English 381 World Literature

The term “world literature” can be taken to mean “literature of the whole world,” and this course aims to introduce students to outstanding works of fiction, plays, and poems from both the Western, and non-Western parts of the world. In the lectures we will focus on questions of culture, class, and gender. All texts will be read in English translation. The course will work to develop students’ skills in thinking, close reading, and writing. [1]The module offers students the unique opportunity to analyse in detail different ways in which cultural backgrounds can shape literary productions, and how stories, motifs and themes travel across national boundaries. Students will be exposed to significant works of literature and art interpretation and question societies and cultures, illuminating the complexity and diversity of a changing world. They will engage with the texts critically, enlarge their experience, deepen  their self-awareness, connect with artists and with history, stimulate their sense of beauty and wonder, and  be challenged to think critically. 

Course objectives: 
Students should be able to:
- demonstrate familiarity with a variety of world literatures as well as methods of studying literature and culture across national and linguistic boundaries and evaluate the nature, function and value of literature from a global perspective. 
- demonstrate critical reasoning.
- analyze a specific body of research and to write a clear and well developed paper or project about a topic related to more than one literary and cultural tradition. 

[1]Janet A. Walker

Course Materials