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Narrative Across Cultures

ENGL 103.401
also offered as: COML 125, NELC 180, SAST 124, THAR 105
TR 1:30-3pm

Course Online: Synchronous Format

How does literature both connect cultures across time and space and speak about what is specific to each culture? In this course we will read several types of narratives written in different periods and in different parts of the world, ranging from ancient Greek and Sanskrit drama to modern African, Latin American and South Asian fiction and graphic novels. We will discuss the different techniques of storytelling, and what attitudes to love and war, sexuality and power, tradition and rebellion are inscribed in these stories. In this way, we will consider how literature reveals historical connections and conversations across cultures, as well as asks large philosophical questions shared across cultures.


Texts will likely include Sophicles, Antigone; Kalidasa Shakuntala; William Shakespeare Othello; Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold; Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis; Ama Ata Aidoo, Our Sister Killjoy; Tayib Salih, Season of Migration to the North and Shyam Selvadurai Funny Boy 


Fulfills Sector 1, 2 and 6 of the English Standard Major; Sector III: Arts & Letters, and Cross Cultural Requirement of the College's General Education Curriculum


We will meet synchronously for one session a week. The asynchronous sessions will consist of either a  lecture posted in advance (which you will respond to with a short canvas post which will be used as the basis of class discussion in the next session) or group work. The synchronous sessions will consist of in-class discussions. You will be required to keep your cameras on. You will develop three of your posts into short papers (2-3 pages). There will be a final exam at the end of the semester. Regular attendance and consistent class participation will count for 30% of your grade; the three short papers for 30% and the final exam for 40%. 

fulfills requirements
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Sector III: Arts & Letters of the College's General Education Curriculum
Cross Cultural Requirement of the College's General Education Curriculum