Syllabus for LIT-460



Non-Western Literature has been designed to help students gain familiarity with values and issues from non-Western cultures. The term Non-Western literature generally refers to writings by people in any culture or country except those of Western Europe, Ancient Greece, and the United States. Literature can immerse a reader in another's mind, allowing the reader to live a different life through the writer's imagination. The unfamiliar context of the non-Western writer may challenge a Western reader in this regard.  


The course will cover both postcolonialism and feminist thought, examining each through non-Western eyes. At least one Western work will be introduced in each case, allowing students to contrast a typical Western point of view with the views and issues of non-Western cultures.


A third major course topic is literature in translation. We are fortunate to be able to read works of literature that date back thousands of years, but few of us can read them in their original languages. This part of the course will look at issues concerning the translation of thoughts and ideas (specifically religious experiences) from one culture to another.


After completing this course, students should be able to:

  1. Examine typical Western ideas about non-Western cultures.
  2. Analyze the issues and challenges of being "non-Western."
  3. Apply postcolonial theory to the study of non-Western literature.
  4. Assess how Western cultures are perceived by non-Western people.
  5. Compare and contrast literature from the same non-Western culture in different eras.
  6. Analyze gender issues in non-Western literature using postcolonial feminist theory.
  7. Evaluate the effects of religious and cultural worldviews on non-Western literature.
  8. Analyze and assess the effectiveness of literary forms and devices in non-Western literature for communicating universal ideas.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.


           ISBN-13: 978-0393933659 (Vols. A, B, and C)

ISBN-13: 978-0393933666 (Vols. D, E, and F)

Individual Works

            ISBN-10: 0684829460

            ISBN-10: 0192801821


Non-Western Literature is a three-credit online course, consisting of nine modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

Course objective covered in this module: 1

Course objectives covered in this module: 2, 3

Course objectives covered in this module: 2, 3, 4


Course objectives covered in this module: 5


Course objectives covered in this module: 2, 3, 6


Course objective covered in this module: 6


Course objective covered in this module: 6, 7

        Course objective covered in this module: 8

Course objectives covered in this module: 2, 3, 7


For your formal work in the course, you are required to complete written assignments, participate in online discussion forums, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in nine graded discussion forums as well as an ungraded "Introductions" forum. The online discussions are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the rubric used in the grading of online discussions.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete seven written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the rubric used in the grading of written assignments.

Final Paper

There is no midterm or final examination in this course. A paper of paper of 2,500 to 3,000 words in length (approximately 10 to 12 pages) acts as your final assessment and is worth 40 percent of your grade. You may begin work on this paper at any time during the course, but you must submit it by the last day of the semester.

The final paper will draw together course concepts and student mastery of the objectives of this course.  You will be provided with several topics to choose from for your paper. Whichever you choose, you should write a paper that is thorough, well-developed, and that conveys your understanding of course concepts. A full description of the paper is provided within the course.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the rubric used in the grading of the final paper.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:




Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:



Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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