Spring 2021 - WL 309 D100

Empire and Resistance (4)

Reflections on Civil War

Class Number: 6381

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



Juxtaposes the narratives of imperial conquest and colonial resistance. May focus on one particular imperial history or compare several. May feature narratives of rebellion and independence, national and/or postcolonial identity, or imperial nostalgia. This course may be repeated for credit when different topics are offered. Breadth-Humanities.


PLEASE NOTE: Course delivery is blended, with the synchronous component from 10:30- 12:20, Wednesdays. Students will also have asynchronous work to complete in their own time. 


This course examines literary works based on 20th c. European civil wars. It succinctly surveys three paradigms (Spanish, Greek and Yugoslav) by initially making references to the historical background in order to study literary works emerging from different national contexts with a focus on an individual’s reflection on civil war. It subsequently addresses themes that emerge from this examination, e.g. gender, identity, sameness/difference, memory, fact and fiction. In the process, references and comparisons are made to artistic and filmic representations of civil war in the given cultural contexts.


  • Participation 15%
  • Presentation 15%
  • Take Home Exam 35%
  • Term Paper 35%



Hemingway, E. 1995. For Whom the Bell Tolls. New York: Scribner. ISBN 9780684803357

Orwell, G. 2000. Homage to Catalonia. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 9781604443493

Kazantzakis, N. 1985. The Fratricides. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780571105069 (purchase online)

Valtinos, T. The Descent of the Nine. 1973. (available online/ JSTOR)

Sacco, J. 2000. Safe area GoraĹžde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995. Fantagraphics Books. ISBN 9781560974703

Todorovic, D. The Book of Revenge: A Blues for Yugoslavia. Random House. 2006. 9780679313977


Glenny M. 1996. The fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War (3rd ed., revised). London: Penguin Books.

Preston, P. 2009. We saw Spain die: foreign correspondents in the Spanish Civil War (revised and expanded edition). London: Constable and Robinson.

Benson, F. R. 1967. Writers in Arms: The Literary Impact of the Spanish Civil War. New York, NY: New York University Press.

Close, D. H. (ed.). 1993. The Greek Civil War, 1943–1950: Studies of Polarisation. New York: Routledge.

Gareth, T. 1990. The Novel of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1975). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Halpern, J. M. and Kideckel, D. A. (eds). 2000. Neighbors at War: Anthropological Perspectives on Yugoslav Ethnicity, Culture and History. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press.

McDonald, S., Holden, P., and Ardener, S. (eds.). 1987. Images of Women in Peace and War. Oxford: Macmillan.

Woodhouse, C. M. 1985. Apple of Discord: a Survey of recent Greek Politics in their International Setting.Reston, Va.: W. B. O'Neill.

Registrar Notes:


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Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).