Fall 2019 - WL 100 D100

What is World Literature? (3)

Class Number: 1341

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    WMC 3220, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 13, 2019
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    AQ 3003, Burnaby



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.


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FICTION has long investigated 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 classic dramatization of the threatening boundaries between public virtues & private passions, we learn to see how the problem of the self in WORLD LITERATURE acquires new metaphors as it travels from place to place.  Following our introduction to the ethics of the body, we explore Oyono’s 20th Century novella of race & hypocrisy in Africa; Eileen Chang’s Hong Kong stories; Marguerite Duras’s exploration of love across racial lines; &, lastly, we view the “Summer 1966” segment of the Italian film La meglio gioventù (The Best of Youth). Each of our short texts and film segments contemplate how cultural & personal outlooks change when they are forced into the open; and each explores the same question: if ‘language is the main instrument of man’s refusal to accept the world as it is,’ how might crossing boundaries be a way of rebelling against difference?


  • 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
  • Ability to undertake comparisons across different cultural media


  • Short Paper 15%
  • Presentation 15%
  • Participation 15%
  • Term Paper 25%
  • Final Exam 30%



[PROVIDED]                       La meglio gioventù     ITALY 2003           (The Best of Youth)


Hippolytus, Euripides ( trans. R. Bagg ). Oxford.
ISBN: 978-0195072907

HouseboyFerdinand Oyono. Waveland.
ISBN: 978-1577669883

Love in a Fallen CityZhang Ailing / Eileen Chang. NYRB.
ISBN: 978-1590171783

The Lover, Marguerite Duras. Pantheon. 
ISBN: 978-0375700521

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