Fall 2019 English Graduate Courses

350:594 - Literary and Political Cultures of the Global Sixties

Course No:  350:594
Index # - 19012
Distribution Requirement:  A5, C, D
Tuesday - 1:10 p.m.
MU 207

Literary and Political Cultures of the Global Sixties

Jeffrey Lawrence / Carter Mathes

The late 1950s through the early 1970s were a period of political, social, and cultural upheaval.  In the United States, a series of liberation movements challenged the country’s core institutions.  In Latin America, Asia, and Africa, the anti-colonial struggle entered a new phase, marked by the “Cubanization” of revolutionary politics and the gradual escalation of the geopolitical conflict in Vietnam.  And in Europe, the protests of 1968 sought to destabilize the very foundations of the postwar order.  Across the globe, a generation of writers came of age by participating in and responding to the major events of the period.  In this team-taught course, we will explore a variety of literary and political works of the sixties (and the years immediately preceding and following it) as we interrogate relationships/correspondences/ breaks/articulations between aesthetic form and political critique.  While the majority of the texts we read will be from the Americas (the US, the Caribbean, and Latin America), we will also pay close attention to the global context in which these texts were produced. Authors studied may include Amiri Baraka, Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Jayne Cortez, Joan Didion, Thomas Pynchon, James Baldwin, Sonia Sanchez, Ursula Le Guin, Gabriel García Márquez, Elena Poniatowska, Walter Rodney, Sylvia Wynter, and Franz Fanon.  We will also read a series of contemporary critical/theoretical reflections on ideas of historical periodization generally, and periodizations of the 1960s specifically.

Readings for this 500-level course will average 150-200 pages per week.  Expectations for the course will be (1) 5-7 pager paper, (1) collaborative presentation, (1) blog post, and (1) 10-12 page paper.