Dr. Babcock 3 credits
Early in the twentieth century, the British Empire was the preeminent global superpower. Since then, the country has gone through two deeply traumatic world wars (as well as a Cold War), the dismantling of the empire, and numerous economic, political, social, and ecological crises. Using a selection of recent novels and films, we will examine how British writers have sought to reorient themselves in the world following these momentous historical shifts. This line of inquiry will spawn broader questions: What does it mean to be “postimperial,” and what does it have to do with being “postmodern”? How does literary experimentation contribute to the formation of new social and political ideas? How do we decide which parts of the past to keep, which to leave behind, and which will always remain with us regardless? Likely authors include Jean Rhys, Roddy Doyle, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith, and Kazuo Ishiguro.
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