Literature & Colonialism in North India
- Module Code:
- FHEQ Level:
- Year of study:
- Year 3 of 4 or Year 4 of 4
- Taught in:
- Term 1
Intermediate level in a South Asian language
Objectives and learning outcomes of the module
The objective of the module is to give students a critical overview, through primary and secondary texts, of the different ways in which literature and other performing arts (theatre in particular) changed under colonialism.
By the end of the module students will have gained access to some of the primary texts originally written in both Hindi and Urdu, and will have gained a critical understanding of processes of both differentiation as well as hybridisation between the two languages and their literary traditions as mirrored in elite and popular writings.
Total of 10 weeks teaching with 1 hour lecture and 1 hour text reading and discussion class per week.
Scope and syllabus
This module is intended to provide a literary-historical overview necessary for all students who want to study literature during the colonial period, the beginnings of modern Hindi literature, and the interface between literature and colonial history.
The module will consist of lectures and students' presentations. Lectures will introduce the topic, followed by reading and discussion of previously circulated material consisting of short extracts from relevant literary texts in Hindi/Urdu, which will be made available in Devanagari and Urdu scripts whenever possible. When that is not possible, students will be given short extracts of comparable texts in the script they are familiar with.
Method of assessment
One essay of 2,000 words to be submitted on day 1 after reading week, term 1 (40%); one essay of 2,500 words to be submitted on day 1, term 2 (40%); a 15 minutes oral presentation (20%).
- Literature and colonialism coursepack (available from the SOAS bookshop)
- Vasudha Dalmia, The Nationalization of Hindi Traditions, New Delhi: Oxford University Press paperbacks, 2007.
- S. Blackburn and V. Dalmia (eds.), India's Literary History. Essays on the Nineteenth Century. New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2004.
- C.A. Breckenridge and Peter van der Veer, eds., Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament. Philadelphia: UPenn Press, 1993.
- Sudhir Chandra, ‘Communal Consciousness in Late 19th Century Hindi Literature’, in Mushirul Hasan, ed., Communal and Pan-Islamic Trends in Colonial India, Delhi, 1981.
- Sudhir Chandra, The Oppressive Present. Literature and Social Consciousness in Colonial India. New Delhi: OUP, 1992.
- Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments. New Delhi: OUP, 1994.
- S.K. Das, A History of Indian Literature, Vol. VIII, 1800-1910. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi,