ENGL346 - Twentieth-Century Fiction
101 - Tan, Kathy-Ann

This course will explore how globalization as a phenomenon has been addressed in twentieth and twenty-first century fiction. We will combine an examination of recent critical discourses on globalization with an analysis of how globalization is represented in recent novels. As a twentieth-century phenomenon, globalization is often understood to mean the integration of cultural, economic, political and ethical systems on a global scale. This begs the question whether globalization is actually an older phenomenon that has only received much more attention in late twentieth-century discourse due to the impact of economic forces such as capitalism and global financial exchange. Some topics that we will discuss include those commonly associated with the “reality” of living in a global era: the relationship between globalization and notions of identity and citizenship, migration and mobility, the commodification of culture in a globalized/technocultural present, etc. A selection of novels we will be looking at include Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, Chuck Palaniuk’s Fight Club, Richard Powers’ Generosity: An Enhancement, William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition, Shani Mootoo’s Valmiki’s Daughter, Dionne Brand’s In Another Place, Not Here, and Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange, and Chang-Rae Lee’s Native Speaker. Theoretical texts will include work by Fredric Jameson, Anthony King, Engin Isin and others. Assignments will include a short group presentation, a research paper, an oral mid-term and a final exam.


Two lower-level English courses, at least one in literature; or permission of department. Not open to students who have completed ENGL379B in Spring 2006.