ENG 357: Contemporary American Literature

Dr. Fagan 3 credits

          This course explores the most recent developments in American literature, focusing particularly on the idea of “fracture.” Among the many aspects of contemporary literature, we will study in particular the literary impact of elements of postmodernism in a variety of texts that are, in one way or another, fractured.  Some examples will include narratives that take on the concept of fractured narrators, characters, and identities, and others will play with narrative modes that formally fracture the reading experience, such as story cycles and metatexts.  Still others will present themselves as materially fractured, both intentionally and unintentionally arriving to readers in multiple, competing versions.  As we explore these divisions, splits, and fault-lines, we will ask how the theme of fracture uniquely describes the contemporary moment in American literature.  Authors under discussion include Tim O’Brien, Toni Morrison, Salvador Plascencia, Sandra Cisneros, Percival Everett, and Craig Wright.   

          This is a Fourth Block course that begins Tuesday, March 18. Because a typical semester will be condensed into seven weeks, reading requirements will be somewhat more rigorous.


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