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South-Indian American Women Writers. Issues of Cultural Identity and Gender. Migrants and their Cultural Identities. Immigration and its Push and Pull factors Five kinds of diaspora: Victim (e.g. Jews, Africans, Armenians ), Labour (Indian, Chinese ), Trade ( Chinese and Lebanese ),

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south indian american women writers

South-Indian American Women Writers

Issues of

Cultural Identity and Gender

migrants and their cultural identities
Migrants and their Cultural Identities
  • Immigration and its Push and Pull factors
  • Five kinds of diaspora:
    • Victim(e.g. Jews, Africans, Armenians),
    • Labour (Indian, Chinese),
    • Trade (Chinese and Lebanese),
    • Imperial (the British, etc.),
    • Cultural/Economic diasporas(the Caribbean).
routes of recent migrations from indian subcontinent

B. Mukherjee, Sujata Bhatt, A. AppachanaC. Divakaruni

Routes of Recent Migrations from Indian Subcontinent

Air India

H. Bannerji;

Rushdie, Imtiaz Dharker (back to India)

B. Mukherjee, India-- U.S. –Canada -- U.S. Sujata Bhatt India – U.S. -- Germany

immigrants and cultural identity
Immigrants and Cultural Identity
  • Possible Choices  But do they have a choice?
    • Assimilation the myth of melting pot; self-hatred (Pam, second-generation)
    • Separation/isolation Discrimination, Exclusion (.g. the elderly couple in M)
    • Hyphenation (In-Between positions)  Multiculturalism = Ghettoization (Sheila)
cultural identity multiple influences
Cultural Identity: Multiple Influences

Family and other social units

cultural identity and gender identity issues related to south asian american women 1
Cultural Identity and Gender Identity: Issues Related to South Asian American Women (1)
  • Cultural Identity in between country of origin and the host nation
    • – potted plant, empty baggage, umbilical cord buried in the host nation
    • -- how/whether to look back
    • -- hyphenated or not (e.g. B. Mukherjee– refused to be hyphenated)
  • Experience of Racism: Visible Minorities

e.g. Sari, food, religion, need for resistance

“We the Indian Women in America” “Paki Go Home” “To Sylvia Plath”

cultural identity and gender identity issues related to saaw 2
Cultural Identity and Gender Identity: Issues Related to SAAW (2)
  • Cultural Identity influenced by Sexism of both places (“Her Mother”)
  • Experience of Racism and Sexism Combined in both places. e.g. “Her Mother” “Management”
  • Racism:
    • can happen because of lack of understanding,
    • subtle ones in the questions, harsher ones in racist slurs
    • Individual institutionalized
  • Intensify or weaker mother-daughter bonding and sisterhood
her mother gender issues
“Her Mother” : Gender issues
  • What makes the mother similar to our mothers?
  • Which parts of the mother make her “traditional” mother? What aspects of her are “feminist” and unconventional?
  • How is the mother related to the daughter and her husband?
her mother contradictory gender identities
“Her Mother” : Contradictory Gender identities
  • “traditional” mother—
  • Views about marriage & Concern with the two daughters’
  • Motherly advice: Eat, Bathe, Oil your hair, stay with Indians, go meet the good buy.
  • Her own dream and collections
  • “feminist” –
  • teach the daughter independence
  • Views of her husband, Indian men and American culture
her mother contradictory gender identities 2
“Her Mother” : Contradictory Gender identities (2)
  • -How is the mother related to the daughter and her husband?
  • The daughter’s being closer to the father, p133; different feminist views p. 135
  • The husband’s double standard; his sense of betrayal p. 138
her mother cultural issues
“Her Mother” : Cultural Issues
  • How does the mother and the father look at the U.S. and India differently?
  • What are the mother’s stereotypical views of “Westerners”?
her mother gender culture issues
“Her Mother” : Gender + Culture Issues
  • What pre-occupies the mother? How does the mother feel about the daughter’s hair-cutting and leaving?
  • Why does the daughter see going abroad as an escape? Escape from what?
  • How does the mother get to understand the daughter?
    • Grief + memory
    • Significant clues: midnight encounter, Rapunzel, handkerchief; pinched look
  • Sisterhood and Mother-daughter bonding: can they be strong enough support in a society dominated by men?
bharati mukherjee
Bharati Mukherjee

Sees immigration as a process of reincarnation, breaking away (killing) from the roots.

  • Born in Calcutta, India, in 1940, she grew up in a wealthy traditional family.
  • Went to America in 1961 to attend the Iowa’s Writers Workshop
  • Married Canadian author Clark Blaise in 1963, immigrated to Canada
  • Found life as a "dark-skinned, non-European immigrant to Canada" very hard and moved to the U.S.
the management of grief background
“The Management of Grief”: Background
  • June 22nd., 1985 Air India flight 182, leaving from Vancouver for India, exploded and crashed into the Atlantic ocean off the Coast of Ireland.
  • 329 people died.
  • Suspects: Two Sikh nationalists.

But investigation still goes on.

  • Consequence: p. 162
the management of grief
“The Management of Grief”

First question:

What’re the meanings of the title?

the management of grief different ways of management
“The Management of Grief”: Different Ways of Management
  • Characters:
  • -- The narrator (Mrs. Shaila Bhave), p. 160, 164, 169, 170
  • -- Pam, escapes, feeling neglected, ends up serving Orientals. p. 161, 174
  • -- Kusum, accept fate, 163, 164, 173
  • -- Dr. Ranganathan, another kind of escape, while keeping the connection p. 169, 170, 174
  • -- the elderly couple leave it to their god; insist on their own way and believe themselves "strong."
the management of grief different ways of management18
“The Management of Grief”: Different Ways of Management
  • The Canadian government -- evasive 159, indifferent 160.

<--> Irish 163-164, 165, 166 giving flowers and showing sympathy

<--> not blaming on the whole group of people because of some individuals 167

  • Judith Templeton--considers them ignorant, a mess.
the management of grief different ways of management19
“The Management of Grief”: Different Ways of Management

Theory:

1. Rejection, 2. depression, (Depressed Acceptance) 3. Acceptance, 4. reconstruction (p. 170)

What is not considered?

guilt/regret, hope,

prefers ignorance, or their own versions p. 163

mourning process: searching, waiting.

Different cultures’ views of grief and mourning.

cultural identity and gender identity issues related to south asian american women 3
Cultural Identity and Gender Identity: Issues Related to South Asian American Women (3)
  • Two mothers experience different kinds of loss;
  • Carry on what they cherish and are given.
cultural identity and gender identity issues related to south asian american women 4
Cultural Identity and Gender Identity: Issues Related to South Asian American Women (4)
  • Another example—from the daughter’s perspective Desperately Seeking Helen
  • Helen, like the stove, or biting in the food, is a sign of rebellion. Only she is also a role model, a vamp (the opposite to heroine) who turns out to be a combination of mother figure and Eisha Marjara’s need for resistance.