Fall 2022 - WL 100 D100

What is World Literature? (3)

Class Number: 7327

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 5030, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 9, 2022
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    WMC 3210, 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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World Literature & the Boundaries of the Passions

FICTION has long investigated what it is to change one’s social and political location, but what of the movement of our feelings? Beginning with Euripides’ ancient dramatization of the threatening boundaries between public virtue and private passion, this introductory course investigates how notions of the self in WORLD LITERATURE acquire new metaphors as they travel from place to place. Focusing upon the ethics of the body as much as literature’s ability to express what goes on in the mind, we explore Oyono’s classic novel of race and colonial hypocrisy in Africa, Eileen Chang’s Hong Kong stories, and Duras’s searing exploration of love across ethnic lines. Lastly, we review the gothic and supernatural aspects of Mati Diop’s award-winning Senegalese film Atlantique.

Each of our course texts contemplates how personal and national 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 cultural 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


  • Participation 15%
  • In-Class Essay 20%
  • Presentation 10%
  • Term Paper 30%
  • Final Exam 25%





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

FILM  [PROVIDED]  Atlantique            (Mati DIOP director)        SENEGAL 2019      


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


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