experimental" lesson in World Lit, pairing the Ramayana and 2008's Sita Sings the Blues. This is my third year teaching the unit, and each year I have tried to add more Ramayana to the mix. It is a hard read for my classes, so often we read a detailed summary and discuss themes, symbols, archetypes, etc. Then we watch Sita, which is NY artist Nina Paley's re-imagination of the Ramayana from Sita's perspective. I devised the lesson because when I first saw Sita Sings the Blues, I was dazzled by its artistry, and compelled by the juxtaposition of Paley's love of the Ramayana and her arrogance in claiming it for her own, using American values and music. I admit it, I just wanted them to see it.
This year, my Indian student was enthusiastic until she saw the movie. She felt it was disrespectful to her culture, and as a result, she wrote a GREAT review of the movie. And the best part was that everyone wanted to hear what she had to say, so it was a learning experience that both she and they needed.