- Course Number: ENGL 189
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- Advisory Enrollment Information:
- Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 189
- Quarter: Spring 2021
Opioids, addiction, viral media, conspiracies, anger, anxiety, temp work, oligarchs, precarity, artificial intelligence, war, the refugee crisis, neo-Fascism, xenophobia, identity politics, #metoo, cancel culture, Big Oil, climate change, burnout, millennials, self-care, and perpetual self-improvement—this list captures the tone and tenor of our age. How does contemporary literature likewise serve to capture the present? 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. A primary thread will concern media and media representations, so we will also be studying some televisual adaptations of novels on our syllabus, and I will ask you to listen to, watch, or read interviews with many of the authors we will be studying.
Books for purchase:
Laila Lalami, The Other Americans
Lauren Oyler, Fake Accounts
Claudia Rankine, The White Card
Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
Nico Walker, Cherry
Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad
Charles Yu, Interior Chinatown