Honors | Best Sellers in America
H203 | 0008 | Gutjahr

1:00-2:15P  MW BU 427

This course will explore American literary culture through the lens of
novels and other types of writing which have sold extraordinary well.
We will also explore how, and to what effect, these narratives have
been transferred into other media such as movies. By looking at best
selling literary works dating as early as The Life of George
Washington (1800) and moving through J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter
(1995), we will seek insights into the American cultures which
produced and received these texts by attempting to understand not only
why these narratives were so popular, but also what relationship they
have had to American politics, religion, fine arts, motion pictures,
fashion, ethnic self-definition, and class relations. The course will
involve considerable reading, frequent pop quizzes, and both short and
long papers. This course is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to
work if you sign up for it.