Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ENG 108
Course Title:
World Literature
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces a broad spectrum of literature in translation that begins in the Renaissance and concludes at the present. Includes works of fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction. Examines the uniqueness and interconnectedness of literature from a variety of worldwide traditions, both western and non-western. This series (ENG 107- 108) does not have to be taken in sequence. The second of a two-course survey of World literature Prerequisites: WR 115 and RD 115 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Instructors may choose an anthology, individual works, or both.  This course meets the requirements of a survey, emphasizing breadth over depth.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

1. Discuss crucial literary movements that transpired from the 15th century to the present, namely, the Renaissance, Romanticism,
Modernism, and Post-Modernism.
2. Analyze the effects of war, religion, colonialism, technology, totalitarianism, economic development, racism, culture, etc. on world literature during this time period.
3. Identify and discuss how cross-cultural pollination influences the development of great works of literature.
4. Write clear, focused, coherent essays about literature for an academic audience, using standard English conventions of grammar and style.

Course Activities and Design

Instructors are free to include any assortment of activities to enhance student enjoyment and learning, including lectures, small-group discussions, writing, film viewings, individual and/or class projects, attending a dramatic performance as a class, research, etc.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment tools may include--

reading journals

class presentations

formal papers


group projects

study questions

in-class writing


Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

explication of individual works

comparison of works

literary vocabulary pertinent to modern literature

literary periods, canons, cultures

analysis of individual works

synthesis of knowledge about literature as a global phenomenon

variety of styles within modern literature

literary themes unique to modern world literature

 Suggested Texts:

 Instructors may choose to work exclusively with a single anthology or to include individual works as well.  The following list shows only a few examples of what is possible for an English 108 class to read.

 The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces: Expanded Edition in One Volume (includes new selections from Asia and Africa).

 The Longman Anthology of World Literature (Volume 2).

 The Bedford Anthology of World Literature (Package B).

 Diary of a Madman.  Lu Xun.

Paris Spleen.  Charles Baudelaire.

 Under the Bus Shelter.  Naguib Mahfouz. 

 No Longer at Ease.  Chinua Achebe.

 The Garden of Forking Paths.  Jorge Luis Borges. 

 The Sun Hath Looked Upon Me.  Calixth Beyala. 

 Soul Mountain.  Gao Xinjian.