Literature of Love and Liberation: Introduction to Urdu Poetry in South Asia
This course is a survey of Urdu poetry from the 18th century to the present. We will read Urdu poetry in translation, moving from the early period with poems mostly about matters of love. In the modern period Urdu poetry’s subject matter changes to broader social concerns such as patriotism, social justice and liberty. During the course we will learn about cultural and literary milieu including performance aspects of Urdu poetry in Musha’era, Qawwali and Bollywood. We will discuss major poetic genres such as Qasida, Ghazal and Nazm. The major poets we will read are Mir Taqi ‘Mir’, Mirza Ghalib, Mohammad Iqbal and Faiz Ahmad Faiz. We will also read some original English Ghazals.
No knowledge of Urdu is required for this course. All works will be read in translation.