Spring 2023 Undergraduate English Courses

358:215 Introduction to 21st Century Literatures

01   MW4   CAC   17736    MILLER, R.    CA-A4

The spread of broadband access has certainly changed how stories are distributed and how we can respond to them. The rise of gaming as the primary adolescent leisure activity has certainly changed the relationship between reader/gamer and the author/game design team. And contemporary politicians are now making use of these changes to convert facts into fiction and fiction into facts, grinding all developments down into one simple-minded story, where unfounded conspiracies explain every plot development along the way.

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, the graphic novel, 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 writing prompt on that day’s reading. The prompt 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:

S-Town, podcast (2017)

Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger, 2008.

Allie Brosh, Solutions and Other Problems, 2020.

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once, 2022.

Nathasha Lyonne, et. al. Russian Doll (2019). Available from Netflix.

Ruth Ozecki, A Tale for the Time Being, 2013.

Charles Yu, Interior Chinatown, 2020.