SOAS University of London

South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Literatures of South Asia

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Full Year

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • understand the complexities of a region through its literature;
  • understand South Asia's social, historical, local and global contexts;
  • read primary and secondary texts critically in order to analyse the distinctive literary strategies and devices deployed in these texts;
  • Perform individual presentations and leading the seminar discussion
  • Demonstrate an ability to produce critical accounts of the literature, paying appropriate attention to both formal and contextual issues


Total of 20 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week in seminars.

Scope and syllabus

This module aims to provide an introduction to the pre-modern and modern literatures of South Asia. During the module students will encounter a wide variety of literary aesthetic practices which make up the plural tradition of South Asian Literature. While you will not be expected to develop linguistic proficiency in a South Asian language, module materials will incorporate texts in translation. A variety of literary styles and forms will be studied, and seminars will require close reading and discussion of key texts as well as contextualisation in terms of broader literary, historical and cultural trends.

Method of assessment

  • One Critical Response Paper (1,000 words) (15%) day 1, week 11, term 1
  • One Essay (2,000 words) (30%) day 1, week 7, term 2
  • One Essay (3,000 words) (40%) day 1, week 2, term 3
  • One Oral Presentation (15 minutes) (15%)

Suggested reading

The reading list will be made available from the convenor at the beginning of the module.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules