7. Global currents in US literature

What connects Langston Hughes to Hong Kong, Malcolm X to Mecca, and Syrian merchants to the 9/11 memorial? In this episode, English professor Wai Chee Dimock shows us how to read quintessentially American writers from an international perspective. From this angle, major American concerns like race and money start to look a little different.

Works mentioned

– Langston Hughes, “Something in Common”

– Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X

– Teju Cole, Open City

Further reading

Website for American Literature in the World

Franco Moretti at New Left Review – Conjectures on World Literature

Teju Cole at The New York Times Magazine – Getting Others Right

Lemn Sissay at The Guardian – Malcolm X’s autobiography didn’t change me, it saved me

David Chioni Moore at Steppe – Langston Hughes in Central Asia

Marketus Presswood at The Atlantic – On Being Black in China

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