ENGLI200-23A (HAM)

Global Fictions

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts


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: ashleigh.wallace@waikato.ac.nz

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What this paper is about

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Welcome to Global Fictions. I look forward to a semester of reading, thinking and talking about our fascinating and chaotic world.

This paper examines literary responses to cultural change and norms in contemporary modernity. It situates itself in the urbanised, transnational spaces in which so much of the world’s population lives as well as the marginalized spaces created by contemporary hegemonic ideals. We will travel to distant lands and then return to plant our feet in Aotearoa. 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 engage with race, gender, abilities, sexuality, 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 texts, 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, disability, 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 identities, cultures and cultural knowledge.

Content note: The texts on this paper will engage with the contemporary world, in all its pleasures and pains, and will touch on issues of race, gender, politics, immigration, terrorism, disability, addiction, suicide, and sexuality. The texts all contain violence in various forms, and some specifically engage with sexual violence. I do not think that they contain gratuitous descriptions of physical, sexual and emotional violence, but we need to look after each other and ourselves as we engage with the realities of our contemporary world. I will provide content warnings for each relevant text on our Moodle page. If you think that reading these texts or discussing them in class might be an issue for you, please send me an email or come to my office hours to discuss strategies.

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How this paper will be taught

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Our lecture will be face to face, and students are strongly encouraged to attend. Those who cannot come to campus will be able to watch the lectures live and ask questions via Zoom, and everyone will be able to watch the recorded lecture 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.


Wednesday: The week's quiz will open for 24 hours, from 9am Monday to 9am Tuesday. Once you begin the quiz, you have 4 minutes to complete it.
Thursday: lecture
Rest of week: tutorial

Please organise your study to ensure that you read the texts before the lectures.

All course information will be available through Moodle.

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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 - you can borrow them from a library or buy them. They can be purchased from the university bookshop or Poppies in Hamilton. Kindle editions are great (unless you love the feel of holding a book!). Audio books are great for accessibility, but you'll need the printed text or Kindle version with page numbers to support you when writing your assignments.

Get Out is available on etv. A copy of Cake should soon be in the library but is also available to rent or purchase online.

Novels and Graphic Novels

Persepolis I & II - Marjane Satrapi

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid

Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Get Out - dir. Jordan Peele

Cake - dir. Daniel Barnz

Nanette - Hannah Gadsby

Short stories and poems [on reading lists]:

'Ryan Shifrin' and 'Nina Poggionne' - The Illumination

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

Selected Poems, from No Other Place to Stand: An Anthology of Climate Change Poetry from Aotearoa New Zealand, ed. by Rebecca Hawkes, Erik Kennedy, Jordan Hamel, and Essa Ranapiri

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

'Praise Song for Oceania' - Craig Santos Perez

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • 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:
  • 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, abilities, educational background, socio-economic position
    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 texts
    Linked to the following assessments:
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How you will be assessed

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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
7 Apr 2023
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Research skills
19 May 2023
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Essay
9 Jun 2023
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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