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Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia

The Thai Novel

Course Code:
Unit value:
1 unit - 45 CATS


Advanced knowledge of Thai language

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

The objective of this course is to provide students taking a Masters programme in South East Asian Languages and Literature/Comparative Literature (Asia and Africa) with a clear understanding of the development of the novel in Thailand and its place in modern Thai literary students.  

At the end of this course students should be able to . . . . 

  • draw connections between this material and that of other course material 
  • develop advanced understanding of Thai literary aesthetics and style
  • critically analyse both the content and form of selected literary texts
  • demonstrate a clear knowledge of the pattern of development of the Thai novel
  • understand the novel in the social and political context in which individual works were written


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

Scope and syllabus

The course focuses on the study of modern Thai literature through the fenre of the novel.  As such it assumes an advanced knowledge of Thai language and emphasises literary interpretation rather than language learning.  Students are required to prepare excerpts of Thai novels in advance for detailed discussion and to undertake supplementary reading of critical material in both Thai and English.

This course aims to familiarise the student with:

  1. the rise of the novel (including the social and political correlates of literary production
  2. major writers and works
  3. changing attitudes to the novel as a part of Thai culture
  4. a broad and in-depth understanding of one increasingly important aspects of Thai cultural and intellectual life

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (70%); an essay of 3,000 words  to be submitted on day 1, week 1, term 2 (15%); an essay of 3,000 words to be submitted on day 1, week 1, term 3 (15%).

Suggested reading

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