Contemporary English Novels National Taiwan University
This course aims at instructing a contrapuntal reading of contemporary cultural theories and contemporary English novels and films based on or inspired by novels. All lectures, readings and discussions focus on how a contested identity is formulated and manipulated in intervening our imagination and fear of the post 9/11 era. Practices in class include lectures from the lecturer, group presentation organized by students and discussion orientated by the lecturer. Course evaluation relies on students' in class participation, assignments, and contribution to class discussion. We’ll explore contemporary British novels (since the 1980s-5) that represent different strands of fiction and legacies of history, culture, and politics. The readings and films selected engage with social and class structures, racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender relations, and questions of national identity, and they present some variety in narrative tones, style, and structure.
This course put particular emphasis on class discussion that require every student take part in in-class discussion and an oral presentation. Written works include in-class discussion starter questions/comments, succinct journal entry on the assigned novel, a critical response, an exploratory essay, and a term essay (that may incorporate, revise, draw upon prior written work) on a topic and text(s) of your choice. This course attempts to 1. introduce contemporary writers, novels and issues; 2. demonstrate how ideas of national identity, transnationality, globalization and multiculturalism can be applied to the textual analysis of literature and culture and a form of identity politics; 3. ponder over possible ways to broaden the traditional literary studies with the up-to-dated issues of the world we are living now.
The course takes the form of 3-hour seminar, conducted in English. Students are required to attend regularly and participate vigorously in the seminars. Students are to present on a topic of their choice and lead the discussion. A mini-conference will be held in the 17th week; a 10-15 page term paper is due before the submission date to be announced in class. This course put particular emphasis on class discussion that requires every student take part in in-class discussion and oral presentation (once a semester). Written works include in-class discussion starter questions/comments (each week), succinct journal entry on the assigned novel or a critical response (those who are responsible for oral presentations), an exploratory essay (thesis 1 page, major works cited 1 page at the mini conference), and a term essay (that may incorporate, revise, draw upon prior written work) on a topic and text(s) of your choice. 1. Class participation: read the assigned articles before class and write a short passage of comments to present at each meeting to facilitate in-depth discussion. Active participation is expected. 2. Oral Presentation: a short presentation, an oral presentation in the mini conference 3. Mini conference: you are expected to briefly illustrate what you plan to do in the final paper with a 2-page- exploratory essay at the 17th week. 4. A full research paper: (at least 10 pages for MA students, 15 for PhD students, works cited not included). 5. Regular attendance: 2 absences—without asking for leave by email—will result in your failure in the course.
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