This course is designed to introduce students to modern Urdu literature and popular culture. It provides an overview of the diverse manifestations of South Asian culture and history in Urdu literature, produced mostly in India and Pakistan in contemporary times. Students will be introduced to a variety of artistic genre and registers: poetry recitation such as Ghazal, Nazm, Qawaali and Mushaira; classical dances including Kathak and Mujra; mass media products like films and television shows, and modern literary texts. The course will cover a large number of writers because of their unique importance within the canon of vernacular South Asian literatures. In addition, students will improve their understanding of the socio-cultural patterns and linguistic complexities of the Urdu language by exploring adaptations of film, drama, and other media.