30.391 Commonwealth Literature

30.391 Commonwealth Literature
Fall 2015
Dr. Reinhold Kramer
109 Clark Hall
[email protected]
Office hours: 2:40-3:30 p.m. (Mon., Wed., Thur.)
Home page: http://people.brandonu.ca/kramer/
(or google “Reinhold Kramer”)
Course Description:
A study of the wide variety of writing in English outside of Europe
and North America. The course will include short stories, poetry,
and several novels, possibly Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
(India); Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah (Nigeria); Chris
Abani, Graceland (Nigeria); and V. S. Naipaul, The Mystic
Masseur (Trinidad). Titles may change with little notice.
1. Reading tests (on entire novels)
2. Class Participation
3. In-class Essay/Test
4. Term Paper (10-12 pages)
5. Final Exam
16 Sept.; 2, 28 Oct; 23 Nov.
21 October
Due 30 November
22 December 9-11 a.m.
Note: There may be penalties for lateness, depending upon circumstances. Reading tests cannot be
postponed and missed tests cannot be rewritten without a doctor’s note or other documentation. Cite all
your sources – assignments containing plagiarism will be graded “0” and will result in disciplinary action.
See BU General Calendar 4.2.2 “Academic Integrity.” No cell phones in class.
For the very shy: in place of “class participation” you may hand in, 5 times during the course, short (1
page, double-spaced, typed) commentaries, not plot summaries, on the text under discussion that day.
These commentaries must be handed in before we discuss the reading in class, and are worth 2% each.
No commentaries will be accepted after class discussions for any reason.
Students with disabilities who require accommodation should register with the Disability Services
Coordinator. Some students may find readings and/or discussions of controversial matters troubling. If so,
contact the instructor immediately for alternative assignments or an alternative course.
A+ 90 & up
A 84-89
A- 80-83
B+ 77-79
B 74-76
B- 70-73
C+ 67-69
C 64-66
C- 60-63
D 50-59
F 0-49
Abani, Chris. Graceland.
Achebe, Chinua. Anthills of the Savannah.
Desai, Kiran. The Inheritance of Loss.
Naipaul, V.S. The Mystic Masseur.
Norman, Colin. Writing Essays: A Short Guide. 2nd ed. Queen’s.
Ramraj, Victor ed. Concert of Voices. 2nd ed.
Tentative Schedule:
Sept. 9
Introduction: Colonialism, the Commonwealth, Post-Colonialism
Walcott, “Ruins of a Great House” (1962), “A Letter from Brooklyn” (1962)
David Dabydeen, “The New Poetry” (1988), “Catching Crabs” (1988)
Sept. 16 - 28
Naipaul, The Mystic Masseur (1957)
Sept. 30
Achebe, “Girls at War” (1972)
Oct. 2 - 19
Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah (1987)
Oct. 21
In-class Essay/Test
Oct. 23
Anand, “Duty” (1938)
Mahapatra, “The Abandoned British Cemetery at Balasore” (1979)
Das, “An Introduction” (1965)
Anita Desai, “Surface Textures” (1978)
Oct. 26
Oct. 28 - Nov. 18
Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss (2006)
Nov. 23 - Dec. 7
Nov. 30
Abani, Graceland (2004)
Term Paper on Kiran Desai due
Dec. 9
Yap, “2 Mothers in a HDB Playground” (1986)
Lim, “To Li Po” (1994)
Dec. 22
9-11 a.m.
Final Exam