Spring 2018 - WL 100 D100
What is World Literature? (3)
Class Number: 6958
Delivery Method: In Person
Explores how texts travel beyond their cultures of origin, influence other cultural contexts and ideas, and become works of world literature. Introduces the concepts of cross-cultural literary criticism and translation. Breadth-Humanities.
Literature has long explored what it is to move from place to place along with one’s social & political settings, but what of the movement of our feelings? Beginning from Euripides dramatization of the threatening boundaries between public virtues & private passions, we will learn to see how the issues of WORLD LITERATURE take on new metaphors of “reality” in being transferred from place to place.
Following our classical introduction to the ethics of the body, we move to Oyono’s novel of colonial hypocrisy in Africa; Eileen Chang’s stories of individuals caught between Shanghai & Hong Kong; Duras’s exploration of love across racial lines; & 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 never remains stable when an individual point of view is forced into the open. Given the political fallouts of such processes, 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 the idea of difference?
COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:
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
- SHORT PAPER 20%
- GROUP PRESENTATION + SHORT REPORT: POETICS of the IMAGE 15%
- MID TERM 20%
- TERM PAPER 30%
- PARTICIPATION & ATTENDANCE 15%
[NOTE: NO FINAL EXAM]
Hippolytus, Euripides (R. Bagg – trans.), Oxford 978-0195072907
Houseboy, Ferdinand Oyono, Waveland 978-1577669883
Love in a Fallen City, Zhang Ailing (Eileen Chang), NYRB 978-1590171783
The Lover, Marguerite Duras, Pantheon 978-0375700521
Men in the Sun, Ghassan Kanafani, 3 Continent 978-0894108570
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