| Department of English

Minor in English

Credit Requirement


Total Credits


CCC + UWE credits

Students graduating in 2022 (and later) will need to have completed at least two of the courses listed below as part of the requirement to earn a Minor in English. In total, the student must have completed 6 English courses to earn the Minor.
Course code
Academic Writing

This course is meant for all first-year students of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS). The course trains the student to read and write academic texts with care and rigor. Through classroom discussions and closely mentored writing sessions, the course ultimately aims to inculcate in the student the faculty of critical thinking. 

Drama: Tropes and Adaptations

In this course students will read drama as a literary text and get a sense for how drama evolves from performance to text and then specifically as text geared to performance. We begin with Medea by Euripides, move on to Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and finish with Shakespeare’s Hamlet along with Vishal Bharadwaj’s film adaptation Haider. This course will think through the types and tropes of classical drama to drama as text for literary analysis and move on to the idea of dramatic adaption in screenplay. (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts 

Euripides, Medea Dover Thrift Edition. (Trans. Rex Warner)

Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus (Norton Critical Edition)

William Shakespeare Hamlet (Arden Edition) 

Getting Verse

This course will introduce students to the idea of poetic form, think about what constitutes a poetic movement, and finally focus on an individual poet as training in ways to read poetry by understanding craft and cultivating an ear for resonance to understanding what individual talent has to do with tradition. We will begin the semester with a sample of genres and modes and learn about what the distinguishing and overlapping characteristics of different poetic forms and modes are, for instance in the following: sonnet, villanelle, ghazal, blank verse, ode and aubade. Moving from reading poems in isolation we will think about the idea of poetic tradition, where a group of poets can be read together as a part of a movement such as Bhakti Poetry. In the final part of the course we will focus on the work of a single poet to understand how we read poets in their time a get a sense for a body of a single poet’s work. This semester we will study Arun Kolatkar. (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts

A selection of poems by Shakespeare, Donne, Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Mir, Adrienne Rich, Agha Shahid Ali, Elizabeth Bishop, John Keats, Philip Larkin, T. S Eliot

Arundhati Subramaniam Ed. Eating God: Bhakti Poetry, Penguin 2014

Arun Kolatkar Jejuri, New York Review Book, 1974

Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

The commercial playhouses and playing companies of Elizabethan and Jacobean London were a unique socio-cultural phenomenon which produced some of the richest literary texts within the entire corpus of English literature as well as literatures in English. The myth of Shakespeare’s ‘timeless genius’, his universal adaptability across spatio-temporal boundaries has become a critical commonplace. This course seeks to locate Shakespeare in his times, to examine his works as a product of his times. To this end we will read two Shakespearean plays, in conjunction with two plays by contemporary dramatists, to understand better the scope and breadth of English Renaissance drama including and beyond Shakespeare. The course will focus on the specific material circumstances of dramatic production and performance, but also attempt a sustained engagement with the language and formal aspects of the popular theatre, and situate the readings within broader currents of intellectual, political, and religious thought. More specifically, we will engage with disparate ideas ranging from kingship to conjugality, from gender to genre, from self-reflexive theatricality to early modern notions of self-hood. The texts will include one tragedy and one comedy by Shakespeare, and one each by another contemporary dramatist—in this case Middleton (comedy) and Webster (tragedy). This course will aim to inculcate familiarity with the language of Renaissance drama through close readings. It will also equip the students with an understanding of the social, political, religious, and economic conditions which shaped, inhibited, and engendered the rise of the commercial theatre and of the conditions and modes of performance of the plays. (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts

Merchant of Venice (1605)

Macbeth (1606)

Thomas Middleton Chaste Maid in Cheapside (1613)

Webster Duchess of Malfi (1614)

South Asian Literature

This course is designed to introduce students to some of the most important and vibrant texts in contemporary South Asian literature. It straddles the genres of novel, poetry and short-stories written in different regions of South Asia, including Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and the disputed Kashmir valley. This course seeks, thus, to familiarize the students with the literary output in South Asia and its diasporas, that comes to grips with vital questions of form, political conflict, caste, language, religion and gender. (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (1997)

Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost (2000)   

Premchand, The Chess-Players (tr. by Hans Raj Rahbar)

Ismat Chughtai, The Quilt (tr. by M. Asaduddin)

Saadat Hasan Manto, Toba Tek Singh (tr. by Khalid Hasan)

Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Last Night, Don’t ask me for that love again, A Prison Evening, Bangladesh III in The Rebel’s Silhouette: Selected Poems by Faiz Ahmad Faiz, translated by Agha Shahid Ali (1991)

Agha Shahid Ali, Tonight, Homage to Faiz Ahmad Faiz, The Country Without a Post Office, I See Kashmir From New Delhi At Midnight in The Veiled Suite: The Collected Poems (2009)

Landmarks in the Novel Form

This course is designed to introduce students to some of the most characteristic forms that the novel has taken through the course of its long and continuing evolution and to the range of expressive possibilities that the novel, as a whole, has acquired.

The novels that will be studied in this course are  (i) Don Quijote , not only  because it exemplifies the picaresque form , but also because it is a novel about novel writing itself (ii) Wuthering Heights  because it both represents and radically subverts one of the novel’s great sub genres : domestic fiction and (iii) One Hundred Years of Solitude which brings the novel up to our times and unfurls the whole range of expressive resources that it acquired through the long course of its development

This course seeks, thus, to take the student through the great landmarks of the novel form, explain to her how these novels achieve their characteristic effects and enable her to analyze and work with many real life situations that involve prose narratives. (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Miguel De Cervantes, Don Quijote  Book 1 (1605)  trans.  Burton Raffel

Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights (1847)

Gabriel  Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) trans. Gregory Rabassa.

To become eligible for a Minor in English, a student must complete at least 6 courses from the English department. Of these, at least 2 must be drawn from the "Core" courses and the remainder from the Electives listed below. Please note that the Core/Elective distinction is relevant only for students graduating in 2022 and later. Students graduating before 2022 have a different requirement, as listed on the English Minor main page.
The Fundamentals of Creative Writing

Course description not available.

The Language Game of Literature

This course seeks to address some basic questions that pertain to the domain of the literary. Some of these are: what kinds of texts qualify as literature? Do literary texts possess some special, objectively demonstrable properties, or does the label merely connote some arbitrary social consensus? Moreover, do literary texts invite us to treat them differently, as compared to non-literary texts? Does the appreciation of a literary text, depending on whether it is a poem, a story, or a play, require us to pay attention to different kinds of textual phenomena? What precisely are those phenomena? The kinds of questions raised above will be addressed in this course as we immerse ourselves in a wide-ranging selection of texts drawn from the genres of poetry, fiction, and drama. The texts are chosen so that our engagement with each of them will illuminate some specific aspects of literary appreciation. Also, as we progress through this course, we will build a critical vocabulary that will enable us to express, with increasing perspicuity, our assessments of the literary merits of literary texts. (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts 

A selection of poems ranging across history and geography. The poems for study will be made available to the student either electronically or through handouts.

Drama: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House (1879)

Fiction: A selection of short stories including:

“The Fall of the House of Usher,” Edgar Allen Poe (1839).

“The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892).

 “The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim,”  Jorge Luis Borges (1935). Trans. Anthony Kerrigan.

 “The Cathedral,” Raymond Carver (1983).

Fantasy and Science Fiction

During the course we will discuss the nature of fantasy and science fiction literature as a form of fiction writing, how it is different from other forms of writing, and what it can do that other forms writing cannot. The course will be divided in 4 units, the first unit will be of a theoretical nature, and the last three will discuss select examples of fantasy and science fiction. Some movies will be screened and discussed.  (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts

Robert Scholes and Kellog, Nature of Narrative

Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism

Rosemary Jackson, The Literature of Subversion 

Variable Selections from

J R R Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

Ursula K Le Guin, The Dispossessed

Variable Selections from

Stanislaw Lem, Solaris

Barry Longyear, ‘Enemy Mine’

Variable Selections from

William Gibson, Necromancer

Bruce Sterling, Holy Fire

Linguistic Approaches to Literature

This course will be on the basic concepts in Linguistics: Phonetics, Morphology, Semantics, Syntax, includes theory plus practice sessions – to introduce students to the methodology of modern linguistics and teach analytic reasoning via examination of linguistic data. The course would be divided into four modules. Module 3 and 4 introduces students to philological analysis of literary texts like two cantos from Dante’s Inferno, as well as Dante’s essay on the eloquence of the vernacular. Students are also introduced to selected essays by the philologist Eric Auerbach and Sheldon Pollock. 

Module 1: Studying Beowulf (preferably chapter 1) on its language, context, and cultural background.  Manuscript available through the Electronic Beowulf project. The module will focus on one tale from the Canterbury Tales (preferably The Knight's Tale), rudiments of Middle English as a spoken and written language, to become familiar with Middle English.

Module 2: Beyond the sentence: Pragmatics; Translation exercises for Beowulf as well as for Chaucer; a word-for-word transliteration from Old/ Middle English into Modern English; grammatical information for some of the terms in that line of text. (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none.

Module 3 Theory- Dante's De Vulgari Eloquentia (in translation)

Praxis - Dante's Inferno Canto I and X 

Module 4 Theory - Auerbach's Philology and WeltLiteratur

Praxis - Auerbach's Farinata and Cavalcanti

Sheldon Pollock on Liberation Philology

Primary Texts

Beowulf (preferably chapter 1) Manuscript available through the Electronic Beowulf project

Canterbury Tales (preferably The Knight's Tale), Simon, Sherry; Gender in Translation — Cultural Identity and the Politics of Transmission. 1996. New York: Routledge.

Fromkin, Victoria, Robert Rodman, & Nina Hyams. An Introduction to Language, 10th edition. Cengage Learning, 2014.

Steven Pinker 2007, ‘The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language’, HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Eric Auerbach’s essay “Philology and Welt Literatur” and selections from Mimesis

Sheldon Pollock’s essay ‘Liberation Philology.’

Essay and poetry by Dante (in translation). 

Introduction to Translation Studies

This is a basic course which will introduce students to key theories, models and approaches in Translation Studies relevant to contemporary research and practice in the field. The students would be studying statements from linguists, theologians, and writers to examine and recognize the value of the diversity with which translation has been appreciated and practiced throughout the ages. They will be able to analyse the traditional understanding of the link between the original and translated text, between author and translator, the source and target languages and cultures. (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none.

The course is divided into three modules:

History of Translation and Translation Studies

(From ancient times to the 20th century)

Linguistic approach; Machine Translation; Translation: process and product; Text types

Techniques, strategies, and procedures in translation

A Survey of Different Approaches in Translation Studies:

Functional - Skopos theory- Hans Josef Vermeer

Systems - Even-Zohar

Philosophical - Steiner, Benjamin

Translation Studies and Other Disciplines

Cultural turn; cultural studies; gender studies– feminist translation theory

Simon, Sherry

Postcolonial translation theory - Spivak, Niranjana

Primary Texts

Munday Jeremy; 2008; Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications; Taylor & Francis; ISBN: 0415396948, 9780415396943

Susan Bassnett, ed. Translating Literature

John Biguenet and Rainer Schulte, eds., The Craft of Translation

The Letters of St. Jerome; Letter 57 -- To Pammachius On The Best Method Of Translating; English Translation: Fremantle,  pp. 112-119

Vermeer Hans J.;1996; “Skopos and Commission in Translational Action

George Steiner: The Translation Studies Reader. 2000. (Ed) Lawrence Venuti. Routledge

Itamar Even-Zohar: "The Position of Translated Literature within the Literary Polysystem." Poetics Today 11:1 (1990), pp. 45-51.

Simon, Sherry; Gender in Trans-lation — Cultural Identity and the Politics of Transmission. 1996. New York: Routledge

Tejaswini Niranjana; Siting Translation: History, Post-Structuralism and the Colonial Context

Spivak Gayatri Chakravorty; ‘The Politics of Translation’. In The Translation Studies Reader. 2000. (Ed) Lawrence Venuti. Routledge

Modernist Literature

This course will familiarize the student with the literary-aesthetic paradigm that has come to be called “modernist.” This will be achieved through the study of exemplary works in each of the major genres: the novel, the short story, drama, and poetry. Through this study the student will gain a sound understanding not only of the particulars of the modernist aesthetic, but also of the cultural, political, and philosophical ethos that informed it. (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts


James Joyce, “The Dead” (1914).

Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (1925).


Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman (1949).

Poetry: A selection of poems by poets such as William Butler Yeats, Wilfred Owen, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, Rainer Maria Rilke, and T S Eliot.

Mapping Language Change

Language change is constant. Linguistic boundaries are never clear-cut. At best, linguistic boundaries can be described as overlapping transitional spaces where migration and urbanization shape new possibilities of human interaction. Language spoken at present is the best laboratory for a linguist. 

This course is both theoretical and empirical inquiry into language change.  Focus of the chosen texts is on language universals and linguistic typology. Second part of this course will be field study- data collection and analysis. Students will learn data analysis through triangulation- statistical analysis of quantitative data in specialized linguistic labs; and critical discourse analysis of qualitative data. (1:0:3). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Language Universals and Linguistic Typology, Bernard Comrie, 1981.

Weinreich,U., Labov, W., Herzog, M., 1968. Empirical Foundations for a Theory of Language Change, in Directions for Historical Linguistics, ed. W.P.Lehmann, Y. Malkiel, 97-195, Austin: Univ. Texas Press.

Introduction to Critical Theory

This course aims to introduce students to the basic theoretical works that revolutionized literary studies during the 1970s and 80s.The focus of the texts chosen is insistently on the literary. They comprise some of the most definitive works we have on (a) the basic aspects of the literary (language, discourse, author, reader), (b) literary genres (the novel, poetry) and the locations of literary criticism (Feminism, Post-colonialism).

Focusing on language, discourse, genres and social orientation, this course will equip students with sophisticated conceptual frames to deal with not just literary material but any situation in life which involves human communication. (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Ferdinand de Saussure, (1915) A Course in General Linguistics W. ed. M. Baskin (London: Fontana) p111-121

M.M. Bakhtin, from. The Dialogical Imagination (1934) Holquist extract in Rice and Waugh, Modern Literary Theory pp230-39

Roland Barthes, “Death of the Author” From Image-Music-Text (1968) trans. S.Heath, pp142-48

Michel Foucault, “The Order of the Discourse” (1971) in Robert Young, Untying the Text (1971) 52-64

Wolfgang Iser, “The Reading Process” (1974) extract in Philip Rice and Patricia Waugh, Modern Literary Theory: A Reader (London: Arnold)

Elaine Showalter, “Towards a Feminist Poetics” in Mary Jacobus ed. Women Writing About Women (1979) pp. 25-36

Homi Bhabha, “Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of the Colonial Discourse” October No. 28, Spring (1983) 125-33.

Jerome J. McGann, “The Text, the Poem and the Problem of the Historical Method” (1985) from The Beauty of Inflections   pp. 251-268  

Poetry and Conflict

This course is designed to introduce students to a wide range of contemporary poetry written around conflict, whether armed combat, protracted war, occupation or forced exile. It includes poetic texts that approach some of the most intractable conflicts of the modern world with formal dexterity, empathy and resilience. This course seeks to take the students through the enormous formal, emotional and political resources wielded by such poetry in order to speak meaningfully about the conflicts that affect our contemporary world. (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts


Bruce Weigl, Song of Napalm, Elegy for Peter, The Last Lie

Wislawa Szymborska (tr.. Stanislaw Baranczak & Clare Cavanagh) Vietnam

Ocean Vuong, Aubade with Burning City, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

First World War

Wilfred Owen, Dulce Et Decorum Est, Smile Smile Smile, Anthem for Doomed Youth

Siegfried Sassoon, Glory of Women, Repression of War Experience

Philip Larkin, MCMXIV


Mahmoud Darwish, A Soldier Dreams of White Lilies, Identity Card (tr. Salman Masalha and Vivian Eden)

Rafeef Ziadah, We Teach Life Sir, Shades of Anger


Agha Shahid Ali, The Country Without a Post-Office, I See Kashmir from New Delhi at Midnight

Roushan Ilahi/MC Kash, My People, I Protest

Politics and Polemics in Early Modern Europe

This is a special topic course which will examine in detail the intersection of the political and the literary in early modern Europe. Reading political treatises from the archipelago and the mainland in juxtaposition with each other, this course will try and investigate the way in which humanist political thought develops across Europe. At the same time we will immerse ourselves in the study of the stylistic aspects various genres of vernacular prose writing popular in the Renaissance: the polemical pamphlet, the dialogue, the treatise, the advice-book for princes etc. The course will be divided in following four modules, each comprising short excerpts from a two or three key texts.

Through a close reading of the material this course seeks to follow the shifting contours of political discourse, the simultaneous emergence of the rhetoric of absolutism and the language of civic rights, while relating these transformations to the major historical landmarks of the period—such as the Reformation, the Huguenot massacre, Mary Stuart’s deposition, the English civil war etc. Some of thematic and formal aspects we will focus on include: political theology, the importance of translation in the humanist project, the material circumstances of circulation of texts and ideas, political counsel, morality and ethics in the political realm, the influence of Platonic and Aristotelian political models, violence and sovereign power.  (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts

The Sovereign and his Counsellors

Erasmus Education of a Christian Prince (1516) [Dedication, Chapter I]

Machiavelli The Prince (1513) [Chapters XV-XIX, XXIII-XXV]

Castiglione The Courtier (1528) [Book IV, chapters 3-10]

Sovereignty and Governance

Smith De Republica Anglorum (1562-3) [Book I, Chapters 1, 2, 7, 8, Book II, Chapter 1-3]

Bodin Six Books of the Commonwealth (1576) [Book I, Chapters VIII, X, Book VI, Chapter 4]

Tyranny and Resistance

Ponet A Short Treatise on Political Power (1556) [Chapters I and VI]

Buchanan De Iure Regni Apud Scotos (1571) [Chapters 7-12, 24, 27, 29, 34]

Polemics of the English civil war: Justifying Tyrannicide

Milton The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1641)

Excerpts from Digger (Gerrard Winstanley) and Ranter tracts (1640’s) 

[Winstanley, New Year’s Gift, Norton Anthology of Eng Lit Vol B pp. 1849-55; Nigel Smith,  A Collection of Ranter Writings: Spiritual Liberty and Sexual Freedom in the English Revolution]

Compulsory reading: Quentin Skinner, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, 2 vols., Cambridge: 1978.

Contemporary Forms of Fiction

In this course we shall, having studying various kinds of fiction writing, look at other forms of fiction making, including RPG, ‘psuedo’ videos on YouTube®, made-up trailers for movies etc, graphic novels and movies and TV shows. The intention is to attempt to understand the difference between reading a more or less structured piece of literature, and forms that at this point in time seem more free-flowing and less deterministic. The following issues will be addressed primarily:

Virtuality, Simulation, Actuality, Reality, Virtual Reality, Digital Gaming and its Implications for Gaming, More Recent Digital Innovations, and the question ‘Why does a Game Need a Story?’(3:1:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts

Selections from David Bell and Barbara Kennedy, The Cybercultures Reader

Richard Stallman, Lecture at Calcutta, 16.08.2006 (text will be provided)

Selections from

Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (section on the ‘panopticon’, and the section on ‘Docile Bodies’

Gilles Deleuze, ‘Society of Control’

Graphic Novel 

Joe Sacco, Palestine, (with an introduction by Edward Said)

TV Show/ Movie


Feminist Theory: Unlocking the Literary

This course is primarily designed to introduce students to feminist theory. The course will also examine the pleasures and problems of women's literature. The broad framework of the course lies in posing the following questions: What are the ways in which feminist theory unlocks literary texts? What is distinctive about feminine ecriture - how does a women writer write and fictionalize her vision of the world in its actuality and possibility?  (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Ruth Vanita, Gender, Sex, and the City: Urdu Rekhti Poetry in India, 1780-1870 (2012).

Helene Cixous, The Laugh of the Medusa (1975).

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own.

A History of Feminist Literary Criticism, Cambridge U Press, 2007, 66-100 (Chapters 4 and 5). 

Mary Eagleton, Feminist Literary Theory: A Reader. Blackwell Publishers Ltd. 98-102, 238-265.

Translation Theory and Practice

This course will offer some advanced discussion of translation as a cultural form, history of translation studies, and lastly, theoretical approaches to translation.

This course provides a study of translation criticism which is the systematic study, evaluation, and interpretation of different aspects of translated works. It is an interdisciplinary academic field closely related to A. Literary Criticism B. Translation Theory. & C. Translation Project.

Students will be expected to complete each reading and 1. Prepare a short critical analytical essay (approx. 500 words) and 2. Questions on each assigned reading. Students would bring a typed copy of the prepared short analytical essay and questions to class. Add-on and edit your essay on this printed page after the discussion is over. (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Montaigne's Essays Montaigne's Essays: Book I (1533-1592) - Translation by J. Florio (1553-1625)

Hugo Friedrich; ‘On the Art of Translation’. In Rainer Schulte, John Biguenet (eds), Theories of Translation.

Walter Benjamin, ‘The Task of the Translator’, from Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings. Two translations of this essay will be studied.

George Steiner ‘The Hermeneutic Motion’. In The Translation Studies Reader. 2000. (Ed) Lawrence Venuti. Routledge

Antoine Berman, "La traduction comme epreuve de l'etranger," [Translation and the trials of the foreign] Texte 4 (1985)

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak ‘The Politics of Translation’. In The Translation Studies Reader. 2000. (Ed) Lawrence Venuti. Routledge

Jacques Derrida, "From Des Tours de Babel." In Rainer Schulte, John Biguenet (eds), Theories of Translation.

The Bible: King James’ Version, Book of Genesis (several translations of this book will be discussed.

Translation Project

English translation of a text (of the student’s choice) along with details involved in process of translation or a scholarly research project on a topic related to translation, supervised by the faculty member.

Crafting Short Fiction

This course will look at the short story from 1000 to 3000 words.  Students will study exemplary texts in class.  They will discuss the nuts and bolts of writing fiction such as point of view, creation of character, and plot.  They do that in the Fundamentals of Creative Writing course as well.  However, here they will do it in far greater detail. Furthermore, they will study setting, writing dialogue, editing and revising, and also use workshopping techniques extensively.  In addition to the creative writing, they will write a critical commentary which will make them aware of the fact that the creative and critical go together.  For grading purposes they will produce two stories each, plus a critical commentary to go with the second story.  It would help if students taking this course have taken Intro to Creative Writing at the 100 -level. 

 In the first half of the course, we will focus on the shorter 1500-word story.  After the mid-term, we will focus on the 2,500-word story.  Through a mixture of lecture and discussion, students will focus on the intricacies of plot, characterisation, point of view, voice and other important attributes of writing fiction. Students will also learn to utilise workshopping techniques, which will enable them to become better critics of their own and other people’s work. (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts

Ernest Hemingway, ‘Hills like White Elephants’

Raymond Carver, ‘A Small, Good Thing’’

Jhumpa Lahiri, ‘When Mr Pirzada Came to Dine’’

James Joyce, ‘Araby’

Anton Chekhov, ‘The Grasshopper’

Etgar Keret, ‘Lieland’

Junot Diaz, Miss Lora

Daniyal Mueenuddin, ‘Nawabdin Electrician’

Sol Stein, Stein On Writing, ISBN-13  978-0312254216

World Folk Literature

This course is a survey of folk literature identifying archetypes, themes, and motifs, orally transmitted literature across place and time. Students will begin by learning key concepts of folklore scholarship: culture, tradition, performance, genre, the local/global distinction, the folk/popular divide, and the dynamics of the customary and innovative in folklore production.  Through an exploration of these concepts students will develop an expansive definition of folklore the way that stories live between and among people i.e. tellers and audiences, collectors and translators; adapting themselves to changing times, circumstances and metaphysical spaces. The course will focus on the transmission and transformation of cultural knowledge and practice in situations of want and plenty, peace and conflict. (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Barre Toelken, The Snails Clues in The Anguish of Snails: Native American Folklore of the West, pp. ix-xii and 1-8

Zipes, Jack. 2003. “Once There Were Two Brothers Named Grimm.” Introduction to the Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, 3rd ed. New York: Bantam. xxiii-xxxvi.

Propp V. (1968) Discussion of Tale-Types and Motifs, Morphology of the Folktale. University of Texas Press, Chapter 2-4

Kirin Narayan, 1993; Refractions of the Field at Home: American Representations of Hindu Holy Men in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Cultural Anthropology 8(4):476-509

Regina Bendix, 1989 Tourism and Cultural Displays: Inventing Traditions for Whom? The Journal of American Folklore 102 (404): 131-146.

Sadhana Naithani (2006) In Quest of Indian Folktales, Orient Blackswan; Chapter 3

Kelly Feltault, 2006; Development Folklife: Human Security and Cultural Conservation, Journal of American Folklore 119 (471):90-110


Ever After (1998) by Andy Tennant – with Drew Barrymore in a new version of “Cinderella” (with Leonardo da Vinci as her fairy godmother)

Sugar Cane Alley (1983) Director Euzhan Palcy

Vernacular Literary Practices

This course will highlight the historical emergence and development of vernaculars in European and world literature. Students will be introduced to major theoretical formulations about vernaculars by poets and novelists. Drawing on these readings students will analyze a short fiction and a novel in which the vernacular is the central concern. The goal of the course is to introduce students to the idea that there is a profound fissure at the heart of literature between hegemonic concepts of the literary versus minority or non- elite; controversies and debates that circulate around the notion of the vernacular constitute one way to get at this fissure and analyze it. (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Module One: Histories of the Emergence of Vernacular Language–Literatures ( Four Weeks)

Benedict Anderson, ‘Old Languages, New Models’ Imagined Communities, Verso Revised Edition 2007, 69-84.

Sheldon Pollock, ’The Cosmopolitan Vernacular ’ The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 57: No. I ( Feb 1998) 6-37.

Korean television drama, Tree with Deep Roots (the TV serial dramatizes King Sejong who lived in 1397-1450 and his promotion of the Korean vernacular and invention of Hangul alphabet at a time of elite dominance of Mandarin Chinese).

Module Two: Debates around the concept of vernaculars (Four Weeks)

Aligheri Dante, De Vulgare Eloquentia (1302).

Ngugi Wa Thiongo, ’The Language of African Fiction” Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (1986), 63-86.

UG Krishnamoorthy, English Brahmins, Kannada Shudras

Module Three and Four: Two Case Studies of Vernacular Literary Studies (Seven Weeks)

Phaniswarnath Renu’s The Third Vow (Aanchalik Sahitya)

Perumal Murugan, One Part Woman (Vattara Ilakkiam)