Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies
EN265 The Global Novel
Assessed Essay Topics
Your essay should be submitted via Tabula not later than 12 noon on Tuesday 13th January 2015.
The following topics are suggestions. You may modify them, or devise one of your own, but should do so only in consultation with your seminar tutor.
While you may range as widely as you like in world fiction, not necessarily confining yourself to books studied on the module, you should make detailed reference to at least two of the set texts.* (If you are doing 50/50, material used in the essay must not be substantially repeated in the examination.
* Unless you decide to do question 11.
1. “Arising within a transcultural context, a local, or national literature must negotiate a double bind: the new influences that can help shape a people’s traditions also brings them the threat of the local culture’s absorption into a broader milieu.”
David Damrosch, ‘Global Regionalism’. Does this statement ring true in your reading of global novels?
2. Is the local completely transformed by the influences and forces of the global in the Global Novel?
3. In what sense is “the foreign” a significant feature of the global novel?
4. Examine the figure of the migrant or refugee or travelling figure in at least two novels we have read.
5. In what ways do objects signify globalisation (or, if you wish a resistance to that process) in the novels we have covered in Term One?
6. On the whole, is globalisation a largely problematic phenomenon in the texts we have read in the first term?
7. “We were become a part of the great web of commercial reciprocities, and felt in our corner and extremity, every touch or stir that was made on any part of the texture. The consequence of this I have now to relate.” (Annals of the Parish, Chapter XLIX) Make a reading of Global Novel texts using this statement as your platform. (You do not need to write on Galt’s novel).
8. How and/or why is “domestic life” a fundamental issue in Term One texts?
9. Outline ways in which the “global” element in novels is expressed in their narrative (or any other formal) techniques.
10. In what ways can we read the novelisation of the global as actually registering the wide and long process of capitalist modernity?
11. Make a case for the inclusion of a novel you have read that is not on the syllabus. Your essay must refer to at least one set text by way of comparison and fit the rubric of term one
12. Write an essay on the importance of one of the following in Term one texts: magic; Imperialism; evil; religion; myth and/or legend; isolation; uneven development transport; the capitalist firm; urban and/or rural space; technology; memory; storytelling; the family; natural resources.
13. Some critics argue that the globalisation of the novel is something distinct from the story of globalisation in the novel. Referring to at least two texts from Term One, write an essay on the terms of their situation as “global” novels in that first sense (i.e. with primary reference to features such as audience, circulation, media, marketing, reception, etc.)
14. Why is “non-contemporaneity” a repeated feature across Global novels?