ENG 381: World Literature

This course focuses on a number of world masterpieces of literature that deal with different aspects of human identity throughout history. We will examine major texts from different periods and discuss works from different genres including fiction, poetry, and drama. We will also consider the meaning and definition of a “masterpiece.” What is a masterpiece? What makes a masterpiece? Who determines what is called a masterpiece? How has the “reading” of various masterpieces changed over time? What is the role of a reader or a critic? What can we learn about the history of mankind and the transformation of human identity from these selected texts? How do these texts answer questions such as: “Who are we?,” “What is a human being?,” “How do we relate to society?” These are only a few questions that we will encounter during the semester. In addition to primary works of literature, we will also read several contemporary and modern critical essays written on each text and may view a film version of a literary masterpiece.

Course Materials