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EN2G3/EN3G3 - Global City Literature: Image, Theory, Text


Monday 1:30 - 3, FAB1.13
Monday 3:30-5, FAB6.01

Module Convenor (all terms)

Dr Ross Forman

Module Tutors:

Dr. Ross Forman (T1 and T3) (FAB5.11)

Office Hours- T2 (FAB5.11):

Wednesdays, 12-1pm*

Thursdays, 4-5pm

Or by appointment

*Office hours may vary due to University meetings, so please check the sign-up sheet.

Sign up here.Link opens in a new window

Dr. Gupreet Kaur (T2 and T3)

Office Hours:

Mondays, 11-12 (in person) (FAB5.31)

Fridays 9-10 (online)

Format: One-and-a-half-hour seminar weekly


Year 2: 2 x 4,000-word essays (variable formats that may include research-based essays, critical analyses and creative work).

Year 3: 2 x 4,000-word essays (variable formats that may include research-based essays, critical analyses and creative work, requiring independent development of topics, in consultation with tutors).

Module Description: The module will introduce students to a range of literary, visual, and theoretical material on the contemporary global city. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the module will enable students to understand the material and historical processes that underpin the global city, and to analyse the ways in which writers, film-makers, artists and theorists respond to those processes in their work. It will also faciliate a comparative reading of the geographically dispersed but structurally inter-connected spaces of both cities and literatures.

Term 1: The Queer(ed) Global City

Please buy the following works core texts (to be supplemented by short works and critical readings, as appropriate):

Gore Vidal, The City and the Pillar [No ebook available through the Library.]
Gabby Rivera, Juliet Takes a Breath
Bryan Washington, Memorial
Akwaeke Emezi, The Death of Vivek Oji
Bernadine Evaristo, Mr Loverman
Naomi Alderman, Disobedience
Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy
[No ebook available through the Library.]


Isaac Julien, Young Soul Rebels: Available to rent from Apple, Curzon, BFI iPlayer, and Prime Video
Sebastián Leilo, A Fantastic Woman: Available free from the Library via aka Box of Broadcasts

Term 2: The Political Ecology of the Global City

Required Texts:

Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Teju Cole, Open City

Amruta Patil, Kari

Aminatta Fornata, Happiness

Deepak Unnikrishnan, Temporary People

Ivan Vladislavic, A Portrait in Keys

The library will be making the critical and secondary readings available to you through Talis AspireLink opens in a new window. You can also access most of these readings through Encore, the library's catalogue system.


SYLABUS FOR TERM 1 (Dr Ross Forman)


Please purchase the novels above. Articles, short stories, and other secondary readings will be available via Talis Aspire.Link opens in a new window

Week 1: Introduction

No advance reading required.

Week 2: The City and Emerging Queer Literature (New York)

Required Reading:

Gore Vidal, The City and the Pillar

Required Secondary Reading:

George Chauncey, "Urban Culture and the Policing of the 'City of Bachelors.'" Chapter 3 of Queer New York.

Week 3: Young Adult Literature and the Queer City (New York)

Required Reading/Viewing:

Gabby Rivera, Juliet Takes a Breath {Not the Graphic Novel!}

Required Secondary Reading:

José Estebán Muñoz, "Brown Commons," in The Sense of Brown (pages 36-42)

Gloria Anzaldúa, "Who Are My People?" (pages 45-47) and "To(o) Queer the Writer--Loca, Escritora, y Chicana" (pages 163-166) in The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader.

Week 4: Romance and Its Endpoints: The Black Gay Experience (Houston/Osaka)

Required Reading:

Bryan Washington, Memorial

Required Critical Reading:

Sam Miles, "Let’s (not) Go Outside: Grindr, Hybrid Space, and Digital Queer Neighborhoods" in The Life and Afterlife of Gay Neighborhoods: Renaissance and Resurgence, ed. Alex Bitterman and Daniel Baldwin Hess.

Recommended Critical Reading:

Timothy Brennan, "Cosmo-Theory," The South Atlantic Quarterly 100.3 (2001): 659-691.

Week 5: Transing the African City (Southern Nigeria)

Required Reading:

Akwaeke Emezi, The Death of Vivek Oji

Required Critical Reading:

Akwawke Emezi, "Transition," The Cut

Anastasia Tsioulcas, "The Feud between Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Akwaeke Emeze, Explained." NPR (National Public Radio) Website.

Week 6: Reading Week:
Week 7: War and Diaspora in a South Asian City (Colombo, Sri Lanka)

Required Reading:

Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy

Required Critical Reading:

Rahul Gariola, "Limp Wrists, Inflammatory Punches: Violence, Masculinity, and Queer Sexuality in Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy" in Mapping South Asian Masculinities, ed. Chandrima Chakraborty.

Week 8: Community, Religion, and the City (London/New York)

Required Reading:

Naomi Alderman, Disobedience

Required Critical Readings:

Dina Rabinovich, Rev. of Disobedience, Guardian 4 March 2006

Jonathan Lesh,"Twentieth-century Jewish LGBTQ London and the Rainbow Jews Heritage Project," Change over Time 8.2 (2018): 206-225,265-266.

Week 9: Queer Aging and/in the City

Required Reading:

Bernadine Evaristo, Mr Loverman

Required Critical Reading:

Caroline Koegler, "Queer Home-Making and Black Britain: Claiming, Ageing, Living," Interventions 22.7 (2020): 879-896.

Week 10: Film and the Queer City (Santiago/London)

Required Viewing:

A Fantastic Woman, dir. Sebastián Leilo

Young Soul Rebels, dir. Isaac Julien

Recommended Reading:





Barnard, Rita. "Fictions of the Global." Novel: A Forum on Fiction 42.2 (2009): 207-215.

Benedicto, Bobby. "The Haunting of Gay Manila: Global Space-Time and the Specter of Kabaklaan." GLQ 14.2-3 (2008): 317-338.

Chen, Mel Y. Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect. Durham: Duke UP, 2012.

Chiu, Monica. Drawing New Color Lines: Transnational Asian American Graphic Narratives. Hong Kong: Hong Kong UP, 2015.

Daivs, Mike. Planet of Slums. London: Verso, 2006.

Hudson, Renee. "Renee Hudson, "Guerrilla Conversions in Jessica Hagedorn and José Rizal: The Queer Future of National Romance." MFS: Modern Fiction Studies 62.2 (2016): 330-349.

Junot Díaz and the Decolonial Imagination. Ed. Monica Hanna, Jennifer Harford Vargas, José David Saldívar. Durham: Duke UP, 2016.

Koolhaas, Rem. "Junkspace." October 100 (2002): 175-190.

Krishnan, Madhu. "Postcoloniality, Spatiality and Cosmopolitanism in the Open City." Textual Practice 29.4 (2015): 675-696.

Manalansan, Martin F., IV. Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora. Durham: Duke UP, 2003.

Mendoza, Victor. "A Queer Nomadology of Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters." American Literature 77.4 (2005): 815-845.

Transurbanism. Ed. Joken Bruer and Arjen Mulder. Rotterdam: V2, 2002.

Vargas, Jennifer Harford. "Dictating a Zafa: The Power of Narrative Form in Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao." MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the US 39.3 (2014): 8-30.

Vermeulen, Pieter. "Flights of Memory: Teju Cole's Open City and the Limits of Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism." Journal of Modern Literature 37.1 (2013): 40-57.

Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global. Ed. Ananya Roy and Aihwa Ong. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.

Worlding Multiculturalisms. Ed. Daniel P. S. Goh. New York: Routledge, 2015.


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