Literature and Film in the Age of Globalization

Elective Courses

CINE 112 - Literature and Film in the Age of Globalization

ENGL 102 | COML 245
401 |James English |TR 10:30-11:30am

This is an introductory course about “world fictions” (both literary and cinematic) in the age of global English. How are works of contemporary literature and film in English – the kinds of stories they tell, their ways of telling, and their fates in the marketplace – being reshaped by globalization? Are the growing media dominance of the English language and the increasing power of London, New York, and Hollywood as the major centers of cultural production effecting a kind of McNovelization of the developing world, in which poorer and more peripheral locations can only tell their stories in the forms approved by the media conglomerates and their large western readerships? Or are we seeing the breakdown of any clear standard or center: the emergence of new, weird and rogue forms of English, wild deformations of the conventional English novel and the normative Hollywood film, and ever more radically opposed narratives about the state of the world? In order to approach these and other questions, we will read six or seven mostly short novels and view a handful of films. Our syllabus will likely include The Joys of Motherhood by Bucchi Emecheta, Sozaboy by Ken Saro-Wiwa, Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and the films Trainspotting by Danny Boyle, Ratcatcher by Lynne Ramsay, Ararat by Atom Egoyan, and Bride and Prejudice by Mira Nair. Each of these works has attained a certain stature in the world system, some by winning major international prizes and awards, some by achieving massive commercial success, and some simply by being widely taught in high school and university English classes. We will consider not only texts in themselves, but the ways they have been advertised, distributed, and consumed. Work for this class will include six short quizzes, and two essays (3-5 pages for the first and 6-8 pages for the second), both of which will be submitted in draft form and then revised after feedback from your TA. No previous study of literature or film is required or expected.

last updated 06/24/2014 - 3:18pm

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