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01   MW4  CAC  12799  LAWRENCE  MU-208

American Postmodernism: Fiction, Theory, Film

This course traces the development of American fiction and film in the second half of the twentieth century and early twenty-first century, with a particular emphasis on how important texts from 1960 to 2000 engage with the cultural phenomenon often referred to as “postmodernism.”  We will examine novels, stories, films, and essays alongside prominent theories of postmodernism, and we will ask how accurately the category of the postmodern captures the works of the period.  The syllabus is divided into three sections, each of which describes a significant cultural arena explored by writers and filmmakers over the past fifty years: identity, history, and technology.  Authors studied will include Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Kurt Vonnegut, Don DeLillo, and Junot Díaz.  We will watch films by Amy Heckerling, Francis Ford Coppola, David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, and the Wachowskis.    

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