Fall 2015 - WL 100 D100

Introduction to World Literature (3)

Class Number: 7162

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 4150, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 11, 2015
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM



Explores how texts resonate in other cultural contexts, influence foreign traditions, and become works of world literature. Breadth-Humanities.


World Literature & the Boundaries of the Passions WL 100
While literature has long explored what it is to move from place to place along with one’s social & political understandings, what of the relocation of our feelings?  Beginning from Euripides dramatization of the threatening boundaries between public virtues & private passions, the course investigates what new visions of “reality” global literature produces when individuals change their surroundings.     Following our “classical” introduction to the ethics of the body in world literature, we move to Hemingway’s ironic account of bohemians coming apart at a Spanish fiesta; Eileen Chang’s stories of being caught between Shanghai and Hong Kong; Duras’s searing exploration of love across cultural and racial lines; and Ghassan Kanafani’s tale of what it is to have borders rather than a country.  Each of these texts opens up a different way of conceiving how one’s cultural outlook does not remain stable when individual points of view are forced into the open.   We end with a question: if ‘language is the main instrument of man’s refusal to accept the world as it is,’ how might crossing the boundaries of the self be a way of rebelling against ideas of human difference?     


Learning Outcomes:   

  • Introductory understanding of World Literature as a field practice                                     
  • Basic comprehension of terms and concepts of literary criticism                                     
  • Ability to cognize and compare literary texts as social discourses                                     
  • Starting ability to extend comparisons across different cultural media 


  • Participation & Attendance 15%
  • Group Presentation & Short Report: Poetics of Cinema 15%
  • Short Paper 20%
  • Term Paper 30%
  • Final Exam 25%



Required Texts [AVAILABLE AT SFU BOOKSTORE]:              

  • Hippolytus                   Euripides (R. Bagg trans.)                  Oxford 978-0195072907             
  • The Sun Also Rises      Ernest Hemingway                             Scribner 978-0743297332            
  • Love in a Fallen City     Zhang Ailing (Eileen Chang)               NYRB 978-1590171783             
  • Men in the Sun            Ghassan Kanafani                             3 Continents 978-0894108570             
  • The Lover                   Marguerite Duras                              Pantheon 978-0375700521

Registrar Notes:

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