English 139

The Cultures of English: Empire & Global English

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2009 Rubenstein, Michael
Rubenstein, Michael
TTh 2-3:30 note new location: 100 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916);  Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (1958); Friel, B.: Translations (1980); Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (1989); Arundati Roy, The God of Small Things (1997); J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace (1999).


The texts in this course bear a troubled relationship to the language, English, in which and about which they write.  Questions of cultural, ethnic, gendered and national identity suffuse both their content and their form.  We’ll be trying to understand some of the causes and consequences of the spread of English as a literary medium, from the age of imperialism to the age of so-called globalization.  One short and one longer paper, alongside active and regular class participation, are required.

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