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EN265 The Global Novel

This module is a Pathway Approved Option for the World and Comparative Literature and Theory Pathway. It is also a Distributional Requirement option for the English Pathway and an option for the other pathways.


2016/17 - seminars: Tuesday 14:00 - 15:30 and 15:30 - 17:00 - Room Term 1 - G03, and Term 2 - S1.141

Convenor: Dr Graeme Macdonald, H536/Dr Pablo Mukherjee, H518

Office Hours 2015/16: GM (Room H536): TUE 1-2, WED 9-10 or by appointment

PM (Room H518): Wednesday 11.00-13.00 or by appointment

Method of Assessment: Either: 1 x 5,000-word essay and one x 2-hour examination (Term 3) OR 2 x 5,000-word essays.

Essay Submission Dates:

Available on this link:

NB: If you are doing the module 50/50, you can choose which term texts to write your essay on, though you must hand in the essay on the dates stipulated for that term.


Can we comprehensively analyse any cultural form without considering its global perspective? Following arguments advanced by theories of world literature, this module will allow students to understand ‘The Novel’ as a truly global genre. We will read novels (in translation) from the early 19th century to the present within the framework of recent debates over modernity and globalisation. We will consider how widening our comparative and international perspective enables us to read and interpret novels (even the most seemingly ‘local’ or ‘national’ productions) as irresistibly ‘global’. The module analyses how certain novelistic forms, themes and issues ‘travel’ – discovering ways certain works contain traces, adaptations and importations of ‘core’ (or global) themes, and adapt, remodel or reject them in accordance with local/national expressions. Put simply, in reading these ‘global’ novels, we will seek to determine significant ‘global’ themes, issues and processes that connect specific novels to those in other territories. A work’s ‘globality’ will be established primarily in its form and content, but we will also look at its commercial and cultural production and geopolitical conditioning. The module will demonstrate why a global perspective is a necessary requisite for literary studies in the 21st century.

Syllabus 2016/17


As a supplement to the primary module texts, we use a module pack, with criticism and questions for reading. These are available here.

Weeks 2-5 : (PDF Document)

Weeks 7-10 : (PDF Document)

I'll also make some hard copies.


Week 1: Introduction - we will be meeting each other and looking at selections from these essays below in the first class. Try and read as many as you can prior to class. Click on the links to access pdf's of each article.

Franco Moretti, 'Conjectures on World Literature', New Left Review 1 (2000) 54-68

Mariano Siskind, 'The Globalization of the Novel and The Novelization of the Global: A Critique of World Literature', Comparative Literature 62 (2010) 4: 336-60. (from Theo D’Haen, César Dominguez and Mads Rosendahl Thomson (eds.), World Literature: A Reader (London: Routledge 2013): 329-52.

David Damrosh, selections from How to Read World Literature, London: Routledge, 2009 (particularly 'Going Global' chapter); 'Conclusion: World Enough and Time', What Is World Literature?, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005.

Susie O’Brien and Imre Szeman, 'Introduction: The Globalization of Fiction/the Fiction of Globalization', The South Atlantic Quarterly 100:3, Summer (2001) 603-626

Paik Nak-Chung, 'Nations and Literature in the Age of Globalization' in Fredric Jameson and Masao Miyoshi, eds., The Cultures of Globalization, Durham: Duke University Press, 1998, 218-229

Nico Israel 'Globalization and Contemporary Literature', Literature Compass 1 (2004) 20C 104, 1–5

Week 2: John Galt, Annals of the Parish (Scotland, 1821)

Week 3: Halldór Laxness, Independent People (Iceland, 1946)

Week 4: Gabríel Garcia Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Colombia, 1967)

Week 5: Gabríel Garcia Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Colombia, 1967)

Week 6: Reading Week

Week 7: Abdelrahman Munif, Cities of Salt Vol 1. (Saudi Arabia/Lebanon, 1987) temp(PDF Document)

Week 8: Abdelrahman Munif, Cities of Salt Vol 1. (Saudi Arabia/Lebanon, 1987)

Week 9: Joe Sacco, Palestine (2003)

Week 10: Salam Pax, The Baghdad Blog (Iraq, 2003)

Term TWO: Creative Destructions: Globalisation and Literature

Week 1: Globalisation as Disaster (Selected Chapters from Eric Cazdyn ed. Disastrous Consequences: A Special Issue of South Atlantic Quarterly and Rob Nixon, Slow Violence) See here for link to: The Bridge Builders; See here for link to Eric Cazdyn article; See here for link to Rob Nixon chapters

Week 2: Liam O'Flaherty, Famine (1937)

Week 3: Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake (2003)

Week 4: Don Delilo, Cosmopolis (2003)

Week 5: John Lanchester, Capital (2013)

Week 6: Reading Week, No Class

Week 7: Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried (1990)

Week 8: Duong Thu Huong, Novel Without A Name (1991)

Week 9: Sinan Antoon, The Corpse Washer (2013)

*TERM ONE Materials

Term 1 Materials Wks 1-5 Term 2 Materials Wks 6-10


Either: 1 x 5,000-word essay and 1 x 2-hour examination (seen) OR 2 x 5,000-word essays.