learn to talk about difficult poems with confidence. After reading a broad range of poetry, from the 16th century to the present, we will read a recent award-winning collection of poetry (perhaps Justin Phillip Read’s Indecency , National Book Award winner in 2018). The class begins at 8:00 am, but the discussions about great
poetry are a perfect way to start your day! (Coffee not provided.)
Professor Josh Lam
Mondays and Wednesdays 12:40-2:00pm
Focus: Though modernist authors like Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, and Zora Neale Hurston are best known for their formal innovations in fiction and poetry, they also profoundly changed the shape of non-fiction genres like autobiography, literary criticism, and ethnography. As writers began to explore changing notions of subjective truth, history, and cultural relativism in the early twentieth century, the ostensibly “true” genres of non-fiction were essential to their thinking. This course will explore multiple genres of non-fiction in American modernism, including autobiography, travel writing, literary and cultural criticism, and paratextual forms like the preface. Though literary modernism developed on an international scale, we will focus on the specific case of American modernism from the 1890s to World War II in order to ask: How did modernist writers use non-fiction forms to interrogate social conditions such as poverty, inequality, education, and democracy? How did autobiography articulate emerging conceptions of history, memory, and identity? How did travel writing adapt to new technologies of communication and transportation? How did literary non-fiction co-evolve with disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, and anthropology? To answer such questions, we will read journalism and activist writing (Ida B. Wells, Djuna Barnes); experimental autobiographies (W.E.B. Du Bois, Henry Adams, Gertrude Stein, Miné Okubo); travel writing (Henry James, Zora Neale Hurston); documentary aesthetics (James Agee, Objectivist poets); literary criticism (T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, James Weldon Johnson); and cultural criticism (Charles Chesnutt, Jane Addams, Thorstein Veblen, John Dewey). This reading-intensive course will double as a broad survey of American modernism and an exploration of non-fiction genres.
Professor Jyotsna Singh
Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00-4:20pm
Professor Kathleen Fitzpatrick
Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00-4:20pm
Focus: The class will explore the origins and evolution of digital modes of representation and communication and will dig into contemporary issues of identity, community, labor, and the like, with readings in a variety of critical and theoretical texts as well as more direct study of digital media texts, platforms, and networks.
Professor Ned Watts
Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:20-11:40pm
Focus: The old canon of sermons, conversion narratives and political tracts has long been displaced by captivity narratives, mystery novels, and stories that push the boundaries of race and gender. In this seminar, we will study the revitalization of this vital period in American literature.
Professor Salah Hassan
Mondays and Wednesdays 8:30-9:50pm
Offered in conjunction with GSAH 414
This course will cover Arab American literature from its beginnings in the late 19th century and early 20th century to the present. Readings will include a range of works across the genres by some of the first Arab immigrant authors to write in English, such as Gibran and Rihani, as well as works by contemporary Arab American authors, such as Laila Lalami, Rabih Alameddine and Omar al Akkad. The course will also include works of non-fiction that provide a context for understanding the history of Arab presence in the US.
Professor Julian Chambliss
Mondays and Wednesdays 3:00-4:20pm
Focus: The relationship between science fiction and high tech culture has garnered increasing attention as we debate contemporary technoculture impact on everyday life. Has technology failed or realized the science fiction vision that inspired it? In this course, we will chart the rise of contemporary technoculture in the United States from its roots in 1970s counterculture. From the Whole Earth Manual and Hacker’s Crackdown to John Brunner’s The Shockwave Rider and Vernor Ving’s True Names, the ideology that defines cyberculture in the United States has always been intimately intertwined with an ideology of resistance, liberation, and autonomy rooted in a narrow vision of identity and experience.