ENGLI200-20B (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

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)


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

You can contact staff by:

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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. 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, class, 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 concepts 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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We have been given permission to hold our lectures face to face, but those who cannot come to campus will be able to watch the lectures live and ask questions via Panopto, and everyone will be able to watch the recorded lectures saved to our Moodle page.

There will be three face to face tutorials and one online tutorial (time/day tbc) to choose from. Sign up for the tutorials will open during our first week, and the tutorials will begin in the second week. If you have any problems with potential tutorial clashes, please contact me.

Monday: The week's quiz will open for 24 hours, from 10am Monday to 10am Tuesday. Once you begin the quiz, you have 4 minutes to complete it.

Tuesday & Wednesday: lectures and tutorials.

The week is a little top heavy, but I hope this will balance out against other papers you're taking.
Please organise your study to ensure that you read the texts before the lectures.

All course information will be available through Moodle.

In the event that alert levels rise again, we will move the lectures and tutorials online. I’ll take a poll a few weeks into the trimester, and see how everyone is doing. If something is not working for you, do let me know.
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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.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Aesthetic Literacy: to understand the way form and style is used to express and question the human experience, and to be able to identify the techniques employed by authors.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Critical Thinking: to further develop critical thinking skills by analysing texts and constructing arguments about them.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Research Literacy: to further develop skills to locate, evaluate, and incorporate relevant source materials, and use these to create an informed point of view.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Writing Literacy: to produce precise, clear, grammatically-correct, well-developed, and well-organized academic writing.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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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. Presentation and discussion starter
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
  • Presentation: In Class
3. Book Review
21 Aug 2020
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Out of the academic institution
25 Sep 2020
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Essay
23 Oct 2020
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
6. Tutorial Participation
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

Please make sure that you have your own copies of the novels. They can be purchased from the university bookshop or Poppies in Hamilton, or read in the library. You can use Kindle editions, but it is easier to work from a paper copy. Audio books are only recommended as additions to the printed text, and not as substitutions.

The library has a copy of Parasite, or you can rent it on Youtube for $6.99, or iTunes and Microsoft for $7.99. Hamilton city library also has a copy.

Novels and Graphic Novels

Persepolis I & II - Marjane Satrapi

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid

Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

White Tears - Hari Kunzru

Parasite - dir. Joon-Ho Bong

Short stories and poems [on reading lists]:

'Megan/Morgan', from Girl, Woman, Other - Bernardine Evaristo

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

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

'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. You can use them for your final essay, and if you plan to do further studies in English, I do recommend engaging with some of these.

  • 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. Lectures, additional reading and assessment information will also be available on Moodle.

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The expected workload for this paper is 150 hours.

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