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

Spring 2010

ANS 301M • Myth and Narrative in Traditional India

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30865 MWF
1:00 PM-2:00 PM

Course Description

A rich repository of traditional India's myths and legends are a collection of texts called the Puranas. The Puranas were composed principally in Sanskrit between the 5th and 17th centuries. They include a wide range of topics such as the creation and the destruction of the universe, genealogies of royal dynasties, exploits of heroes and sages, glory of various deities, rituals, metaphysical notions, sacred shrines, and so on. This course will explore how myths and narratives in the Puranas reflect the development of Hindu religious traditions at panIndian and regional level, significant historical events, and formation of social identities in history and practice. Besides investigating scholarly analyses of the Purana literature, we will read a number of assorted stories in order to stimulate firsthand understanding of the nature and function of this genre. We will also watch audiovisual clips from popular mythological TV shows to study the dissemination of the Purana mythology among masses in contemporary India.

Grading Policy

Final essay - 40% Two short essays – 40% (20% each) Presentation – 10% Class participation – 10%


Ludo R., The Purana Doniger W., Purana Perennis. Chakrabarti K., Religious Process: The Pur?n as and the Making of a Religious Tradition. Dimmit and Buitenen, Classical Hindu Mythology. Nath V., Puranas and Acculturation. Selection of Essays (TBA) Selection of Stories from Puranas (TBA)


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