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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Spring 2010

HIN 384 • Genre, Text, and Translation in Pre-Modern Hindi

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
31550 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
MEz 1.204

Course Description

This class will operate on the seminar model. We will sample the many different genres found in and beyond the canon of Hindi in the pre-modern tradition, i.e. primarily in the Braj Bhasha and Awadhi dialects. We will analyse the various elements that constitute a 'genre', including language, register, subject matter, narrative style, voice, literary conventions, prosody, structure, mode of transmission, and title. Our explorations will take us beyond the standard canon to sample some relatively little-studied varieties of religious and secular texts. We will also look at the prevalent styles of translating pre-modern texts into English; and while analysing their limitations we will search for innovative translation strategies of our own.

Grading Policy

• Four reaction pieces based on readings @ 10% (40%): each piece 800-1000 words for graduate students, 500 for undergraduates. • Translation project with commentary (30%). • Term paper, based on class presentation (30%). Details of translation projects and term papers will be discussed with the instructor, allowing each student to specialize in areas of individual interest. Projects for graduate students will be considerably more substantial than those for undergraduates.


Richard Barz (1994), 'The Caurås¥ vai?ˆavan k¥ vårtå and the hagiography of the Pu?†imårg', in Winand M. Callewaert and Rupert Snell, eds, According to tradition: hagiographical writing in India. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, pp. 43-64 . Kenneth E. Bryant (1978), Poems to the child-god: structures and strategies in the poetry of Surdas. Berkeley: University of California Press. Linda Hess (1987), ‘Kabir’s rough rhetoric’ in Karine Schomer and W.H. McLeod, eds., The Sants: studies in a devotional tradition of India. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, pp. 143-66. Philip Lutgendorf (1991), The life of a text: performing the Råmcaritmånas of Tulsidas. Berkeley: University of California Press. McGregor, R.S., (2003), ‘The progress of Hindi, part 1’, in Sheldon Pollock (ed.), Literary cultures in history: reconstructions from South Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press. John D. Smith, (1976), The V¥sa¬adevaråsa: a restoration of the text. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press.


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