Introduction to World Literature

By Prof. Merin Simi Raj   |   IIT Madras
Learners enrolled: 1326
This course is an introduction to a wide range of writings produced in different nations, languages and cultural contexts. While this course cannot claim to cover all literary traditions from all time periods, it does try to introduce the learners to representative texts that are available in English language. The objective of the course is to focus on learning how great writings can intervene and engage with global cultures while remaining rooted and situated in their specific, local contexts. These discussions need to be seen as ‘entry points’ that would enable to learners to explore world literatures. 

INTENDED AUDIENCE  : Any interested learners
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • English Studies
Credit Points : 3
Level : 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.

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Course layout

Week 1  :  Introduction
Week 2  :  Classics:Beowulf, Don Quixote, Arabian Nights
Week 3  :  Indian literature:Kalidasa, Tagore, Rushdie, Kamala Das
Week 4  :  Literature in translation:Akutagawa’s In a Grove Borges’ Garden of Forking Paths Manto’s Toba Tek Singh
Week 5  :  Short stories and excerpts from novels: Marquez, Borges, Calvino, Flaubert, Tolstoy
Week 6  :  Poetry Dover Beach, Wasteland, Song of Lawino
Week 7  :  Drama Ibsen’s Doll’s House Shakespeare’s Othello
Week 8  :  African-American literature,Toni Morrison,Achebe’s Things Fall Apart,Everyday Use by Alice Walker
Week 9  :  English and American literature:,Arnold’s Dover Beach,Eliot’s Wasteland,Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily
Week 10  :  Women writers:lGilman’s Yellow Wallpaper,Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko
Week 11  :  Prose (non-fiction) and critical theory:,Aristotle’s Poetics,Barthes’ Death of the author,Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own ,
   Kolodny’s Dancing through the minefield

Week 12  :  Contemporary writers and new genres

Books and references

  The Routledge Concise History of World Literature by Theo D’haen.World Literature: A Reader edited by Theo D’hael et al. What is World Literature by David Damrosch.

Instructor bio

Prof. Merin Simi Raj

IIT Madras
Dr.Merin Simi Raj is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Madras. She specializes in Postcolonial Writing, Modernity Studies and Historiography Studies. Her teaches History of English Language and Literature, Indian fiction in English, Literary Criticism, World Literature and Feminist Writings.

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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