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.


  • Kos. Pregled svetovne književnosti, 2005. Catalogue
  • J. Baudrillard: Simulaker in simulacija, 1999.
  • M. Bradbury: The Modern American Novel, 1992 E-version
  • 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. Catalogue
  • Hutcheon: The Politics of Postmodernism, 1989. E-version
  • A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction, 1995. E-version
  • F. Jameson: Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, 1991. Tudi SLO prevod: Postmodernizem. Ljubljana: Analecta, 1992. E-version
  • 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

(Adjunct) Associate Professor dr. Leonora Flis. Leonora Flis focuses on literary theory, contemporary British and American Literature, film (especially in relation to literature), graphic novels and literary journalism. She also writes book and film reviews, translates scholarly texts and literary works, and writes short stories. She published a collection of short stories Upogib časa (2015) and in 2022 her new collection Enakozvočja is to be published. She was the recipient of the Fulbright fellowship and was a visiting Fulbright scholar at Columbia University in New York. She is the author of a monograph Factual Fictions: Narrative Truth and the Contemporary American Documentary Novel (2010). Her scientific articles have been published in Slovene and foreign journals.

The selection of published texts:

FLIS, Leonora. Nan Shepherdʹs holistic world - an intimate triangle : nature, body and mind in the living mountain. V: DUŢU, Carmen (ur.). Representations, scenes and scenarios of intimacy in women’s writing. Bucureşti: Pro Universitaria, 2023. Str. 81-95. ISBN 978-606-26-1415-7. [COBISS.SI-ID 159100419]

FLIS, Leonora. The narrative of social (in)justice, feminism, and migration in Slavenka Drakulić's selected works. Dve domovini : razprave o izseljenstvu. [Tiskana izd.]. 2023, [št.] 58, str. 127-144. ISSN 0353-6777.,, DOI: 10.3986/2023.2.07. [COBISS.SI-ID 160461571], [SNIP, Scopus]

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].

FLIS, Leonora. Med leposlovjem in poročanjem. Sodobnost. okt. 2021, letn. 85, št. 10, str. 1279-1292. ISSN 0038-0482. [COBISS.SI-ID 84567555]

FLIS, Leonora. Social engagement and multiculturalism in Louis Adamic's literary journalism and documentary prose. Dve domovini : razprave o izseljenstvu. [Tiskana izd.]. 2020, št. 51, str. 59-75. ISSN 0353-6777. DOI: 10.3986/dd.2020.1.04. [COBISS.SI-ID 45984557].

FLIS, Leonora. Grafične pripovedi in pripovednost. Primerjalna književnost. [Tiskana izd.]. maj 2020, letn. 43, št. 1, str. 51-74, ilustr. ISSN 0351-1189. DOI: 10.3986/pkn.v43.i1.03. [COBISS.SI-ID 18156803].

FLIS, Leonora. Družbeni angažma v literarnem novinarstvu Louisa Adamiča. V: DAUGUL, Larisa (ur.). Strpnost ni dovolj: prispevki s konference Iz mnogih dežel: ob 120. obletnici rojstva Louisa Adamiča, (Borec, ISSN 0006-7725, letn. 70 (2018), št. 751-753). Ljubljana: Sophia. 2018, [Letn.] 70, št. 751/753, str. [140]-149, 217-218. [COBISS.SI-ID 36010333].

FLIS, Leonora. Joe Sacco in literarno novinarstvo v podobi stripa - žanrski preplet literature, stripa, novinarstva in zgodovine. V: ZORMAN, Barbara (ur.), et al. Literatura in gibljive slike : tematski sklop = Literature and moving images : thematic section. Ljubljana: Slovensko društvo za primerjalno književnost, 2014. Letn. 37, št. 2, str. 195-225, [245], ilustr. Primerjalna književnost, letn. 37, št. 2. ISSN 0351-1189. [COBISS.SI-ID 55123042].

FLIS, Leonora. Profiling war : managing trauma in reporting horror : the case of Boštjan Videmšek. V: JOSEPH, Sue (ur.). Profile pieces : journalism and the "human interest" bias. New York; London: Routledge, cop. 2016. Str. 226-239. Routledge research in journalism, 13. ISBN 978-1-138-93805-2. [COBISS.SI-ID 4114171]