HENK0386EU English - Free topic 7: Globalisation, the US South and the New Southern Studies (NEW exam form C)

Volume 2015/2016

Examinationform for this course is changed to "exam form C"


This course will consider recent literary texts that situate the U.S. South within transnational contexts. In particular, we will look at writings—mostly novels but also short stories, non-fiction, and travel writing--that have focused on the ways in which immigration and globalization have challenged and transformed traditional understandings of U.S. southern identity. By reading a range of primary texts produced by native southerners, non-southern U.S. writers, and international authors, we will map the changing terrain of the region as it is reshaped by an influx (and exodus) of global capital, and by the arrival of immigrants from around the world. 


Early in the course, we will consider how recent literary representations of cultural and migratory flows between the Caribbean and the U.S. South relate to or riff on the work of earlier southern writers like Zora Neale Hurston. We will proceed to assess the ways in which literary representations of immigrants from Africa, southeast Asia, and Latin America complicate traditional notions of a “biracial” (i.e., white and black) U.S. South. We will also think about the ways in which these texts depict and critique the “sense of placelessness” which, according to postmodern theorists, characterizes a capitalist “international city” like Atlanta, and whether representations of immigrant communities in Atlanta, Miami, Memphis, and (post-Katrina) New Orleans offer an alternative vision of the (urban) South as an “international,” increasingly cosmopolitan locus.

The course will situate the selected primary texts in relation to and dialogue with recent critical and theoretical work in American studies, southern studies and other relevant fields; in particular, we will read and discuss critical texts associated with the so-called “New Southern Studies.” Primary texts will include some of the following: V.S. Naipaul, A Turn in the South (1989); Russell Banks, Continental Drift (1985); Toni Morrison, Tar Baby (1980); Erna Brodber, Louisiana (1994); Susan Choi, The Foreign Student (1998); Tom Wolfe, A Man in Full (1998); Robert Olen Butler, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain (1992); Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer (2002); Cynthia Shearer, The Celestial Jukebox (2005); Lan Cao, Monkey Bridge (1997); Ha Jin, A Free Life (2007); Dave Eggers, Zeitoun (2009); Patrick Neate, Twelve Bar Blues (2002).

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 176,75
  • Total
  • 204,75