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Literature before and since the TV Age: American Fictions, 1920-1994

ENGL 085.401
instructor(s):
TR 10:30-12

This course will assess the status of literature and literary ideas
just prior to and since the rise of telelevision. While not all of our
readings will be about television per se, we will attempt to read
contemporary literature in the context of a televisual world. Our
primary questions must include the way modernism and then postmodernism
have responded to the social effects of televised lives. From there,
our probings can be as pervasive as telvision itself. How, for instance,
has the literary counter-culture responded to, appropriated, and/or resisted
the effects of televised society? How have the culturally and
economically excluded in American society done the same? We also want to
consider more broadly how culture shapes our national/racial/sexual/class
identities--our perspectives and our interpretations--in a print and video
age.