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C LIT 250 A: Introduction To Comparative Literature: Literature And Culture

Summer Term: 
A-term
Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 10:20am - 12:30pm
Location: 
LOW 116
SLN: 
10621
Instructor:
Photo of Cynthia Steele
Cynthia Steele

Syllabus Description:

images.jpg 

Anil's Ghost 1.jpg

C LIT 250A World Literature:

THE GLOBAL NOVEL

C LIT 250A World Literature: THE GLOBAL NOVEL

Summer 2017

A Term

MTWTh 10:20-12:30

LOEW 116

Prof. Cynthia Steele

cynthias@uw.edu

What do we mean by a ‘global novel’ written in English at the beginning of the twenty-first century? We will explore this question through close readings of two key novels from as many corners of the globe, each moving among multiple geographic and cultural viewpoints to explore the roots of international conflicts, including terrorism and genocide. The British writer David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten (2001) consists of nine disparate but interconnected stories involving a doomsday cultist and terrorist in Okinawa, a record-shop salesman in Tokyo, a haunted lawyer in Hong Kong, an art thief in Petersburg, a tea-shop owner in China, a disembodied intelligence in Mongolia, a physicist in Dublin, a ghostwriter in London, and a late-night jazz DJ in New York. In Canadian novelist Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost (2001), a young woman born in Sri Lanka and educated abroad returns home as a forensic anthropologist, to investigate a murder campaign engulfing the island. The theoretical framework for our reading of these three novels will be provided by Debjani Ganguly’s This Thing Called the World: The Contemporary Novel as Global Form (Duke UP, 2016). We will also compare two films that adopts a similarly intercontinental perspective on contemporary world problems, Cloud Atlas and Babel. Students will write two short essays and keep a reading and viewing journal.

Texts:

Debjani Ganguly, This Thing Called the World: The Contemporary Novel as Global Form. Duke UP, 2016, 082236137X, or kindle, or download for free from UW Library Catalog; David Mitchell, Ghostwritten (Vintage, 2001), 0375724508 or kindle; Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost (Vintage, 2001). The two novels are available for purchase, new or used, from University Bookstore.

Canvas Page:

https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/1145605

Films:

Streaming Links. You will need your UW NetID to access these and other UW Libraries licensed streaming media titles.

DVD WHV 994 Cloud Atlas

http://tinyurl.com/ycl9k9f9

DVD PARA 161 Babel

http://tinyurl.com/yde3wygg

2 Hour Library Use Only:

  1. DVD WHV 994 Cloud Atlas 
  2. DVD PARA 161 Babel

DETERMINATION OF GRADES:

Reading Journal Part 1                        15%

Reading Journal Part 2                        15%

Essay One                                          25%

Essay Two                                          25%

Participation                                       20%

Reading Journal:

Please write between one and two pages, typed, double-spaced, on each of the assigned films and readings; see the complete list under “Assignments: Journal.” Please number your entries and follow the order given in the list. Please submit the two halves of your journal through Canvas by 11 pm on the dates given below.

Analytical Essays:

You will two 4-6-page analytical essays, including a list of works consulted, and incorporating discussion of the films and readings studied in class. In your essay you should analyze one aspect of David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten. For the second essay, you should compare and contrast a different topic in Ghostwritten with the same topic in Anil’s Ghost. Please submit your essays through Canvas by 11 pm on the dates indicated below.

Follow the guidelines of the MLA Handbook and of Linda Hutcheon and Nancy Kang’s “The English Critical Essay”:

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/

http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/language/essay.htm

Please utilize the services of the writing tutors at the Odegaard Writing and Research Center or other campus writing centers. You can make appointments with them online:

https://depts.washington.edu/owrc/signup.php

https://depts.washington.edu/owrc/docs.php

Academic Honesty:

You are responsible for understanding and observing the UW guidelines regarding academic honesty. All your written work will be submitted through Canvas, which utilizes VeriCite to detect and provide a detailed report on any instances of plagiarism. Please let me know if you have any questions about this.

Students with Disabilities:

To request accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, (206) 543-8924 ((V/TTY). If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating that you have a disability that requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to me so we can discuss such accommodations.

CALENDAR

Date

In class

Film: Watch Before Class

WEEK 1

JUNE

Mon

19

Introduction

 

Mitchell, Ghostwritten, Ch 1-2, pp.   1-62

Ganguly, Introduction, pp 1-37

Tues

20

 

Ghostwritten

Mitchell, Ch 3-4, pp. 63-146

A1. Barnard

 

Wed

21

 

Mitchell, Ch 5-6, pp. 149-254

Ganguly pp 87-97

A2. Schoene

Watch Cloud Atlas

over the weekend

Thurs

22

 

 

WEEK TWO

Mon

26

 

Discuss Cloud Atlas Film

 

Mitchell, Ch 7-8, pp. 257-371

A3. Selisker

A4. Parker on Cloud Atlas

Tues

27

 

Mitchell, Ch 9-10, pp. 375-426

Ganguly pp 97-109

A5. Shaw

A6. Hooks

 

Wed

28

 

Anil’s Ghost

Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost, pp 1-76

Ganguly, This Thing Called the World, pp. 192-218

A7. Chakravorty

Thurs

29

 

 

Critique Essay One Introductions

Essay One introduction due in class

11 pm Journal One due on Canvas; Essay One Introduction due on Canvas

 

WEEK 3

 

JULY

Mon

3

 

Ondaatje, “The Grove of Ascetics,” pp 80-113

Tues

4

 

INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY; no class

 

 

 

Wed

5

 

 

 

Ondaatje, “Brother,” pp 117-151

Thurs

6

 

 

Ondaatje, “Ananda,” pp 161-205

 

11 pm Essay One due on Canvas

 

Watch Babel over weekend

WEEK 4

Mon

10

 

Discuss Babel Film

 

Ondaatje, “The Mouse,” pp 209-231

Tues

11

 

 

Ondaatje, “Between Heartbeats,” pp 235-266

 

 

Wed

12

 

 

 

Ondaatje, “The Life Wheel,” pp 268-295

 

Thurs

13

Critique Essay Two Introductions

Ondaatje, “Distance,” pp 299-307;

Ganguly, Coda, pp 249-260

 

Essay Two Introduction due in class; Due on Canvas by 11 pm

 

WEEK 5

Mon

17

No class; extra office hours

 

 

 

Tues

18

Workshop for Essay Two

 

11 pm Journal Two due on Canvas

 

 

 

Wed

19

Conclusions

 

Thurs, July 20, 11 pm Essay Two due on Canvas

 

 

 

Catalog Description: 
Study of literature in its relation to culture. Focuses on literature as a cultural institution, directly related to the construction of individual identity and the dissemination and critique of values.
Department Requirements Met: 
Pre-req to Declare Literature Major
GE Requirements Met: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Credits: 
5.0
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:24pm
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