ENGL 2710 Contemporary World Literature

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Catalog Description

Introduction to contemporary world literatures in English or in English translation. Through selected readings from diverse world authors, students will become familiar with different literary traditions and cultural and historical experiences. GE C2

Course Description

ENGL 2710 introduces students to a broad range of writings by major world authors from countries other than the U.S. and Great Britain (South Asia, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, West Indies, etc.).  Authors may include, but are not limited to, Salman Rushdie, V. S. Naipaul, Arundhati Roy, Chinua Achebe, Naguib Mahfouz, Nadine Gordimer, Derek Walcott, J.M. Coetzee, Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, etc. Through close reading of these authors’ works, students will be acquainted with multiple cultural traditions, literary modes, and historical experiences. While attentive to the specific cultural and historical contexts within which human societies represent themselves and their cultures, students will also be able to identify and appreciate universal themes and concerns that ascertain the interconnectedness and interdependence of such societies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to

  • demonstrate awareness and knowledge of different histories, geographies, and cultures through the study of a wide range of literary works from around the world
  • analyze literary themes and styles and situate them in their historical and cultural contexts
  • demonstrate awareness of the importance of language and processes of translation in the study of literature and culture
  • reflect critically and self-critically on a wide range of culture-specific literary texts, thus enhancing their awareness of other cultures and other human experiences

Course Outline

Course content may be organized in a number of ways–by theme, genre, region, literary movement, etc.–depending on the instructor’s expertise and interests. The following is one of the variable arrangements of ENGL 2300:

WEEK 1-3: LATIN AMERICA
Carlos Fuentes, The Old Gringo
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

WEEK 4-6: SOUTH ASIA
Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

WEEK 7-9: MIDDLE EAST
Naguib Mahfouz, Arabian Nights and Days
Rawi Hage, Cockroach

WEEK 10-12: AFRICA
Nadine Gordimer, The Pickup
J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace

WEEK 13-15: WEST INDIES
Derek Walcott, selected poems
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea

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