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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

World Literature

english department

ENGLISH ELECTIVES OFFERED SPRING 2017

ENGL2202 Beast Literature (Spring:3.0)

From Mother Goose’s fairy tales to lolcats, we imagine animals often speaking as we do. But what are we saying when we use animals to talk with and about one another? And what does literature featuring articulate animals say about our attitudes towards humans, animals, and the lines we draw between them? This course explores “beast literature” in its various forms (fable, comedy, the novel, epic, debate poetry, etc), examining its incarnations through ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval Europe, and the modern world.

Christopher Polt

SLAV2163 Post-Soviet Russian Literature (Fall:3.0)
Cross Listed with: ENGL2224

Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, dramatic cultural shifts have transformed Russian literature—writers no longer work under the “red pencil” of censorship, but like writers in the West, under the “censorship” of the marketplace. Crime fiction vies with more highbrow literature, and post-modern themes and devices prevail among a younger generation less influenced by a classical or Soviet heritage. Diversity (e.g., gender and ethnic identities), newly acquired tastes, and a predictable tension between Soviet and post-Soviet values characterize works by Boris Akunin, Valeriia Narbikova, Viktor Pelevin, Nina Sadur, Vladimir Sorokin, Olga Slavnikova, and Liudmila Ulitskaia.

Cynthia Simmons, Maxim D. Shrayer

SLAV2173 Twentieth-Century Russian Literature (in translation) (Spring:3.0)
Cross Listed with: ENGL2228 Readings and lectures in English
Undergraduate major elective. Russian major requirement

Study of major landmarks of Russian literature in light of Russia's turbulent history in the twentieth century. Works by Akhmatova, Babel, Belyi, Berberova, Bunin, Venedikt Erofeev, Gladkov, Olesha, Platonov, Solzhenitsyn, Trifonov, and others.

RLRL2292 Modern Middle Eastern and Arabic Literature (Spring:3.0)
Cross Listed with: ENGL2348, NELC2161 All works are read in English translation.

This course examines the complex, multicultural nature of the Middle East by surveying twentieth century literature of Arabic-speaking lands, Israel, and Turkey. Topics include identity, culture, religion, nationalism, conflict, and minority narratives. Of Arabic works, we will read at the writings of Adonis, Darwish, and Qabbani. Of Hebrew works, we will examine the writings of Amichai and Bialik. Of the works written French, English, Kurdish, Syriac, Turkish, and various Middle Eastern dialects, we will survey the writings of Andree Chedid, Mario Levi, Charles Corm, Louis Awad, Said Akl, and Orhan Pamuk.

Franck Salameh

GERM2240 King Arthur in German Literature (Spring:3.0)
Cross Listed with: ENGL3304
Conducted in English with all texts in English translation.
Counts toward German major, German minor, and German Studies minor.

A study centering on the most popular and enduring of all medieval legendary figures. We will examine the early texts from which the Arthurian mythology took root and contributed to the eventual spread into Germany of the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. We will then focus on a close reading of four or five of the most significant Arthurian romances within the German tradition. In addition, we will systematically trace the relationship between this highly idealized world of literary knighthood and real-life contemporary historical and social events of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Michael Resler

GERM2240 King Arthur in German Literature (Spring:3.0)
Cross Listed with: ENGL3304

Conducted in English with all texts in English translation. 
Counts toward German major, German minor, and German Studies minor.
A study centering on the most popular and enduring of all medieval legendary figures. We will examine the early texts from which the Arthurian mythology took root and contributed to the eventual spread into Germany of the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. We will then focus on a close reading of four or five of the most significant Arthurian romances within the German tradition. In addition, we will systematically trace the relationship between this highly idealized world of literary knighthood and real-life contemporary historical and social events of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
Michael Resler

ENGL3336 Novels of the World (Spring:3.0)

Focus on contemporary novels by authors from various places across the globe. We will explore the ideas, narrative structures, and styles of writers such as Mahfouz (Egypt), Kundera (former Czechoslovakia), Sebald (Germany), Pamuk (Turkey), Hosseini (Afghanistan), Tahar Ben Jelloun (Morocco), and Coetzee (South Africa). Through close reading, we will examine the aesthetic dimension of each novel, comparing the books as we proceed. We will also be attuned to their political, social, and historical dimensions. With as much sensitivity as possible, we will address questions of cultural difference. Relevant post-colonial and psychoanalytic theory will also be included.

Frances Restuccia

ENGL4435 Global Anglophone Literatures: Asia, Africa, and the Middle East
Fulfills the Cultural Diversity Core Requirement

This course opens a wealth of contemporary literature from the non-Western world mainly Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia that have expanded readers’ imaginations and enriched the English language in a variety of genres. We shall read fiction and non-fiction alongside cultural theory to deepen our understanding of the political, economic, and environmental issues that arise in these lands and the ways in which they impact the daily lives of people as delineated by some of the world’s most acclaimed authors. Readings may include works by Adhaf Souief (Egypt), Hisham Matar (Libya), Leila Aboulela (Sudan), Xiaolu Guo (China), Amitav Ghosh (India), Romesh Gunesekera (Sri Lanka), Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan), Samrat Upadhyay (Nepal), and others.

Kalpana Seshadri

ENGL4435 Global Anglophone Literatures: Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (Spring:3.0)

 

This course opens a wealth of contemporary literature from the non-Western world mainly Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia that have expanded readers’ imaginations and enriched the English language in a variety of genres. We shall read fiction and non-fiction alongside cultural theory to deepen our understanding of the political, economic, and environmental issues that arise in these lands and the ways in which they impact the daily lives of people as delineated by some of the world’s most acclaimed authors. Readings may include works by Adhaf Souief (Egypt), Hisham Matar (Libya), Leila Aboulela (Sudan), Xiaolu Guo (China), Amitav Ghosh (India), Romesh Gunesekera (Sri Lanka), Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan), Samrat Upadhyay (Nepal), and others.

Kalpana Seshadri

ENGL4460 ATS: Global Crossroads in Eighteenth-Century Literature
Fulfills the pre-1900 requirement

Caribbean sugar, Indian spices, Chinese silk, and African gold, what was eighteenth-century "Britain" made of? The era's literature has a reputation for being obsessively nationalistic, even xenophobic. But given the influx of global goods into the country, what stories, discourses, and ideas might have come along with them? In this seminar, we will consider some international roots of the British literary tradition. The syllabus includes works by Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Samuel Johnson, and Olaudah Equiano. We will use criticism and supplementary materials from early modern Asia and Africa to situate these texts in global contexts.

Rebekah Mitsein

 

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