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Essay One 2016-17

Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies

EN265 The Global Novel

Assessed Essay Topics

Term One 2016/17

(Word Document)

The following topics are suggestions. You may modify them, or devise one of your own questions, but should do so onlyin consultation with your seminar tutor.


Essay Deadlines are linked on this page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/english/currentstudents/undergraduate/essay


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.* (Remember, 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 thus far?


2. “Globalisation cannot take place without the influence of technology, especially new technology.” Agree (or disagree) with this assertion, with detailed reference to at least two texts we have studied this term.


3. “Today we have to manage the relating of all these cultures in such a way, firstly, that we don’t lose them – in other words, that we don’t get sucked into processes of standardization – and secondly, that we learn how we can better live with diversity. Relation allows us to envisage the formation of a global imagination, a world poetics.” Patrick Chamoiseau, “Interview with Maeve McCusker”.

Use this statement as a platform for a reading of Term One texts.


4. Write an essay on the significance of the figure of the worker OR migrant OR travelling character in at least two novels we have read.


5. In what ways do objects register the experience and process of globalisation (or, if you wish a resistance to that process) in the novels we have covered in Term One?


6. “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).


7. In what ways are social relations (e.g. friendships/romantic/familial/workplace, etc.) irrevocably “ globalised” in the texts we have covered?


8. How and/or why is “home” a fundamental issue in Term One texts?

9. Outline ways in which the “global” (or, if you like, “local”) element in novels is conveyed by their narrative (and/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 noton 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 oneof the following in Term One texts: natural resources; magic; infrastructure; religion; legend; calamity; transport; the capitalist firm; trade; urban and/or rural space; narrative and/or storytelling; the family.


13. Some critics argue that the globalisation ofthe novel is something distinct from the story of globalisation inthe 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. In what ways do Global novels put pressure on the stability of place?


15. In what way is war (or armed conflict/militarization) a ‘global’ element in the novels we have read in Term One?