World Literatures & Intercultural Communications

Examine a spectrum of national literatures, historical periods and cultural phenomena through the ages and across the globe.

How can World Literature courses be used?

  • Electives to complement your degree
  • Expanding the scope of your Major and/or Minor
  • Engaging a wide range of disciplines (Psychology, History, Sociology, Political Science, etc.)

World literature is a vibrant and vital field of study encompassing a spectrum of national literatures, historical periods and cultural phenomena through the ages and across the globe. It is a method of conceptualizing and reading literature as a witness to constant transformation and change. Tracing a global arc across a wide selection of oral, written and visual traditions, students will explore how politics and ideology shape and define literatures across geographical, cultural and ethnic boundaries.

Courses offered in this area also examine the literary properties of other genres of artistic communication, and the relationship between literature and other genres, including film, oral traditions, television, music, theatre and visual arts.

The intercultural learning and international awareness fostered by the study of literature in global perspective prepare students to flourish academically and professionally in an increasingly interconnected world.

Anderson Araujo | Transnational modernism; First World War poetry, 20th-century British and Irish literature; modernism and transatlantic modernism; peace and war studies; aesthetics.

Anderson Araujo’s published research engages the intersections of aesthetics and politics in Transatlantic Modernism, in articles on avant-garde movements and modernist writers, including Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, and Richard Aldington. His first book, A Companion to Ezra Pound’s Guide to Kulchur (2018), offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary study of this critical text in Pound’s oeuvre and biography. He is currently writing a book on modernist cultural politics and the Spanish Civil War.

WRLD Courses: WRLD 200. Introduction to World Literatures; WRLD 360. Literature and Power; WRLD 331. “Best” International Feature Films; WRLD 332. Nobel Prize Literature

Alison Conway | Literary and cultural history of the long eighteenth century in Britain; narrative studies; and gender and sexuality theory.

Alison Conway is the author of two books: Private Interests: Women, Portraiture, and the Visual Culture of the English Novel, 1709-1791 (2001) and The Protestant Whore: Courtesan Narrative and Religious Controversy in England, 1680-1750 (2010). She is co-editor, with Mary Helen McMurran, of Mind, Body, Motion, Matter: Eighteenth-Century British and French Literary Perspectives (2016), and co-editor, with David Alvarez, of Imagining Religious Toleration: a Literary History of an Idea, 1600-1830 (2019).

WRLD Courses: WRLD 428 Anti-Semitism: Then and Now

Monica Carolina Good | Spanish Culture and Literature; Indigenous literature; Indigenous language reclamation and revitalization (specifically for the case of Mexico); Indigenous peoples rights to court interpretation (Case of Oaxaca).

Monica’s work strives towards Indigenous languages revitalization and linguistic rights for Indigenous peoples, specifically for the case of Oaxaca, Mexico. Her research gives voice to Indigenous survivors of the legal system, and advocates for better training programs for Indigenous language interpreters. At present, Monica collaborates with a group of colleagues from USA and Mexico in a cultural revitalization project involving Indigenous communities in Oaxaca (Zapotec and Mixtec), and Mayan communities in the states of Campeche and Yucatan.

WRLD Courses: WRLD 155. Introduction to Language and Culture: Mayan; WRLD 340 Tales of Resistance: Indigenous voices in Central América

Hussein Keshani | Sultanate, Mughal and Late-Mughal era (Nawwabi) visual culture; Digital Islamic Art History; Interpretation in Digital Media for Botanic Gardens and Museums

Keshani’s work crosses multiple disciplines including history, religious and gender studies, digital art history/humanities, world literature, interpretation and art and architectural history. His diverse research practices include, archival and museum research, fieldwork at architectural sites and botanic gardens, coding, and analytical renderings of architectural drawings and digital models.

WRLD Courses: WRLD 370. Story and Image Across the Islamic World; WRLD 375. Encountering India: The Age of the Mughals

Frances Langevin | Plurilingual and pluricultural competencies; FSL didactics; Québec Studies; Place in French-language Fiction (régionalité); Narratology; French Linguistics and Literary Theories; Discourse Analysis (énonciation)

Francis Langevin is a Literary Theories, French and French Canadian Studies scholar whose published research focuses on 3rd-person narration, the relationship between style and values, and the representation of place in fiction (régionalité). His educational leadership projects study the development and the assessment of plurilingual and pluricultural competencies and attitudes in FSL education in Canada, especially in minority settings. He is currently conducting theoretical and empirical research on learners attitude change and motivation in university-level French language and Quebec Studies learners in Canada and abroad (20+ universities). At UBCO, he is in charge of aligning the French program (Minor & Major) with the Common European Frame of Reference for Languages (CEFR) as well as the Diplôme d’étude de langue française (DELF) testing format.

WRLD Courses: WRLD 153. Introduction to Language and Culture: French in Canada; WRLD 331. Nobel Prize Literature; WRLD 332. “Best” International Feature Films

Francisco Peña Fernández | Literary Studies, Biblical Studies, Religious Studies, and History of Ideas; literary study of the Bible; influence of the Bible in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish literature; Jewish/Christian relations in Medieval Iberia.

Francisco Peña´s research is wide-ranging and interdisciplinary in nature, involving Literary Studies, Biblical Studies, Religious Studies, and History of Ideas. He is the Principal Investigator of “The Confluence of Religious Cultures in Medieval Historiography: A Digital Humanities Project” financed by the SSHRC Insight Grant. This research project comprises the first interdisciplinary study of the General e grand estoria (GGE).

WRLD Courses: WRLD 100. World History of Horror; WRLD 240. World Sacred Scriptures: The Hebrew Bible; WRLD 310. Mythologies in Motion; WRLD 428 Anti-Semitism: Then and Now

Virginie Magnat | Performance Studies, Qualitative Research, World Performance Traditions

Virginie Magnat´s interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research spans the fields of performance studies, cultural anthropology, arts-based qualitative inquiry, and Indigenous epistemologies and methodologies. She co-leads a UBC-funded international research cluster exploring the cultural, spiritual and environmental dimensions of health and well-being. Her two monographs The Performative Power of Vocality (Routledge 2020) and Grotowski, Women, and Contemporary Performance: Meetings with Remarkable Women (Routledge 2014) and companion documentary film series (Routledge Performance Archive) are based on her SSHRC-funded research. Her publications have appeared in North American and international scholarly journals as well as edited collections in the fields of theatre and performance studies, anthropology, ethnomusicology, sociology, qualitative inquiry, and literary criticism in English, French, Polish, Italian, and Spanish.

WRLD Courses: WRLD 304. World Theatre and Cultural Performance; WRLD 313. Dramatic Literature in Performance

Alwyn Spies | Intercultural communication, community service learning, gender and autiobiography/memoir (particularly migration narratives), Japanese detective fiction, Japanese Studies, Asian Studies.

Alwyn Spies’ published research explores the boundaries between pure literature and pop culture in contemporary Japanese women’s writing and manga. Most recently her research, writing and educational leadership projects focus on pop culture and Japanese Studies curriculum design, and the development of hybrid online teaching materials – all with the goal of increasing intercultural capacity-building in undergraduate education.

WRLD Courses: WRLD 150. Introduction to Intercultural Communication; WRLD 382. Cross-cultural Travel Narratives; WRLD 330: War Narratives, WRLD 331. Nobel Prize Literature; WRLD 332. Best Foreign Movie, WRLD 497 Community Service Learning.

Major and Minor in World Literatures and Intercultural Communications

With assistance from the ALT Fund, an advisory team of five faculty members lead by Alwyn Spies and including Francisco Peña, Anderson Araujo, Francis Langevin, and Sarah Brears, is developing a major and minor in World Literature and Intercultural Communication. The proposed major and minor programs will centre around questions as to how cultural, linguistic, social and historical circumstances shape the production and dissemination of literary and artistic works in a global context.

The program will be distinctive in its fully integrated combination of literatures, languages and intercultural communication via a core focus on re-thinking difference. The courses in this area work to bridge language and literature with distinct but complementary learning outcomes.

The anticipated launch for the major and minor options is fall 2021.