2nd degree (Master)
Coordinator Office Hours:
Prof Yigal Bronner
Does it make sense to speak of different parts of Asia as a single literary sphere? Are there poetic practices that are shared across the continent, or at least in large parts thereof? And if so, how did this come to be? These are some of questions that we will pose and try to answer in this seminar with an emphasis on the role Indic literary and intellectual models played in shaping a premodern pan-Asian readership.
To think of Asia as a coherent or partly coherent literary sphere, to study the Indic models that shaped Asia (the contents and their Asian afterlives), and to enjoy reading hopefully interesting primary and secondary sources.
Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
A new thought or two about what Asia as a concept could mean when seen through the lens of Indic literary models that traveled the continent.
Teaching arrangement and method of instruction:
This will be a seminar, were class discussion will occupy the bulk of out time. Each session will begin by short presentations by the students.
After a short introduction that will be dedicated to general theoretical questions of cosmopolitanism and transregional literary visions, we will discuss several Indic models that travelled through vast parts of what we now call Asia, including grammars and poetic grammars such as Dandin’s Mirror of Literature, which travelled throughout Southeast Asia and may have also reached China and Japan; epics and the pan-Asian career of the Rama story in particular; poems and narratives about the life and previous lives of the Buddha, which circulated from Baghdad to Japan; and tales and parables from the Pancatantra, One Thousand Nights, and Kalilah wa Dimnah, which were told and retold throughout Euroasia.
Consult the Moodle site for full reading plan.
Additional Reading Material:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 20 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 60 %
Assignments 20 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %
The seminar will be based on weekly reading of primary and secondary sources (in English) and discussions in class. Students are required to submit several written responses to the readings and to actively participate in the class discussions. In addition, each student will make a short oral presentation in one of the classes, and submit another short written paper.