Fareeha Alavi and Srijoni Rahman, the inaugural recipients of YCAR’s undergraduate essay awards, were nominated by their professors, Nishant Upadhyay, Sailaja Krishnamurti and Shobna Nijhawan for the exceptional essays submitted in their courses.
Fareeha Alavi’s paper, “The Making of Bangladesh”, won the essay prize in the category of geographic Asia. Alavi’s essay was the product of an oral history assignment for the course Introduction to South Asian Studies (SOSC 2435). The paper brings together an interview and academic scholarship on the 1971 partition of East and West Pakistan and the independence of Bangladesh. Throughout the paper, Alavi unpacks how competing nationalist myths informed the events and aftermath of 1971.
In the winning paper in the category of Asian diaspora, “From Roots to Rhizomes: Hybrid, Diasporic Identities in Hema and Kaushik”, Srijoni Rahman analyzes diasporic Indian characters from Jhumpa Lahiri’s book of short stories, Unaccustomed Earth. Focusing on two characters, Hema and Kaushik, Rahman draws out themes of displacement, genealogy and gender to demonstrate the conflicts that arise through hyphenated identities. The paper was produced for the course South Asian Literature and Culture (HND 2700).
Winners of YCAR’s Undergraduate Asia and Asian Diaspora Essay Awards will be published online in our new series, New Voices in Asian Research. Find the inaugural winning papers at http://ycar.apps01.yorku.ca/new-voices-in-asian-research/