South Asian 240: The Realist Novel in South and Southeast Asia

Category: Graduate Seminars
Course #: 32796
Units: 4
Times and Locations:

W 3-6

115 Social Sciences Building

This course examines the histories and the contexts of the realist novel through a comparative literary focus on South and South East Asia. Through novels published in South and South East Asia from the 1900’s to the present, this course will look at how the writers in these regions deployed realism in complex and innovative ways to represent ideas of the individual and the collective. Some of the broad questions the course will revolve around include: (1) key features of the realist novel and how these have they changed over time (2) how theorizations of the realist novel intersected with the historical dynamics of the decolonial moment and the formation of the new nation-state in South and South East Asia (3) the particular modes in which vernacular and Anglophonic realist novels produced in the region interact with global movements of realism. In thinking through these questions, we will give particular attention to the resurgent value of realism in the current globalist conjuncture and theoretical exchanges between the realist novel in South and South East Asia and the fields of aesthetic theory, world literature(s) and postcolonial studies.


Vasugi Kailasam