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

Fall 2005

T C E603A • Composition and Reading in World Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32205 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
CRD 007A

Course Description

The general purpose of the course will be to expose students to a wide range of global literatures in literary and historical contexts. Rather than try to cover the globe, we will work in sections on concentrated areas of literature. Active reading of the text will be encouraged through a highly interactive approach with the texts. For instance, near the beginning of our first section on Greek literature, students will be responsible, in groups, to produce a section of Euripide's The Bacchae. We will have a "Festival Dionysia" to determine the winner of the contest. We will conclude with excerpts from The Iliad, and then read Christa Wolfs novel Cassandra (1988), which sets the war in Troy, from the vantage points of key women in that city. A section on the French Revolution will begin with a Reacting to the Past role playing game (see, in which students read Edmund Burke, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and other relevant texts, and take parts as King Louis XVI, Lafayette, leaders of the Jacobins, etc., and enact some of the social and intellectual arguments of the day. We will follow the game with a reading of George Büchners Dantons Death, Jean Genets The Balcony, and a screening of Peter Brooks Marat/Sade. The last reading of the semester will be a work by the winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for literature, which may be obscure as last years winner Elfriede Jelinek, but may be as well known as Philip Roth. If time permits, we will begin a foray into one of our other cultures of interest, perhaps to coincide with theater events in Austin, matters of current interest, or matters of strong student interest. Our second semester will include a segment on India, which will begin with a Reacting to the Past featuring India at the verge of Independence, with literature from Muslim, Hindu, British and other cultures, and factors from the same populations. We follow with other works from India, including Salman Rushdies Midnights Children, some shorter stories, and the film Earth. We continue with an extended look at pre- and post-colonial literatures of Africa, (Achebe, Things Fall Apart, Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions, and time permitting, a couple of other novels or plays of international interest.

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 dogs bark, which, in his opinion, Needs to be more doglike.

Grading Policy

Five short papers of literary analysis of the texts (2-4 pages each; some will be subject to revision): 70% Class participation, effective presence in games, and productions: 20% Brief in-class writing assignments or quizzes: 10%


Course packet: Reacting to the Past: The French Revolution. (Longman's Press) Christa Wolf, Cassandra Euripides, Bacchae (tr. Woodruff) George Büchner. Dantons Death Jean Genet, The Balcony Some texts will be placed on reserve at the Perry Casteneda Library and online at Electronic Reserves. Other texts, like the Nobel Prize Book, will be required.


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