Contemporary British Literature & Film: Nation, Youth, Community
This course surveys British film and literature from the late 1950s to the present moment, with a particular focus on works by and about young Britons. We will ask how these novels, poems, and films complicate ideas of nationalism and imagine alternate communities in school, within subcultures, and often through musical genres – rock-a-billy, rocksteady, dub, punk, glam rock, Bhangra, britpop. For historical background we will touch on the post-World War II Angry Young Men movement, 1960s working class subcultures, and the Carribean Artist’s Movement (CAM) of the 1970s. Films may include: Tony Richardson’s The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, John Schlesinger’s Billy Liar, Hanif Kureishi’s and Stephen Frears’s My Beautiful Laundrette, Gurinder Chadha’s I’m British But…, Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, and Michael Winterbottom’s 24-Hour Party People. Readings may include: Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim, B.S. Johnson’s Albert Angelo, Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Linton Kwesi Johnson’s Mi Revalueshanary Fren, Hanif Kureishi’s The Black Album, Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, and Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting.