Course Description

We live in a world of fast and fleeting connections.  Whether online or offline, we are flooded by images, texts, sounds, YouTube videos, status updates, Instagram photos, and other streams of information.  Some believe that we are losing the capacity to focus and concentrate; others that we are developing new skills and capacities, adapting to digital media in ways that are rewiring how we connect, read, write, share, and even think.  Either way, most agree the world is changing at a rate that often outpaces our ability to give it meaning.

How can “world literature” help to us navigate this predicament?  What can it do for our understanding of where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going?  What does “world literature” actually mean? Are we talking about a specific canon of texts, or simply a perspective, a methodology, a way of reading literature that transcends national boundaries and opens new scales and modes of understanding?  In this course, we’ll tackle these questions by reading a number of different texts and genres from the Western-European tradition and other cultural and historical traditions across the globe.  We’ll compare different modes of expression (from inscriptions on ancient tablets to expressions in poetry, cinema, and theater), while paying particular attention to the role of genre, media, and narrative in defining humanity and the human condition. Course requirements include regular participation, a reading journal, a midterm, a poetry illustration project, and a final exam.

Professor Information:

  • Professor Craig Carey, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Email Address:
  • Office Phone: (601) 266-4072
  • Office: Liberal Arts Building 342
  • Office Hours: MW 3:30-4:30 and F 11:00-12:00; and by appt.

Course Information:

For the 10:00-10:50 AM course:

  • ENG 203:H009, World Literature
  • Fall 2014, MWF 10:00-10:50 AM
  • Location: Liberal Arts Building 203

For the 1:00-1:50 PM course:

  • ENG 203:H008, World Literature
  • Fall 2014, MWF 1:00-1:50 PM
  • Location: Liberal Arts Building 202

Student Learning Objectives:

  • Students will use Standard English grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage.
  • Students will write a coherent analytical essay of a rhetorical situation or through written communication effectively analyze the components of an argument.
  • Students will evaluate major developments in world history, the historical roots of contemporary global cultures, or the literary, philosophical, or religious contributes of world cultures.
  • Students will comprehend and proficiently interpret text.
  • Students will become familiar with different genres and make connections within and across those genres of literature.
  • Students will synthesize, analyze, and interpret primary and secondary material, media, and other means of expression.
  • Students will recognize the influence of individual differences such as gender, ethnicity, race, geography, and class on the practice of reading and interpretation.
  • Students will analyze connections between specific texts and broader cultural and media contexts (both historical and contemporary)



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