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Globalization and the Fate of Literature

ENGL 395.301
instructor(s):
TR 12-1:30

What is happening to literary culture as new systems and technologies of exchange alter the world order within which literature is produced and consumed? This course will consider a range of contemporary English-language novels (and films adapted from novels) in the context of recent debates among economists, sociologists, historians, and anthropologists over global patterns of cultural influence and exchange and the rise of "global English." We will read work by some of the major scholars who have contributed to these debates, including Arjun Appadurai, Anthony Giddens, David Harvey, Eric Hobsbawm, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Franco Moretti, Saskia Sassen, Arundhati Roy, and Immanuel Wallerstein. These writings will provide the framework for our consideration of recent English-language novels and films from various parts of the world. The exact syllabus is yet to be determined, but is likely to include some of the following: Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters, Salman Rushdie's Shame, Keri Hulme's The Bone People, J.M Coetzee's Disgrace, Michael Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost, Nuruddin Farah's Maps, Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting (and the Danny Boyle film adaptation), Kazuo Ishiguro's Remains of the Day (and the James Ivory film adaptation). Written assignments will include two short research reports and two essays; there will also be several exams. The course is intended as an introduction; no previous coursework in these areas is required or expected. It is open to all honors students in Wharton or in the College, and to others if space permits.