Urdu Literary Culture

Urdu Literary Culture examines the impact of political circumstances on vernacular (Urdu) literary culture through an in-depth study of the writings of Muhammad Hasan Askari (1919-78), Urdu's first and finest literary critic. Askari's life was lived at the crossroads of early nation formation in South Asia—this study provides a detailed treatment of the intellectual world that Askari inhabited and complicates previously held notions about his life and work by looking at some of his writing through the lens of sexuality. Mehr Afshan Farooqi argues that Askari's work challenges the assumptions of rational Western thought and provides profound ways to think and reflect on the damages that colonial subjugation has imposed on selfhood, culture, and literature. Askari was a postcolonial before its time, writing in a language (Urdu) that has not drawn the attention of the Western academy. This book is an effort to address the problem.

Vernacular Modernity in the Writing of Muhammad Hasan Askari
Date Published: 
July, 2012
Palgrave Macmillan
Urdu Literary Culture

Course Descriptions

URDU 2010/2020 - Intermediate Urdu

Prerequisites: HIND 1020 or equivalent, or instructor permission.

Introduces various types of written and spoken Urdu; vocabulary building, idioms, and problems of syntax; and conversation.

Credits: 4

URDU 3010/3020 - Advanced Urdu

Prerequisites: URDU 2020 or equivalent, or instructor permission.

This course is designed to expand and to consolidate the structures the student has learned through URDU 2020 by reading original Urdu texts, ranging from literary prose fiction to news media excerpts to poetry (both classical and modern). We will discuss these texts in Urdu in class, and the students will be responsible for a series of short essays throughout the semester in Urdu pertaining both to the texts and to other topics.

Credits: 3

URDU 3300/7300 - Readings in Urdu Poetry: An Ongoing Mahfil

Prerequisites: URDU 3010 or 3020; or HIND 3010 or 3020; or instructor permission.

This course will introduce advanced Urdu and Hindi students to some of the finest poetry in Urdu. Those who cannot read the Urdu script will have the option of reading the texts in Devanagari (the Hindi script). Some of the poets we will read are Mir, Ghalib, Dagh and Faiz. Course work will include brief analytical papers, as well as in-class presentations.

Credits: 3

URDU 4993/8993 - Independent Study in Urdu

Prerequisites: Instructor permission.

Independent Study in Urdu.

Credits: 1-3