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1 Proposal: number 20

20. CMLIT 102W: Global Literatures II

Contact:Christopher Winks
Abstract:Among the distinctive contributions of the always open and diversified field of
Comparative Literature to a liberal education has been its emphasis on what has
been called the “worlding” of literature, the various ways in which literature
helps us to see and understand the world we live in and its multiple pasts,
presents, and futures, and on the importance of textual analysis and
translation as communicating vessels between languages and cultures. This
course and its companion, Global Literatures I, aim to provide students with a
greater awareness of the global cultural contexts in which literary works are
created (which is intended to enhance rather than diminish consideration of the
aesthetic qualities of these texts). The course draws its assigned readings
from roughly the 16th century C.E. to the present day, focusing on the
increasing complexity of transcultural encounters that, taken together,
constitute the modern world.

This is intended to be a variable-topics course, and its instructor(s) will
have broad leeway to shape its specific content and emphases in a given
semester, while preserving a cross-cultural, comparative orientation that
situates the selected texts in the wider world(s) of their marking. Sample
topics could be: Representations of the Individual,
Discoveries/Encounters/Conquests, The Literature of War, Love in the Modern
World, The Literature of Exile, Representations of Death, The Modern Epic, etc.

Sample Topic:

Colonialism/Anti-Colonialism. One of the major struggles that shaped what we
know as the “modern world” involved a conflict between the people and ideas
that constituted the colonial project - the occupation, expropriation, and
forced exploitation by European (and later United States) capitalism of entire
peoples and regions of the globe in the name of “civilization” and “economic
development” - and those who were subjected to this regime of control.

For all
their failings in certain regards, anti-colonial struggles, which intensified
during the post-World War II era in Africa and Asia, did succeed in changing
the map and the way we look at the world now. Some say that we are now in a
postcolonial order, and others that colonialism is still very much with us in
new forms. In order to make sense of these debates, and the present global
moment as a whole, it is useful to examine the literature that came out of
colonialism and the resistance to it. Beginning with the Martiniquan poet AimЋ
CЋsaire’s violent denunciation of the racism and dehumanization integral to the
theory and practice of colonialism, this course juxtaposes representative (and
frequently critical) literary writings by carriers of the colonial project with
works by those brought up under colonialism and prepared to use its own weapons
(including literary ones) to undermine and destroy it.

drawn from
the Caribbean, South Asia, Central and Eastern Africa, and the Maghreb (North

Submissions and Approvals

Course Date Requirement Action By Whom Notes
CMLIT 102W 2008-04-14 RL Submitted Dept
CMLIT 102W 2008-04-14 WC Submitted Dept
CMLIT 102W 2008-09-03 RL Approved GEAC
CMLIT 102W 2008-09-03 WC Approved GEAC
CMLIT 102W 2008-09-11 RL Approved UCC
CMLIT 102W 2008-09-11 WC Approved UCC
CMLIT 102W 2008-10-02 RL Approved Senate
CMLIT 102W 2008-10-02 WC Approved Senate