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The Global Novel

ENGL 0022.601
also offered as: COML 0022
Monday 5:15-8:14pm

How does fiction make sense of globalization and its uneven effects upon the world? And how do the histories of race and empire shape the contemporary novel? This course will introduce students to literatures beyond Europe and the United States by surveying the rich landscape of twentieth and twenty-first century Asian, African, and diasporic writing. Paying close attention to the formal aspects of storytelling, we will examine how novels represent the dizzying scale of a globe in crisis through innovations in language, plot, and form. Together we will learn about literary and popular genres—magical realism, dystopia, the bildungsroman, allegory, crime, and self-help—to appreciate how the novel has transformed in response to global economic and political upheaval. Students will be introduced to and learn how to apply theories of the novel, racial capitalism, Marxism, and postcolonialism. Authors may include Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, NoViolet Bulawayo, Karen Tei Yamashita, Nuruddin Farah, and Ling Ma. Assignments will include a close reading assignment, a class presentation, a keywords project, and a final research paper.

This introduction to literary study examines a compelling literary theme by attending to texts from around the globe. The theme's function within multiple historical and regional contexts, within literary history generally, and within contemporary culture, will all be emphasized. In presenting a range of materials and perspectives, this course is an ideal introduction to literary study. See the English Department's website at for a description of the current offerings.

Some seats in this course have been reserved for LPS Students. If seats are available, you will be able to register freely. If seats are not available, you should continue to try to register in the case that someone may drop the course. On the first day of the session, any remaining seats will be opened for all students. Permits will not be issued if the course has been filled. Please do not contact the instructor, department or LPS for permits. Permits will not be issued.


English Major Requirements
  • Sector 2 Difference and Diaspora (AEDD)
  • Sector 6 20th & 21st Centuries (AE20)
English Concentration Attributes
  • 20th-21st Century Concentration (AE21)
College Attributes
  • Sector III: Arts & Letters (AUAL)
  • Foundational Approach: Cross Cultural Analysis (AUCC)