ENGLI200-19B (HAM)

Global Fictions

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts


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: alexandra.cullen@waikato.ac.nz

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: anne.ferrier-watson@waikato.ac.nz

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Paper Description

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This paper examines literary responses to cultural change in contemporary modernity, and situates itself in the urbanised, transnational spaces in which so much of the world’s population lives. As twenty-first century fictions of globalisation, the novels in ENGLI200 engage with countries and cultures that are increasingly interconnected, and explore the losses and gains that this has brought to individuals, communities, and nations. The texts study engagements with race, gender, nationhood, education, employment, terrorism, and the environment in different cultural and intercultural settings. At the heart of the paper lie questions regarding the intersections of knowledge, power, and culture, in particular in relation to identity and belonging within increasingly corporatized economies. Different world views and knowledge bases clash and connect in these novels, as the paper traces the challenges and rewards that diversity and multicultural landscapes bring.

The literary texts are supplemented by theoretical texts that provide frameworks through which to read the novels, looking specifically at theories and methodologies associated with postcolonialism, intersectionality, gender, precarity, race, ecocriticism, and world literature. The paper returns throughout to metacritical reflections on the ways in which literary texts and literary theories engage with culture and identity, and thus questions the ways in which the discipline of literature responds to and represents different cultures and cultural knowledge.

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Paper Structure

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Students must attend both lectures and one tutorial every week. Please organise your study to ensure that you come to the lectures having read the novels and theoretical texts being addressed - your ability to follow the lecture and ask any questions needed will greatly increase if you do.

All course information will be available through Moodle.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Cultural Literacy: to engage with literary texts that reflect the diversity of the human experience, and to demonstrate understandings of social differences such as gender, ethnicity, educational background, socio-economic position.
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  • Aesthetic Literacy: to understand the role of literature as a craft that allows for the expression, enhancement, and questioning of the human experience, and to identify the techniques employed by authors.
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  • Critical Thinking: to further develop critical thinking skills by analysing texts and constructing arguments about them.
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  • Research Literacy: to further develop skills to locate, evaluate, and incorporate relevant source materials, and use these to create an informed point of view.
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  • Writing Literacy: to produce precise, clear, grammatically-correct, well-developed, and well-organized academic writing.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Quizzes
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Writing Assignments
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Presentation
  • Presentation: In Class
4. Class Participation
5. Essay
28 Oct 2019
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Required reading – literary texts

The novels must be purchased or borrowed from a library.


Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Open City: A Novel - Teju Cole

White Tears - Hari Kunzru

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Moshin Hamid

Short stories and poems:

'New Year's Eve and Day in the Anthropocene' - Craig Santos Perez

'The Embassy of Cambodia' – Zadie Smith

'The Right Sort' - David Mitchell

'Skull of a Sheep' - James Claffey

'Consuming the View' - Luigi Malerba

'Reports of Certain Events in London' - China Mievlle

'Tell Them' and 'Dear Matafele Peinam' - Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner

'The Caregiver's Story' - Evelyn Flores

'Praise Song for Oceania' - Craig Santos Perez

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Recommended Readings

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Recommended reading

These texts can help you with your research for this course.

  • Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi, We Should All Be Feminists (London: Fourth Estate, 2014)
  • Appadurai, Arjun, Modernity at Large (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996)
  • Apter, Emily, ‘Untranslatables: A World System’, New Literary History, 39.3 (2008), 581-98
  • Ashcroft, Bill Gareth Griffiths and Helen Griffin, The Post-Colonial Studies Reader (London: Routledge, 1995)
  • Boxall, Peter, Twenty-First-Century Fiction: A Critical Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013)
  • Burke, Jason, The 9/11 Wars (London: Penguin, 2011)
  • Caldwell, Paulette, ‘A Hair Piece: Perspectives on the Intersection of Race and Gender’, Duke Law Journal, 2 (1991), 365-96
  • Childs, Peter and James Green, Aesthetics and Ethics in Twenty-First Century British Novels (London: Bloomsbury, 2013)
  • Coates, Ta-Nehisi, Between the World and Me (New York: Spiegel and Grau, 2015)
  • Connell, R.W. and James W. Messerschmidt, ‘Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept’, Gender and Society, 19.6 (2005), 829-859
  • Connell, Raewyn, ‘Change among the Gatekeepers: Men, Masculinities, and Gender Equality in the Global Arena’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 30.3 (2005), 1801-25
  • Crenshaw, Kimberle, ‘Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Gender: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics’, The University of Chicago Legal Forum (1989), 139-67
  • Crenshaw, Kimberle, ‘Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color’, Stanford Law Review,43.6 (1991), 1241-99
  • Damrosch, David, ‘Going Global’, in How to Read World Literature (Chichester: John Wiley, 2009), pp. 105-144
  • Deckard, Sharae, et al, ‘World Literature in the Context of Combined and Uneven Development’, in Combined and Uneven Development: Towards a New Theory of World-Literature (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2015), pp. 6-22
  • Ettlinger, Nancy, ‘Precarity Unbound’, Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 32.3 (2007), 319-40
  • Fanon, Frantz, ‘The Fact of Blackness’, in Black Skin, White Masks (London: MacGinnon & Kee, 1968), pp. 109-40
  • Foster, Hal, The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001)
  • Freeman, Carla, ‘Is Local : Global as Feminine : Masculine? Rethinking the Gender of Globalization’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 26.4 (2001), 1008-37
  • Friedman, Susan Stanford, ‘Migrations, Diasporas, and Borders’, in Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures, ed. by David Nicholls (New York: Modern Languages Association of America, 2007), pp. 260-93
  • Friedman, Susan Stanford, Mappings: Feminism and the Cultural Geographies of Encounter (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998)
  • Gikandi, Simon, ‘Globalisation and the Claims of Postcoloniality’, The South Atlantic Quarterly, 100.3 (2001), 627-58
  • Green, Jeremy, Late Postmodernism: American Fiction at the Millennium (New York: Palgrave, 2005)
  • Halliwell, Martin and Catherine Morley, eds, American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013)
  • Huyssen, Andreas, ‘Present Pasts: Media, Politics, Amnesia’, in Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003), pp. 11-29
  • Moretti, Franco, ‘Conjectures on World Literature’, New Left Review, 1 (2000), 54-68
  • Moretti, Franco, ‘More Conjectures’, New Left Review 20 (Mar-Apr 2003), 73-81.
  • Nixon, Rob, ‘Introduction’, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2011), pp. 1-44
  • Randall, Martin, ‘Introduction: Eyewitnesses, Conspiracies and Baudrillard’, in 9/11 and the Literature of Terror (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014), pp. 1-18
  • Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty and David Damrosch, ‘Comparative Literature/World Literature: A Discussion with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and David Damrosch’, Comparative Literature Studies, 48.4 (2011), 455-85.
  • Toffoletti, Kim, Cyborgs and Barbie Dolls: Feminism, Popular Culture and the Posthuman Body (London: Tauris, 2007)
  • Versluys, Kristiaan, Out of the Blue: September 11 and the Novel (New York: Columbia UP, 2009)
  • Young, Jock, The Vertigo of Late Modernity (Los Angeles: Sage, 2007)
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Online Support

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Assignments will be submitted on Moodle, and feedback will be uploaded to Moodle once assignments have been marked. Lecture slides, additional reading and assessment information will also be available on Moodle, with lecture slides uploaded after the lectures have been given. Please note that the lecture slides are always there to aid and support the oral lecture, not replace it!

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The expected workload for this paper is 150 hours.

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