M, W 2:00-3:20

Classroom: LANG 302

My Office: LANG 408D; My Email: mraja@unt.edu

Office Hours: M, W 10:00-12:00 and by Appointment


The publication of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses (1989) unleashed a scandal of global proportions and accentuated the global cultural divide between A prone figure in Indian costume against a yellow backgroundthose who believe in absolute freedom of expression and those who assert that their spiritual (in this case Islamic) beliefs should also be protected from acts of epistemic transgression.

The publication of the novel also caused what is now called the Rushdie Affair which involved a fatwa against the author by Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran resulting in death threats to the author.

This course will encourage you to read the book carefully and then offer supplementary materials in order to understand as to what made the book so transgressive and controversial.

Required Texts:

Rushdie, Salman. The Satanic Verses [Any edition will be fine]: SV.

Class Reader [Provided by the Instructor]

Course Policies and Requirements:

Students are expected to come prepared for class: This involves reading the assigned texts, listening carefully to their peers, and contributing their views in a collegiate and stimulating way. Attendance is mandatory.

Distribution of Points:
Response Journals          100 Points
Mid-Term Exam              200 Points
Group Presentations      300 Points
Participation                    100 Points
Final Exam                      300 Points
Total                                  1000 Points


Response Journals (100 Points): Every week you will turn in a journal responding to the readings assigned for the week. Mostly, the journals can either offer your insights about the assigned readings or (also) add some questions that might arise during your reading. The journal should be minimum two pages, double-spaced, font 12 Times.

Mid-Term Exam (200 Points)
The Mid-term will be given in the eighth week. The exam will include three essay questions. I will give you a comprehensive study guide a week before the exam.

Group Presentations (300 Points)
In the first week, your class will be divided into small groups who will then choose their presentation topics. I will provide detailed instructions later.

Final Exam (300 Points) [Final Exam Questions] A cumulative final exam will be administered in-class on the date mentioned in the UNT exams program.

Class Participation (100 Points)
As this is a discussion format class, your thoughtful participation is essential to the success of the class. I encourage collegiate, open, and thought-provoking class discussions. Remember, we are all here to learn, so let us share our ideas and knowledge to make this class into a dynamic learning experience. I encourage you to speak-up in the class, not just about the texts but also if you have any suggestions about how to improve our learning during the course.

You are expected to attend the class regularly. You will be in the danger of failing the course if you miss more than FOUR class sessions.

Plagiarism is against the law, and will result in automatic failure in the course. Simply stated, plagiarism is when you try to pass anyone else’s work as your own or if you turn in your own work written for another class.

Please review UNT Policy on Academic Integrity for details.

If you have a disability, please contact the campus ADA office and bring me the necessary documentation. I will try my best to accommodate you if you need any special instruction or assistance.

SENATE BILL 11 (“CAMPUS CARRY”). Students must read UNT’s policy on concealed handguns on campus, which I’ve posted on Blackboard (or see http://campuscarry.unt.edu/untpolicy.) Here I note that 1) only licensed persons may legally carry handguns on campus, and 2) this right only authorizes the licensed carrying of “handgun[s], the presence of which is not openly noticeable to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person.” Per policy, if a gun is “partially or wholly visible, even if holstered,” it’s not legal on campus, whether or not it’s licensed. I report all illegal activities to the UNT police, regardless of their nature.

“ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATIONS.” All students should be aware of UNT’s guidelines for responding to “active shooter situations” (seehttp://emergency.unt.edu/get-prepared/Active-Shooter).

Grading Scale:

A 900-1000

B 830-899

C 739-829

D 600-738
F Less than 600 Points

Important Note: If at any stage in this course you feel like I could tweak my teaching practices to make it a better learning experience for you, please come and talk to me. If you are not comfortable talking in person, you can leave me a typed anonymous note with your suggestions in my mailbox in the English main office.

Weekly Schedule

Note: This is a tentative schedule. I may change this schedule during the semester. You will be informed of the changes well in advance, but it will be your responsibility to keep any such changes in mind while preparing for the class.

The assigned readings are for the whole week. Generally, we will discuss the assigned readings, spread over the week, in the order in which they are listed below. YOU ARE EXPECTED TO HAVE READ THE ASSIGNED TEXTS OVER THE WEEKEND.

Week 1
Introduction to the course
SV: Part 1
Week 2

Discussion: SV Part 1


SV Part 2; Raja. “Democratic Criticism and the Importance of Islamic Hermeneutics of Reading in the Twenty-First Century.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies Vol. 36 (3) 2013: 449-464. (Handout)

Week 3
Discussion: SV Part 2
SV Part 2
Week 4
Discussion: SV Part 2; Raja
SV Part 3
Excerpts from the Rushdie Affair (Handout)
Week 5
Discussion: SV Part 3; Excerpts
SV Part 3
Week 6
Discussion: SV Part 3
SV Part 4
Week 7
Discussion: SV Part 4
Week 8
Mid Term Exam
SV Part 4
Week 9
Discussion: SV Part 4
SV Part 5
Week 10
Discussion: SV Part 5
SV Part 6
Week 11
Discussion: SV Part 6
SV Part 7
Week 12
Discussion: SV Part 7
SV Part 8
Week 13
Discussion: SV Part 8
SV Part 9
Week 14 & 15
Discussion: SV Part 9
Final Exam Prep