courses > 2017 fall

Elective Courses


ENGL 102
401 | LEC | Amy Kaplan | TR 1:30-3pm | FBH 401

The Vietnam War was not only waged by soldiers on the battlefield. Long after the fall of Saigon in 1975, the traumas of war continued in the intimate memories and scarred bodies of those who fought, and in the nightmares of civilians whose lives were destroyed or irrevocably changed. The Vietnam War has also had an enduring and contentious national legacy, which still shapes military policy, political debates, and the way war is portrayed in journalism, literature, and film. This course explores the creative outpouring of responses to the Vietnam War in literature and film. We will ask how artists and film makers represented the experience of those on the battlefield and the home front; how they fought symbolic battles over the interpretation and memory of the war; how they sought consolation for unfathomable losses; and how they produced a legacy for future generations. Films may include Cimino’s The Deer Hunter, Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, De Palma’s Casualties of War, Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, and Stone’s Platoon. We will read novels, stories, poems and memoirs by Bao Ninh,  Hayslip, Herr, Heinemann, Komunyakka, Kovic,  Mason,  and O’Brien.