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LITERATURE

LIT-622
Advanced Studies in Contemporary Literature (3)

Course Level: Graduate

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic. Advanced topics in fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction of all national traditions of the past forty years, with emphasis on research. Meets with LIT-422. Usually offered every year.

LIT-622
001
LITERATURE
FALL 2014

Course Level: Graduate

Advanced Studies in Contemporary Literature (3)

The Dark Room Collective

What does freedom look like for contemporary African American artists and intellectuals? To answer this question, this course explores the literary practices and social fortunes of a quasi-separatist African American writers' group called the Dark Room Collective, whose alumni have become some of the most successful contemporary literati of any race, including Pulitzer-prize winners, university professors, and a number of prestigious editors, critics, and literary fellowship recipients. The course examines how these artists achieved their stature by offering innovative practices of autobiographical self-reflection, nostalgic and anti-nostalgic memory, and musically-inflected formal innovation that complicate and reconceive of African American identity. The class investigates whether or not and how much these innovative representations of blackness constitute the artistic freedom these writers claim them to be, and whether they produce the social freedom they suggest. In other words, considering the extent to which their success constitutes proof of their claims to freedom from the limitations of race politics. Readings include some of the best reviewed and most celebrated literature of the twenty-first century by Thomas Sayers Ellis, Sharan Strange, Major Jackson, Kevin Young, and Natasha Trethewey, among others. Meets with LIT-422 001.

LIT-622
001
LITERATURE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Graduate

Advanced Studies in Contemporary Literature (3)

Twenty-First Century American Literature

The course explores what trends or tendencies define the literature written in the United States during the last fifteen years. Students discuss whether "21st century literature" is a meaningful category, and if so, what can be said about it. The course considers postmodernism, changes in genre fiction, literature written in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and the ways in which contemporary fiction revisits moments and issues in American history. Authors read include: Jonathan Lethem, David Foster Wallace, William Gibson, Dana Spiotta, Victor LaValle. Meets with LIT-422 001.