Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


In this course, you will gain skills in reading contemporary literature across borders as well in navigating a literary world that is increasingly transnational and defined by the international circulation of texts. You will become familiar with the main theoretical positions within the field of World Literature Studies and will develop a keen understanding of both the challenges and the potentials of reading literature outside national frameworks. Above all, you will engage in detailed analysis of a range of exciting contemporary texts from around the world. The aim will be to understand these texts in terms of their key formal and thematic aspects as well as to read them transnationally as they travel across national borders.

The readings will be selected in such a way that they speak to each other and lend themselves to comparative analysis. The focal point may be a specific genre or theme that bring to light the internationalisation of the literary field. Texts written by foreign-language authors are examined in English translation.



    Learning outcomes

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

    1. Debate some of the key theoretical ideas and problems of World Literature Studies.

    2. Analyse individual texts with the aim of identifying their major formal and thematic aspects.

    3. Interpret examples of World Literature in translation in terms of the wider cultural and political contexts to which they respond.

    4. Communicate evidence-based arguments and findings in speech and writing.

    5. Apply critical/creative thinking skills in planning and writing an analytical essay.


    The course provides detailed insight into a range of modern writers from across the world. Activities and topics may include:

    • Reading across borders
    • World Literature Studies - theories and methods
    • Comparative Literature
    • Close vs distant reading
    • Historical, cultural, political contexts
    • Genres of World Literature
    • Problems of literary circulation
    • The role of translation
    • Globalisation and "worlding" of the literary field
    • Transnationalism

    Assumed knowledge

    20 units of English at 1000 level

    Assessment items

    Log / Workbook: Reading log (20%)

    Quiz: 2 in-class quizzes (20%)

    Presentation: Audio/video presentation (25%)

    Essay: 1,500-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.