Like the experience of travel, literature offers us profound insights into our own culture and the cultures of others. In this course, we will study a rich selection of literary works from the 20th and 21st century in a range of genres including short stories, poetry, and essays from countries we visit, in English translation.
We will examine literature and culture across national and linguistic boundaries, in a comparative perspective. We will explore the connections of written and oral literature with other disciplines such as history, philosophy, politics, and literary theory, and with other cultural forms including cinema, music, visual arts and new media. Students will be expected to carefully read literary and critical texts before coming to class, participate actively in class discussion, write several short essays and a final research paper or multimedia a project comparing two or more works from different literary and cultural traditions.
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
- Explain the practice of comparative literature, what it means to study texts in relation to other disciplines and other texts, considering the languages in which they were written
- Define and describe the characteristics of literary genres including specific poetic forms, short story, and essay
- Analyze connections between specific texts and broader cultural and media contexts, both historical and contemporary
- Explain how diverse experiences (nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, class, etc.) shape literary expression
- Communicate your ideas and arguments clearly in speech and writing
- Cite sources correctly