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Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Introduction to World Literature

Indian Institute of Technology Madras and NPTEL via Swayam


This course is an introduction to a wide range of writings produced in different nations, languages and cultural contexts. While this course cannot claim to cover all literary traditions from all time periods, it does try to introduce the learners to representative texts that are available in English language. The objective of the course is to focus on learning how great writings can intervene and engage with global cultures while remaining rooted and situated in their specific, local contexts. These discussions need to be seen as ‘entry points’ that would enable to learners to explore world literatures.



Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Classics:Beowulf, Don Quixote, Arabian Nights
Week 3: Indian literature:Kalidasa, Tagore, Rushdie, Kamala Das
Week 4: Literature in translation:Akutagawa’s In a Grove Borges’ Garden of Forking Paths Manto’s Toba Tek Singh
Week 5: Short stories and excerpts from novels: Marquez, Borges, Calvino, Flaubert, Tolstoy
Week 6: Poetry Dover Beach, Wasteland, Song of Lawino
Week 7: Drama Ibsen’s Doll’s House Shakespeare’s Othello
Week 8: African-American literature,Toni Morrison,Achebe’s Things Fall Apart,Everyday Use by Alice Walker
Week 9: English and American literature:,Arnold’s Dover Beach,Eliot’s Wasteland,Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily
Week 10: Women writers:lGilman’s Yellow Wallpaper,Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko
Week 11: Prose (non-fiction) and critical theory:,Aristotle’s Poetics,Barthes’ Death of the author,Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own ,
Kolodny’s Dancing through the minefield
Week 12: Contemporary writers and new genres

Taught by

Prof. Merin Simi Raj

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