2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Class Consciousness in Sunlight on a Broken Column: Locating the Connections between Attia Hosain and the Progressive Writers' Movement
Madison C. March
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

In the early nineteen-thirties, a group of North Indian academics came together to form the Progressive Writers Association, an organization of recently graduated Oxford and Cambridge scholars who mobilized Marxist elements in their writing to draw attention to class and gender oppressions prevalent in India. By 1961 when she published her novel Sunlight on a Broken Column, author Attia Hosain had worked closely with the Progressive Writers for nearly three decades. Here I look at how this influence surfaces in the novel, the story of the life of the protagonist Laila, who is raised in a feudal Muslim family but ultimately rejects the constricting traditions of her upbringing. This paper explores and weighs the impact of the Progressive Writers Movements political ideology on the class consciousness pervading Sunlight on a Broken Column.

Keywords: Attia Hosain, postcolonialism, Indian literature, Partition, Marxism, class, gender

Topic(s):English
Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 15-2
Location: VH 1408
Time: 9:45

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