SOAS University of London

South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Literatures of Resistance in South Asia (PG)

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Term 1

There are multiple ways of thinking about resistance literature. Simply writing about oneself and the space one is not allowed to occupy can be resistance literature. Writing about past or present oppression, stirring protest, and imagine alternative futures can also be read as literature of resistance. Resistance literature makes us think about what literature seeks to do and the silences or censorship it challenges. It directs our attention to forms of injustice, but also to its mode of address, and to its intended and non-intended audiences, as well as it effects. At its core, resistance literature offers a microcosm of power dynamics. Through narrative, poetic technique, political inclination, subject matter and authorial position, texts highlights the often intersectional dynamics of everyday living and the power structures that shape it. The module will examine an array of examples and forms of resistance literature from South Asia, and may include anticolonial, Dalit, feminist and LGBTQ narratives, political satire and protest literatures, across both prose and poetry.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of a wide range of texts and topics of resistance in South Asia
  2. Appreciate the intersectional nature of resistance
  3. Theorise resistance starting from the texts themselves, in relation to other discourses and theoretical concepts
  4. Appreciate the meaning of the form as well as content of resistance literature
  5. Discover and critically analyse literary texts of resistance in South Asia


A weekly 2-hour seminar, over 10 weeks.

This postgraduate module is taught together with the upper-level undergraduate equivalent.

Method of assessment

  • AS1: Essay 1: 1,500 words, due Term 1 (30%)
  • AS2: Essay 2: 1,500 words, due Term 2 (30%)
  • Oral Presentation: 10-15 minutes, either in-class or pre-recorded (40%)
  • The exact assessment deadline dates are published on the relevant module Moodle/BLE page

Essay plans with bibliographies to be discussed with feedback in class workshops in weeks 5 and 11


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules