EN 3515 Syllabus

Welcome to Global Lit!

For the Fall 2021 semester, we’re meeting in 303 Rounds Hall from 12:00-1:40 PM on Tues and Thurs each week. You can also participate via Zoom. Links are in Canvas, and details are below under ‘Course Modality.’

For today’s class, please fill out: https://forms.gle/DtSNowwHmz76WnVG6

EN 3515, Currents in Global Literature (4 Credits)

Professor Nic Helms (nrhelms@plymouth.edu)

I’ll be in touch daily this semester via email and MS Teams (an Office 365 app available in myPlymouth). You can send me an email or chat in either platform, or you can book an online appointment with me for any available time Mondays through Thursdays 9:00-5:00 PM.

I try to respond to all communications within twenty-four hours, even on weekends.

Focuses on global literature. Centers on a particular theme of the instructor’s choosing and investigates how this theme interacts with the historical events and literary trends. Not open to students who have earned credit for EN 3510. Falls. (GACO)

This iteration of the course is themed by imperialist uses of early modern ocean currents: in particular, the transatlantic slave trade and European trade with Asia (such as the East India Company).

GACO-Global Awareness Connection

Educated people are aware that human beings are interdependent members of a world community, that there are both similarities and differences in the societies and cultures of the world, and that the manners in which people live their lives need not be exactly alike.

Students take a three or four-credit Global Awareness (GACO) course (either within the major or not) designed to expose them to the important societal issues facing the world and to encourage them to develop the ability to appreciate and think about issues from different points of view. Global Awareness courses focus on the forces that have shaped peoples, cultures, nations, and regions of the world. They increase students’ understanding of each person’s position, participation, obligations, and responsibilities within the world community

Student Learning Outcomes

Use cultural, historical, and aesthetic contexts to inform their understanding of all kinds of texts.

Display analytical skill in their written responses to texts.

Write fluently and understand writing as an artistic and/or intellectual process.

Understand the conventions of literary genre as creative writers and critics.

Capably use research to accomplish their reading, writing, and thinking goals.

Understand the role of emerging digital technologies in writing, literature, and communication.

Draw connections between literature and contemporary society, tracing back the roots of present-day systems of oppression.

Required Texts

Any editions are fine!

Danticat, Edwidge / The Dew Breaker / 1400034299 / Vintage 2005
Soyinka, Wole / Death and the King’s Horseman / 0393322998 / Norton 2002

Recommended Texts

These texts are required reading but optional to purchase. I’ll also be offering free online versions of all of these, but I’ve ordered a few copies in the bookstore for those of you who would like print editions. Again, any editions are fine!

Equiano, Olaudah / The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings: Revised Edition / 0142437166 / Penguin, Revised 2003
Kalidasa / The Recognition of Sakuntala: A Play In Seven Acts / 0199540608 / OUP 2008
Nguyen Du / The Song of Kieu: A New Lament / 0241360668 / Penguin 2019
Chikamatsu / Four Major Plays of Chikamatsu / 0231111010 / Columbia UP 1997

Course Modality

This course will be hybrid, composed of in-person synchronous class sessions (in Rounds 303 during our regularly scheduled class time) and required asynchronous assignments. If for whatever reason you cannot attend class in person, the synchronous sessions will be accompanied by live video-chats on Zoom. (Links are available in Canvas.) You are welcome to use Zoom chat in class, whether you are attending in person or remotely.

Participation in Zoom sessions is optional, as are microphone and camera use. Come as you are, participate as you’d like! We’ll devote significant time on Aug 31 to discussing WordPress, our digital platforms for the course.

Lectures or other class meetings for this course may be recorded by the university using USNH media platforms. (You can find these videos under the Zoom tab in Canvas). Such recordings may be available for educational use by other students enrolled in the class (including both for instruction and as a review tool), the course instructor(s), and other university officials who support course instruction. Your voice or image may be captured on the recordings, and by enrolling in this course you are consenting to such recording for these purposes.

If you’d like to not be recorded during segments of our synchronous sessions where such recording occurs, you’re free to turn off you microphone and camera during these sessions. If you have additional privacy concerns, please let me know.

Week 1 of Class

Tuesday, August 31: Class Introductions, Syllabus Discussion, and course tech overview (WordPress and Canvas workshop); introductory discussion of Intersectionality and Literature. No Questions or Reflections due this week.

Thursday, September 2: Franny Choi, “The World Keeps on Ending, and the World Goes On“; Shakespeare’s The Tempest 2.2. [Content Notice (hereafter CN): ableism, colonialism, racism]

For Weeks 2-16, visit the Sailing West and Sailing East pages.

Syllabus Contents

Accessibility and Disability



Care and Campus Resources

Diversity and Inclusion

Habits of Mind

HiFlex Teaching

Land Acknowledgement

Student-Centered Teaching

Study Support


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