HENK00019U English, 2013 curriculum - Free topic 9: Cosmopolitanism and Literature
In this course we will explore different definitions and discussions of cosmopolitanism. This exploration will equip us with a conceptual and theoretical framework and provide us with a rich vocabulary that we will use as a critical perspective on a series of contemporary novels and short-stories (and a not-so-contemporary novella). We will be asking questions such as: Is cosmopolitanism an aesthetic or political category or, perhaps, both? Is cosmopolitanism an ethics that relies on conversation across difference? Is cosmopolitanism an idealistic rather than practical ‘project’? What does being a citizen of the world/cosmos really mean and is this possible in practice? What characterises a cosmopolitan world-view or ethos? Is cosmopolitanism elitist? What is the difference between banal and vernacular cosmopolitanism? How many ‘faces’ does cosmopolitanism have? How do you identify and classify a cosmopolitan aesthetics? And what is the connection between cosmopolitanism and literature? Indeed, what is a cosmopolitan novel (or novella or short story)?
Provisional reading list:
James Joyce, ’The Dead’, from The Dubliners (1914):
http://www.online-literature.com/james_joyce/958/; Michael Oondatje, The English Patient (1992); Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss (2006); Teju Cole, Open City (2011); Yvonne Owuor, ’Weight of Whispers’ (2003): http://www.gallardo.net/gen-t/weight_of_whispers.pdf; Brian Chikwava, ’Seventh Street Alchemy’ (2003); stories from David Herd and Anna Pincus, eds, Refugee Tales (2016) and Olumide Popoola Annie Holmes, Breach (2016).
Ulrich Beck, ‘The Cosmopolitan Manifesto’
https://www.scribd.com/doc/110901757/Ulrich-Beck-The-Cosmopolitan-Manifesto-1998; Ulf Hannerz, ‘Two Faces of Cosmopolitanism: Culture and Politics’
3534-8892-1-PB(2).pdf; Anthony Kwame Appiah, ‘Cosmopolitan Reading’;
Homi K. Bhabha, ‘Vernacular Cosmopolitanism’; Kwame Anthony Appiah, Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (extracts); Paul Gilroy, Postcolonial Melancholia (extracts); Katherine Stanton, Cosmopolitan Fictions (extracts);
Berthold Schoene, The Cosmopolitan Novel (extracts); Bruce Robbins, Feeling Global (extracts)
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assesment
- Class Instruction