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Clark University Home > Academic Catalog

Clark University    
  Jan 22, 2018
2017-2018 Academic Catalog

ENG 375 - Fictions of Empire: Studies in Global English Literature

This seminar provides an introduction to contemporary global literature in English. The writers we will discuss come from very different backgrounds–from South Asia to Africa to the Caribbean–but they are all engaged with making sense of the legacy of colonialism and the emergence of something we might call global culture. These texts are exciting stylistically because of their inventive uses of language and narrative structure: their experiments with form capture the sense of new nations coming into being, new approaches to cultural tradition, and the new status of English as a global language. The stories they tell entertain while also providing original perspectives on histories of empire marked by political struggle, violent conflict, and global inequalities. Topics we will consider include: the idea of the “postcolonial”; the relationship between literature and political resistance; the transformation of metropolitan English writing and language; “subalternity” and problems of representation; writing from a position of displacement, exile, and diasporization; and the persistence of colonial narratives in contemporary forms of imperialism. The specific focus of this course will change from year to year, but authors to be discussed may include Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Amitav Ghosh, Chinua Achebe, Buchi Emecheta, J.M. Coetzee, Jamaica Kincaid, V.S. Naipaul, Anita Desai, Derek Walcott, and Zadie Smith. For English majors, this course satisfies the Period (C-3) requirement

Anticipated Terms Offered: Occasionally