Subject details

  1. Analyse and compare literary texts across a range of genres, including poetry, the novel, the epic, drama, and the graphic novel, using a sound critical vocabulary and scholarly research.
  2. Explain the concept of “world literature,” showing a familiarity with current scholarly debates around this approach to the study of literature
  3. Analyse literary texts within their original context of production
  4. Analyse how literary texts can be read within our contemporary context, and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of “presentist” reading practice
  5. Analyse how scholars and writers have appropriated, re-read and rewritten earlier literary texts in new contexts
  6. Explain and analyse the effects of reading literature in translation
  7. Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing
    • Introduction to World Literature
    • Gilgamesh I: The Invention of a Classic of World Literature
    • Gilgamesh II: Reading Sexuality Through the Ages
    • Interlude: Concerning Violence
    • Caliban I: The Tempest and Colonisation
    • Caliban II: Caliban in the Caribbean
    • Sing to Me
    • Borges, Context and Translation
    • Ferrante I: Translation, Cosmopolitanism and Class
    • Ferrante II: Is Feminism a Global Discourse?
    • Persepolis I: The Graphic Novel as Global Form
    • Persepolis II: Literature as Soft Weapon / Gender in Iran
    • "World Literature Now" Workshops
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Audio/Video conferencing
      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
    • Online materials

      • Audio-Video streaming

You must have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject:

MAQ-ENGX120-Approaches to English Literature



Special requirements

  • OtherDetails -

    Students who have an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion under Macquarie University's Academic Progression Policy are not permitted to enrol in OUA units offered by Macquarie University. Students with an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion who have enrolled in units through OUA will be withdrawn.

Although we often study literature within narrow national and linguistic traditions, literature as it’s read outside of universities is much more free-wheeling, moving readily through space and time, and across different literary traditions. World literature - the study of literature that circulates outside the country in which it was originally written - tries to capture this sense of literature in motion. It explores how texts have been read and re-read in new contexts, and how literature has become an interconnected global system. This unit will examine a selection of texts from across the globe, asking: how do different literary traditions relate to each other? How do recent debates about globalisation change the age-old process of world literature? How have colonisation and decolonisation shaped world literature and brought new traditions into contact with each other? Does it matter if we read texts in translation, rather than in their original language?

  • Forum participation (weekly) and groupwork (20%%)
  • Short Essay - 1200 words (30%%)
  • World Literature Now: Creative Work or Critical Essay (50%%)