Fall 2023 English BC3294 section 001


Call Number 00496
Day & Time
TR 2:40pm-3:55pm
302 Barnard Hall
Points 3
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Jhumpa Lahiri
Course Description

Language is the writer’s instrument; what happens when there is more than one language to choose from, or when a dominant or initial language is replaced by another? What inspires, or necessitates, a writer to practice exophony: to migrate into “foreign” linguistic territory? And in the case of bilingual or plurilingual writers, what factors determine the language(s) chosen for creative expression, and what might cause that choice to shift over time? To what degree do exophonic writers create a third, hybrid language? And how might their works underscore the mutability and instability of language itself? This seminar will focus on a series of women who, either for political or personal reasons, have reshaped and revised their linguistic points of reference, radically questioning—and perhaps willfully subverting—notions of nationality, identity, linguistic normativity, and a “mother tongue”. Special attention will be paid to the reception of exophonic writers, to feminist narratives of separation and self-fashioning, to mother-daughter dyads, to cases of self-translation, to colonialist and post-colonialist frameworks, and to how the phenomenon of exophony further complicates, but also enriches, the translator’s task. Readings will combine literary texts with essays, interviews, and theoretical writings by and about exophonic writers. In addition to analytical papers, students will have the opportunity to experiment writing in another language and translating themselves into English. All readings will be in English; advanced reading knowledge of a foreign language is recommended but not required. 

Web Site Vergil
Department English @Barnard
Enrollment 31 students (30 max) as of 3:08PM Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Status Full
Subject English
Number BC3294
Section 001
Division Barnard College
Open To Barnard College, Columbia College, Engineering:Undergraduate, Global Programs, General Studies, Professional Studies
Campus Barnard College
Section key 20233ENGL3294X001