SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia

War, Revolution and Independence in South East Asia Literatures in Translation (Masters)

Module Code:
15PSEH009
Credits:
15
Taught in:
Term 1

This module will examine the key issues pertaining to the representation of war, revolution and independence in a selection of literary works in English translation by South East Asian authors. The range of countries to which this module refers includes Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam. The module will encourage the critical appreciation of literary works, which range from poetry to novels and short stories. Although the key focus is on modern literature, classical texts may also be considered. Weekly lectures will consider literary works and will, in addition provide the information to contextualize the work in terms of its historical and political specificities. Separate tutorial sessions each week will be devoted to the discussion, analysis and close reading of the literary text in question in light of the thematic concerns of the module.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module a student will have acquired a knowledge of key literary texts in English translation that refer to the experience of war, revolution and independence in South East Asia. The focus will be on novels, poetry and short stories from Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar. Students will have learned how to read and evaluate these texts critically and to understand them in terms of the cultural, political and historical contexts in which they were composed. 

In terms of generic skills, students will have had the opportunity to improve their ability to distil information from secondary sources and to collate this information in the composition of one lengthy essay. They will also have learned how to extract and process information from literary sources, and to combine their observation of these sources with secondary, background readings considered in tutorials. Students will learn how to contribute constructively to debates, how to accommodate the views of others in the learning group and how to present and articulate their own views orally.

Workload

A total of 10 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week.

Method of assessment

An essay of 2500 words to be submitted on day 5, week 1, of the term following teaching (70%); 2 reaction papers, each of 600 words to be submitted directly to the module teacher (30%).

Suggested reading

A comprehensive reading list will be supplied by the convenor at the beginning of the module.

Disclaimer

Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules