ANS 372 • Epics and Heroes of India-W
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
In this undergraduate seminar we will analyze the cultural and social significance of India's epic and heroic traditions from the time of their composition down to the present day. Considerable emphasis will be placed on the great epic traditions of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, both in their Sanskrit and regional language versions, but we will also survey epics and ballads that circulated among more local audiences in order to better understand the Indian epic genre as a whole. Among the issues to be covered are the importance of epic characters as cultural paradigms, changes in the great epics over time, the political uses of epic traditions in the Indian past and present, the impact of the epics on the visual and performing arts, and the ways in which historic figures become transformed into epic heroes.
Three short papers (3-4pgs ea) 40% Research paper (8-12pgs) 35% Class participation 25%
R.K. Narayana. Ramayana C.V. Narashimhan, trans. Mahabharata Paula Richman, ed. Many Ramayanas E. Washburn Hopkins. The Great Epic of India Stuart Blackburn et al., Oral Epics in India