Indian Epics is centered on the study of two epic narratives, the Ramayana and Mahabharata. These two master-texts have exerted unequalled influence throughout the greater Indic civilisational realm for two millennia, and continue to form and inform the Indian national consciousness today. The course engages with four disciplines: literature, anthropology, history, and cultural studies. It is specifically designed for flexible delivery using innovative approaches to information technology.
The course is divided into two halves. The first half deals with the Ramayana. The second half deals with the Mahabharata. Seven weekly activities support the course objectives: (1) Epic Reading, (2) Epic Reading Guide, (3) Theory Reading, (4) Story Retelling, (5) Read and Respond, (6) Famous Last Words, (7) Workshop. On average, these activities require students to spend 8 hours per week on them. Only one session, the Workshop (one hour), will be face-to-face. The other activities can be completed online.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Students will gain a three-fold understanding of epics.
1. they will gain a high level empirical understanding of the basic themes, plots and characters of the two great Indian epics through weekly reading of epics texts.
2. they will gain deep theoretical understanding of epic literature and cultural practice as a genre.
3. they will achieve a high level of understanding of epic as a creative process by undertaking the production of epic narrative in a variety of genres and media.
Cumulative weekly assessment requirements (12 weeks):
Creative writing task 16% (500 words per week) (LO 1,2,3)
Theoretical mind-mapping exercise 16% (LO 1,2,3)
Responsive writing exercise ('Read and Respond') 16% (100 words each) (LO 1,2,3)
Learning Journal ('Famous Last Words') 16% (300 words per week) (LO 1,2,3)
Participation 8% (students need to be collegial, cooperative, and contributive members of a learning community to expect full marks) (LO 1,2,3)
Final creative project (28%) (LO 1,2,3)
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1 hour contact, 8-9 hours online
Requisite and Incompatibility
1. Ramayana by R. K. Narayan (Penguin) and
2. Mahabharata by R. K. Narayan (Penguin)
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- 6 units
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