• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies

How do stories grip people’s imaginations and shape their lives? How do stories link tellers and listeners, claim status, encode values, sacralize the status quo, and also inspire change by providing imaginative alternatives? How are stories transformed through expression in different media, at different historical moments, and the goals of scholars? This two week intensive course explores oral traditions in South Asia. Studying the social life of stories, the course provides ways to think about region, gender, religion, caste, kinship, social movements, the impact of mass media, and cultural continuities in diaspora. The course also offers methods for identifying, recording, transcribing, writing up and interpreting such genres as folktales, legends, myths, epics, oral histories, family stories, and life histories. While readings will draw largely on South Asian materials, the research project may apply these insights and methods to narratives from elsewhere in Asia or the Pacific.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Engage with Asia, particularly South Asia, through its diversity of narrative traditions
2. Display an understanding of the basic coordinates of cultural diversity in South Asia, in relation to multiple versions of stories
3. Use interdisciplinary theories of narrative to identify how stories selectively reshape materials
4. Demonstrate the skills to lift stories from the flow of conversation or historical data
5. Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively
6. Communicate knowledge about Asia through narratives and their analysis.

Other Information

In 2016, the face-to-face component of this course will run from 10am to 3pm, on the following days:

Monday 20 June - Thursday 23 June
Monday 27 June - Thursday 30 June

The class will be held in Hancock 2.24. 

Indicative Assessment

1. Preparation of two questions on readings to guide discussion for two assigned sessions
100-150 words X2 (20%) 1, 2, 3, 5

2.Field collection and transcription of an oral story
500 words (20%) 1, 2, 3, 4

3.15-minute presentation of project in class (10%) 5, 6

4.Final essay expanding on earlier paper and analytically situating the narrative in relation to class readings.
2,000 to 2,500 words (50%) 1, 2, 3, 4, 6

Students will be required to record their own presentations

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Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $2856
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4080
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6524 09 Jul 2018 13 Jul 2018 13 Jul 2018 02 Aug 2018 In Person N/A

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