ENGL2095 The East: Asia in English Writing

Instructor: Professor Douglas Kerr

First semester, 2012-13
6 credits
Form of assessment: 100% coursework
3 contact hours and 4 study hours per week
Prerequisite: Passed ENGL1009 with at least a C grade or passed 3 introductory courses (with at least one from both List A and List B).



This is a course about how “the East” – the space indicated by names such as Asia, the Orient, east of Suez, etc – has been imagined and represented in a selection of English-language written texts from the colonial period to today. It begins in the late 19th century with stories about British India, and ends in the twenty-first century with the efforts of Americans and Chinese to understand each other. Attention will be given to the way literary forms and conventions, as well as ideas, have been shaped by a prevailing “knowledge” of the East, which is itself decisively shaped by the changing power relations between East and West.

To develop and practice the skills of reading literary, critical and cultural texts

To develop a historical sense of cultural interaction

To participate in the debate about “orientalism”

2 lecture hours and one tutorial hour per week. Personal consultation available.

100% coursework assessment, comprising

Tutorial and internet (moodle) contribution 30%

Mid-term in-class essay 30%

Research paper 40%

Rudyard Kipling, Plain Tales from the Hills

George Orwell, Burmese Days

James Fenton, Indochina poems (selection)

David Henry Hwang, Chinglish



Last updated: 24 July 2012