Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Degree Granting Department
Gurleen Grewal, Ph.D.
Gil Ben-Herut, Ph.D.
Hunt Hawkins, Ph.D.
Quynh Nhu Le, Ph.D.
South Asian Literature, Epic, Gender, Hinduism
This project delineates a cultural history of modern Hinduism in conversation with contemporary Indian literature. Its central focus is literary adaptations of the Sanskrit epic the Mahābhārata, in English, Hindi, and Bengali. Among Hindu religious texts, this epic has been most persistently reproduced in literary and popular discourses because its scale matches the grandeur of the Indian national imagining. Further, many epic adaptations explicitly invite devotion to the nation, often emboldening conservative Hindu nationalism. This interdisciplinary project draws its methodology from literary theory, history, gender, and religious studies. Little scholarship has put Indian Anglophone literatures in conversation with other Indian literary traditions. To fill this gap, I chart a history of literary and cultural transactions between both India and Britain and among numerous vernacular, classical, and Anglophone traditions within India. Paying attention to gender, caste, and cultural hegemony, I demostrate how epic adaptations both narrate and contest the contours of the Indian nation.
Scholar Commons Citation
Kanjilal, Sucheta, "Modern Mythologies: The Epic Imagination in Contemporary Indian Literature" (2017). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.
Available for download on Saturday, June 09, 2018