Political Speeches and Writings by Literary Writers

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreX4

Course Coordinator and Team: Diamond Oberoi Vahali

Email of course coordinator: diamond[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: The objective of this course is to covertly state that literature as a discipline does not exist in a social vacuum, just as literary writers are not just writers who weave merely fictitious narratives but are people with deep concerns about issues governing their own contemporary times. Literary writers not only reflect these concerns in their literature but many a time they overtly take positions as well and openly challenge the system that operates on the principle of discrimination.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  • Literary writers and the Political
  • Speeches related to Gender, Class, Race and Caste oppression
  • Speeches related to Colonialism, National Liberation Movements, War and Communalism
  • Cultural assertion, critiquing capitalism and globalisation

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Class participation 20% (throughout the semester)
  • Term paper 25% (early October)
  • End semester 40% (as per AUD academic calendar)
  • Group Presentations 15% (early November)

Reading List:

  • Beauvoir, Simone de. The Second Sex. New York: Vintage Books, 1989. Print.
  • Césaire, Aimé. Discourse on Colonialism. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972. Print.
  • Devi, Mahasweta. “The Bonded Labourers of Palamau”. Dust On The Road: The Activist
  • Writings of Mahasweta Devi. Ed. Maitreya Ghatak. Calcutta: Seagull, 1997. Print.
  • Grass, Gunter. “The Destruction of Mankind Has Begun”. Of Life and Times. Eds. V.P. Sharmaand Ramesh K. Misra. Shimla: H.P. University, 2003. Print.
  • Lamb, Charles. “Praise of Chimney Sweepers”. The Essays of Elia and Eliana. Ed. Barry Cornwall. London: George Bell & Sons, 1890. Print.
  • Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. “Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech”. Of Life and Times. Eds. V.P.
  • Sharma and Ramesh K. Misra. Shimla: H.P. University, 2003.
  • Morrison, Toni. “Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech”. Web. 11 Feb. 2017. <>
  • Muktibodh, Gajanan Madhav. “What is called People’s literature”. People’s Art in the Twentieth
  • Century: Theory and Practice. Delhi: Jana Natya Manch, 2000. Print.
  • Ngugi wa Thing’o. “The Language of African Literature.” Decolonising the Mind. London:James Currey, 1981. Print.
  • Nightingale, Florence. Casandra. United States: The Feminist Press, 1979. Print.
  • Premchand : “The Aim of Literature”
  • Roy, Arundathi. The Shape of the Beast: Conversations with Arundathi Roy. India: Penguin Books, 2008. Print.
  • Swift, Jonathan. “A Modest Proposal”. Background Prose Readings. Delhi: Worldview, 2001. Print.
  • Tagore, Rabindranath. “Crisis in Civilisation”. Of Life and Times. Eds. V.P. Sharma and Ramesh K. Misra. Shimla: H.P. University. 2003. Print.
  • Walker, Alice. “The Unglamorous But Worthwhile Duties Of The Black Revolutionary Artist, Or Of The Black Writer Who Simply Works And Writes.” Web. 17 May. 2018. <>
  • Woolf, Virginia. “Shakespeare’s Sister”. A Room of One's Own. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1929. print.


  • Achebe, Chinua. Home and Exile. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  • Arnold, Matthew. Culture and Anarchy: An Essay in Political and Social Criticism. NewYork: Macmillan, 1882. Print.
  • Balzac de, Honore. “Society as Historical Organism”. The Modern Tradition. Eds. Ellmann et. Al. Oxford: OUP, 1965. Print.
  • Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. London: MacGibbon & Kee, 1961. Print.
  • Gibbon, Edward. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. London: F. Warne and Co,1890. Print.
  • Morrison, Toni. Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. New York: Harcourt, 1992. Print.
  • Phule, Jotiroa. Gulamgiri. CreateSpace. Delhi: Independent Publishing Platform, 2017. Print.
  • Ramabai, Pandita. The High Caste Hindu Woman. Philadelphia: J. B. Rodgers Printing Co.,1887. Print.
  • Said, Edward. “There are Many Islams”. Voices of Sanity: Reaching Out For Peace. Eds.
  • Kamla Basin, Smitu Kothari and Bindia Thapar. Delhi: Lokayan, 2001. Print.
  • Wollstonecraft, Mary. “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman”. Background Prose
  • Readings. Delhi: Worldview. 2001. Print.
  • Voltaire. Candide. New York: Random House, 1975. Print.