English 221



English 221/Survey of World Literature II

* Please note that you don’t need to have taken English 220 (the first half of the World Literature survey class) in order to take this class.

English 221 is a survey or overview of some of the more significant texts produced in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Australia from about 1660 to the present day.  During our semester together, we will read, analyze, and discuss a variety of texts (both canonical and non-canonical) in order to sketch out a basic understanding of some of the key authors, texts, trends, and historical and cultural contexts that have shaped world literature. The class will be organized around the various movements within literary history, so we can attempt to understand the historical shifts and cultural conditions that surround the works of literature that we will read.

Some of the questions we will be asking include:

  • What are some of the significant themes, genres, and archetypes in these texts?
  • Who were some of the major authors in each of these periods?
  • What historical, cultural, religious, and social conditions and concerns influenced writers in each period?

Our books will be the following:

  • “English 221 Lecture Notes” (available only at the Palomar Bookstore)
  • Norton Anthology of World Literature, Volume 2, Shorter 4th Edition

Audio Glossaries:

  • The Norton Anthology website has audio glossaries located here so you can look up the correct pronunciation of words

Unit I:  Literatures of Early Modern East Asia:


Unit II:  The Enlightenment in Europe and the Americas:


Unit III:  An Age of Revolutions:


  • Eugene Delacroix’s painting of Faust and Mephistopheles:

  • Baudelaire’s Paris

Camille_Pissarro’s Avenue de l’Opera-Musée des Beaux Arts



Unit IV: At the Crossroads of Empire

  • Resources coming soon

Unit V: Realism across the Globe

  • Realism in Paintings:
    • Francisco Goya’s The Third of May, 1808 in Madrid, painted 1814-1815:

    • Degas’ Place de la Concorde, painted in 1875:




  • Tolstoy and his wife Sofya, taken about six weeks before his death in 1910:

  • Painting by Franz Roubaud of the Siege of Sevastopol (1901) in the Crimean War:

  • Georges de la Tour’s The Penitent Magdalen, ca. 1640:

Unit VI:  Resources on Modernity and Modernism, 1900–1945:

  • German Expressionism in Otto Lange’s Crucifixtion II (1918):

  • Salvador Dali’s 1931 painting The Persistence of Memory:

  • Photo of Prague:



Unit VII:  Post-War and Post-Colonial Literature, 1945–1968:

Unit VIII: Resources on Contemporary World Literature:


  • Jamaica Kincaid’s reading of “Girl” (4:01)
  • Bret Anthony Johnston’s story “Boy,” which is a response to “Girl”



Writing Resources: