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1 Proposal: number 147

147. ENGL 255: Global Literatures in English

Contact:Wayne Moreland
Authors:Thomas Frosch
Wayne Moreland
Abstract:Catalog description: This course is a historical study of the diversity of
modern and contemporary Anglophone and related literatures translated into
English encompassing the transnational and postcolonial nature of much modern
writing in English.

As a consequence of their reading, their research, their discussion, and their
writing of and about texts from a vast range of authors from a wide range of
locales and writing in a language that is resplendent in its diversity and
adaptability, students will become conversant with a myriad of linguistic and
literary traditions and the socio-historic circumstances that shape these
writers and their response to the world. The class will examine a wide range of
prose styles and narrative approaches, from realism to Тmagic realismУ and
will also pay particular attention to the varied approaches to language the
writers employ. We will read the highly polished prose of one of the
acknowledged masters of English language writing, James Joyce; weХll read the
writing of the Polish-born novelist, Conrad; the hybrid languages of Diaz,
Rushdie, Smith; the magical and fantastical language of Garcia Marquez. The
assumption of this class is that each writerХs style and language use is the
result not only of his or her aesthetic choices but also the writerХs place
in time and the writerХs response to the form of English available (the
obvious exception is Garcia Marquez, whose work weХll read in translation).
Therefore, we will be trying to understand how the writer uses his or her
resources to create meaning, and, moreover, meaning through what in each case
is a ТborrowedУ language.
We shall also take a sampling of the critical literature as it abuts our
The writings are chosen for their importance and for their ability to be framed
as representative of trends,concerns, and literary value. Central to this
course is an understanding and an appreciation of the various forms of English
that are used by peoples and cultures from around the world, and the
corresponding understanding that these usages are the result of historical
forces and processes that surface in the very definition of diversity The
course may include works that were originally written in other languages but
which have had tremendous impact upon Anglophone writers and are vital to
understanding the themes of the course.. Students will read poetry, short
fiction, novels, plays, essays, political studies, autobiographies, and travel
narratives. In addition, the course offers a sampling of theoretical reading
and readings in criticism.

This course seeks to challenge students by posing offering questions for their
consideration: What are the qualities of a national literature? How do writers
of different backgrounds respond to similar circumstances? What are the
difficulties inherent in forming a literary language from the leavings of
colonialism? What are the effects of exile or diaspora upon the literary
imagination? How does the writer make use of his or her own Тnational
cultureУ? Or, conversely, what is his or her relationship to a metropolitan
culture? How are the realities of race and class confronted in individual
texts? Is the writer a spokesperson for Тhis peopleУ? Or should she be?
The course seeks to confront these questions through close readings of primary
texts that would include fiction, non-fiction prose, poetry, and drama; the
course will also allow and encourage students to read these texts through a
critical lens provided by various critics and theorists. The students will be
engaged in discussion, in research projects, provide oral presentation, use
electronic media, and, of course, through their own writing.

Submissions and Approvals

Course Date Requirement Action By Whom Notes
ENGL 255 2009-11-23 RL Submitted Dept
ENGL 255 2009-11-23 WC Submitted Dept
ENGL 255 2010-02-03 RL Approved GEAC
ENGL 255 2010-02-03 WC Approved GEAC
ENGL 255 2010-04-08 RL Approved UCC
ENGL 255 2010-04-08 WC Approved UCC
ENGL 255 2010-05-06 RL Approved Senate
ENGL 255 2010-05-06 WC Approved Senate