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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 or Dhr A. Avtans, MPhil, if you are interested in taking this course, but do NOT fulfill the above mentioned 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 (Dalit and Adivasi literature)’, ‘mobility narratives (partition and displacement)’, ‘old age in literature’(narratives of ageing), and others. These themes cover wider socio-cultural and political contexts of post-independence modern India. Class discussion will mainly focus on reading of texts, and their textual, narratological, discourse and stylistic analysis but will also extend to their analysis using secondary and theoretical readings. The teaching material consists of selected texts in Hindi (short stories, sections from novels, travelogues. poems etc.) together with chosen secondary and theoretical readings. The students will also be introduced to history of Hindi literary traditions.

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 contemporary Indian society.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar
    Attendance and active participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to prepare for and attend all sessions. The lecturer need to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. The maximum of such absences during a semester is two. Being absent without notification and/or more than two (02) times can result in exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade or a lower grade for the course.

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 paper (discussion and critical analysis of a Hindi text prepared at home by student and to be uploaded by Turnitin on BB : 30%

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

In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of “5.50” (=6) or higher.

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note that the end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of all assessment components.

Exam review

How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.

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.

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, Sanjeev, Bhisma Sahani, Omprakash Valmiki, Yashpal, Sudha Arora, Alka Sarawagi, Jagdamba Prasad Dikshit, Saadat Hasan Manto, Nirmala Putul, 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

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).