POLS 3023W: Politics and Literature

Requires ENGL 1007, 1010, 1011, or 2011.

There has long been a close relationship between politics in the United States and popular literature. Some books, like Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Jungle, have shaped public policy; others, like All the King’s Men and The Last Hurrah, have used fiction to describe the political game; still others, like Philip Roth’s American Pastoral and Henry Adams’ Democracy, have examined the relationship between the individual and the political community.

This course explores American politics through the lens of political fiction. Generally reading one novel per week, we will discuss the historical, economic and social context within which the work was written, define its audience, examine its impact, and discuss parallels between the time the work appeared and our own era. Students will write several short papers dealing with these themes, but the primary emphasis in class will be on discussion and dialogue on the topics at hand.

Note POLS 3023W is coded at the catalog level as “open to juniors or higher,” but first- and second-year Honors students without junior standing are invited to take this course. If you will have fewer than 54 earned credits when this course is offered, you may register by emailing honors@uconn.edu and including (1) your name; (2) your 7-digit Student Admin number; (3) your registration “pick time”; (4) the course number and section; (5) the class number from Student Admin; (6) confirmation that there are seats available in the course; and (7) confirmation that you do have credit for ENGL 1007, 1010, 1011, or 2011.