ENG 109 Syllabus Spring 2011

World Literature—Africa, South America, Asia


English 109, 3 credits
Instructor: Dr. Julie Brown
Class Meets: MWF 9-10  T306
Instructor’s Office: T305B
Phone: 338-2471
Office Hours: MWF 11-12, T Th 12-1

Description:  This quarter we will read a sampling of the literature written in the developing world, including texts from Africa, Asia, and South America.  We will read folk tales, poetry, short stories, novels, and watch a couple of movies.  We will examine a few primary texts from each region, but will also look at how colonialism has imparted a cross-pollination of cultures.  For example, Marguerite Duras’ novel looks at Vietnam through the eyes of a French girl, and Jamaica Kincaid is a black Caribbean author living in the United States.

Emphasis will be on reading the works, discussing them, and trying to analyze possible meanings. There will be several short reading quizzes and three projects.  Because the heart of this course is the lively discussion of literature, your attendance, preparation, and participation are very important. 

Central Theme of the Course—Self/Other:
Men/Women—love, hate, sex, patriarchy, family, marriage, childbirth
Us/Them—class systems, race, ethnic identity, law, language, translation, power, colonialization
Here/There—boundaries, war, travel, homeland, colonies

Objectives:  Upon successful completion of the course you will be able to
1) read and understand a literary text from a developing nation
2) articulate the meaning of a text in group discussion
3) analyze the meaning of a text in writing
4) increase your reading pleasure
5) use the language and process of literary criticism
6) understand the post-colonial period of World Literary History (Africa, Asia, South America)
7) understand the context of post-colonial culture (including history, geography, art, music, religion, politics) and how it helps deepen our understanding of World Literature


Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Heinemann Book of Contemporary African Short Stories (or handouts if book is out of print)
Marguerite Duras, The Lover
Gabriel Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
Short stories and poems given as handouts

Assignments and Grading:
25%  reading quizzes
25%  Africa project
25%  Asia project
25%  South America project
90-100% A, 80-89% B, 70-79% C, 60-69% D, 0-59% F

Course Policies: I do not have an attendance policy for this class.  I strongly urge you to come every day, however, so your participation grade is not penalized.  No makeups on quizzes, exams, or in-class projects unless you have a real emergency and make arrangements with me ahead of time.  Otherwise, if you are absent you will receive a 0 for that assignment. I do not accept late work—assignments that come in after the due date will receive 60% of possible credit.  If you have a real emergency (such as death in family), talk to me before the due date to possibly make other arrangements.

As a courtesy to your fellow students and your teacher, please do not text or use cell phones in class.  It is also distracting when people get up and leave in the middle of class.

Schedule—Spring 2011—Brown

Mar. 28 M introduction, syllabus
30 W movie: Rabbit Proof Fence
Apr. 1 F finish Rabbit Proof Fence

4 M introduction to Africa
6 W Things Fall Apart
8 F Things Fall Apart

11 M Things Fall Apart
13 W African short stories (handouts)
15 F African short stories

18 M African folk tales (handouts)
20 W African poems (handouts)
22 F African Project Due

25 M The Lover
27 W The Lover
29 F Asian poems (handouts)

May 2 M Indian short stories (handout)
4 W Indian short stories
6 F Asian Project Due

South America
9 M One Hundred Years
11 W One Hundred Years
13 F One Hundred Years

16 M One Hundred Years
18 W One Hundred Years
20 F South American poetry (handout)

23 M South American short stories (handout)
25 W South American short stories (handout)
27 F South American Project Due

30 M Memorial Day—no school
Jun. 1 W finish Whale Rider
3 F finish Whale Rider

Last Updated: 
March 16, 2011, 2:03 pm
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