The course is designed to introduce students to modern Urdu literature and popular culture; its various genres and cultural contexts. It provides an overview of the diverse manifestations of South Asian culture and history in Urdu literature, produced mostly in India and Pakistan and in contemporary times are included to give students an idea of the evolution of Urdu literature and culture. Students are introduced to a variety of artistic genres and registers, ranging from poetry recitation such as Ghazal, Nazm, Qawwali and Mushaira, to classical dances including Kathak and Mujra, to mass media products like films and television shows. In addition, readings of modern literary texts and translations of literatures in other South Asian languages are offered in Urdu and Hindi. Along with a close reading and translation of the texts their socio-cultural context is also presented. The course will cover a large number of writers because of their unique importance within the cannon of vernacular South Asian literature.