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Contemporary American Literature

ENGL 074.001
fulfills requirements:
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

Post-1960s America has been a period of continuous social upheaval:  shifting attitudes toward gender and race, divisive “culture wars,” tension between national and global identity, and widespread technological disorientation.  These challenges have left their mark on literature.  The traditional distinction between fiction and nonfiction has been all but obliterated, as have the borders between literature and other arts.  We now find novels in the form of comic books, poems as installations, books as statues, dramas as social action, and classic texts as video games.  Through works by Michael Cunningham, Don DeLillo, Eve Ensler, Edward Gorey, Jenny Holzer, Maxine Hong Kingston, Barbara Kruger, Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon, Marjane Satrapi, and others, this course surveys the response of contemporary writing to these turbulent times.