World Literature 12ACP/12H
Course Overview 2020-2021
Mrs. Amy Anderson Room 231/ Zoom
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|Letter to Students/ Families|
“[Stories] are all bound up with this wonderful talent we humans have: to empathize with others. If, by reading these [stories], we are enabled to step, for one moment, into another person’s shoes, to get right under their skin, then that is already a great achievement. Through empathy we overcome prejudice, develop tolerance and ultimately understand love. Stories can bring understanding, healing, reconciliation and unity.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Welcome to World Literature in a year that promises to be both unusual and exciting!
While there are changes to our schedule, to the way we can arrange ourselves in the classroom, and to how we will use technology, our literary focus—novels, short stories, essays and poems by writers from around the world—has not changed. And the WHS English Department’s goal of helping students become better readers, writers, thinkers and speakers remains as steadfast as ever.
Studying this global curriculum at this time in your life and at this historical moment in our world may be especially powerful. Senior year can be both exciting and scary; you stand on a threshold between childhood and adulthood, between a familiar past and unknown future, between a known world and an unknown one. And you are beginning your senior year in the middle of a pandemic that has robbed us of aspects of our lives that we previously took for granted. I hope that this class will be a space in which you can sort through the uncertainties, turning to your classmates, to the narratives of other human beings, and to me for support.
Like all senior English courses, World Literature is designed to inspire you to reflect on where you have been and to provision you with skills—reading, writing, speaking, and thinking—for wherever you are going. As we move through literature from around the world, exploring human universals such as voice, identity and self-discovery, we ask you to look both inward and outward, focusing on these core grade 12 questions:
- Who am I? What is my story, and what forces and choices influence this identity?
- How does writing help me tell stories? How do I use the stylistic techniques and literary conventions explored last year to tell my stories and the stories of others?
- How does literature teach me to empathize and connect with others?
Unlike other senior English courses, World Literature samples literary masterpieces of literature from around the globe, at times in translation. We will explore other cultures, other histories, and examine the mechanisms by which—and the reasons for which—human beings are Othered. Together, we will listen to voices that defy oppression and stereotypes, reminding us of the endurance of the human spirit and of the universal human need to tell one’s story for oneself.
Purple Hibiscus Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Midaq Alley Naguib Mahfouz
The God of Small Things Arundhati Roy
Waiting Ha Jin
Night Spirits Ila Bussidor
In Other Rooms, Other Wonders Daniyal Mueenuddin
Various short stories, films, and essays
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