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Hindi Literature


Admission requirements

Having successfully finished 5482K2HI Hindi 4 or an equivalent level of language knowledge (Listening B1, Reading B2, Spoken Interaction B1, Spoken Production B1 and Writing B1). Please, contact the student advisor, Nicole A.N.M. van Os or A. Avtans, MPhil, if you are interested in taking this course, but do NOT fulfill the abovementioned requirement.


This course introduces students to modern Hindi literary texts using a thematic approach. The course will cover literary texts on major themes in contemporary Hindi literature namely ‘women’s discourse’, ‘subaltern discourse’, ‘mobility narratives’, ‘old age in literature’, and others. These themes cover wider socio-cultural and political contexts of post-independence modern India. Class discussion will mainly focus on textual, narratological, discourse and stylistic analysis of selected texts but will also extend to their analysis using secondary and theoretical readings. The teaching material consists of selected texts in Hindi (stories or sections from novels, travelogues etc) together with chosen secondary and theoretical readings. The students will also be introduced to history of Hindi literature.

Course objectives

By the end of the course:

  • Students will be familiar with major themes in Hindi literature in post-independence India.

  • Students will have close acquaintance with some of the most important authors and works of modern Hindi literature.

  • Students will gain a better insight of using tools of textual and discourse analysis in order to understand the underlying socio-cultural and political fabric of modern Indian society.



Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Attendance and participation are obligatory. Classes missed for a good reason (to the discretion of the conveners and to be discussed BEFORE the class takes place) will have to be made up with an extra assignment. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.

Course Load

  • Seminar: 2 hours per week : 2 x 13 = 26 hours

  • Readings: 10 hours per week : 10 × 13 = 130 hours

  • Term Paper & Literary Blog: 62 hours for each: 62 × 2 = 124 hours
    Total Study load – 280 hours

Assessment method

Review of Hindi Literature consists of following components:

  • Attendance, class preparation and participation: 10% of final grade

  • Homework & weekly assignments – 10 % of final grade

  • A mid-term literary blog (discussion and analysis of a Hindi text on the Blackboard): 30%

  • A final paper (assessment of text and critical analyses prepared at home by student and to be uploaded by Turnitin on BB): 50%

The final paper is written in two stages: a first version which will be commented on and a final version. Students who do not meet the deadline for the first version will lose the right to get comments and will only be graded based on their final version.
In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of “5.50” (=6) or higher.

The course is an integrated whole. The final examination and the assignments must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


Blackboard plays a vital role in this course. Students are advised to check the course blackboard site regularly for study materials and information.

Reading list

Primary Readings:

Selected literary texts and secondary readings will be available for download on Blackboard

Some of the authors studied in this course are – Suryabala Lal, Gulzar, Bhisma Sahani, Omprakash Valmiki, Sudha Arora, Jagdamba Prasad Dikshit, Sanjay Khati, Premchand etc.

Secondary Readings:

Sunil Khilnani, The Idea of India, Hamish Hamilton, London, 1997
Patricia Uberoi, Freedom and Destiny: Gender, Family, and Popular Culture in India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2006
Thomas Timberg, Marwaris: From Traders to Industrialists, Vikas, Delhi, 1977
Dipankar Gupta, Social Stratification, OUP, 1992
S C Dube, Indian Society, National Book Trust, 2005

Note: Reading list may include different literary texts and secondary readings as per requirement.


Students of the BA program South and Southeast Asia Studies are required to register through uSis before August 15. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “Act.nbr.”.

Interested students from the MA Asian Studies need to contact the secretariat by e-mail clearly giving the course code and their student ID number to get registered for this course.

Not being registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the ‘Registration procedures for classes and examinations’ for registration deadlines and more information on how to register.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

(Studeren à la carte is not possible for this course.)


Dhr A. Avtans


Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).