Modern Indian Writing in Translation

By Prof. A. Divya   |   IIT Madras
Learners enrolled: 518
It is often argued that the best Indian literature is to be found in the various Indian languages. This course offers a choice selection of significant modern Indian literary works, produced in regional languages, from writers ranging from Tagore to Salma in English translation. These landmark works offer literary snapshots of modern Indian histories, folklore, societal structures such as class and gender, and the aspirations and struggles of men and women who have lived and live through diverse Indian spaces across the length and breadth of the country. The course offers in miniature a “salad bowl” (Ashis Nandy) of Indian literary works in translation that illustrate the complexities of Indian identities, and encourages students to probe concepts such as modernism, regionalism, the contemporary, and representations of history, class, and gender in modern Indian writing in translation.
Objectives of the Course:
• To introduce the student to the polyphony of modern Indian writing in translation.
• To understand the multifaceted nature of cultural identities in the various Indian literatures through indigenous literary traditions.
• To compare literary texts produced across Indian regional landscapes to seek similarities and differences in thematic and cultural perspectives.
• To explore images in literary productions that express the writers sense of their society.
• Wherever possible a comparative study of the original and the translated texts to see the process of negotiation that constructs, and is constructed in, the English language translation.
• To encourage the students to explore texts outside of the suggested reading lists to realize the immense treasure trove of translated Indian literary works.

INTENDED AUDIENCE : Engineering students 
SUPPORT INDUSTRY : English Department
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 23 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1 : Introduction, Rabindranath Tagore, “The Hunger of Stones” [Bengali] 
Week 2 : Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, “The Blue Light” [Malayalam]
Week 3 : Anna Bhau Sathe, “Gold from the Grave” [Marathi]
Week 4 : Manto, “Toba Tek Singh” [Urdu]
Week 5 : Gulzar, “Crossing the Ravi” [Hindi]
Week 6 : Amirta Pritam, “Stench of Kerosene” [Punjabi]
Week 7 : Perumal Murugan, “The Man Who Could Not Sleep” [Tamil]
Week 8 : Girish Karnad, Nagamandala [Kannada]
Week 9 : Girish Karnad, Nagamandala 
Week 10: Sundara Ramaswamy, Tamarind History [Tamil]
Week 11: Sundara Ramaswamy, Tamarind History 
Week 12: Indian Poetry in Translation

Books and references

Modern Indian Writing in Translation, Edited by Dhananjay Kapse, 2016
Short Fiction from South India, Edited by Subashree Krishnaswamy and K. Srilata, 2007
A Clutch of Indian Masterpieces, Edited by David Davidar, 2016.
Changing the Terms: Translating in the Postcolonial Era, Edited by Sherry Simon and Paul St. Pierre, 2000
100 Great Indian Poems by Abhay K. Bloomsbury, 2019

Instructor bio

Prof. A. Divya

IIT Madras
Divya A is an Assistant Professor in English Literature in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India. Divyas research interests primarily revolve around explorations in the fields of gender, domesticity, spatiality, urbanism, and the interplay between the visual and the literary arts. After obtaining her Master of Studies degree in Early Modern English Literature from the University of Oxford, Divya completed her PhD in Nineteenth- Century English Fiction at Nanyang Technological University. She has published on Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilkie Collins, and the Pre-Raphaelites. Her current research project traces and maps the British colonial visual culture of Nineteenth-Century India.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 23 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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