South Asian Literature in English
- Module Code:
- 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
This course introduces students to the rich heritage of South Asian literature in English. It examines literary dynamics of modern South Asian writing as manifested in novels, short stories and poetry written in English. In conversation with themes of sexuality, nation building, Partition, exile and migration the course touches on key issues that are relevant to the region and its diasporas. Students will be expected to have some knowledge of literary critical theoretical concepts and the course is designed for students with a prior background in literature and with some basic knowledge of the South Asian region.
Method of assessment
An essay of 1,500 words to be submitted Friday, Week 7, Term 1 (40%), an essay of 3,000-3,500 words to be submitted Friday, Week 11, Term 1 (40%), a 10 minute course-based presentation (10%), regular attendance and seminar participation (10%).
- Raja Rao, Kanthapura
- Mulk Raj Anand, Untouchable
- Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust
- Bapsi Sidhwa, Ice Candy Man
- Sara Suleri, Meatless Days
- Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
- Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy
- Agha Shahid Ali, The Country without a Post Office
- Anil Menon, The Beast with Nine Billion Feet
- Sunjeev Sahota, Ours Are the Streets