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The Neustadt Course

Fall 2024 Neustadt Course on Ananda Devi

ENGL/MLLL 4883/5883
Prof. Julie-Françoise Tolliver (

“Reading Ananda Devi is like receiving a stunningly poetic punch on the subject of tragic lives in a violent environment” (Dinah Assouline Stillman, WLT 2013). 2024 Neustadt Prize laureate Ananda Devi was born in Mauritius, a French colony for most of the 18th century and then a British colony until 1968. She writes about the power differentials that structure her country and the other settings she calls her fictional home, including, among others, France, the UK, and India. Our exploration of Ananda Devi’s work will include selected novels, poetry, essays, and films. We will examine how these texts are constructed, as well as how they represent the universe—how they imagine human relations and the strictures placed on them. We will analyze methods of narration, the persona of the poet, the assembly of film matter, and the effects of these techniques on our understanding of the cultural and political context of each text. And we will consider how translation carries Devi’s French-language texts into English. Students in the course will be required to participate in a majority of the events of the Neustadt Lit Fest scheduled for Oct. 21–23, 2024. Students will have dedicated time to meet with Dr. Devi and her translator, Kazim Ali; they will also have the opportunity to interact with all the participating writers/artists/scholars involved in the Neustadt Lit Fest.

Attendance and participation at Neustadt Prize events is a requirement for completing the course successfully.

WLT will provide enrolled students with complimentary copies of the required books. Other readings will be shared via Canvas.


Tuesdays/Thursdays 9:00-10:15am
Meets in PHSC 120
Neustadt Festival events, October 21-23

Possible Scholarships for Students Enrolled in This Course

To apply for a scholarship to cover the cost of tuition for the course, visit the Neustadt Scholarship Application page, fill out the application, and ask one of your professors to write a brief letter of recommendation. The letter of recommendation can be emailed to Terri Stubblefield ( or dropped off at Monnet 110. Deadline for scholarship applications: Friday, August 9, 2024, 12pm CDT. Decisions will be announced by August 16.