Teaching English Literature from Asia
Ronald D. Klein
Hiroshima Jogakuin University
This presentation introduces the concept of teaching reading using
texts drawn from the English literatures of Asia. This corpus, by writers
from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan
and Sri Lanka, is filled with local color and national identity as well
as universal themes.
Settings range from the sophistication of Singapore to the poverty
of India. The culture is recklessly contemporary and agelessly traditional,
influenced by Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Catholicism. Yet the themes
are applicable to the young Korean reader in a way that Euro-centric literature
cannot capture--coming of age, the effects of poverty and pride, what to
do with aging grandparents, arranged marriage, superstitious belief in
the gods, etc.
This demonstration will give an overview of International English Literature,
present one story for study and leave participants with a recommended bibliography
of stories for use in their classrooms.
Dr. Ron Klein has been teaching language, literature and
creative writing at Hiroshima Jogakuin University in Japan for nine
years. His research field is Asian Literature in English. He has recently
published an essay on the war literature of Singapore writer Lim Thean