This course presents an introduction to the study of literature in an international context. It offers training in the close reading, analysis, and interpretation of literature within a comparative context. We will explore the lure of myth and history, the catalysts and consequences of inter-cultural contact, and the relationships between race, gender, and canon formation, all while reading extraordinary works of literature from a variety of time periods and geographical areas. Readings will range from the powerful tragedy of Aeschylus' Persians to Tsitsi Dangarembga's disturbingly provocative Nervous Conditions, to the shimmering literacy of Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient, and more. In addition to regular lectures and sections meetings, several films screenings will also be required -- location and times tba.