Laura Shackelford

9:05a-9:55a MWF (25 students) 3 cr. A&H, IW.

TOPIC: "The ‘Place’ of Literature and Identity in an Age of Globalization"

Literature has played a central role in elaborating and consolidating the boundaries, both physical and symbolic, of the modern nation-state. As largely symbolic, “imagined communities” as well as material, geo-political territories, nation-states rely on literature to establish and consolidate categories of belonging based on language, region, culture, race, and ethnicity. This course will examine a series of twentieth-century literary movements that develop a “worldly,” transnational or global perspective in order to develop a critical vantage on the nation-state and nationalist ideologies. We will consider how these works of fiction and key literary movements re-negotiate and re-imagine the relations between literature, identity, belonging, place, and the nation- state.

By practicing written literary analysis and explication, we will actively enter into dialogue with these works of fiction, attempting to both understand and critique the cosmopolitan perspectives they evoke and figure. Careful, critical reading of the fiction is essential to your success in this course. It will allow you to actively contribute to, and profit from, lively class discussions and, subsequently, to develop your insights on these works of fiction into clear, coherent, and compelling written analysis. Please keep in mind that you will be composing approximately twenty-five pages of polished, thought-provoking critical analysis over the course of the semester as this is a COAS intensive writing course).

Required Texts:
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Gertrude Stein, Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
Nella Larsen, Quicksand
Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Zadie Smith, White Teeth
*Selected short stories and critical essays on e-reserve