Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers University

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The Sixties

The 1960s were a decade of major upheaval in the United States.  A series of liberation movements challenged many of the U.S.’s core political institutions, at the same time that the nation entered into a prolonged and divisive war in Vietnam.  In the cultural realm, a generation of young writers and filmmakers sought to engage the urgent social issues of the period, inventing new aesthetic forms and techniques to address them.  In this course, we will look at a range of literary works, films, and historical documents from and about the 1960s, paying close attention to the interplay between aesthetics and politics in these texts.  Authors studied may include Allen Ginsberg, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ken Kesey, Amiri Baraka, Adrienne Rich, Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Oscar Zeta Acosta, Tom Wolfe, and Toni Morrison.  Films may include Dr. Strangelove, Bonnie and Clyde, Shaft, Wanda, Killer of Sheep, and Apocalypse Now.  

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Statue of "Willie the Silent"