Selected Topics in World Literature

This course is part of the programme
Bachelor's study programme Slovene Studies (1st Level)

Objectives and competences

We analyze the selected works from a thematic point of view, from a narrative perspective, we focus on protagonists, as well as the works’ internal and external form/structure. Moreover, we are interested in a wider socio-cultural background and context. This way, the students get to know specific streams and trends in the British and American literary history that influenced the production of versatile literary works.


The course is cyclic, meaning that each semester a different chapter in world literature is highlighted. This course description is modeled on the description of the course “Selected Chapters in British and American Literature.” The students joining the class should be interested in British and American literary works, especially those created in the 20th century. Our course is geared towards getting to know some of the main works of the Anglo-American literary sphere, with some additional focus put on more contemporary works (from 1960 onwards). It is useful if the students are familiar with the essential notions of literary theory and literary history, as well as general history, as the selected literary works are always placed in and explained within socio-historical contexts proper.


The course exposes the works of selected authors belonging to the 20th century literary production in Britain and the United States. The texts are deliberately versatile, so as to explain, through analyses, the various literary trends and schools they stem from and rely on. Each work calls for an explanation of the cultural, historical, and social context proper. The following works will be foregrounded:

American Literature:

J. D. Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye (Varuh v rži) (1951)
Ralph Ellison: Invisible Man (Nevidni človek) (1952)
Flannery O'Connor: A Good Man is Hard to Find (Težko je najti dobrega človeka in druge zgodbe) (1955)
Truman Capote: In Cold Blood (Hladnokrvno) (1966)
Kurt Vonnegut: Slaughterhouse 5 (Klavnica 5) (1969)
Don DeLillo: White Noise (Beli šum) (1985)
Toni Morrison: Beloved (Ljubljena) (1987)
Jhumpa Lahiri: zbirka kratkih zgodb Interpreter of Maladies (Tolmač tegob) (1999)

British Literature:

James Joyce: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Umetnikov mladostni portret) (1916)
Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Delloway (Gospa Delloway) (1925) in esej A Room of One’s Own (Lastna soba) (1928)
Jean Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea (Široko sargaško morje) (1966)
Arundhati Roy: The God of Small Things (1997)
Zadie Smith: White Teeth (Beli zobje) (2000)

Intended learning outcomes

The students get to know selected works of world literature and the literary streams and schools related to them. Furthermore, they familiarize themselves with different social and historical contexts.
Students learn how to formulate their own arguments and how to make concise summaries of academic texts and respond to ideas that get presented in class in a comprehensive way.


Selection of the main theoretical works:

• Kos. Pregled svetovne književnosti, 2005.
• J. Baudrillard: Simulaker in simulacija, 1999.
• M. Bradbury: The Modern American Novel, 1992
• Debeljak: Postmoderna sfinga: kontinuiteta modernosti in Postmodernosti, 1989
• Na ruševinah modernosti: institucija umetnosti in njene zgodovinske oblike, 1999.
• L. Flis: Factual Fictions: Narrative Truth and the Contemporary American Documentary Novel, 2010.
• Hutcheon: The Politics of Postmodernism, 1989.
• A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction, 1995.
• F. Jameson: Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, 1991. Tudi SLO prevod: Postmodernizem. Ljubljana: Analecta, 1992.
• T. Virk: Strah pred naivnostjo: poetika postmodernistične proze, 2000.
• Postmoderna in mlada slovenska proza, 1991.
• Waugh, Patricia. Practicing Postmodernism/ Reading Modernism, 1993.


The students have to pass the final exam and before that, successfully write and present their two seminar works. Regular class participation and the seminar essays are prerequisites for the students to be able to take the final exam. Mandatory (80%) attendance (lectures and the seminar) and participation in class discussion.

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.

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

  1. 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]
  2. 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]
  3. 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]
  4. 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

  1. FLIS, Leonora. Literary journalism in Slovenia. Literary journalism, Winter 2012, vol. 6, no. 1, str. 8-10. [COBISS.SI-ID 2196731]
  2. 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]
  3. 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]
  4. FLIS, Leonora. Racionalna sebičnost kot temeljna vrednota in vrlina. Literatura (Ljublj.), 2010, leto 22, št. 231/232, str. 86-88. [COBISS.SI-ID 1786107]
  5. FLIS, Leonora. Izpiljena sinteza forme in razuma. Literatura (Ljublj.), nov. 2010, leto 22, št. 233, str. 165-171. [COBISS.SI-ID 1785851]
  6. FLIS, Leonora. Slovenia's contemporary poetic endeavors. Bricolage, May 2006, no. 1, str. 29-39. [COBISS.SI-ID 39895650]
  7. FLIS, Leonora. Cultural shades of Slovenia : a brief outlook of Slovenia's literature: discovering the literature of Europe's Terra Incognita. Zarja, Jan./Feb. 2006, vol. 78, issue 1, str. 6-7. [COBISS.SI-ID 39852386]

Professional Article

  1. 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]
  2. FLIS, Leonora. Ekstaza blodenj in bolečine. Dialogi (Maribor), 2011, let. 47, št. 5/6, str. 89-93. [COBISS.SI-ID 2194683]