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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Common Courses (School of Lit, Lang and Cult)

Postgraduate Course: World Literature (CLLC11181)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis option introduces students to the concept of World Literature, its development and current debates. Students will read primary texts that have gained a place in 'world literature', a term often loosely used to describe literary works that have been received successfully well beyond their national boundaries, but that also, more importantly perhaps, draws attention to a work's, and its author's, 'worldliness', its position in the world, and its relation to other literatures and works of art. We will read texts by well-known and lesser well-known, canonical and non-canonical, 'world authors' and discuss why these authors/texts deserve, have gained, or were given 'world status'. Each primary text is matched with a key critical/theoretical text whose concerns are reflected in the primary text. Theories and critics will be discussed in order to unpack the links as well as differences between various approaches to the concept, and to explore how recent and current debates have shaped and defined the field.
Course description Academic description
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the concept of World literature, a term that was coined by Goethe and that has influenced literary debates since then, has started to take centre stage again in the discussion of contemporary literature. This focus has its roots in a more urgent concern with the anxieties and problems that have shaped the twenty-first-century world so far (the 'war on terror' and questions of national/cultural belonging as well as related concepts such as tolerance, environmental disasters, etc.) on the one hand and recurrent debates on the position of national literatures in a world literary market on the other.

This option introduces students to the concept of World Literature, its development and current debates by reading authors/primary texts of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that reveal their 'worldliness', their position in the world, and their relation to other literatures and works of art particularly well. The primary texts are read alongside key critical texts that have influenced the debate on 'world literature' in recent years.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 186 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment consists of two written assignments:
- a reflective essay (1000 words, 25%), in which students engage with one or more of the questions/issues that were raised in class; to be submitted in week 6
- a final essay (3000 words, 75%); to be submitted in week 12 (tbc by the Graduate School before the start of the course)
Feedback - written feedback on the reflective essay; students are also invited to an individual feedback session during which the feedback can be discussed further and an essay plan for the final essay can be discussed (weeks 9 and 10)
- written feedback on the final essay
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of World Literature and its underpinning theories, including their complexity
  2. develop original ideas and their own approaches to World Literature and the primary texts
  3. demonstrate a high level of expression in both written and oral form
  4. carry out personal research under the guidance of the tutor and offer evidence of research initiative
  5. construct coherent arguments which demonstrate an awareness of the problems posed by the texts / issues which they are studying
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop graduate skills in all four clusters of ability: A) research and inquiry; B) personal and intellectual autonomy; C) communication; and D) personal effectiveness. In particular students will:
A) be able to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding; be read yo ask key questions; be able to critically assess existing understanding and the limitations of their own knowledge and recognise the need to regularly challenge all knowledge; search for, evaluate and use information to develop their knowledge and understanding; recognise the importance of reflecting on their learning experiences and be aware of their own learning style
B) be open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking; be creative and imaginative thinkers; be independent learners; be able to make decisions; be intellectually curious
C) make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding; seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness
D) have the confidence to make decisions based on their understandings and their personal and intellectual autonomy; be able to work effectively with others
KeywordsWorld Literature,transnationalism,cosmpolitanism,worldliness,genre
Course organiserDr Frauke Matthes
Tel: (0131 6)51 1483
Course secretaryMrs Vivien MacNish Porter
Tel: (0131 6)50 3528
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