English 150

Senior Seminar: Nation and Narration

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Fall 2005 Rubenstein, Michael
Rubenstein, Michael
MW 3-4:30 300 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Joyce, J.: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Woolf, V.: Mrs. Dalloway; Dangarembga, T.: Nervous Conditions; Ishiguro, K.: The Remains of the Day; Toer, P.A.: This Earth of Mankind; Chamoiseau, P.: Texaco; a course reader.


"Why does it seem so natural to study literary forms by breaking them up into distinct national literatures? Why do we persistently study ""American Literature"" or ""British Literature"" as opposed, say, to ""Literatures in English""? What is the curious hold of the national as a way of imagining belonging, identity, shared traditions, shared pasts and shared futures? ""Nation-ness,"" Benedict Anderson claims, ""is the most universally legitimate value in the political life of our time."" ""In the modern world,"" he goes on, ""everyone can, should and will 'have' a nationality, as he or she 'has' a gender."" This is the beginning of our inquiry into the literary forms and styles in which the nation is imagined. We'll read some novels, study some theories of nationality, and see several films (to be announced) that address themselves to the modern idea of the nation. "

Back to Semester List