AMST 230
Contemporary American Fiction Spring 2019
Division II Writing Skills
Cross-listed ENGL 229 / AMST 230
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In this course we will read and analyze a selection of fiction written between 1945 and the present, with an emphasis on proving (in the sense of testing) the three terms in the course title. Could John Cheever’s “The Enormous Radio” really be contemporary? Is James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room American in the same way as Alice Munro’s Dear Life? And is Michelle Tea’s Black Wave fiction or something else? Along the way, we’ll also ask: What forms and themes define contemporary American fiction? And why should we invest in defining the “contemporary” period at all? Other authors we will study may include: Raymond Carver, Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison, Renata Adler, Margaret Atwood, Lydia Davis, Chang Rae Lee, Jennifer Egan, and Colson Whitehead.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 4049
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: four papers totaling about 20 pages; participation in class discussions
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
Enrollment Preferences: first- and second-year students, and English majors who have yet to take a Gateway course
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENGL 229 Division I AMST 230 Division I
Attributes: ENGL 200-level Gateway Courses
ENGL Literary Histories C

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