Roots and Routes: Introduction to World Literature
This course that focuses on contemporary literature and culture with a particular interest in citizenship, (un)belonging, migrancy, labor, and globalization. Questions this course seeks to debate include: What are the legal, cultural, and economic bonds of citizenship and (un)belonging? What is the impact of these relationships on how we identify as a citizen of a nation? How do they influence the ways we are able to move around the world? How do they complicate the ways we perceive ourselves in relation to economic systems such as globalization? How do gender, ethnic, and sexual identities complicate these relationship of citizenship, belonging, nationhood, migrancy, and labor?
At the same time as our literary and cultural texts guide these discussions, we will ask what makes these texts ‘world’ literature, what that conceptual framework allows, and what it prohibits. We will explore how Anglophone world literature privileges certain kinds of narratives and modes of expression as well as how artists from across the world bring their creativity to bear on the English language.
The Imperial Imaginary
British Literature, 1700 - 1900
In this course, we will trace the development of British colonialism and imperialism through 18th and 19th century British literature and culture. We will pay close attention to the global dimensions of these texts in order to trace England’s trajectory from an emerging political, economic, and cultural player to the empire on which famously “the sun never sets.” This method will allow us to engage both canonical and non-canonical British authors and texts in ways that show the seams of the complicated processes of national and imperial formations. We will debate the changing relations between citizens and subjects within England; competing imperial interests on the global stage; and the rise of global capitalism.
Organized thematically, the course takes up issues of movement and mobility, freedom and unfreedom, human and unhuman. Juxtaposed time periods and perspectives will encourage us to examine the continuities and discontinuities around narratives of colonialism and imperialism.
a first year composition course
This course will help you develop your academic writing abilities through a holistic approach to writing instruction. That means we will treat writing as a system of complex, interconnected activities, not just a set of skills to learn. Rather than envisioning writing as a solitary activity or one that involves a student-instructor dynamic solely, this course offers you a writing community. That means that together we will engage with the writing (academic and otherwise) of a broad range of writers; we will participate in critical conversations about the content and style of these works; your classmates and I will give you feedback on your writing throughout the semester; and you will reflect deeply on your writing, its process, and the ideological concerns raised in both the shared texts as well as your own writing.
Throughout the course, you will notice a focus on borders of different kinds–linguistic, cultural, ideological, political–that shape our identities. This theme guides the selection of reading, listening, and viewing that we will undertake in the course; thus, it will help center our conversations, offer us a shared vocabulary and an analytic perspective, and anchor our written engagement with these ideas.