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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Spring 2006

T C E603B • Composition and Reading in World Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32635 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
CAL 323

Course Description

The course will take the notion of world literature and apply it to two cultures with great importance to the contemporary world. We begin with India and the mythological foundations in the ancient epics of The Mahabharata and the Ramayana (including a view of contemporary re-visions). Before entering a month-long series on the issue of the partition of India, we will look at three different backgrounds in Indian literature (ghazals, Rabindranath Tagore, Premchand). The "reacting to the past" will build on this interactive "game, and we will follow with the film Earth, and several short stories in which partition is central. The second half of the course will follow the African oral tradition and the role of the griot, will look at the most influential novel of African identity, and proceed to a contemporary novelist of the first order. It is hoped that these two mini courses will provoke interest in world literature and culture, even that outside of the limits of our reading and research.

About the Professor Professor Doherty's concerns are about the problems of globalization in literature and the dominance of a particular accepted canon of literature, at the expense of what might be called "marginal" or "Minor literatures. In the past, it was Doherty who taught Greg Louganis how to dive, and offered Michael Jordan tips of "taking it inside." Currently he is at work correcting his dog's bark, which, in his opinion, "Needs to be more doglike."

Grading Policy

One research presentation: 10% Two short reaction papers: 20% Participation in "Reacting": 20% Quiz grades: 10% Participation in class discussions: 10% Prospectus for final paper: 5% Final paper (8-12 pages of sustained literary analysis): 25% Students will be penalized 8 points off final average for each class missed beyond their fourth.


Course Reader (available through Abel's Copies) Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, 1945 (part of the "Reacting to the Past" Series) Sunjata: A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples (trans. David C. Conrad Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe The Madonna of Excelsior, Zakes Mda


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