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Spring 2018 Undergraduate English Courses: Special Topics

358:215 Introduction to 21st Century Literature

02  MW6  CAC  19658  MILLER, R.  SC-207

Has the way we tell stories changed since 9/11? Has the spread of broadband access changed how we respond to stories? Has the rise of gaming as the primary adolescent leisure activity changed the relationship between reader/gamer and the author/game design team? In this introductory course, we will spend the semester working with a range of narrative formats—the serialized podcast, the televised episodic drama, live theater, the poetic, and the novel—to think about what’s happening with narrative now that the internet has granted everyone with web-access the power to publish and distribute whatever comes to mind.

In this course, there is sustained assessment: each class begins with a quiz on that day’s reading. The quiz scores account for 80% of the final grade. The other 20% of the grade is based on participation. The instruction is discussion-based, with a particular emphasis placed on close work with text and image.

Students from all schools and disciplines are welcome to sign up for this 3-credit course. The course carries credit toward the major and minor in English. Introduction to 21st Century Literatures can be used to meet the SAS Core Curriculum Arts and Humanities [AHp] requirement.

Here’s a sampling of the kinds of works we’re likely to be reading and discussing:

Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger, 2008

Paul Beatty, The Sellout, 2016

Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad, 2011

George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo, 2017

Rebecca Solnit, The Mother of All Questions, 2017

Natalie Diaz, When My Brother Was an Aztec, 2012

Christopher Demos-Brown, American Hero (2017)

S-Town, podcast (2017)

Dark Mirror, various episodes (2015-present)