This course guide will help you find South Asian literature resources.
By the end of this course:
- Students will find information from appropriate resources for their essays.
- Students properly cite appropriate document sources (for example primary and secondary materials)
- Students evaluate information sources for relevance, authority, currency and perspective using the CRAAP guidelines.
We [I] would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people.
Researching Your Topic
1. Guide to Literary Research, Writing and Critical Reading (EBSCO)
– This EBSCO research guide covers the basics of how to research your topic.
3. Check the A-Z Subject guides
- Subject guides are a good place to get started. They will give you an overview of the topic.
Example: English Language and Literature -This guide offers access to literary content and analysis.
4. Use Concept maps to organize, and craft creative ideas. Concept mapping can help you narrow your topic and find related terminology to use in a search query string:
- VUE (Visual Understanding Environment) (Tufts University)
- See Concept mapping (Royal Roads University) for other mapping tools
Use reference materials such as bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and guides to locate relevant information on a topic.
Suggested Reference Resources:
- Oxford Reference Online
- A Dictionary of Contemporary World History / Christopher Riches (2016)
- A Dictionary of Critical Theory / Ian Buchanan (2018)
- Cambridge Companion to...Handbooks dedicated to single authors or literary movements. Best to use keywords to narrow the results.
- Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures / Suad Joseph ; Afsaneh Najmabadi (2003-2007) BP173.4.E538 2003
- Handbook of Twentieth-century Literatures of India / Nalini, Natarajan ; Emmanuel, Nelson (1996) PK5416.H27
Poetry and Prose
- The Poetry Handbook : a Guide to Reading Poetry for Pleasure and practical Criticism / John Lennard (2005)
- The Poetry Handbook : a Guide to Reading Poetry for Pleasure and Practical Criticism / John Lennard (2005)
- Modern Indian Poetry in English / Bruce King [several years available]
- Key Concepts in Literary Theory by Julian Wolfreys et. al. (2016)
- A History of Indian Literature / M. K. Naik (1982) STF PR9484.3.N35
- The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism
Use Omni, to locate the literary work. The default search option on the library homepage is a keyword search. From Omni Advanced Search, Select Title and Under Material Type, select Books from the drop down menu. Enter the author's name with the surname first and type the title in the search box. To find other book titles written by the author, redo the search and choose Author field to limit your results.
You can also search Omni to locate the Call Number. Listed below are the letters and numbers assigned to the four texts to be studied:
- Brick Lane / Monica Ali (2004) ; (2003)
- Calcutta Chromosome / Amitav Ghosh
- East West / Salman Rushdie (1994) PR6068.E27
- Cracking India : a Novel / Bapsi Sidhwa (2006) ; (1991)
- Use keywords and subject headings to help narrow your search results:
- South Asian Literature -- Women Authors
- English Literature - South Asian Authors
- Indic Poetry --20th Century -- History & criticism
- South Asians in Literature
- Postcolonialism -- India
- Click the hyperlinked subject headings in the record to find other resources on your topic.
- Use the thesaurus in the database to help with search terms.
Primary Sources (Databases, Articles, Newspapers, etc.)
- Gale Primary Sources combines these four digital archives in a single cross-search interface:
- Guardian (1821-2003)
- International Coalition on Newspapers (ICON)
- This digitization project preserve and provide public access to historic newspapers from around the world. Note some digital collections may require fee payments.to access content.
- New York Times Archives
- Check in Ulrichsweb to be sure!
- Go to the publisher's web page to see criteria for submissions
Why use journals?
- They are more up-to-date than most books.
- They are “peer reviewed” by other scholars in the field who check for academic integrity.
- They are concise and focused on a specific aspect of a topic.
- Every article will contain cited references that appear as footnotes and/or bibliographies.
- Most are now online and accessible anytime and from off campus.
For best results do a search using keywords or phrases in a subject database to find references to scholarly articles.
When a database gives you an option, always limit to scholarly (or academic or peer reviewed) journals.
Tips for searching Omni.
Never limit to full-text only because you will miss any references to articles in journals when another vendor has the full-text publishing rights.
When searching databases, use operators to join concepts together using AND, OR and NOT.
Use AND to narrow a search
example: trench warfare AND poetry - both terms must be found
Use OR when the concepts are similar, and it does not matter which word is used.
example: prose OR poetry OR fiction - search one or all words ; only one of the three terms must be found
Use NOT to focus a search when a topic contains multiple search terms
monica ali NOT salman rushdie - exclude some words
Use quotation marks around phrases to ensure the database searches for it that way.
example: "Amitav Ghosh"
Use truncation (*) and wildcards (?) when you want to allow for several spellings or variations on a word.
example: critic* will find all the words - critic, critics, critical, criticism, etc.
example: wom?n returns items with the words woman or women
example: (sanity OR madness) AND "virginia woolf"
1. Always capitalize "AND", "OR, and "NOT" in Omni.
2. Always enclose OR statements in parentheses.
- Gale Literature
- Literary Resource Center
- MLA International Bibliography
- Project MUSE
- Arts & Humanities Database
- Digital South Asia Library
Other Discovery Tools:
Use the Interlibrary Loans RACER form to request items not held at Carleton's library.
Open Access Resources
- South Asian Open Access Resources
Consult the News Guide for details of news sources.
Tips for searching newspaper databases.
1. Look at all writings by a relevant author and co-authors.
2. Explore the bibliography of a relevant article for more articles.
3. Discover if the articles have been cited since publication.
Use Citation Indexes to find if a particular author and/or paper has been cited by other authors.
Selected Sampling of Books and EBooks:
- Acts of Angry Writing: on Citizenship and Orientalism in Postcolonial India / Alessandra Marino (2015) [on order, ILL]
- Between the Lines : South Asians and Postcoloniality / Deepika Bahri ; Mary Vasudeva (1996)
- Critique and Utopia in Postcolonial Historical Fiction : Atlantic and Other Worlds / Greg Forter (2019)
- Everyday Life in South Asia / Sarah E. Lamb ; Diane P. Mines (2010) (2010) (2010) (2002)
- Exploring Gender in the Literature of the Indian Diaspora / Rao Sandhya Mehta (2015) (2014)
- Imagining Bombay, London, New York and Beyond: South Asian Diasporic Writing from 1990 to the Present / Maria Ridda (2015) [on order, ILL]
- Literary Cultures in History : Reconstructions from South Asia / Sheldon I. Pollock (2003)
- Out of Bounds : Anglo-Indian Literature and the Geography of Displacement / Alan G. Johnson (2011)
- Pity of Partition : Manto's Life, Times, and Work Across the India-Pakistan Divide / Ayesha Jaiai (2013)
- The Postcolonial Indian Novel in English / Geetha Ganapathy-Dore (2011)
- South Asian Atlantic Literature, 1970-2010 / Ruth Maxey (2011)
- South Asian Writers in Twentieth-century Britain Culture in Translation / Ruvani, Ranasinha (2007)
- Transcultural Encounters in South-Asian American Women's Fiction / Elena Adriana Stoican (2015)
- Writing India Anew : Indian-English Fiction, 2000-2010 / Krishna Sen ; Rituparna Roy (2013)
Remember to always evaluate any information or website before using it as a source for your research.
Tip Ask and answer the 5 W's of Journalism: Who, What, Where, When and How when gathering and evaluating your information.
- South Asian Literary Association
"SALA was founded by the late H. B. Kulkarni and Satya Pachori of the University of North Florida in the early seventies to promote the knowledge of South Asia in the American academy by bringing interested faculty and students to its conferences."
- The South Asian Literary Recordings Project
"Launched in April 2000, to record the voices of South Asian authors for the Library of Congress' Archive of Recorded World Literature, the project has captured the readings of prominent South Asian poets, novelists, and playwrights. The authors recorded so far represent more than fifteen of the languages of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh."
- South Asian American Digital Archive
"SAADA creates a more inclusive society by giving voice to South Asian Americans through documenting, preserving, and sharing stories that represent their unique and diverse experiences."
"The SASIALIT mailing list is for the discussion of contemporary literature of South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka), including works by authors of South Asian origin throughout the world."
- The 1947 Partition Archive (Stanford University)
"The Partition Archive’s work is a race against time, to capture as many oral histories as possible before the generation that lived through Partition has left us."
- Words Without Borders
"Founded in 2003, Words Without Borders expands cultural understanding through the translation, publication, and promotion of the finest contemporary international literature."
- Best South Asian Fiction (Goodreads)
- 84 Books by South Asian Authors to Read This Year
- Literature by Country (Wikipedia):
- Government Links:
See accordion section Writing and Citing Resources.
- Argument in Composition by John D. Ramage (2009)
- The Wiley Guide to Writing Essays about Literature by Paul Headrick (2014)
- Writing Essays About Literature : a Brief Guide for University and College Students (2021) LB2369.A237 2021
Need help with writing? Book an appointment with Writing Services.
Use these resources:
- MLA 8th Edition In-Text Citation (Purdue OWL)
- How to Cite Books (Purdue OWL)
- How to Cite Electronic Sources (Purdue OWL)
- MLA 8th FAQ