Spring 2020 - WL 300 D100

How Ideas Travel (4)

Class Number: 8109

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    BLU 11901, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including WL 200.



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.


               “the floating life is but as a dream; how much longer can we enjoy our happiness?”
 --Li Bai / Tang Dynasty

Stories, films, and poems tend to change their meanings as they cross from one culture to another, but what of the way that a work’s “meaning” is understood? This course asks what happens when the way that a novel or film makes sense is challenged in a new national setting? Such questions imply that literature and its interpretations are always transient, that they never cease to change as they travel around the globe – our class conversations will focus on this issue.    

Moving from formative statements of world literature as a discipline, and reading literary works and watching world films though a series of theoretical perspectives, this course explores how notions of the transient come together in language, criticism, and a rich selection of global narratives.  


  • Class Participation 10%
  • In-Class Paper 15%
  • Midterm Test 20%
  • Short Presentation 20%
  • Term Paper 35%



FILMS [Provided]

Federico FELLINI [2:18]         WONG Kar Wai 2046 [2:09]           Julian SCHNABEL Diving Bell & Butterfly [1:52]


W G SEBALD   The Emigrants (New Directions)
ISBN: 978-0811226141

Kobo Abe  The Woman in the Dunes (Penguin)
ISBN: 978-0141188522

Registrar Notes:

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