Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers University
02 TTH6 CAC 12707 LAWRENCE SC-116
American Literature and Social Movements After 1945
In the United States, the seventy-year period since the end of World War II has been marked by a series of social upheavals and cultural transformations. From the counterculture and Civil Rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s to Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter in the 2010s, several generations of social actors and movements have reshaped the country’s cultural terrain. This course takes these movements as a starting point for examining major American literary works of the post-1945 period. For each unit, we will read fiction, essays and poetry in relation to a significant social or cultural movement, considering how literature shapes and is shaped by its historical moment. Authors studied will include Jack Kerouac, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Adrienne Rich, Tom Wolfe, and Claudia Rankine.