The Writing Is Round: A Canon of Words Hurled 'Round the World

Spring 2018 quarter

Taught by

music composition, performance
anthropology, education

Through the language of writers from around the world, we can learn of the differences between peoples; the uniqueness of their cultural lives; and their images of what is desirable, what is desired by them, and the conflict between the two. Perhaps we might even learn what is missing from our own cultural view.

We will be reading authors who have, over the last century, been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, including Mo Yan (China), Orhan Pamuk (Turkey), Kenzaburō Ōe (Japan), Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt), Wole Soyinka (Nigeria), Rabindranath Tagore (India), and Nadine Gordimer (South Africa). There will be a focus on the language and the music of the language these writers use to create their thoughts: What is the rhythm of these writers' sentences? How is a sense of time created by them? How does a writer use paragraphs? How are human relationships and desires made manifest in that culture? Was the writing an attempt at criticizing their culture? At maintaining what had been lost from that culture? At giving a voice to those who might otherwise be silent?

We will be writing our reflections of these writers' work, our contemporary implementations of similar ideas in writing, and our projections of where these writers' imaginations might go and where we might like to take them. So, our writings, including three papers over the 10 weeks of the quarter, will be critical, analytic, and creative.

Program Details

Fields of Study

anthropology cultural studies gender and women's studies international studies literature writing

Preparatory For

writing, journalism, international studies, cultural studies, and anthropology


Spring Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

No Required Online Learning


$50 for entrance fees.