SOAS University of London

South Asia Department

South Asian Literature in English

Module Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 2
Taught in:
Full Year
This module does not require a knowledge of a South Asian language. It will include thematic and stylistic study, against a background of social and political change in 20th century South Asia, and will also consider the aesthetic merits of the texts studied. Some attention will be paid to issues in colonial and postcolonial literary theory.

Student Profile

Olivia Majumdar

The SALE module was a fantastic opportunity to explore different kinds of literature, ranging from short stories to poetry to novels, from a variety of regions in South Asia. It helped me to develop a critical framework through which to dissect and analyse literature as well as become more confident at tackling literary and cultural theory. The diversity of the materials studied and liveliness of the classroom discussion meant it was always one of the highlights of my week at SOAS.

Olivia Majumdar

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning the complexities of a region through its literature;
  • An understanding of South Asia's social, historical, local and global contexts;
  • Learning to read texts critically in order to analyse the distinctive literary strategies and devices deployed in these texts;
  • Demonstrate an ability to produce critical accounts of the literature.


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

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (80%); one piece of coursework to be submitted on the last day of term 1 (10%); one piece of coursework to be submitted on the last day of term 2 (10%).

Suggested reading

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


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules