Upper-Division Seminar: American Lit and Business Culture

Course Number: ENGL 197
Prerequisites: Upper-division standing, English majors only
Advisory Enrollment Information: This course cannot be repeated and is limited to upper-division English majors only.
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 197
Quarter: Fall 2016
Instructor: Newfield, Christopher
Day(s): W
Time: 12:30pm - 2:50pm
Location: SH 2617
Description:

This course uses fictional and non-fiction texts to analyze the business world and the various roles that can be played by an English major in it. We will read fiction and non-fiction about the “creative industries” to which many English majors are drawn after graduation.  Our examples will be drawn from the tech industries, but we will introduce material, depending on class member preferences, on publishing, editing, education, music, film, creative non-fiction, web design, fan fiction, graphic novel writing, new media content creation, advertising, podcasting, and entertainment journalism. We will be looking at three related issues: (1) what is literary knowledge of the kind English majors acquire in college?  (2) What role can this knowledge play in the quantified worlds of the tech industries?  (3) How do English majors develop their creative capabilities such that (1) can have an impact on (2)?  These issues will be individualized and personalized: each member of the course will identify a possible career path, inventory what you know and what you can do, and use some of the quarter to start bridging gaps to help you move from where you are to where you would like to be a few years from now.  Readings will include Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad;  Aaron Swartz, The Boy Who Could Change the World; Douglas Rushkoff, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, and Paul Beatty, The Sellout.