specified. Please have your copy of the reading available for you to use during class sessions. We will be reading together and discussing texts in class. It is important to have a version of the text that you can engage with seriously and easily. I do not recommend reading course texts on your phone--please bring them on computer or tablet to class.

In terms of missing class: if for any reason you are unable to attend a class session, please find out from another student what was covered in that session. If you have to miss a class due to illness, a doctor's appointment, or other reason, there is no need to email me and let me know. However, if you have a major illness or life event that will cause you to miss more than one class, please email me so that we may make any necessary arrangements.  Please do let me know if a major life event happens during the quarter that you would like to discuss. Attendance will be taken in each class--see below on attendance vs. participation.

Respectful and Safe Environment in Class: 

Much of the content of this course will be disturbing. We will be discussing: sexual assault, violence against women, murder, abuse, violence, and suffering. It is important that you have good resources for yourself to support you as you go through this course. If at any time during class you need to step out and take a break, please do so. You are welcome to discuss the readings and viewings with me during my weekly office hour or another time. We also have the course discussion board and small reading groups where you can support each other. For Mental Health resources, see this helpful page. A nice overview of resources available for students at the UW is:

Many of our readings/viewings are disturbing and will likely bring up emotions. Some of us may also have family histories of Partition violence or other similarly traumatic events. Please be respectful of diverse emotions, viewpoints, and experiences in class and all our online interactions. We will operate on the premise that Partition violence did occur, and was perpetrated by and against many people belonging to multiple kinds of backgrounds, ethnicities, religious groups, etc. No one community is responsible for Partition or Partition violence.

I strive to maintain a safe space in class where you are safe to express emotion and respond freely to the readings/viewings. We may have tears, and also laughter. I have designed the course so that our readings/viewings include a variety of modes (descriptions of violence; humor; oblique or no mention of Partition) in dealing with Partition; some may affect you more than others. We'll also be discussing resonances of Partition in later events such as Covid, so there may be triggers that you didn't expect.

In all of our class interactions, I encourage you to be kind and gentle with yourself and each other. It is okay to ask for a tissue, to take a break, to laugh, and to check in with each other.

Attendance vs. Participation in Class:

I will take attendance in class, and will use the Canvas Attendance feature to do this, as it allows both you and me to easily keep track of who was in which class. Canvas calculates the percentage of your attendance in class. Please note that this is not the same as your participation grade. Your attendance percentage will not affect your participation grade. Rather, your participation grade is based on the quality and quantity of your participation when you are in class, whether by asking a question, responding to a question, reading aloud, presenting group work to the class, or bringing a passage to read to class. We are still dealing with Covid and other viruses. If you are ill, please do not come to class

Guideline for participation: When you are in class, try to participate at least once in every class, but no more than 3 times/class. Participation can mean reading a selected passage aloud in class, asking a question, or responding to a question I or a student poses in class.

Note on Masks (for COVID-19):

This is a small, discussion-based literature course. Most classes will be dedicated almost entirely to class discussion. We will all be talking throughout the class, and often working in small groups and possibly moving around the classroom. 
I will be masking for all class sessions and office hours. In class, I use a small portable microphone and speaker so that everyone can hear me clearly. Please feel free to wear a mask at any time for class or office hours. No explanation is necessary.

Course Policies:

Students are expected to observe the following rules in class:

  • Arrive in class on time so that other students are not disturbed;
  • Refrain from conversing with fellow students while class is in progress;
  • Turn off cell phones and other electronic devices;
  • Do not use personal computers to cruise the Internet, read email, or engage in activities unrelated to class.

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity:

The University takes academic integrity very seriously. Behaving with integrity is part of our responsibility to our shared learning community. If you’re uncertain about if something is academic misconduct, ask me. I am willing to discuss questions you might have.

Acts of academic misconduct may include but are not limited to:

  • Cheating (working collaboratively on quizzes/exams and discussion submissions, sharing answers, and previewing quizzes/exams)
  • Plagiarism (using in your own work the creations, ideas, words, inventions, or work of someone else without formally acknowledging them through the use of quotation marks, footnotes, bibliography, or other reference)
  • Unauthorized collaboration (working with each other on assignments)

Concerns about these or other behaviors prohibited by the Student Conduct Code will be referred for investigation and adjudication by (include information for specific campus office).

Students found to have engaged in academic misconduct may receive a zero on the assignment (or other possible outcome).

Student Conduct:

The University of Washington Student Conduct Code (WAC 478-121) defines prohibited academic and behavioral conduct and describes how the University holds students accountable as they pursue their academic goals. Allegations of misconduct by students may be referred to the appropriate campus office for investigation and resolution. More information can be found online at


Call SafeCampus at 206-685-7233 anytime – no matter where you work or study – to anonymously discuss safety and well-being concerns for yourself or others. SafeCampus’s team of caring professionals will provide individualized support, while discussing short- and long-term solutions and connecting you with additional resources when requested.

Access and Accommodations:

Your experience in this class is important to me. It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law. If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please activate your accommodations via myDRS so we can discuss how they will be implemented in this course.

If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), contact DRS directly to set up an Access Plan. DRS facilitates the interactive process that establishes reasonable accommodations. Contact DRS at

Religious Accommodations:

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy ( (Links to an external site.). Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form ( (Links to an external site.).

Catalog Description:
Strategies of reading and imagined dialogues between texts from disparate places. Topics vary.
GE Requirements Met:
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated:
April 12, 2024 - 2:38 pm