Contemporary Novel in U.S. Perspective (ENGLISH 177)
Greif, M. (PI)
This course investigates a selection of novels from 2001 to the present, either authored in the United States or strongly and meaningfully received here by critics and gatekeepers. In the absence of a fixed academic canon or acknowledged tradition of exemplary works, this course includes evaluation as one of its central enterprises. Students help to make arguments for which works matter and why. Students consider topics including the demotion of the novel to a minor art form, competition from the image, transformations of celebrity culture (in literature and outside it), relevance or irrelevance of the digital age, aftermaths of the modernist and postmodernist project, eccentricity and marginality, race and gender politics in putatively post-feminist, post-racial,and post-political vantage, and problems of meaning in rich societies oriented to risk, probability, economization, health, consumption, comfort, and recognition or representation (rather than action or event). Novels and short stories may be supplemented by philosophical and sociological visions of the contemporary.
Letter or Credit/No Credit