Fall 2019 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Johnson, Ryan
Discipline and Number
LIT 2331 Section 001
MWF Time 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM
Course Title
Masterpieces of World Literature

Description of Course:

Have you ever wondered what was on the other side of the mirror? Or thought about what alien societies might look like? The literature of the world is filled with concepts of parallel worlds, alternative universes, and lost lands. Oddly enough, each of these worlds seems to hold a mirror to our own existence; commenting on social realities and norms by twisting what is meant by the "real world"; Wyrd fiction is an outgrowth of sci-fi and fantasy, and exists between the definitions/conventions of multiple genres. The worlds we will explore together are similarly liminal, existing outside, between, and around our own.

This course is a survey of world literature from the ancient world to the present. Students will study works of prose, poetry, drama, and fiction in relation to their historical and cultural contexts. Texts will be selected from a diverse group of authors and traditions. Thematically, this course will focus on those works of literature that deal with parallel worlds and/or alternate realities.

Required Texts:

A True Story (45 pages), in Selected Satires of Lucian—Lucian, Roman, 2nd century CE,
ISBN-10: 0393004430
Vimalakirti Sutra (148 pages), Kumarajiva Version, Burton Watson translation, Indian/Chinese, 406 CE
ISBN-10: 0231106572
Gulliver’s Travels (319 pages)—Jonathan Swift, Irish, 1786
Herland (146 pages)—Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American, 1915
Lords and Ladies (384 pages)—Terry Pratchett, British, 1992
ISBN-10: 006223739X
Icon: A Hero’s Welcome (191 pages)—Dwayne McDuffie, African American, 1993
ISBN-10: 1401225497
Perdido Street Station (623)—China Mieville, British, 2000
ISBN-10: 0345443020

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

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