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    English Literature in the Modern World
    ENGL A231
      More information: Course Guide
    English Literature in the Modern World
    Course Start Date
    Spr 2020
    Course Level
    Length in Terms
    1 term
    Fees ($) (including lab fees)
    Future Terms
    Aut 2021
    Quota and Schedule
    Start Date
    Course Level Length in Terms Credits
    Fees ($)
    (including lab fees)
    Future Terms
    Spr 2020
    Middle 1 term 5
    Aut 2021

    Course Coordinator: Dr Garfield Lau, BA, MPhil (CUHK); PhD (HKBU)

    Course Developers: Prof. Andrew PARKIN, Emeritus Professor of English (CUHK)

    In ENGL A231, students will encounter fiction and drama texts that help them appreciate the varied experience and contemporary issues found in some of the modern literatures in English. The drama and fiction texts studied in this course will give students insights into different societies and a variety of social interactions. There will be opportunities to study cultural change and the emergence of modern identities.

    The course aims to introduce the cross-cultural dimensions of post-colonial writing and central issues such as nation-building and the discovery of modern identities.


    • Major concepts in modern literature

    • Identity, the ‘Other’, and the crisis of culture in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

    • The ‘Other’ in Conrad’s ‘Amy Foster’

    • Multiculturalism in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club

    • The uncanny and the absurd in Angela Carter’s ‘A souvenir of Japan’

    • Gender stereotypes in Doris Lessing’s ‘Our friend Judith’

    • Gender issues in Hemingway’s ‘The Killers’ and Glaspell’s Trifles

    • Modern values in Douglas Coupland’s Generation X

    Learning support
    There will be regular two-hour tutorials and a day school.

    There are two assignments, one oral presentation and a final examination. Students are required to submit assignments via the Online Learning Environment (OLE).

    You will need access to a computer with a broadband connection to the Internet. Besides a microphone, please note that you may also be required to download some free software to your computer for recording your oral presentation to be submitted via the OLE.

    Set book(s)
    Students need to obtain the following set texts:

    • Achebe, C (1994) Things Fall Apart, New York: Anchor Books.

    • Conrad, J (2009) ‘Amy Foster’ in Typhoon and Other Stories, New York: Bibliolife, pp.105–44. This text is available online at: http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/AmyFost.shtml

    • Coupland, D (1991) Generation X, New York: St Martin’s Press.

    • Tan, A (1989) The Joy Luck Club, New York: G P Putnam’s Sons.

    Students are required to obtain and read all the set texts listed in the contents of the course. Online versions of some of these texts may be downloaded from the World Wide Web.

    Students with disabilities or special educational needs
    The audio and verbal components of the materials and assessment of the course may cause difficulties for students with impaired hearing or speech. You should seek advice from the Course Coordinator before enrolling on the course.

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