Awardee: Douglas Cole
Institution: Seattle Central College
Course Title: 21st Century World Literature
Description: In this course, students critically explore literature created by writers from all over the world. In this exploration, they will be searching for what it is that distinguishes literature as “modern,” “post-modern,” or otherwise something entirely new that marks them as 21st century literature. What do we mean when we say a work is “modern?” What do we mean when we say a work is “Post Modern”? Are their traits and trends that distinguish work created in the 21st century? Also, are there differences between what is modern/post-Modern, etc…in one country as opposed to another? What is a modern/post-modern work in China compared to a modern/post-modern work in South Africa? These are only a few of the questions asked while critically investigating these works.
Students also use the work they examine as a way to better understand different cultures around the world. With globalization marching fast and furious across the globe, who knows how much and how fast cultures will change. What is true now may not be so ten years from now; nevertheless, students make their journey with a mind for understanding and exploring the history and culture and cross-influences that show up in the work. Part of this journey will, then, include exploring the heritage of critical theory which has grown around the literatures of the world.