Spring 2018 - WL 300 D100
How Ideas Travel (4)
Class Number: 6963
Delivery Method: In Person
Explores the counterpoint of Western and non-Western approaches to world literature. May draw from disciplines including comparative literature, history, anthropology, and semiotics to focus on how concepts of world literature are imported and transformed in new cultural contexts. Builds on the skills and knowledge acquired in WL 200.
World Literature & the Challenge of Transience
As scholars remind us, translation, like literary theory, underwrites “our cultural transactions in this multifaceted, globalized world’, yet both remain to some extent, transient modes of understanding. Indeed, when literary theories travel from place to place, they sometimes take on different meanings. For the literary scholar, Edward Said, theories are not just transplanted into new settings, but "transformed by its new uses, its position in a new time & place”; while for the Argentinian author, Jorge Luis Borges, such changes are never fundamental: “I do not write, I rewrite... We are the heirs of millions of scribes who have already written down all that is essential.”
This course explores the ways in which world literary theory navigates between these two positions: are literatures, & the theories by which we understand them, made anew in different cultural contexts, or is there a more stable language of literatures we already share? Moving from formative statements of world literature as a discipline, and reading literary test cases though a series of theoretical outlooks, our classroom conversations will address how notions of the transient come together in language, theory, & fiction.
- Class Participation 10%
- In-Class Paper 15%
- Midterm Exam 30%
- Term Paper 35%
- Short Presentation 10%
David DAMROSCH, World Literature in Theory, Wiley-Blackwell 978-1118407691
Anton CHEKHOV, The Cherry Orchard, TRANS David Mamet, Grove 978-0802130020
Marguerite DURAS, The Lover, TRANS Barbara Bray, Pantheon 978-0375700521
COURSE FILMS: TOUKI BOUKI [SENEGAL] & 8 1/2 [ITALY] & CONTEMPT [FRANCE] & 2046 [HONG KONG]
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