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Since there is so much to cover in this course, students will have the opportunity to investigate authors and works outside the confines of Volume I of the Norton Anthology.
This assignment is two-fold: a research essay which is due Nov. 18, followed by and a class presentation.
Here are some options to narrow your focus:
- Choose a writer and literary work (s) that can be considered a “masterpiece”–one that has literary merit and helps place the writer’s culture in historical as well as literary context.
- Research and incorporate scholarly perspectives to help you put the writer in a literary, historical, and cultural context.
- Your written essay should analyze one or more works by the author and argue for this work or author’s inclusion as a Masterpiece.
- Choose a literary work or an author who appears in our anthology but is not on the reading list, for example, Virgil and The Aeneid, (Rome); Petrarch (Europe (Italy).
- Choose a time period not covered in the anthology–after the 1600s. Narrow to find an author and work to study. For example, Notes from the Underground, a novella by 19th Century Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky.
- Choose a region not covered in the anthology; for example South America and Africa (both are represented in “Encounters with Islam” and “Encounters of Europe and the New World” though only the very early examples are included). For example, Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina) or Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Columbia); Wole Soyinka (Nigeria); Bessie Head (South Africa/Botswana).
- Present your findings in a class presentation and guide the class through an analysis of sample work that demonstrates the author’s style and places the work in a historical, social, or cultural context in some way.
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