Introduction to World Literature in English

L224 — Spring 2020

Purnima Bose
Days and Times
11:15-12:30 TR
Course Description

TOPIC: "Globalization"

In the last two decades, “globalization” has become a hot topic among academics and policy makers. While some have heralded the permeability of borders and expansion of trade among nation-states as contributing to the spread of democratic ideals across the globe, others worry that the mobility of goods, services, and cultures across borders has exacerbated economic differences and has resulted in a bland form of cultural homogenization. In this course, we will examine some of the debates about globalization from both its cheerleaders and its critics. Course readings will focus on novels that represent corporations, globalization, and social movements to ask whether globalization fundamentally differs from earlier forms of colonialism; to investigate how globalization might lead to or impede economic prosperity; to analyze how authors suggest the connections between economic power and politics; to assess how authors illustrate the impact of transnational corporations on local populations; and to consider the innovative ways that people resist the encroachments of large companies in their communities.

A tentative list of readings include: Peter Hoeg’s Smilla’s Sense of Snow (Denmark/Greenland); Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things (India); Robert Newman’s The Fountain at the Center of the World (Mexico/Britain); Max Barry’s Jennifer Government (Australia); and Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meats (US/Japan). We will supplement our readings by viewing the film Outsourced (directed by John Jeffcoat) and the documentaries The Corporation and ARM Around Moscow.

Students should expect to write two papers, participate actively in class discussion, and take three exams.​