Asian Languages and Literature Hindi 501
Readings in Medieval Hindi Literature (Braj)

Heidi Pauwels

Course description

The primary goal of this class is to provide an introduction to the language and literature of Braj Bhasha, the literary form of Medieval Hindi associated with the Braj area in Western UP. This will be accomplished by a grammar introduction and close reading of selections from representative literary works in the original language, starting with prose sections (hagiographic accounts of the Vallabha Sampradaya), moving on to the devotional (bhakti) poetry of Mirabai, Surdas, and Raskhan, and the court (riti) poetry of Bihari. The class will focus on understanding the texts and their literary and prosodical conventions, as well as the cultural, and historical context they belong to. At the same time the modern popular perception is taken into account, with reference to contemporary recordings and also to Bollywood film versions of the poets’ lives, in particular the film Meera by Gulzar.

Grading Policy

Class prep: 25% Final exam: 25 % Final paper: 50 %

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Last modified: 10/10/2003 11:45 am