Welcome to all new students in 2020-21. It will come as no surprise that this year will pose particular challenges for university teaching, including for Modern World Literatures. Even so, we encourage you to read across the syllabus in preparation for the module. It will be especially helpful to read two texts in advance: Goethe's Faust Part I and Michelle Cliff's No Telephone to Heaven, the first and last regular readings on our syllabus.
Note that Faust can be tricky for readers of the translated text, so it’s useful to familiarise yourself with the play before term begins. A good synoptic commentary can be found in Nicholas Boyle’s Goethe: Faust Part One (Cambridge). Marshall Berman provides an illuminating reading (also covering Part II of the play, which you’re not required to read) in his chapter “Goethe’s Faust: The Tragedy of Development,” from All that is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity (Verso). In addition, you can get a handy interpretive overview of the period covered by the module in Eric Hobsbawm's four volumes listed under Set Texts.
August 2020 update: Note that Verso is now running a student discount on Berman’s book, as well as many other texts relevant to the module, until September 30th: