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Topics in World Literature

Course Code: ENGL 3160
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: English
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 14 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course provides an in-depth study of literature from one or more world regions other than the British Isles and Anglo-North America. This literature may be written originally in English or be studied in translation, and will be selected to highlight an organizing cultural, linguistic, national or thematic focus: for example, works about home and migration; works from Latin America; representations of gender in Indian literature. Readings will include theory/criticism relevant to the topic under consideration.

Course Content

All third-year English courses share the following features:

  1. Students are presumed to have had first-year level instruction and experience in writing critical essays on literary subjects.
  2. Students are required to read in the course subject area beyond the texts assigned by the instructor.
  3. Students are required to incorporate into their oral and written coursework secondary source materials, which may include biographical information, literary criticism or theory, unassigned texts by the author under study, relevant cultural or intellectual history, or other aesthetic works such as music or visual art.

Readings and topics vary with each instructor’s presentation of a course, but all course materials are consistent with the objectives and outcomes for this course.

Additionally, in English 3160,

  1. students will examine a topic or group of related topics, such as concepts of identity, nation, revolution, migration, time or censorship, in a selection of literature that largely comes from outside the British Isles and Anglo-North America: for example, they may examine political revolution in French and Russian literature, or gender and class in Indian literature.
  2. students may focus on one literature (for instance, Chinese) or on two or more literatures (for instance, a comparison of Chinese and Indonesian literatures).
  3. the works chosen may be written originally in English or may be studied in translation.
  4. students will learn about some of the cultural and historical contexts of the literature.

Methods of Instruction

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  1. lecture/discussion;
  2. group work;
  3. peer review;
  4. independent research;
  5. instructor feedback on students’ work;
  6. individual consultation; and presentation (individual or group).

Means of Assessment

  1. A minimum of two academic essays and a final exam worth at least 80% of the course grade (combined total).
  2. A maximum of 20% of the course grade may be based on informal writing (quizzes, short answer tests); oral reports/presentations; participation/preparation grades; and/or other non writing-intensive assignments.


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of any third-year English literature course, students should be able to

  1. read and analyze literary texts with increased skill and insight;
  2. integrate their understanding of literature into an evolving awareness of relevant cultural and historical contexts and perspectives;
  3. perceive connections among literary texts across genres, historical periods, and/or cultural contexts;
  4. conduct independent research to supplement the course material and integrate this information into course assignments; and
  5. write different kinds of literary analyses, such as thematic, technical, or theoretical.

Upon completion of English 3160, students should also have 

  1. developed an understanding and appreciation of a topic, or group of related topics, in a chosen body of literature that is largely outside the traditional canon of English literature;
  2. developed an understanding of some of the unique geographic, linguistic, and historical conditions out of which the literature arises, and to which it responds; and
  3. become familiar with a variety of relevant perspectives or contexts—art forms, literary and aesthetic traditions, cultural practices and beliefs, religious traditions, gender relations, etc.—which will often be different from those dominant in the British Isles or Anglo-North America.

course prerequisites

Any two university-transfer first-year English literature courses, OR one university-transfer first-year English literature course and one university-transfer first-year Creative Writing or English writing course, AND a minimum of 45 credit hours.


curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.