Courses > 2020 Fall

Elective Courses


ENGL 074
401 | LEC | Jean-Christophe Cloutier | MW 3:30-5pm | TBA

As our technological means of communication increase at incredible speed—ostensibly creating a “global community” through social media and the World Wide Web—much of contemporary fiction bears witness to growing alienation and the failure to “connect” with fellow human beings. This course will take us back to the end of the Second World War and carry us through our current millennial moment—along the way, we will trace the recent history of challenges to civic and social kinship in the United States, from racial segregation to “Network Connectivity Failure.” With a focus on texts that dramatize a desire for community, connection, recognition, and meaningful encounters, we will explore the relationship between post-45 American fiction and the world we (try to) live in. Mirroring the current proliferation of media platforms, this course incorporates novels, films, comics, poetry, songs, and short stories to survey the breadth of contemporary American literature in its global contexts. Assignments will consist of a book/film review, a video “Snapchat”-style story, a short paper, and a final comprehensive exam.