School of Humanities

Literary Production in a Foreign Language Environment

This course is part of the programme:
Master in Slovene Studies - Literary Science

Objectives and competences

The students familiarize themselves with the characteristics of literary production in a foreign environment, through analyzing the works of immigrant writers in Slovenia and writers of Slovene origin who live and work abroad. The research of immigrant literature is interdisciplinary, since it incorporates different theories and methodologies (coming from discourse analysis, cultural studies, sociology of literature, psycholinguistics, reception theory, migration theories etc.). We will analyze themes and ideas that permeate selected texts, deal with the reception of selected authors and their integration into literary canons of their adopted homelands. Intercultural dialogue will be central, too. The more theoretical part of the class will be followed by practical work, analysis, discussion and interpretation of selected literary works. We will also compare various aspects of immigrant literatures and cultivate intercultural dialogue.

Prerequisites

The course Literary Production in a Foreign Language Environment is related to the courses in Slovene Literature, Slovene Literature in Diaspora, and Slovene Literature 1 and 2. The course deals with migration and intercultural issues that students are already familiar with. The class familiarizes the students with the “mental and spiritual” diaspora as well as the ideas of multiculturalism seen as a theoretical and political notion. We will mostly be interested in the European and North-American regions.

Content (Syllabus outline)

The students get to know the socio-historical and cultural contexts of the literature concerning the immigrant experience. They learn about the political, social and cultural circumstances that play an important role in the creation and existence of immigrant literature, including the historical structure and development of the literary canon and its openness towards the literature of and about immigrants. We will discuss the issues concerning exile, the question of dissidents, of what constitutes national culture, national literature and what the borders of national literary field actual are. Moreover, we will talk about linguistic aspects, about language as an aesthetic and ideological constant that forms literature. Moreover, other aspects of literary production in a foreign environment will be considered. Among them, the question of linguistic and cultural assimilation, bilingualism (as seen in writers coming to Slovenia as well as Slovenians abroad – mostly in the U.S.). Furthermore, we will discuss the connections and relations between Slovene literary and cultural institutions and immigrant writers (Slovene Writers Association, Slovene PEN Center, Ministry of Culture in Slovenia, various journals, publishing houses, literary festivals, awards, anthologies, book fairs,…). We will find out how incorporated immigrant literature is in the Slovene literary canon and in literary canons of other literatures (in countries where Slovene immigrants live and create).

We will study specific works of literature of immigrant writers in Slovenia as well as the literary works of Slovenians living abroad – mostly in America (here the literary journalism field will be introduced, since some of the immigrant writers in the US successfully write in that domain). Some of the authors discussed will be (living in Slovenia): Josip Osti, Erica Johnson Debeljak, Stanislava Chrobakova Repar, Žanina Mirčevska, Jordan Stavrev, Ana Lasić, Ismet Bekrić. Furthermore, the students get to know the works (and the micro and macro-poetics) of writers who create outside Slovenian borders – especially in America – Louis Adamič, Ana Praček Krasna, Mary Molek, Metod Milač, Katarina Tepesh and younger writers. We will base our research and anaysis also on the works of J. Žitnik Serafin, M. Hladnik Milharčič, J. Petrič, M. Jurak, M. Weber, B. Anderson, E. Saïd, E. Gellner, and J. Rex, and others.

Intended learning outcomes

The students get to know the terminology of intercultural and migration studies, they learn about those aspects of literary theory that relate to multiculturalism and migration studies. Moreover, they learn where and how literary studies merge with cultural studies, migration studies, anthropology, media studies, and memory studies. The students are capable of conducting independent research that involves also concise summarizing of key ideas and notions discussed in class and creating of seminar papers related to the debated topics.

Readings

1. Žitnik, Janja (2008). Večkulturna Slovenija. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.

2. Grosman, Meta (2004). Književnost v medkulturnem položaju. Ljubljana: Znanstveni inštitut Filozofske fakultete.

3. Bhabha, Homi K. (1994). The Location of Culture. London: Routledge.

4. Južnič, Stane (1993). Identiteta. Ljubljana: Fakulteta za družbene vede.

5. Nike Kocijančič Pokorn: Misliti prevod: izbrana besedila iz teorije prevajanja od Cicerona do Derridaja. Ljubljana: Študentska založba Scripta.

6. Lukšič – Hacin, Marina (1995). Ko tujina postane dom. Ljubljana: Znanstveno in publicistično središče, Zbirka Sopfia.

7. Lukšič – Hacin, Marina (1999). Multikulturalizem in migracije. Ljubljana, Založba ZRC.

8. Debeljak, Aleš (2004). Koncentrični krogi identitet. Evropske pisave. Kaj je evropskega v evropskih literaturah? Ljubljana: Aristej.

9. Sulič, Nives (1983). Thank God I am Slovenian. Ljubljana: Znanstveni inštitut Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani.

10. Whitlark, James (1992). The Literature of Emigration and Exile. Texas Tech University Press.

11. Šeleva, Elizabeta (2005). Dom-identitet. Skopje: Magor.

12. Rushdie, Salman (1991). Imaginary Homelands. Essays and Criticism. 1981-1991. London: Granta Books.

13. Pajnik, Mojca; Lesjak, Tušek, Petra; Gregorčič, Marta (2001). Immigrants, who are you? Ljubljana: Mirovni inštitut.

14. Brinker, Gabler, Gisela (1997). Writing New Identities: Gender, Nation, and Immigration in Contemporary Europe. University of Minnesota Press.

15. Ugrešić, Dubravka (2001). Zabranjeno čitanje. Sarajevo: Geopoetika Omnibus.

16. Jin, Ha (2008). The Writer as Migrant. University Of Chicago Press.

17. Anthology of Slovenian American Literature (1977). Giles Edward Gobetz Adele Donchenko, ur. Ohio: Slovenski Ameriški Inštitut.

18. Naši na tujih tleh:Antologija književnosti Slovencev v Severni Ameriki (1982). Jerneja Petrič, ur. Ljubljana: CZ.

19. Shiffman, Dan. Rooting Multiculturalism: The Work of Louis Adamič. London (2003). Associated UP.

20. Žitnik, Janja. Louis Adamič in sodobniki: 1948-1951 (1992). Ljubljana: SAZU.

Selection of Key Literature:

Erica Johnson Debeljak: Prepovedani kruh, Tujka v hiši domačinov

Stanislava Repar: Slovenka na kvadrat

Dramatika Žanine Mirčevske

Aleksandar Hemon: Knjiga mojih življenj

Adamič, Louis. The Native’s Return, Grandsons, Two-Way Passage, My Native Land, Dynamite, Laughing in the Jungle;

Molek, Mary. Immigrant Woman;

Praček Krasna, Ana. Med dvema domovinama, Moja ameriška leta;

Prosen, Rose Mary. “Looking Back”, Apples, “Maria “When I See a Silent Sunflower”;

Milač, Metod M. Resistance, Imprisonment & Forced Labor: A Slovene Student in World War II.;

Tepesh, Katarina. Escape From Despair

Additional Sources:

Zavarzadeh, Mas’ud. The Mythopoeic Reality: Postwar American Nonfiction Novel (1976). U of Illinois P.

Flis, Leonora. Factual Fictions (2010). Cambridge Scholars: Newcastle upon Tyne.

Auerbach, Erich. Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (1974). Prev. Willard R. Trask. Princeton: Princeton UP.

Foley, Barbara. Telling the Truth: The Theory and Practice of Documentary Fiction (1986). New York: Cornell UP.

Virk, Tomo. Moderne metode literarne vede in njihove filozofsko teoretske osnove (1999). Ljubljana: FF.

White, Hayden. The Content of the Form, Narrative Discourse in Historical Representation (1987). London: Johns Hopkins UP, 1987

The Ethnicity Reader: Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Migration (1997). Ur. Montserrat Guibernau in John Rex. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Weber, Max. Economy and Society (1968). LA: University of California.

Anderson, Benedict. Zamišljene skupnosti: o izvoru in širjenju nacionalizma (2003). Prev. Alja Brglez. Ljubljana: Studia humanitatis.

Multicultural Questions (1999). Christian Joppke in Steven Lukes, ur. Oxford UP.

Mesić, Milan. Multikulturalizam, Društveni i teorijski izazovi (2006). Školska knjiga, Zagreb.

Milharčič-Hladnik, Mirjam. “Migracije in medkulturni odnosi” (2007). Organizacija znanja. Let.12, Zv. 4, 201-205.

—.“Multikulturalizem v kontekstu migracij (2009).” Knjižnica, Let. 53, Št. 1/2, 143-151.

Gellner, Ernest. Nation and Nationalism (1983). Oxford: Blackwell.

Rex, John. Ethnic Minorities in the Modern Nation State: Working Papers in the Theory of Multiculturalism and Political Integration (1996). London& Basongstoke: Macmillan.

Parekh, Bhikhu. Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory (2006). Hampshire: Palgrave.

Assessment

80 % attendance in class (20%) Successfully completed seminar work and presentation in class & Participation in class discussions and seminar paper – 30 % are necessary for the student to take the final test/ exam (written exam) – 50 %.

Lecturer's references

Leonora Flis is an Assistant Professor at the School of Humanities at the University of Nova Gorica. She teaches Contemporary Literary Theory, Selected Topics in World Literature (British and American Literature), and Literature and Other Arts (Film). Additionally, her areas of research include: literary journalism, documentary literature and documentary graphic novels (comics). Flis also writes book and film reviews and translates academic and literary texts. In 2010, she published her monograph Factual Fictions: Narrative Truth and the Contemporary American Documentary Novel.

The selection of published texts:

Scientific Monograph

FLIS, Leonora. Factual fictions : narrative truth and the contemporary American documentary novel. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2010. XII, 254 str. ISBN 9781-4438-24130-2. ISBN 1-4438-2413-5. [COBISS.SI-ID 44359522]

Original Scientific Article

FLIS, Leonora. “Joe Sacco in literarno novinarstvo v podobi stripa—preplet literature, stripa, novinarstva in zgodovine” (“Joe Sacco and Graphic Literary Journalism – The Blending of Literature, Comics, Journalism and History”). Primerjalna knjizevnost (Comparative Literature journal), Vol. 37, number 2, August 2014, 195-215.

Guest editor (and contributor of the Introduction) of a special issue of the Literary Journalism Studies journal, focusing on female literary journalists (forthcoming). Spring 2015.

FLIS, Leonora. Collection of essays Literature and Multimedia in Late 20th and 21st Century Europe. John Benjamins Press (2014), essay: “Nonfiction Comics as a Medium of Remembrance and Mourning and a Cosmopolitan Genre of Social and Political Engagement.” John Benjamins Press, November 2014.

FLIS, Leonora. Louis Adamič : Slovene-American literary journalism avant la lettre. Slov. stud., 2011, vol. 33, no. 2, str. 115-132. [COBISS.SI-ID 2404091]

FLIS, Leonora. The blending of fact and fiction in three American documentary (crime) narratives. Acta neophilol., 2010, letn. 43, št. 1/2, str. 69-82, 171-172. [COBISS.SI-ID 44265058]

FLIS, Leonora. Documentary narratives in postmodern times : The United States and Slovenia. Slov. stud., 2009, vol. 31, no. 1, str. 31-49. [COBISS.SI-ID 39872098]

FLIS, Leonora. Vznik ameriškega dokumentarnega romana in njegove postmoderne razsežnosti. Primer. književ., 2007, letn. 30, št. 1, str. 153-166. [COBISS.SI-ID 5924126]

Review Article

FLIS, Leonora. Literary journalism in Slovenia. Literary journalism, Winter 2012, vol. 6, no. 1, str. 8-10. http://www.davidabrahamson.com/WWW/IALJS/Literary_Journalism_v6n1_WINTER_2012.pdf. [COBISS.SI-ID 2196731]

FLIS, Leonora. Spisana pot v sebe : avtobiografska proza Lojzeta Kovačiča v kontekstu problematike avtobiografskega žanra o polifoniji in dvoglasju. Literatura (Ljublj.), mar. 2011, leto 23, št. 237, str. 189-195. [COBISS.SI-ID 1793787]

FLIS, Leonora. Domačnost izpraznjenega bivanja in ljubezenske slutnje : pregled pripovednega opusa Janija Virka. Literatura (Ljublj.), jul.-avg. 2010, leto 22, št. 229-230, str. 202-218. [COBISS.SI-ID 43532386]

FLIS, Leonora. Racionalna sebičnost kot temeljna vrednota in vrlina. Literatura (Ljublj.), 2010, leto 22, št. 231/232, str. 86-88. [COBISS.SI-ID 1786107]

FLIS, Leonora. Izpiljena sinteza forme in razuma. Literatura (Ljublj.), nov. 2010, leto 22, št. 233, str. 165-171. [COBISS.SI-ID 1785851]

Professional Article

12. FLIS, Leonora. Evropski Woody Allen : vnovično iskanje smisla in/ali premagovanje dolgčasa. Dialogi (Maribor), 2011, let. 47, št. 1/2, str. 161-165. [COsBISS.SI-ID 1851131]

13. FLIS, Leonora. Ekstaza blodenj in bolečine. Dialogi (Maribor), 2011, let. 47, št. 5/6, str. 89-93. [COBISS.SI-ID 2194683]

University course code: 2SL1019

Year of study: 1

Course principal:

Lecturer:

ECTS: 6

Workload:

  • Lectures: 30 hours
  • Seminar: 30 hours
  • Individual work: 120 hours

Course type: elective

Learning and teaching methods:
- lectures - group discussion - practical work - analysis - seminar papers (on selected texts that foreground transcultural and interdisciplinary issues) and presentation in class