Some Context for Kelman

If you're struggling a bit with James Kelman's, That Was a Shiver, these articles and videos provide some context:

A review from The Guardian

Article and Interview, also The Guardian

TEDx talk about Scots language and experience

Gang culture in Glasgow

On a lighter note, two language oriented comedy sketches:

Elevator Recognition

Pub Patter

More links related to The Overstory

Richard Powers—PBS video clip

Barbara Kingsolver, NY Times

The Atlantic

The Guardian

Suzanne Simard—TED Talk

Diana Beresford-Kroeger—Call of the Forest

Peter Wohlleben—The Hidden Life of Trees

Video clip—


Robert Adams—Cottonwoods

Thich Nhat Hanh—Interbeing

Christopher Collins—Cognitive Modes

Sunday Q&A - 6/7

Here's a link to the audio of our Sunday Q&A, with a focus on the nature of protest art and literature. Below the recording are links to the articles I referenced. 

Sunday Q&A - 6/7 - Audio

Mohan, Narendra. “Protest and Literature.” Indian Literature, vol. 18, no. 1, 1975, pp. 92–95. JSTOR, Accessed 8 June 2020.

Lauter, Paul. “Teaching Protest Literature.” The Radical Teacher, no. 79, 2007, pp. 8–12. JSTOR, Accessed 8 June 2020.

Vis, Farida, et al. “When Twitter Got #Woke: Black Lives Matter, DeRay McKesson, Twitter, and the Appropriation of the Aesthetics of Protest.” The Aesthetics of Global Protest: Visual Culture and Communication, edited by Aidan McGarry et al., Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2020, pp. 247–266. JSTOR, Accessed 8 June 2020.

Sunday Q&A - 5/31

I wasn't able to record our Zoom session, but I have compiled a list of authors we discussed, along with additions. You'll also find two links: one to an interesting article on LitHub about expanding the canon of Black writers, and links to the podcast I referenced during our session. 

Chinua Achebe, Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Jericho Brown, Octavia Butler, Edwidge Danticat, W.E.B Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, Alex Haley, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Marlon James, Naguib Mahfouz, Toni Morrison, Helen Oyeyemi, Claudia Rankine, Tayeb Salih, Zadie Smith, Natasha Tretheway, Derek Walcott, Alice Walker, Jesmyn Ward, Colson Whitehead, John Edgar Wideman, Richard Wright

And consider this article posted at LitHub:

Toward an Expanded Canon of Black Literature

The panel discussion I mention from Stanford Humanities Center (first link is to the website, the second is to the same as a podcast):

Representations of Race and Ethnicity in Art and Literature

Sunday Q&A - Recording - Spring Semester Review

Here's a link to the audio recording of our discussion and review:

Sunday audio:


See our Feb. 19th post:


John Paul Lederach, conflict resolution, and Rumi:

Relating Rumi to Islam:
Rumi and Islam: Selections from His Stories, Poems, and Discourses--Annotated & Explained Paperback – February 1, 2004 by Ibrahim Dr. Ibrahim Gamard

King Lear

"Cordelia and Lear"
Author(s): Ivor Morris
Source: Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Spring, 1957), pp. 141-158 Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL:

"The Double Casting of Cordelia and Lear's Fool: A Theatrical View"
Author(s): Richard Abrams
Source: Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Vol. 27, No. 4, The English Renaissance and Enlightenment (WINTER 1985), pp. 354-368
Published by: University of Texas Press
Stable URL:

From The New York Times:
"Alvin Epstein Gets Up Close and Cranky as a Low-Key King Lear"
This may not be an unforgettable "King Lear," but it is always inescapable and uncomfortably present.

"Returning Royalty: Alvin Epstein"
By Jeremy McCarter

Dostoevsky and The Brothers Karamazov

The key book by Mikhail Bakhtin:
Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics (Theory and History of Literature) First edition by Mikhail Bakhtin (Author)

"The Novelist’s Craft: Reflections on The Brothers Karamazov"
Source: American Imago , Vol. 69, No. 3 (Fall 2012), pp. 295-318
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Stable URL:

Chapter Title: "The Hero, and the Position of the Author with Regard to the Hero, in Dostoevsky’s Art"
Book Title: Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics
Book Author(s): Mikhail Bakhtin
Book Editor(s): Caryl Emerson
Published by: University of Minnesota Press. (1984)
Stable URL:

Chapter Title: "Dostoevsky’s Polyphonic Novel and Its Treatment in Critical Literature:
Book Title: Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics
Book Author(s): Mikhail Bakhtin
Book Editor(s): Caryl Emerson
Published by: University of Minnesota Press. (1984)
Stable URL:

"Freud on Dostoevsky"
Source: The American Scholar, Vol. 36, No. 3 (Summer, 1967), pp. 446-452 Published by: The Phi Beta Kappa Society
Stable URL:

Flannery O'Connor

The novel to read: Wise Blood

IMDB link to film: Wise Blood

Vincent Canby on John Huston's film version of Wise Blood:
Screen: 'Wise Blood,' Huston's 33d Feature:The CastScreen: 'Wise Blood,' Huston's 33d Feature: The Cast

"The Sacramental Irony of Flannery O'Connor"
Author(s): Judith F. Wynne
Source: The Southern Literary Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Spring, 1975), pp. 33-49 Published by: University of North Carolina Press
Stable URL:

"Teilhard de Chardin's Impact on Flannery O'Connor: A Reading of 'Parker's Back'"
Author(s): Karl-Heinz Westarp
Source: The Flannery O'Connor Bulletin, Vol. 12 (Autumn 1983), pp. 93-113
Published by: Board of Regents of the University System by and on behalf of Georgia College and State University
Stable URL:

Obreht's Inland

Robert Thurman on the Bardo: podcasts

Robertson Davies' novel: Murther & Walking Spirits

Saunder's: Lincoln in the Bardo

IMDB Adrian Lyne's Jacob's Ladder

The Camel Corps:

Chapter Author(s): Annelies van Noortwijk
Book Title: Female Authorship and the Documentary Image Book Subtitle: Theory, Practice and Aesthetics
Book Editor(s): Boel Ulfsdotter, Anna Backman Rogers Published by: Edinburgh University Press. (2018)

Chapter Title: "The Western: Genre and History"
Book Title: Film Genre
Book Subtitle: Hollywood and Beyond
Book Author(s): Barry Langford
Published by: Edinburgh University Press. (2005)
Stable URL:

Summer Preview - Lit21

Here's a preview of our reading list for Summer, with a link to the online catalog entry:

Literature for the 21st Century

Readings include: Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black; Richard Powers’s The Overstory; Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men; James Kelman’s That Was a Shiver, and Other Stories; Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights; Joy Harjo’s An American Sunrise; and Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other. Please read Washington Black prior to the first class.