Fall 2020 Syllabus

Welcome to Global Lit!

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.

Habits of Mind

The General Education program focuses on developing the following Habits of Mind:

1. Purposeful Communication
2. Problem Solving
3. Integrated Perspective
4. Self-Regulated Learning 

Click here and scroll down for detailed descriptions of these Habits of Mind.

As a course in General Education program, EN 3515 Currents in Global Literature focuses on developing Integrated Perspective, a habit of mind characterized by the recognition that individual beliefs, ideas, and values are influenced by personal experience as well as multiple contextual factors—cultural, historical, political, etc. All human beings are interconnected through their participation in natural and social systems. An integrated perspective recognizes that individual decisions impact the self, the community, and the environment. Students will acknowledge the limitations of singular points of view and recognize the benefits of engaging with and learning from others in order to integrate multiple perspectives for effective communication, problem-solving, and collaboration.

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 completely online and will contain optional synchronous sessions and required asynchronous assignments. The synchronous sessions are live video-chats on Microsoft Teams and will take place during our normally scheduled class times (Mon & Wed, 4:00-5:40 PM).

Participation in Teams 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 26 to discuss Microsoft Teams and 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. (Most likely this will be in Teams). 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

Monday, August 24: Class Introductions, Syllabus Discussion and Negotiation

Wednesday, August 26: Plymouth Create, WordPress, and Microsoft Teams workshop.

Wednesday, August 26: Plymouth Create, WordPress, and Microsoft Teams workshop; introductory discussion of oppression

For Weeks 2-13, visit the Sailing West and Sailing East pages.

Syllabus Contents

Accessibility and Disability



Care and Campus Resources

Diversity and Inclusion

HiFlex Teaching

Land Acknowledgement

Student-Centered Teaching

Study Support


You made it to the end! And now, something completely different…