Globalization Theory and Comtemporary Literature
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 contemporary novels and films in the context of recent debates among economists, sociologists, and historians over globalization. We will read work by some of the major scholars who have contributed to these debates, including excerpts from Anthony Giddens's Consequences of Modernity, Benjamin Barber's Jihad vs. McWorld, Peter Golding and Phil Harris's Beyond Cultural Imperialism, and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's Empire. These writings will provide the framework for our consideration of recent novels and films from various parts of the world: Jessica Hagedorn's Dog Eaters, Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses, J.M Coetzee's Disgrace, Mario Vargas Llosa's Death in the Andes, Amir Nadari's film Manhattan By Numbers, John Woo's film The Killer, and Danny Boyle's film of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting. The course is intended as an introduction; no previous coursework in these areas is required or expected. Students will write a number of brief response papers and two longer essays.