Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

William S. Arighi
C LIT 323
Seattle Campus

Studies in the Literature of Emerging Nations

Novels and short stories, from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Discusses relationship of Western literary genres to an oral literary tradition, as well as issues like colonialism, gender relations, narrative technique, native and non-native languages.

Class description

Historical Fiction and Post/Colonialism in Southeast Asia and Africa

What is the relationship between history and literature? What is the "nation" and how can its story be told? Who can tell it? The novels, short stories, and films in this course will be drawn from the Philippines, Indonesia, Algeria, Gabon, Zimbabwe, and Vietnam in order to discuss how the appearance and development of nations, nationalism, and nation-states are tied to historical imagination and cultural production. Understanding how the categories of "literature" and "nation"--which often seem quite distinct or wholly unrelated--might relate to one another in distinct contexts will be the main goal of this course, as well as articulating the imagining of a past with the experience of the present. This will be achieved by historical contextualization, analysis of texts, and the support of theoretical texts. Some topics that may be considered in developing our understanding of these relationships are: the modernity of the nation form; genealogies of race and racism; colonialism, post-colonialism, and neo-colonialism; the production of gender identities and their relation to nationalism; narrative technique; and native and non-native languages, their transmission, and transcription.

This course may count towards the Diversity Minor and the African Studies Minor, as well the university diversity requirement.

Student learning goals

To read literature with attention to historical context.

To read and utilize secondary (theoretical) sources to enhance and challenge literary readings.

To write coherently, with complex understanding, and at length about literatures and cultures of multiple nations, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Algeria, Gabon, Zimbabwe, and Vietnam.

To think creatively and complexly about the relationship between nations, history, and literature.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

While there are no required prerequisites, experience in a college-level composition (C) or writing-intensive (W) course is recommended.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments will consist of frequent short reading responses, one mid-term exam, and one long paper.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by William S. Arighi
Date: 03/04/2014