Fall 2021 - WL 303 D100

Global Culture and Its Discontents (4)

Class Number: 7137

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    RCB 7300, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



Explores the tendencies of globalization in the cultural realm, which while sparking cross-border communication, also tends to flatten identities into a coercive global norm. Focuses on writing in contexts of political oppression, digital communities, censorship, cultural displacement, terrorism and/or warfare. Breadth-Humanities.


In this course, we will examine how food –its production, preparation, and consumption– is utilized in works of fiction to highlight drastic cultural displacement and personal discontent, as well as to hold a mirror up to a globalized world where distinct cultural identities run the risk of collapsing into an anonymous, unstable entity. Among others, we will study the following themes relating to the postmodern subject’s complex relationship with food: body image and eating disorders as articulated in Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman; cultural displacement and its ties to national/regional food in Antonio Tabucchi’s Requiem: A Hallucination; the inextricable link between food and memory in Laia Jufresa’s Umami, as well as the moral dimensions of eating an “ethical” diet as expounded by J. M. Coetzee in The Lives of Animals.


  • Attendance and Participation 10%
  • Oral Report and 5-page paper 20%
  • Midterm 15%
  • Final Paper (10 pages) 25%
  • Final Exam 30%



1) Margaret Atwood, The Edible Woman.

2) Antonio Tabucchi, Requiem: A Hallucination.

3) J. M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals.

4) Laia Jufresa, Umami.

Additional material will be provided by the instructor.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.