This course will explore a broad range of late twentieth-century fictional texts with an eye toward the ways that these works address their contemporary American social and historical contexts. We will examine the ways that short stories and novels treat the boundaries of the human body, dramatize personal and national histories, and work to redefine home, family, and community. We will trace the various legacies of the social movements of the 1960s and grapple with competing definitions of the postmodern and the contemporary. Our authors will include some of the following: Dorothy Allison, Michael Cunningham, Don DeLillo, E.L. Doctorow, Gayl Jones, Toni Morrison, Flannery O'Connor, Ishmael Reed, Ntozake Shange, and Leslie Marmon Silko. Requirements will include weekly participation in an electronic listserv discussion, several short papers and a final exam.