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Hindi Literature (1415)


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 chapters from novels) together with chosen secondary and theoretical readings.

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 (werkcollege).

Attendance and active participation are mandatory.

Course Load

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

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

  • Term Paper: 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 class participation: 20% of final grade

  • A mid-term paper (assessment of text and critical analyses prepared at home by student): 30%

  • A final paper (assessment of text and critical analyses prepared at home by student): 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 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 is used for information and other learning resources.

Reading list

Primary Readings:

Rahi Masum Raza, Aadha Gaon, Rajkamal Prakashan, Delhi, 1966 [English Translation Available]
Alka Sarawagi, Kalikatha Via Bypass, Aadhar Prakashn, Panchkula, 2000 [English Translation Available]
Kusum Viyogi, Charcit Dalit Kahaniyan, Lalit Prakashan, Delhi, 1997
Krishna Sobti, Samay Sargam, Rajkamal Prakshan, Delhi, 2000
Selected stories – will be discussed in the class

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 are required to register through uSis. 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.

Contact information

A. Avtans, MPhil