Great Works of Literature

This course presents a global approach to literature by introducing a variety of narrative, lyric, and dramatic forms representative of different cultures and historical periods, from the seventeenth century to the present. We will study examples of fantasy and satire, Romantic poetry, modern plays, and a broad range of narratives. Discussions involve both close reading of the selected texts and comparison of the values the texts promote by considering the work in their social historical, religious, economic, and political contexts. We will engage in a variety of communication-intensive activities designed to enhance your appreciation of literature and awareness of the way it shapes and reflects a multicultural world.


Kong Shangren, The Peach Blossom Fan

Chikamatsu Monzaemon. The Love Suicides at Amijima

Molière, Tartuffe

William Blake, “The Little Black Boy”

William Wordsworth, “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802”

John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “Apollo”

Junot Díaz, “Monstro”

Lu Xun, “Diary of a Madman”

James Joyce, “The Dead”

Rabindranath Tagore, “Punishment”

Nawal el Saadawi, “In Camera”

Toni Morrison, “Recitatif”