This literature course explores how great writers refract their world and how their works are transformed when they intervene in our global cultural landscape today.
No national literature has ever grown up in isolation from the cultures around it; from the earliest periods, great works of literature have probed the tensions, conflicts, and connections among neighboring cultures and often more distant regions as well.
Focusing particularly on works of literature that take the experience of the wider world as their theme, this course will explore the varied artistic modes in which great writers have situated themselves in the world, helping us to understand the deep roots of today's intertwined global cultures.
HarvardX requires individuals who enroll in its courses on edX to abide by the terms of the edX honor code. HarvardX will take appropriate corrective action in response to violations of the edX honor code, which may include dismissal from the HarvardX course; revocation of any certificates received for the HarvardX course; or other remedies as circumstances warrant. No refunds will be issued in the case of corrective action for such violations. Enrollees who are taking HarvardX courses as part of another program will also be governed by the academic policies of those programs.
HarvardX pursues the science of learning. By registering as an online learner in an HX course, you will also participate in research about learning. Read our research statement to learn more.
Harvard University and HarvardX are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which no member of the community is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination or harassment in our program. All members of the HarvardX community are expected to abide by Harvard policies on nondiscrimination, including sexual harassment, and the edX Terms of Service. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and/or report your experience through the edX contact form.
Texts/authors considered in the course:
Section 1: Goethe and the Birth of World Literature Section 2: The Epic of Gilgamesh Section 3: Homer, The Odyssey Section 4: The 1001 Nights Section 5: Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji Section 6: The Lusiads Section 7: Voltaire, Candide Section 8: Lu Xun and Eileen Chang Section 9: Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones Section 10: Wole Soyinka, Death and the King's Horseman Section 11: Salman Rushdie and Jhumpa Lahiri Section 12: Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red
is taking this course right now, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I enjoyed this course and found it both enriching and enjoyable. Even though having an experience with any of the works discussed or invoked can deepen your understanding of the subject matter, it's by no means a requirement.