South Asian Literature in English
- Module Code:
- Unit value:
- Year of study:
- Year 2
- Taught in:
- Term 1
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.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the module
On successful completion of this module a student will acquire;
- An advanced knowledge of distinctive literary strategies and devices deployed in South Asian literature in English;
- A critical understanding of South Asian literary texts in their appropriate historical and cultural contexts;
- An understanding of key critical (postcolonial) and theoretical approaches applied to these writings;
- The ability to produce critical accounts of the literature, paying appropriate attention to both formal and contextual issues.
Total of 10 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week: one hour lecture and one hour seminar.
Scope and syllabus
- Rudyard Kipling, Selected Short Stories.
- Caste/Class in Mulk Raj Anand's Untouchable.
- Borders and Trauma in Bapsi Sidhwa's Ice Candy Man.
- Sexual Violence in Shashi Deshpande's The Dark Holds no Terrors.
- Neoliberalism and the Indian Exotic in Arundhati Roy's God of Small Things.
- Queer Sexualities in Shyam Selvadurai's Funny Boy.
- Terror, exile and nostalgia in Agha Shahid Ali's The Country without a Postoffice.
- Framing Muslims in Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
- Memory, history, counter-narrative in Zia Haider Rahman's In the Light of What We Know
Method of assessment
Five reaction papers of 600 words each to be submitted throughout the teaching term (dates published on moodle) (50%); a 15 minute oral presentation (10%); an essay of 3,000 words to be submitted on day 1, week 1 in the term after the module is taught (40%).