2005 Student Research Conference:
18th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

“The Alien Name She Had Given Me”: Colonial Women Students and British Women Teachers in Clear Light of Day and Sunlight on a Broken Column
Sarah M. Carter
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

The relationships between British women teachers and their colonial Indian students functioned a source of identity for both parties. Through British education, Indian girl students developed an identity of conflicted allegiances that both affirmed and denied their teachers' values. For British teachers, success in communicating Western ideals meant success in their roles as members of an imperial class, as “cultural missionaries," and as women. Thus, students who developed uniquely non-Western identities stood as a threat not only to their teachers’ vocation, but to their identity and status. This essay explores exchanges in which teachers and students perceive themselves in relation to each other through two works of postcolonial fiction: Anita Desai’s Clear Light of Day (1980) and Attia Hosain’s Sunlight on a Broken Column (1961).

Keywords: postcolonialism, India, women's studies, postcolonial, criticism, literature

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 38-5
Location: VH 1304
Time: 3:15

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