Spring 2007

HUMS 633
World Literature


01/22/2007 - 05/05/2007
Monday 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM

285 Court Street

The last half of the 20th century has seen the establishment of a literary canon of classics from many places in the Third World: India, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. Some authors have become not only recognizable to, but indispensable for, the educated First World reader: Chinua Achebe, Salman Rushdie, V.S. Naipaul, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Bharati Mukherjee are certainly some of these authors. How do these authors shape their worlds and what issues concern them? What in their works and formal methods appeals so much to the readers of the First World? In this regard, we will consider how canons come to be: what are the criteria by which certain books are selected to become classics?

We will explore such works as Achebe's Things Fall Apart, Rushdie's Midnight's Children, Naipaul's A House for Mr. Biswas, and Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, among others. These are big books, in all senses of the term, "baggy monsters," as some would call them. We will also read some of the newer, up-and-coming writers, including Jhumpa Lahiri and Nuruddin Farah. We will read and discuss these works, as well as selected articles on canons and the idea of the classic.

Students will write two short papers and design a final project in consultation with the instructor.

Indira Karamcheti B.A., M.A., Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara) is associate professor of English and American Studies. Her teaching and research interests include postcolonial literature and theory, the literature of the South Asian diaspora, and the writing of ethnic and racial minorities in the U.S. She has written on such authors as Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, Simone Schwarz-Bart, and Aime Cesaire. Click here for more information about Indira Karamcheti and click here for more information about her work.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Chinua Achebe, THINGS FALL APART (Heinemann), Paperback

Jorge Amado, GABRIELA, CLOVE AND CINNAMON (Knopf), Paperback

Alan Duff, ONCE WERE WARRIORS (Knopf), Paperback

Roger Mais, THE HILLS WERE JOYFUL TOGETHER (Heinemann), Paperback

James Vance Marshall, WALKABOUT (Sundance Publishing), Paperback

Yukio Mishima, TEMPLE OF THE GOLDEN PAVILION (Random House), Paperback

V.S. Naipaul, MYSTIC MASSEUR (Knopf), Paperback

Pablo Neruda, 20 LOVE POEMS (Penguin Group), Paperback

Junichiro Tanizaki, IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS (Leete Island Books), Paperback

Amos Tutuola, PALM-WINE DRINKARD (Grove-Atlantic), Paperback


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