ENGL 146
Campus Life: The University and the Novel
Last Offered Spring 2018
Division I Writing Skills
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

What is college for? To a significant number of writers from roughly 1945 onward, one answer seemed to be: college is the perfect setting for a novel! The Campus Novel, as it is known, mines the rich, frequently zany dramatic terrain that emerges when large groups of young people try to live and learn together in a closed environment. Filled with the absurdities of academic and collegiate life, the scholarly and sexual intrigues of the college campus, Campus Novels also are microsociologies of college: not just reflections of, but reflections upon, the institutional contexts of the American university. This course will introduce students to the Campus Novel (and its cousin, the Campus Movie), as a way to explore the history and meaning of liberal arts education in the American University from roughly the post-World War II emergence of mass higher education through co-education, multiculturalism, and the rise of the corporate university. Fictional lab reports upon experiments in living, works dedicated to figuring out what and whom a liberal arts education is for, these novels will be our own guides to an exploration of these questions. Likely texts: Amis, Lucky Jim, McCarthy, The Groves of Academe, Delillo, White Noise, Donna Tartt, The Secret History, Zadie Smith, On Beauty, Dave Eggers, The Circle, and films such as Breaking Away, School Daze, and The Social Network.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3787
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: four to five essays, totaling approximately 20 pages, regular and substantial contributions to our collective inquiry in the seminar room
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students who have not taken or placed out of a 100-level ENGL course
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills

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