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Lingua Franca Literature

Class at Faculty of Arts |


The course is run on Google Classroom, and you have to be logged in there from the first week of the semester. This is a platform for sharing materials.

Most of our classes will be in person. Please email the instructor at for an invitation.


For over two centuries European and North American literature has been understood through the framework of the nation. This was galvanized by the Romantic idea that literary texts should be written in the writer’s mother tongue, thus rejecting a longer and more widespread practice of writing in lingua francas (in Europe, in Latin, but elsewhere in Akkadian, Aramaic, Sanskrit, and Arabic).

Now that English has become a global lingua franca, the opportunity arises again to explore the connections between nation, language and literature, as much prose and poetry by writers for whom English is not their first language. This course will begin by examining with applied linguistics, introducing some of the central lingua franca concepts and also some of issues associated with English as a lingua franca (Kachru’s circles, similects, koinéization, standardized forms, pidgins, and creole).

We will then consider second-language anglophone writers such as Yiyun Li, Ha Jin, Aleksandar Hemon, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jaroslav Kalfař, Xiaolu Guo, China Miéville, among others. Finally, we will explore writers who cannot easily be identified as either L1 or L2 anglophones (in past iterations of this course, we've looked at Anita Brookner, Eva Hoffman, Daljit Nagra).

Study programmes