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

Fall 2004

T C E 603A • E 603A: Composition and Reading in World Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
31945 MWF
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
CAL 323

Course Description

This course is an exploration of world literature that crosses many disciplines—Classics, Area Studies (i.e. Middle Eastern Studies, South Asian Studies, African Studies, etc.), comparative literature, even English. The goal is to build analytical tools, to introduce students to a varied, introductory canon of world literature, and to challenge students to develop a complex, informed view of the world through literature. The course will be structured around a number of segments, where, for 4-6 class weeks we will sustain a literary topic. For instance, we may do a comparative segment on the epic, evaluating The Iliad against The Mahabharata from India, The Tale of the Heike from Japan, The Shaname from Persia, and Sundiata from the African Mali Empire. At one point we will use modern literature to challenge the assumptions in the Classics (see Wolf’s Cassandra, Cesaire’s A Tempest, Peter Brook’s staging of The Mahabharata). The second semester will be devoted largely to examining threads of world literature. The development of the literature of the Indian sub-continent, for instance. I hope to have sufficient time for three of these segments—students will help to choose which global areas we will examine. Film texts will be a significant component of the course.

About the Professor Doherty’s research interests currently include the introduction of global literature into the English department while avoiding the detrimental aspects of globalization. Sub-topics vary. To supplement his meager income, Doherty is currently working on a workout video in which world literature anthologies are used as weights. American and British Anthologies can be substituted to work different muscles. There is a family at home. Also, two dogs. Dogs are ridiculous creatures really, but it’s amusing to watch them run around. And they’re always so happy to see you come home!

Grading Policy

Participation in seminar discussion. Research and presentation on a culture/tradition/literary era. One trip to the library, where the research material appears on sheets of paper bound together instead on computer screens. Periodic short papers, some of a creative nature, some of a research nature, some of an analytical nature. A paper for the end of spring to be the culmination of the year. (8-10 pages). A detailed prospectus for year-end paper.


Longman Anthology of World Literature, Vol. 1. Antiquity to the Renaissance. Christa Wolf, Cassandra Aime Cesaire, A Tempest Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 An anthology of International Modern Short Stories (TBA) A substantial work (novel, poetry collection) by the winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize for literature Other novels in the international tradition to be decided


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