Global Narratives

Global Narratives

The Global Narratives concentration is designed for English majors who wish to expand their literary studies in English with the study of world literatures beyond the Anglo-American tradition, though in close conversation with it. It allows students to explore literatures and other narrative forms from a wide geographic and temporal scope, focusing specifically on investigating different conventions of representation, interpretation and critique, both with regard to human experience and aesthetic repertoires. Students are also encouraged to investigate the interrelations between literature and other disciplines as well as creative endeavors, as they present themselves from different global vantage points.  Through close analysis of world literatures, in English and translation into English, students learn to develop historically situated and culturally aware readings of global narratives from a cross-cultural and cross-temporal perspective. Ultimately, students are challenged to devise unique lines of inquiry whose purpose is to clarify and confront the fundamental issues challenging all humanity at the current historical juncture.

Students should select four courses (12 credits) from the list below, and take at least two classes beyond the 100-level.  The four courses required for a concentration may also fulfill four of the five prescribed electives for the English major. Additionally, students are encouraged (but not required) to develop capstone projects based on their selected concentration for ENGL 487W (Senior Seminar), insofar as these projects are feasible under the direction of the course instructor and within the overall purview of the specific course theme.

All courses taken for the Global Narratives concentration (with the exception of select Special Topics courses, as noted below) need to investigate at least three national literatures or three narrative traditions in a global context. Students should note that, in a given semester, only courses clearly identified as “GNC” courses by the English Program Coordinator can be taken to fulfill the Global Narratives concentration. Courses with broad course descriptions will vary in theme depending on the faculty member teaching them and hence will not always qualify for the GN concentration.

Courses that often count toward the GN concentration include:

Global Narratives Courses

To fulfill the Global Narratives concentration, a student must take at least four classes from those listed below.


  • ENGL 140 (GH) Contemporary Literature
  • ENGL 182A (GH;US;IL) Literature and Empire
  • ENGL 185 (GH;IL) (CMLIT 185) World Novel (CMLIT 185)
  • ENGL 194 (GH;US;IL) (WMNST 194) Women Writers (WMST 194)
  • ENGL 226 (GH;US;IL) (LTNST 226) Latina and Latino Border Theories
  • ENGL 312 Globality and Literature
  • ENGL 400 Authors, Texts, Contexts
  • ENGL 401 Studies in Genre
  • ENGL 402 Literature and Society
  • ENGL 403 Literature and Culture
  • ENGL 404 Mapping Identity, Difference, and Place
  • ENGL 462 (US) (WMNST 462) Reading Black, Reading Feminist (WMST 462)
  • ENGL 482 Contemporary Literary Theory and Practice
  • ENGL 482W Contemporary Literary and Cultural Theory
  • ENGL 483 Problems in Critical Theory and Practice
  • ENGL 486 (IL) The World Novel in English
  • ENGL 297, 397, 497 Special Topics may count toward the GN concentration, depending on the content offered. Additionally, ENGL 487W Senior Seminar may also count, depending on the capstone theme and works studied in a given semester.

Comparative Literature (CMLIT) Courses

  • CMLIT 003 (GH;IL) Introduction to African Literatures
  • CMLIT 005 (GH;US;IL) Introduction to Literatures of the Americas
  • CMLIT 010 (GH;IL) World Literatures
  • CMLIT 010U (GH;IL) The Forms of World Literature: A Global Perspective
  • CMLIT 011 (GH;IL) The Hero in World Literature
  • CMLIT 013 (GH;IL) Virtual Worlds: Antiquity to the Present
  • CMLIT 100 (GH;IL) Reading Across Cultures
  • CMLIT 101 (GH;US;IL) Race, Gender, and Identity in World Literature
  • CMLIT 106 (GH;IL) The Arthurian Legend
  • CMLIT 107 (GH;IL) Exploration, Travel, Migration, and
  • CMLIT 108 (GH;IL) Myths and Mythologies
  • CAMS 045 (GH;IL) Classical Mythology
  • CMLIT 140 (GH;IL) Literature and the Other Arts: International and Comparative Perspectives
  • CMLIT 143 (GH;US;IL) Human Rights and World Literature
  • CMLIT 153 (GH;IL) International Cultures: Film and Literature
  • CMLIT 185 (GH;IL) (ENGL 185) World Novel
  • CMLIT 190 (GH;IL) Literary and Cultural Theory: An Introduction
  • CMLIT 403 (US) (LTNST 403) Latino/a Literature and Culture
  • CMLIT 405 (US;IL) Inter-American Literature
  • CMLIT 406 (IL) Women and World Literature
  • CMLIT 408 (IL) Heroic Literature
  • CMLIT 435 (IL) Cultures of Globalization
  • CMLIT 438 (IL) Fantastic Worlds: International and Comparative Perspectives
  • CMLIT 443 (US;IL) Transatlantic Literature
  • CMLIT 446 (IL) Postcolonial Literature and Culture
  • CMLIT 449 (IL) Literary Cultures of Islam
  • CMLIT 455 (IL) Ethics, Justice, and Rights in World Literature
  • CMLIT 471 (IL) Poetry and Poetics
  • CMLIT 486 (IL) Tragedy
  • CMLIT 489 (IL) Contemporary World Fiction
  • CMLIT 197, 297, 397, 497 Special Topics all satisfy the course requirements for the Global Narratives concentration.