Instructor: Jerry Phillips
Prerequisite: ENGL 1010, 1011, or 2011; open to sophomores or higher
The twentieth century has been described as “the American century.” How did that description come about? Was it still operative as the twentieth century came to a close? If not, why not? What will the twenty first century hold for American society, particularly in its relationship to the rest of the world? American literature is a vital cultural terrain on which these questions might be considered, as writers and artists are heavily involved in the work of national self-conception. In this course, we will read a range of writers including James Baldwin, Norman Mailer, Leslie Marmon Silko, Thomas Pynchon, Russell Banks and Toni Morrison. Course requirements: three papers and a final examination.