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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Heidi R. Pauwels
HINDI 423
Seattle Campus

Survey of Modern Hindi Literature

Survey of Hindi literature from the late nineteenth century to the present. Readings from representative novels. Prerequisite: HINDI 403.

Class description

The primary goal of this class is to read one representative Khari Boli novel from the “modern period� that is the second half of the nineteenth century to the present. We will endeavor to read one complete novel, which will also be placed in its literary, cultural, and historical context. The novel selected for Winter 2009 is Mirza Muhammad Hadi Rusva’s Umrao Jan Ada, one of the first novels in Hindi-Urdu, published in 1899. This novel is about the life of a courtesan from Lucknow, told by herself to the author. It was made famous by the Muzaffar Ali film Umrao Jan with Rekha (and the more recent remake with Aishwarya Ray).

Student learning goals

Literary, cultural, and historical context of late nineteenth century Hindi novel (introductory session and background reading)

Fluency reading Urdu-register Hindi (daily class readings)

Translation from Hindi-Urdu into English (daily class readings)

Identifying and analyzing differences between Hindi and Urdu versions of the same novel (daily class readings)

Application of general background reading to one particular text; academic writing about literary work in Hindi read in original (final paper)

Popular culture reworking of novel into film (final viewing of movies)

General method of instruction

Background to Hindi novel in English and English-language readings. In class, depending on student level of proficiency, we will read fast through the novel, only pausing where there are difficulties. Students can use either Devanagari or Nastaliq versions (or both), which will be provided at first meeting.

Recommended preparation

Hindi 403 or equivalent (Urdu also fine)

Class assignments and grading

Background reading. Daily preparation of chapter of novel to be covered in class.

Class preparation: 50% Final paper: 50 %


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Heidi R. Pauwels
Date: 10/22/2009