ENG 7340 World Literatures in Modern Times (3 units)
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This course examines the conceptualization and historical moments of “literatures in the world”. It begins by discussing the problematics in the way academic disciplines historically and politically situate literature as institutionalized “study”—national, imperial and ideological. The course then looks at two examples of literary imagination travelling in the world, with a focus on the historical transformation of the idea of the Mongol Empire since the 18th century up to present times. The two examples comprise literary imaginations and constructions travelling around the world, as expressions of such industrial and global formations such as expansive colonialism, civilizational universalism, economic globalization, and global tourism. Together, these instances of travel demand that we rethink the linear structure of (comparative) literary history. Eventually, this course shows students of literature and culture in the 21st century how and why historical, comparative, critical and imaginative work sustains the Auerbachian humanist tradition.
This course will focus on the following topics: knowledge and institution; industrial capital and global capital; literary imagination, travel and influence; translation and trans-nation, intellectual globalization.
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