English 211  World Literature from the Renaissance to the Present 

Dr. Anne Mills King

This is a generic syllabus, without dates, to let you know what to expect

This course is designed for readers interested in examining .major world writers writing in English and their works, and for writers who want to improve their style and analytic skills. It will introduce students to major works by multinational, multicultural writers like Chinua Achebe, Jamaica Kincaid, Arundhati Roy, Margaret Atwood,  Salman Rushdie, James Joyce, Derek Walcott and others, as well as biographies, autobiographies, and scholarly articles about the writers and their works.  Topics will include: a study and discussion of major works, viewing and analysis of filmed versions of some works, use of a reading log or journal to supplement reading and to develop further interest, evaluation of the writers in relation to how gender, race, and class influenced their work, and a demonstration of library research skills connected with obtaining more information about writers.  A reading list is attached.


Edwidge Danticat, Breath, Eyes, Memory.  Random  0-375703044

James Joyce- Dubliners  Dover edition $1.00  0-486-26870-5

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust

N. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain, University of New Mexico Press

Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart.  NY: Fawcett, 1959. 0- 449-20810-9

These books available in the bookstore; you may buy them anywhere, often cheaper. 

William Butler Yeats:  some selections  (handout)

Derek Walcott: some selections  (handout)


MY OFFICE:  M3056, 301-322‑0594,  Office Hours: posted on the door, and by appointment.

E‑Mail: aking@pgcc.edu  - FAX 301-808-0549

This syllabus and other information on my web page: http://academic.pgcc.edu/~aking


Class attendance in college: what I expect from you:


$                   You are expected to attend college classes in a mature, serious manner.  If you need to miss class, it is your responsibility to make up the work or to inform yourself about material discussed in class. 

$                   You must come to class on time and stay until the class is dismissed.  I will pass around an attendance sheet for you to sign in the first ten minutes of class; after that you may no longer sign it.

$                   Absences, including not signing the attendance sheet, will affect your grade.  If you have more than two week=s worth of absences, you will lose up to 10% of your grade for the course. 

$                   If you need to leave the classroom during the class time, do not return and disrupt the class a second time. 

$                   Try not to make other appointments during the time you are expected to be in class.  If this is absolutely unavoidable, let me know ahead of time.


What to expect from me:  Call or send me an e-mail if you have a problem, and I will return your call.  When deadlines are announced, they will be firm.  Tests cannot be made up, unless by special arrangement before the test is given. Papers and tests will be graded and returned within one week.  You are responsible for much of the research on the writers and their works, using the library facilities.  I will tie it all together with videos, handouts, and other materials to make your study of world literature written in English more rewarding and fascinating.  You will be amazed at how the writers we study mesh with what you have learned in history, psychology, and sociology courses.

In class, expect to have a relaxed, informal atmosphere with much student participation.  We may attend a play, a poetry reading at the Library of Congress, or make another special trip. 

I expect mature, responsible behavior‑‑like arriving in class on time and being respectful to others at all times. All papers must be typed. 



<                    Two tests: midterm (20%)  and final (25%)

<                    one report on another writer -15%

<                    one documented paper on an issue connected with the course‑‑‑20%

<                    quizzes (5%) attendance (5%)  participation, Journal‑‑10%   

Here's how I figure grades: A= 3.6‑4.; B= 2.6‑3.5; C= 1.6‑2.5;

D= .8‑1.5; F= 0.

You will receive separate handouts on the paper and reports.


During the semester, at the check points after papers are due, you will receive something like this:


ENGLISH 211-3490   SPRING 2003--------------DR. KING


Your Name



JOURNAL (later date):  Excellent, concise, perceptive journal--[if that's the case.  Lots of comments.:


PAPER (20%): 




R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R 

TURNITINBwhat is it?

For all my English and Women=s Studies classes

Dr. Anne M. King


I know that most of my students do their work honestly, originally, and well. I expect that in this course you will continue to do so.   Occasionally, though, sometimes inadvertently, students copy material from a source without acknowledging it, hand in someone else=s work as if it is their own, or otherwise act academically dishonestly.  If you follow the MLA style directions, you are unlikely to have this problem.  Just in case, though, I have a solution.

Turnitin is a service I plan to use this year to check on researched papers and other papers to make sure your work is original with you.  I successfully used it last year. 

Here=s what you do: you submit your revised papers to me either on a disk or by email. Aking@pgcc.edu    I prefer that you paste the paper in rather than put in an attachment to an email.  Some computers are not compatible with each other.


I send these papers electronically to the turnitin address, and within a very short time they send back to me a report on the sources of your paper.  You can find out about this service and how it works from http://turnitin.com You will see that they have a big database of sources. Please check out this website and look at the Astudent@ link for information. 


Since you will know ahead of time that I will be checking your papers for originality, if I find that the report indicates plagiarism on your part, you will receive a zero for that paper without any chance of re-writing it.  This will lower your grade for the course considerably. This is a serious offense in this college and elsewhere;  if it is repeated you are in danger of being expelled from the college.



R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R 

DATES                                   ASSIGNMENTS--DUE ON THIS DATE


Introduction to the class, the books, the classmates.


"The New Englishes"--Bob Marley; read Derek Walcott poems  Begin "The Story of English" video:  Caribbean writers in English: Derek Walcott


African writers writing in English:  Chinua Achebe

video on Chinua Achebe; begin Things Fall Apart


Things Fall Apart.


Things Fall Apart


Continue Achebe. Journal check

How to get information on writers from the Internet?


Library visit to learn how to look up writers in library sources.


Haiti:  Breath, Eyes. Memory


Breath, Eyes, Memory


Breath, Eyes, Memory


Oral reports


Journal Check


Ireland--another variety of English.  Early legends; Yeats poetry




Midterm Test




read "Eveline," "Clay" and "A Painful Case"


Dubliners-   Video of one of the stories from Dubliners


work on documented paper


Writers from India and Pakistan in English: start Heat and Dust Journal check


Special Documented Paper Due Heat and Dust


 Heat and Dust


Heat and Dust


Spring break: college closed


 Salman Rushdie: Literature and world politics


Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain.  Last day to withdraw








Final Journal check


Final exam 12:30-2:30 pm  






English 211--  Reading List for World Literature Written in English

Most of these books are in the PGCC library.  You may choose one book or one author for your individual project.  Items starred already assigned to the whole class (*).


*Achebe, Chinua.  Things Fall Apart  (Nigeria)

Atwood, Margaret.   (Canada)  The Handmaid's Tale,    The Robber Bride.

Ba, Mariama.  Scarlet Song, So Long a Letter

Bedford, Simi.  Yoruba Girl Dancing.  Nigeria.  Penguin 0-14-023293-1

Brodber, Erna.  Myal, Louisa Will Soon Come Home (Jamaica)

Brown, Stewart and John Wickham, eds.  The Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories.  1999

Bulosan, Carlos,  (Phillipines)  America is in the Heart

Cliff, Michele  (Jamaica) Abeng.  Penguin

Condé, Maryse (Guadelupe). Windward Heights,    I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem.

*Danticat, Edwidge.  Breath, Eyes, Memory.  NY:  Soho 1994. (Haitian, some Creole phrases.)

Desai, Anita.  (India)  In Custody.  Penguin 0-1402.3932 4

Dinesen, Isak.  Babette's Feast.  Out of Africa.

Emecheta, Buchi. The Joys of Motherhood  (Nigeria)

Frame, Janet.  Owls Do Cry.  (New Zealand) 

Gordimer, Nadine.  None to Accompany Me.  Penguin 0-14025039-5

Hulme, Keri. The Bone People.  (New Zealand) Penguin 0-14-008922-5 

Ishiguro, Kazuo.  The Unconsoled.  Knopf 1995.  Japanese, very English

*Jhabvala, Ruth Prawer  Heat and Dust.

*Joyce, James, Dubliners (Ireland)  Dover

Kim, Helen.  The Long Season of Rain.  Korean, 1960s, in English.

Kincaid, Jamaica.  Annie John,    Autobiography of My Mother.  At the Bottom of the River.

Kogawa, Joy.  Obasan  (Canada)

Langford, Ruby.  Don't Take Your Love to Town.  (Abo woman in Australia)

Laurence, Margaret.  The Stone Angel.  (Canada)

Lim, Shirley Geok-lin.  Among the White Moon Faces.

Markandaya, Kamala.  Nectar in a Sieve. (India)

Markham, E. A., editor.  The Penguin Book of Caribbean Short Stories. 14024503-0

Marshall, Paule.  The Chosen Place, The Timeless People.

Michaels, Anne.  Fugitive Pieces. (Canada)

Moore, Brian.  No Other Life. Canadian, about an island very like Haiti.  (Plume)

Munro, Alice.  The Beggar Maid  .  (Canada)  Penguin 1980 0-1400.6011-1

Ondaatje, Michael.  Running in the Family.  NY:  Norton, 1982 (Ceylon, Canada)

Paton, Alan.  Cry the Beloved Country.  South Africa

Rhys, Jean.  Wide Sargasso Sea.  (Jamaica)

Roy, Arundhati, The God of Small Things.  Random House, 1977 (India)

Rushdie, Salman.  Midnight's Children.  Penguin 0-14-013270-8 

Vassanji, M. G. (Kenya) The Book of Secrets

Shields, Carol.  The Stone Diaries.  (Canada) Penguin 0-14023313-X 

Walcott, Derek.  Selected Poetry.  Heinemann, 1981.  PR 9272.9 .W3 A6 1981




EGL 211:  World Literature from the Renaissance to the Present      





Students who have successfully completed the course will be able to:


1.             Explain religious and philosophical outlooks of humankind as evidenced in modern and contemporary literature


2.             Identify important literary movements in world literature.


3.             Write analytically with adequate documentation on a relevant topic in world literature.


4.             Identify the literary devices, motifs, and genres in world literature.


5.             Identify major writers, their works, and some dominant themes of their works in both western and non-western cultures since the Renaissance.