Graduate Program

350:607 - Close Reading and World Literature

*Course No: 350:607
Index # - 18236
Distribution Requirement: A5, B, C
Tuesday – 9:50 a.m.
MU 207

Close Reading and World Literature

Rebecca Walkowitz

How does thinking about the expansive translation and circulation of literary texts change the way we operate as readers? This seminar will take up a number of important discussions about close reading and world literature, including ongoing conversations about the scale of the literary work, the relationship among editions and translations, multilingualism, reading in translation, collaborative reading, reading at a distance, very close reading, distant reading, not-reading, etc. We’ll consider these critical statements alongside literary works that address themselves to multiple audiences, to translators, and to readers in translation. We’ll also consider debates about the “world literature” syllabus (how to teach it, what it is), and ask how concepts such as fluency, native reading, foreign reading, and indeed “reading” as such are shaped and transformed by new paradigms of comparative literature. Literary examples will include short stories and novels by some of the following: Beckett, Bolaño, Carroll, Coetzee, Ferrante, Foer, Hamid, Ishiguro, Kincaid, Kingsnorth, Lahiri, Lerner, Marciano, Míeville, and Sebald. This course will be research seminar requiring two presentations, two annotated bibliographies, occasional response papers, and a final 20-25 pp. research paper. The last three weeks of the course will be devoted to 10-minute conference presentations of papers-in-progress.

*Cross listed with 16:195:610