Global Literatures

(Thematic, disciplinary)

Program requirements:
Specialization in Global Literatures
Stream in Global Literatures

Sample course selections:
First Year: Global Literatures
Second Year: Global Literatures

Affiliated faculty members:
Global Literatures

Sponsoring unit website:
Department of English Language and Literature

In the twenty-first century, literature has become one of the most compelling ways to enter into the many cultural worlds that converge in contemporary societies. This BGInS Specialization responds to the dramatic rise and transformation of global literatures since the era of decolonization by exploring the following questions:

  • How do writers express experiences of living in multiple national communities?
  • How do we understand colonialism, diaspora and migration through literature?
  • How can we reimagine the study of literature as a transnational and global field rather than one that is bounded by national borders?

Building from the commitment of the Department of English Language and Literature to a wide range of global literatures and approaches, the Specialization offers students the rich experience of looking at these literatures in dialogue with other interdisciplinary contexts in global studies.

Students will begin the Specialization in Global Literatures with a core course on “Literature in Global Context.” They will then choose from a variety of course offerings in African, Caribbean, South Asian, Indigenous, diaspora, and transnational literatures and theory that will give them the opportunity to investigate how literatures around the world have been shaped by cultural encounters in an age of increasing global interconnectedness. Students will learn not only about the rich historical traditions of various world literatures but also the unique ways in which writers in former colonies, in the diaspora, or circulating in between, articulate experiences of displacement as well as new forms of belonging. At the heart of this Specialization will be questions of cultural translation and mis-translation that have become a key feature of our contemporary world.

This Specialization will be of interest to students who want to consider the cultural and literary implications of migration, globalization, (post)colonialism, and transnationalism alongside their economic and sociological dimensions. Students will not only develop expertise in global literatures but will also acquire critical thinking and communication skills that will prepare them for a range of career paths including journalism, cultural resource management and policy analysis, civil service, public relations, law, technical and business writing, as well as graduate training in literary and cultural studies.