World Literature I

LIT 231 is a survey of culturally and aesthetically significant works of world literature. Beginning with the world’s earliest surviving records of literary works, this course chronicles several historical and cultural moments across the globe. It seeks to examine all major literary genres— poetry, epic, fictional and nonfictional narratives, and performance works. World Literature emphasizes the development of critical thinking and interpretative skills as well as the ability to think across disparate cultural contexts and to appreciate a variety of aesthetic forms. Philosophical, religious, scientific, and social viewpoints will be studied insofar as they shape these literatures. This course aims to foster a keen awareness of the place of world literature in the ongoing cultural, social, and historical dialogues that inform, influence, and inspire our human experience.

World Literature I Syllabus

The Creation and the Cosmos

Ancient Mesopotamian Epic

Ancient GREEK Epic

EARLY chinese literature & Philosophy


Old English Epic Poetry

Persia & Sufism

Middle Eastern Fables

  • The Thousand and One Nights

Early European Feminist Literature

Classical Indian & Japanese POetry

African Epic


Europe and the “New World”