Pre-Modern Literary Traditions (Semester 3)


This course uses the main text of contemporary Indology (Sheldon Pollocks’s The Language of Gods in the World of Men) as thread and anchor to build foundations for such basic terms as religion, culture, courtly and secular power, and narrative form. Through the course, students visit (in part or full) salient texts that span over a thousand years. These texts will help us develop an appreciation for a profoundly different aesthetic world, yet one that nevertheless feeds into contemporary thought.

Sample Texts:

Selections from Mahabharata’s Bhisma Parva,

Asvagosha’s Buddhacharita,

Shudraka’s The Little Clay Cart,

Kalidasa’s How Urvashi Was Won or Recognition of Shakuntala,

Bhavabhuti’s Uttararamacharita,

Sheldon Pollocks’s The Language of Gods in the World of Men,

David Shulman’s More than Real

Since the syllabi in MCPH are dynamic and regularly updated, this reading list is indicative and amenable to modifications in each session.