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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2007

E 383L • World Lit/Globalism: Thry/Prac

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36170 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
MEZ 2.124

Course Description

This course combines practical considerations of curriculum design and classroom practice with a crucial topic in comtemporary comparative literary theory. That degree programs, at both the undergraduate and the graduate level, in whichever modern languages and area studies concentrations need to address a diasporic and global definition of literature is a given of the geopolitical and cultural contexts and the academic concerns of the twenty-first century. That comparatists are distinctively equipped to undertake this daunting project is manifest, given the discipline's tradition of methodologically self-conscious interlinguistic study. Both of these arguments define the debate on the place and role of language and literature studies within today's universities solidly in comparative literary terms. Programs in Comparative Literature are being invited to embrace this challenge and to address the need for interlinguistic and interdisciplinary courses of study. Of course, such courses will always exceed the possible expertise of any single instructor, but there is a curricular graduate solution to the underlying quandary of occidental methodology and world primary textuality.

Drawing on the contemporary debate about "World literature" undergraduate courses and over the "canon" of literary theory, this course will assess both the challenge and the potential of teaching a boldly interdisciplinary world curriculum, which includes not only ethnic and third world literature and literatures from widely varied language groups. In addition to questions of translation and contextetutalization, we will be attentive to the theoretical underpinnings by which western literary theory inflects and defines curricular and critical choices even in a world literary context. Is it enough to undertake a conscientious array of "primary" texts or are there methodologies embedded in our very notion of literature, poetics, representation which need to be examined, adjusted, hybridized even for an undergraduate curriculum? Should the teaching world literature at the undergraduate level involve a rethinking at the theoretical level so as to bridge the gap between on occidental methodology and a world content in the classroom? What role does technology in the classroom play? Practical examples of such curricular adaptations will be suggested based on the curricula of UT's English 316K, "Master Works of Literature: World." This course should be of interest to graduate students in literature interested in translation, globalism, interdisciplinarity, multi-media approaches to teaching, and pedagogy.


Readings in several world literature anthologies, including Norton, Longman, and Bedford; critical texts from nineteenth century texts such as Shelley's Defense and Goethe's essay on Weltliteratur to Damrosch's What is World Literature, including modern commentaries by critics such as Birkerts, Bloom, Easthope, Guillory, Lefevre, and Robinson, as well as essays on specific regional and ethnic contexts.


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