BA Drama and English Literature

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Kipling, Forster and India

Unit code ENGL31111
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by English and American Studies
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

 

This module explores the founding period of one of the world’s major literatures in English: South Asian writing from the late nineteenth century to Indian independence and partition in 1947. As well as addressing such major and popular writers as Rudyard Kipling, E.M. Forster, Rabindranath Tagore, Mulk Raj Anand and R.K. Narayan, the course participates in the increased focus in recent decades on writing by women, something that was largely absent from many foundational critical studies. In addition to short stories and non-fiction by women, we read Iqbalhunnisa Hussain’s Purdah and Polygamy: Life in an Indian Muslim Household, a very early novel by an Indian Muslim woman from 1944. The module is designed to cover such key themes as purdah, polygeny, religion, caste and education. Relevant postcolonial theory and context is brought to bear including work on place and space, subalternity, agency and resistance. We also explore adaptations of a number of the texts – addressing, for example, the film of The Home and the World by one of the major figures of world cinema, Satyajit Ray.

Aims

  • To explore writing about India in the 1880-1950 period by British and Indian writers, and later film adaptations;
  • To introduce students to relevant work in colonial discourse theory, postcolonial studies and work on the relationship between modernism and empire;
  • To consider the texts discussed in relation to issues of gender, sexuality, nation, race, and class;
  • To develop students’ skills in close analysis, and an attentiveness to issues of form and language, in short stories, novels and film adaptation;
  • To develop students’ skills of written expression and production of coherent arguments, at a level appropriate to work that will form part of the final assessment;
  • To develop students skills of oral expression.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students should be able to:

  • Have a knowledge and understanding of a range of the writing about India in the 1880-1950 period by British and Indian writers, and later film adaptations;
  • Have the ability to use, and relate the texts discussed to debates in, colonial discourse theory, postcolonial studies and work on the relationship between modernism and empire;
  • The relationships between the writing under discussion and issues of gender, sexuality, nation, race and class.
  • Have an ability to construct and defend complex arguments through textual evidence (literary, historical, and / or theoretical), in written assessment and in seminar discussions;
  • Be able to communicate effectively with peers in seminar and small group situations;
  • Be able to demonstrate appropriate written skills for contributions to the final degree classification.

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students should be able to:

  • Have an ability both to read closely with discrimination and to relate literary texts to wider cultural and theoretical issues;
  • Have enhanced skills of comparison and analysis shown by the ability to compare different kinds of texts and the different purposes and audiences they served, in seminar discussion and in written work.

Practical skills

By the end of this course students should be able to:

  • Have skills in the use of all relevant library resources, databases and search engines, to locate material for discussion, presentation and assessment purposes;
  • Have an ability to plan and carry out independent research projects shown in the formative presentation and in the assessed coursework essay;
  • Have the ability to participate productively in the seminar discussions and to work independently (in the assessed essay and examination);
  • The development of enhanced analytical skills and skills of written and verbal communication and argument;
  • Show evidence of skills in close reading necessary to appreciate the complexities of the texts studied;
  • Show evidence of skills in close reading necessary to appreciate the complexities of the texts studied;

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students should be able to:

  • Have the ability to participate productively in the seminar discussions and to work independently (in the assessed essay and examination);
  • The development of enhanced analytical skills and skills of written and verbal communication and argument.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students taking this unit will be able to analyse and evaluate arguments and texts. Above all, committed students will emerge from this course unit with an advanced capacity to think critically, i.e. knowledgeably, rigorously, confidently and independently.
Group/team working
Students taking this unit will be able to work courteously and constructively as part of a larger group.
Innovation/creativity
On this unit students are encouraged to respond imaginatively and independently to the questions and ideas raised by texts and other media.
Leadership
Students on this unit must take responsibility for their learning and are encouraged not only to participate in group discussions but to do so actively and even to lead those discussions.
Project management
Students taking this unit will be able to work towards deadlines and to manage their time effectively.
Oral communication
Students taking this unit will be able to show fluency, clarity and persuasiveness in spoken communication.
Research
Students on this unit will be required to digest, summarise and present large amounts of information. They are encouraged to enrich their responses and arguments with a wide range of further reading.
Written communication
Students on this unit will develop their ability to write in a way that is lucid, precise and compelling.

Assessment methods

Coursework essay 50%
Examination 50%

The use of dictionaries in the examination is prohibited. This rule applies to all categories of students, including all Visiting Students.

Feedback methods

  • written feedback on the essay and the examination
  • additional one-to-one feedback (during office hours or by appointment)

Recommended reading

Short fiction by Rudyard Kipling will include 'On the City Wall', 'Lisbeth', 'Beyond the Pale', 'Consequences', 'The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes', 'The Undertakers', 'The Man Who Would be King'

E.M. Forster, A Passage to India

Rabindranath Tagore, The Home and the World IMPORTANT: we will be discussing the translation by Surendranath Tagore, which is not the only translation that is available!

Mulk Raj Anand, Untouchable

R.K. Narayan, The English Teacher

Iqbalhunnisa Hussain’s Purdah and Polygamy: Life in an Indian Muslim Household

Film adaptations: Ghare Baire (The Home and the World) dir. Satyajit Ray

(Contact Howard Booth for the full summer reading list, which includes the editions to secure and weblinks to many of the texts.)

 

 

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 165

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Howard Booth Unit coordinator

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