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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

ENGL 74.04 Postcolonial Bildungsroman: Youth and Happiness in the Global Novel

How does one grow up to find happiness? The “bildungsroman,” or novel of "coming to age,"  is a novelistic genre that arose in the late 18th century to answer precisely that question, by using stories of young protagonists to imagine the optimal path to happiness. In this class, we will familiarize ourselves with texts considered “exemplary” of the bildungsroman in the Western tradition, then turn to non-Western narratives of youth to compare different conceptions of the link between youth and happy living. Primary texts include: J. W. Goethe, Wilhelm Meister ; Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Olive Schreiner, Story of an African Farm; Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights; Tawfiq al-Hakim, Bird of the East; Hahya Haqqi, The Saint’s Lamp; Chinua Achebe, No Longer at Ease; Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Ambiguous Adventure; Tayyeb Saleh, Season of Migration to the North; Ama Ata Aidoo, Our Sister Killjoy. Secondary texts include criticism by Mikhail Bakhtin, Franco Moretti, Jed Esty, and Joseph Slaughter.

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:LIT; WCult:CI

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Department-Specific Course Categories

Senior Seminar: Course Group IV