COMP 346
Questioning the Cultural Self in Literature
Last Offered Spring 2014
Division I Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

Cultural encounters entail a questioning of identity, values and worldview. As the familiar gives way to the unknown, issues of knowledge and power can begin to influence the interaction between different groups. In this course we will examine texts dealing with differences in language, religion, race, class, gender and citizenship that lead to the formation of allegiances and rivalries. What constitutes a cultural group? How is difference determined? What is the nature of the tension characteristic of many a cross-cultural encounter? How do cultural hybridity and conflicting solidarities influence multi-cultural dialogues? Readings for this course include Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, Nelida Pinon’s The Republic of Dreams, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place, Ghassan Kanafani’s Return to Haifa and Victor Martinez’s Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida. This course fulfills the Educational Diversity Initiative (EDI) because it integrates the comparative study of various cultures and societies, it directly addresses issues of power and privilege and it explores how “difference” is imagined and theorized.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3702
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, two 3- to 5-page papers and a final 7- to 10-page paper
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: majors in Comparative Literature
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
Attributes: INST Borders, Exiles + Diaspora Studies Electives

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