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Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa

Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa is a classic story of human self-development focused on the relationship between the macrocosm (the kingdom) and the self. It explores the tragic necessity underlying the outer world and the heroic and ethical ideals necessary to live in it. Yet, the story remains “far” from our modern expectations of reality, desire, and ethics. To understand the Rāmāyaṇa, we must also study ourselves. By treating our contemporary issues with the Rāmāyaṇa, both positive and negative, as symptoms, we shall better understand what Vālmīki wished to convey with his extraordinary text.

 

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Course Code: TAT 7203

Credit Hours: 3

Course Level: 700

Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa is a classic story of human self-development focused on the relationship between the macrocosm (the kingdom) and the self. It explores the tragic necessity underlying the outer world and the heroic and ethical ideals necessary to live in it. Yet, the story remains “far” from our modern expectations of reality, desire, and ethics. To understand the Rāmāyaṇa, we must also study ourselves. By treating our contemporary issues with the Rāmāyaṇa, both positive and negative, as symptoms, we shall better understand what Vālmīki wished to convey with his extraordinary text.

 

Registration for this course is not open yet

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Description

Students will apply theoretical tools developed within psychoanalysis by Freud and Lacan which will allow them to approach the text self-critically. We shall read the entire text, analyzing some key passages from literary and philosophical perspectives that also reveal who we have become and who we wish to be. Students will learn to appreciate the Rāmāyaṇa as a profound character study, exploring the relation of the individual to society and to dharma. We will read extensive sections of the narrative, discuss and engage with topics that concerned commentators and explore the limitations of modernist critiques of Rāmāyaṇa and contemporary Indian society based on this text.

Area of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

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