English 222: Travels in World Literature

About the course

Interested in exploring the contemporary refugee crisis? Sign up for English 222—Travels in World Literature. Join in class discussions and read literature that shares perspectives on this urgent global issue and explores the movement of people as global power shifts, climate change impacts human habitats, and famine, war and lack of opportunities force people to leave their homes.

With all these changes happening, how will other people find ways to accept or even welcome newcomers? Literature, the expression of human experience, provides knowledge for understanding and empathy.

To make this course accessible to a range of students, it is available in blended delivery format: students can participate in person, online, or in a combination of the two ways that suits individual needs.

Instructor: Terri Doughty

Format: In person, online, or blended delivery is available

Start date: 2019-09-03

End date: 2019-12-06

Location: Nanaimo Campus, Building 345, Room 208

Days/Times: Mondays and Wednesdays 4 to 5:30 pm

Additional info: Timetable

Special Note: English 222 is available for Love of Learning studentsLearn more here

The main readings of the course will be on four novels that consider varied aspects of human migration and responses to it.

1) Go Went Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany)

This novel explores how an elderly German man’s curiosity leads him to become a friend to refugees in his city.


2) Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan)

Shifting to the perspective of refugees, this novel uses fantastic plot elements to explore whether two young lovers can maintain their relationship and find a safe place to be during the rigors of migration.


3) These Are the Names by Tommy Wieringa (Netherlands)

Taking a broader perspective, this novel presents many points of view, including migrants, those who fear migrants, and those policing migrants. The story is set as a policeman and small-town await the coming of strange new people from the east.


4)  Flights by Olga Tokarczuk (Poland)

This novel transcends time and place with multiple stories set across history. It’s about people travelling for a range of reasons, giving us an opportunity to reflect on different ways we might think about migration in our current culture of increasing anxiety and harder borders.