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Course Co-ordinated by IIT Bombay
Coordinators
 
Prof. Neelima Talwar
IIT Bombay

 

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Acknowledgement
 
Instructor’s Profile: Neelima Talwar is Professor of English in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai. She received her PhD in English from the M. S. University, Baroda, Gujarat, in 1988. Her Thesis was titled “Apollo’s Laurel Bough: A Study of the Theme of Natural Science in Drama.” Professor Talwar’s numerous honours and awards include a Fulbright Visiting Lecturer Fellowship at the Department of Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts of New York University in New York City from September to December 2003. She received a Fulbright Occasional Lecturer Programme Fellowship at the University of Missouri, Columbia, in October 2003; a Visiting Fellowship for research and creative writing interaction offered by Foundation Maison De Sciences De L’Homme, France, in June 1997; a National Level award for the professional category (i.e. Educationists, Professors, Journalists, Writers, Editors, Columnists, etc.) awarded by the National Literacy Mission for the essay “Signatures of Survival: An Analysis of Literacy for the Oppressed,” in September 1994; an Olive Reddick Research Prize for the best paper in American Studies for “Feminist Contribution to American Theatre: An Indian Response,” in 1992; and a Fulbright Grant for Pre-doctoral work, Tisch School of the Arts, Department of Performance Studies, New York University, New York City, 1980-81. Professor Talwar has published short stories and other creative and analytical writing in English and Hindi.

Instructor's Profile
 

Understanding Creativity and Creative Writing


Instructor’s Profile:


Neelima Talwar is Professor of English in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai. She received her PhD in English from the M. S. University, Baroda, Gujarat, in 1988. Her Thesis was titled “Apollo’s Laurel Bough: A Study of the Theme of Natural Science in Drama.”


Professor Talwar’s numerous honours and awards include a Fulbright Visiting Lecturer Fellowship at the Department of Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts of New York University in New York City from September to December 2003. She received a Fulbright Occasional Lecturer Programme Fellowship at the University of Missouri, Columbia, in October 2003; a Visiting Fellowship for research and creative writing interaction offered by Foundation Maison De Sciences De L’Homme, France, in June 1997; a National Level award for the professional category (i.e. Educationists, Professors, Journalists, Writers, Editors, Columnists, etc.) awarded by the National Literacy Mission for the essay “Signatures of Survival: An Analysis of Literacy for the Oppressed,” in September 1994; an Olive Reddick Research Prize for the best paper in American Studies for “Feminist Contribution to American Theatre: An Indian Response,” in 1992; and a Fulbright Grant for Pre-doctoral work, Tisch School of the Arts, Department of Performance Studies, New York University, New York City, 1980-81.


Professor Talwar has published short stories and other creative and analytical writing in English and Hindi.

Untitled Document
 

In the context of the rapid growth of communication technologies and globalization, new debates and concerns regarding creativity have emerged. These discussions will be posited to energize creative concerns as a key ingredient of knowledge building.
Creativity – an abstract noun – has many connotations and synonyms such as imagination, inspiration, genius, talent, originality etc. Its demands in different domains of knowledge and human behaviour will be examined through research in Creativity Studies.
The course opens up creative space for students of diverse academic backgrounds: Literary Studies, Science, Technology, Design, Social Studies, Architecture and so on. Reading and Writing are central to knowledge building. With focus on Creative Writing, disciplinary diversity will be posed as a source of innovations. Wide range of compositional activities will be generated to provoke discussions about the notion of the creative self. Contemporary issues of multilinguality, science-technology-humanities interface; globalization; youth and crisis will be problematized.

 

Module

Topics and Content

No. of
Lectures

1.

Understanding Creativity:
The concept of creativity has been debated and discussed through number of critical positions. The historically contextualized definitions of this ubiquitous term will be explored. Csikszentmihaly’s study of wide range of creative domains will be assessed for new possibilities.
Creativity in any domain entails apprenticeship. Critical reading and experiments in writing are two vitally interconnected processes for a writer.  The quest of the young writer is placed within India’s multilingual, plural cultures. In this complex ethos the sense of the self becomes far more complicated.

Important writers have dealt with these issues in regional languages and English. Significant literary experiments will be discussed through English translations and original writing in English. To develop meaningful, original literary work, students are encouraged to break away from fragmentation in knowledge systems as it is a barrier to ‘self-actualization’.

13

2.

To Be A Writer:
 What does it mean to be a writer? Are there ideal conditions for writing? The debates about writing independently and writing within academic institutions have raged in recent years. With the rising trend of institutionalizing creative writing, the paradoxical relationship between unhampered creativity and institutional facilitation has gained greater significance.
To enable informed decisions, writerly concerns regarding the stages of the writing process have been discussed in comparative perspective. Albert Camus, Chekhov, Atwood, Tagore, Mahasweta Devi and Rushdie provide varied insights.
Wide ranging examples from popular culture have also been examined for their influence on young minds. These ideas will be discussed in generative framework to release fresh energy.

11

3.

 

 

 

 

 

Drama: A Performative Mode
Writers experiment with various literary-cum-performative forms. In this module, drama is foregrounded. Its multilayered features are examined to highlight a range of action-oriented issues. The notions of “play”, “otherness” and “performance” will be introduced through seminal studies.
With focus on playwriting, salient features of dramatic texts such as physical activity, action, dialogue, subtext, conflict, plot, theme, character will be explained.
Keeping in mind postcolonial, intercultural tendencies of drama, classical Western and Indian theories and dramatic texts will be explored. Modern and postmodern examples will be placed within this perspective.
Mime and monologues will be emphasized as entry points for writing and performance. These forms have gained unique significance in the era of globalization. Number of illustrative examples will be shared.

13

 

 

 

 

4.

The Short Story:
The last module will build on the preceding discussion of various intertextual, comparative perspectives with reference to the short story. The radical difference between mythic, classical tales and the search motifs of modern and postmodern short stories will be examined.
Through various Western and Indian examples the issue of point-of-view; historical location and compressed intensity of the short story genre will be discussed.
Number of generative exercises will be developed to help students compose short stories and discover their own voice.                                                                        

4

 

Total

41

 

Introductory Reading and Writing/Composition Courses


  1. Csikszentmihaly, Mihaly. Beyond Boredom and Anxiety: The Experience of Play in Work and Games. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass P, 1975.
  2. Gourevitch, Philip, ed. The Paris Review Interviews. Vol IV. With an Introduction by Salman Rushdie. New York: Picador, 2009.
  3. Mee, Erin B., ed. Drama Contemporary: India. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  4. Newman, Jenny, et al. eds. The Writer's Workbook. 2nd ed. London: Arnold, 2004.
  5. Rushdie, Salman, and Elizabeth West, eds. The Vintage Book of Indian Writing, 1947-1997. London: Vintage, 1997.
  6. Sharma, Meenakshi, ed. The Wordsmiths. New Delhi: Katha, 1996.
  7. Williams, Raymond. Keywords A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. 1st ed. London: Fontana Communications Series, 1976.

Check out the recommended websites cited for specific lectures


  1. Atwood, Margaret. Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing. New York: Anchor, 2002.
  2. Camus, Albert. Carnets, 1935-1942. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1963.
  3. Egri, Lajos. The Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives. Reprint, 2004. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc, 1946.
  4. Gassner, John. ed. A Treasury of the Theatre. 2 vols. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967.
  5. Pope, Rob. Creativity: Theory, History, Practice. London and New York: Routledge, 2009.
  6. Schechner, Richard. Performance Studies An Introduction. London: Routledge, 2002.
  7. Tagore, Rabindranath. “Creative Unity”. Selected Essays. New Delhi: Rupa & Co, 2004.
  8. Willet, John, trans. and ed. Brecht on Theatre. New York: Hill and Wang, 1964.


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