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Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia

Traditional Malay Literature

Course Code:
Course Not Running 2015/2016
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year
This course is based on close study and examination of selected major works. Its aim is to provide students with a clear understanding of the aesthetic and ethical message of traditional Malay literature, with the history of all literary genres (both prose and verse), and with indigenous concepts of literature: its production, poetics, functions and perception. Students who take the course will be expected to develop advanced analytical skills in the understanding of the structure of Malay literary compositions and the interaction of literary genres; to appreciate the significance of traditional Malay literature for the formation of personality and for the emergence and development of the modern literatures of Malaysia and Indonesia; and to use traditional literary works as sources for the study of history, religion and anthropology.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

Students who complete the course will thus be able to demonstrate a clear understanding of traditional Malay literature in its literary, philological, historical, sociological and religious dimensions.


Total of 22 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (70%); two essays of 4,000 - 4,500 words each to be submitted on day 1, week 1, term 2 and day 1, week 1, term 3 (30%).

Suggested reading

A reading list for this course will be given to students at the beginning of the course.