ENG 3320: American Literature, 1890-Present
Adapted textbook available in Pilot
In this course, we will be reading, exploring, and studying representative works of American writers from 1890 to the 21st century. We will consider the cultural contexts that inform the literature we are studying as well the literature’s influence on its own culture and how it might speak to our times. This is a reading-intensive course and covers an extensive range of genres: essays, poetry, drama, short fiction, and one novel. Pre-requisite: ENG 1100. Once you have completed this course, you should be able to:
Whitehead, Colson. The Underground Railroad. Anchor, 2016.
Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire. New Directions, 2004.
ENG 7110: Theory and Practice of Literary Criticism
In this course, we examine theoretical underpinnings of literary criticism and scholarship through exploring the development and application of contemporary theories of literature. Since the mid-twentieth century, the study of literature has been animated by the introduction of critical discourses borrowed from the fields of philosophy, sociology, history, rhetoric, natural sciences, new media, and elsewhere that provoke critical examination of literature and its place in the world. Much of the field consists of ongoing debates about the philosophy, politics, and practice of literary criticism, the nature of texts, and the relations of power between readers, writers, institutions, and language. Theory has transformed and democratized literary study, enabling the consideration of a wide range of voices into the practice of literary criticism. Although the influence of “high” theory has receded, it continues to shape how literature is discussed in the academy. Through our own class discussions and writing assignments, you will learn how to develop the terminology and theoretical language appropriate to graduate-level, specialized work in literary studies. By the end of the course, you will produce a seminar paper analyzing one or more literary texts of your choice through a coherent theoretical framework and/or methodology.
REQUIRED THEORY TEXTS: All assigned readings in theory are available in Pilot as PDFs
Recommended (at least one of these):
Gregory Castle, The Literary Theory Handbook (2013).
Nicholas Birns, Theory After Theory: An Intellectual History of Literary Theory From 1950 to the Early 21st Century (2010).
REQUIRED LITERARY TEXTS: Time/Space and Genre/Form
Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad (Anchor, 2016).
Samantha Hunt, Mr. Splitfoot (Mariner Books, 2017).
Archive Fevers and Digital Futures
Omar El Akkad, American War (Vintage, 2018).
Nick Harkaway, Gnomon (Vintage, 2018).
Lidia Yuknavitch, The Book of Joan (Harper Perennial, 2018).