Post-Obama American Literature

Course Number: ENGL 189
Prerequisites: Check on GOLD
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Check on GOLD
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 189
Quarter: Fall 2019
Instructor: Raley, Rita
Day(s): M W
Time: 11:00 AM-12:15 PM
Location: SH 2635

Opioids, addiction, viral media, conspiracies, anger, anxiety, temp work, oligarchs, precarity, artificial intelligence, war, the refugee crisis, neo-Fascism, identity politics, #metoo, cancel culture, Big Oil, climate change, burnout, millennials, self-care, and perpetual self-improvement—this in a nutshell is post-Obama America, a state mirrored in the contemporary literary marketplace. What are the stories of our place and our moment and what forms and techniques are being used to communicate them? The broader framework for this course, then, is literature-as-document—and we will spend some time considering the different arguments for literary texts as reflections, expressions, or symptoms of the socio-economic conditions from which they emerge. 

Reading will include Nick Drnaso, Jarett Kobek, Jenny Zhang, Carmen Machado, Tommy Orange, Claudia Rankine, Ocean Vuong, Nathaniel Rich, and others.