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

Spring 2007

T C 603B • Composition and Reading in World Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
43350 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
BEN 1.126

Course Description

In this course we will read novels of development that highlight the struggle between the individual and society, as he/she tries to negotiate the move from childhood to independence. In many of our readings, the individual's identity will be closely linked to questions of nation and gender, and we will investigate the multiple layers of meaning in these works that define self, society, maturity and development in widely divergent terms. Beginning with Goethes novella, we will read works from a broad selection of movements and nations: German and English Romanticism, French Realism, American Naturalism, European Modernism, African colonialism, South American Magic Realism and post-colonial novels from India and Haiti.

About the Professor

Alexandra Wettlaufer is an associate professor of French and Comparative Literature and specializes in the relationship between painting and literature in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. She received her B.A. from Princeton and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. Her publications include Pen vs Paintbrush: Girodet, Balzac and the Myth of Pygmalion (St Martin's Press, 2001), In the Minds Eye: The Visual Impulse in Prose (Rodopi, 2003) and articles on Baudelaire, Ruskin, Turner, George Sand, and Flora Tristan. She was awarded the Presidents Fellows Teaching Award in 2000.

Grading Policy

This class will be conducted as a seminar; thus each student will be expected to show up for every meeting prepared to discuss the assigned reading. Class participation will count for 20% of the final grade. Each student will write four short papers (3-5 pages), each worth 10% of the final grade and one final paper (8-10 pages) worth 25%. Students will be allowed to rewrite three of their short papers once before receiving a grade. The final paper will not have revisions. Finally, students will give group presentations on the history and culture of the nations whose literature we are studying in order to contextualize our discussions. A grade, worth 15%, will be assigned to the whole group.

Participation: 20%
Four short papers: 40%
Final paper: 25%
Group Presentation: 15%


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Honoré de Balzac, Old Goriot
Kate Chopin, The Awakening
James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Camera Laye, The Dark Child
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
Edwidge Danticat, Breath, Eyes, Memory


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