Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


This course gives you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with some of the classic texts of world literature - mainly works by foreign-language authors in English translation. You will hone your skills in textual analysis and critical thinking by engaging in careful analysis of the individual texts, aiming to identify their main features as well as the historical and cultural frameworks within which they were produced. You will also develop an understanding of some of the key challenges involved in reading world literature: national vs global reading strategies, the circulation of literary texts across borders, and reading literature in translation.

Course readings will, where possible, be arranged thematically. Past themes include “Origins of the Novel” and “Cultural Meetings” (on travel and migration literature).



  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Analyse literary texts in English or English translation in terms of their main stylistic and thematic features.

2. Discuss the literary, historical, social and cultural backgrounds of these texts.

3. Identify some of the main theoretical and methodological issues involved in reading World Literature.

4. Communicate findings clearly and engagingly.


The course provides detailed insight into a selection of literary texts of global significance. Students will:

  • Engage in close reading
  • Use literary terminology relevant to the texts
  • Analyse literary techniques and devices
  • Examine literary texts in the light of their cultural and historical contexts
  • Give individual responses to texts
  • Refer to secondary literature
  • Discuss textual interpretations
  • Engage witht theories of World Literature (including comparative literature, literary circulation, reading across borders and translation)

Assessment items

Log / Workbook: Reading log (25%)

Online Learning Activity: Online discussion exercise (20%)

Quiz: Quiz (20%)

Essay: 1500-word essay (35%)

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

Seminar combines lecture material and group discussion.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.