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Guided Research Essay in World Literature

Page history last edited by pwjennings@... 11 years, 8 months ago

Class: ENG-252 - Survey of World Literature II

Instructor: Ghazala Hashmi

Scope: Presents library research resources available on world literary authors and their works by focusing on two novels: The Death of Vishnu, by Manil Suri and The Dew Breaker, by Edwidge Danticat.

Defining Literary Terms:  

Example terms: Gender criticism   Marxist critism  Socio-political criticism  Psychoanalytic criticism 

                        Existentialism    Testimonial literature


Look terms up in:


  Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms  (print book)  (electronic book)

  Handbook to Literature

  Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature  (Gale Literature Resource Center- click on "Dictionaries"

  in upper left corner.)

  Introductory Guide to Critical Theory  from Purdue University

  Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism   Website from the OWL at Purdue. 


Gale Guide to Conducting Literary Research: Presents a thorough, detailed pathfinder to literary research. 

Writing the Literary Essay: The University of Victoria English Department provides tips on writing different types of essays, including the literary essay.


Finding Online & Print Books: 

To find both online and print books available through JSRCC Libraries, you can search the VCCSLinc Library catalog


Sample Subject Keywords to search in catalog:

  The Death of Vishnu: caste india   hinduism   india civilization   india social life and customs  

                                    motion pictures india   mythology indic   


  The Dew Breaker: caribbean literature   decolonization in literature  duvalier   haiti  

                              postcolonialism in literature   torture   west indian literature  

                              women authors caribbean 


Selected Online & Print Books available through JSRCC Libraries:

   The Dew Breaker:

      Black Time: Fiction of Africa, the Caribbean, and South Asia

      Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literature

      Caribbean Crusaders and the Harlem Renaissance

      Caribbean Women Writers 

      Critics on Caribbean Literature: Readings in Literary Criticism

      Culture and Customs of Haiti

      Frontiers of Caribbean Literature in English

      Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature (Vol. 2)

      Haiti's Dilemma (CQ Researcher database report)

      House/Garden/Nation: Space, Gender, and Ethnicity in Post-Colonial Latin American LIterature by Women

      Motherlands: Black Women Writing from Africa, the Caribbean, and South Asia

      New Strangers in Paradise: the Immigrant and Contemporary American Fiction

      Routledge Reader in Caribbean Literature


 The Death of Vishnu:

      Ancient Indian Magic and Folklore: an Introduction

      Bhagavad-Gita (print book)  (electronic book)

      A Brief History of India

      Caste: At Home in Hindu India

      Epics for Students (look under "Mahabharata")

      Essential Hinduism

      Fantasies of a Bollywood Love Thief: Inside the World of Indian Moviemaking

      Folktales of India

      Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature (Vol. 4)

      In Spite of the Gods: the Strange Life of Modern India

      India: Land of Celebration  (Oversize Collection)

      Lustful Maidens and Ascetic Kings: Buddhist and Hindu Stories of Life

      Seeing Krishna: the Religious World of a Brahman Family in Vrindaban

      Untouchables: My Family's Triumphant Journey Out of the Caste System in Modern India 



Provides access to over 10,000 online full-text books in a wide variety of subject areas including film studies. Besides using the library catalog to search for online books, you can go to NetLibrary directly to search for online books. To access NetLibrary off-campus, you will first need to create a NetLibrary account on a campus computer.  From the NetLibrary home page, click on Create a Free Account in the upper right hand corner of the screen. 


  • Click here for instructions on creating a NetLibrary account and getting started.

  • Click here for additional NetLibrary help. 


Finding Articles:


EBSCOhost databases

The library provides access to a wide variety of EBSCOhost databases.  Use the main EBSCOhost database menu (available from the Databases A to Z list) to select and search multiple databases at the same time.   These databases will provide articles on historical, cultural, and political context as well as literary critiques.


EBSCOhost Search Tips: 

  • Select the following databases from the EBSCOHOST main menu:  Academic Search CompleteHumanities International Complete, and MasterFILE Premier. Include Religion & Philosophy Collection or Women's Studies International, if needed for your research topic.
  • Try an Advanced Search.
  • Use the asterisk (*) as the truncation symbol to pick up all forms of a root word (e.g., hindu* will find hindu, hindus, hinduism).

  • Use the Boolean operator, OR, to pick up related terms (e.g., hindu* OR  buddh*). Using the operator, OR, (without the operator, AND) will expand or broaden your search.

  • Using the operator, AND, will narrow your results to make it more precise or focused (e.g., haiti* AND duvalier). 

  • Search term examples:  search by keywords (Select a field); search by title, TI: title of the literary work; search by subject, SU: author name (last name first); search by Author, AU: author name (last name first). Checkmark the Full Text box under the Limit your results section to limit your results to full text articles.


Search Examples by keywords: 

  • haiti AND danticat
  • hindu* AND bollywood 




  Click here to view a short demo clip on searching EBSCOhost.


Literature Research Databases:   From the library homepage, click on Databases by Subject, then

                                                  choose Literature & Language.                                                 


Literature Resource Center

Database includes literary criticism, author biographies, work overviews, valid websites, and more.


LRC  Search Tips: 

  • Try a Basic (keyword) Search.
  • Use the asterisk (*) as the truncation symbol to pick up all forms of a root word (e.g., hait* will find haiti and haitian).

    Use the Boolean operator, OR, to pick up related terms (e.g., duvalier OR  aristide). Using the operator, OR, (without the operator, AND) will expand or broaden your search.

    Using the operator, AND, will narrow your results to make it more precise or focused - (e.g., dew breaker AND danticat).

  • Search terms:  use the name of the author (person-by or about) or the title of the literary work (name of work), scroll down and select the following from the content type menu: Literature Criticism, Primary Sources & Literary Works, and Topic & Work Overviews.

  • You can also try an Advanced Search and enter this same information in different search boxes.

  • You can also search by keywords:   death of vishnu AND caste (keywords)

                                                               dew breaker AND torture (keywords)



Database includes general humanities scholarship: literary criticism, historical research, and political and cultural resources. Unique archival coverage of academic journals, starting with Volume I of each journal. "Moving wall" coverage precludes access to most recent 3-5 years.


JSTOR Search Tips: 

  • Try a Basic Search.
  • Use quotations ("  ") to pick up the exact phrase (e.g. "dew breaker" ).
  • From the Advanced Search screen, scroll down and select the following from the Discipline(s) and/or Title(s) menu: Language & Literature. According to your research topic, you could also select Religion, Political Science, Philosophy, History, Folklore, Feminist & Women's Studies, Middle East Studies, etc.


Search Examples: 

  • "dew breaker" AND danticat
  • "death of vishnu" AND suri 


Project Muse

Similar to JSTOR, this database provides full-text access to scholarly journals in a variety of academic disciplines. Full text of most journal articles is included for the past 10-15 years. If journal title is also included in JSTOR, links to archived full-text are provided.

  • Try an Advanced Search.
  • Type the author's name in quotes (" ") and do a keyword (All Fields w/Text) search.
  • Type the work title in quotes (" ") and do a keyword (All Fields w/Text) search.
  • Scroll down to Additional Search Options section and checkmark the box next to "Articles Only" and "Include JSTOR back issues". You can also search By Disciplines. 


Selected Web Sites:


MLA Citation:

From the main library web site, click on Citing Sources under Research Assistance.


Need more help?

Visit the reference desks at JSRCC Libraries orAsk a librarian@JSRCC



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