E304 5057 TOM FOSTER
Literatures in English 1900-Present

11:15a-12:05p MWF (30 students) 3 CR. - Satisfies A&H Distribution Requirement

TOPIC: “The effect of cross-cultural contact on literary forms and genres in English throughout the twentieth-century”

The course will pay special attention to themes of travel and mobility in this literature, but we will also consider how language, style, and form are affected by the increased awareness of cultural differences and global interconnectedness that characterizes the sensibility of modernist and postmodernist writing. Readings for the course will include critical and theoretical texts, probably including Mary Louise Pratt’s Imperial Eyes (on travel writing and the “contact zone”), Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic (on the cultures of the African diaspora), and Caren Kaplan’s Questions of Travel (especially on modernist models of exile and expatriatism, at the beginning of the century). The literary texts we will read will include examples of modernist poetry and fiction; African-American traditions, with possibly some examples of Anglophone African literature; and contemporary examples of the literature of globalization and multiculturalism. Assignments will likely consist of one short interpretive essay, one longer research paper, midterm and final exams, and short response papers (1-2 pages). In addition to the texts listed above, possible readings might include James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as Young Man; Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises; Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; poetry by H.D., Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, and Elizabeth Bishop; Charles Johnson, Middle Passage; Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart; Ama Ata Aidoo, Our Sister Killjoy; Guillermo Gomez-Pena, The New World Border; Anna D. Smith, Twilight-Los Angeles, 1992; Edward Kamau Brathwaite, X/Self; Octavia Butler, Dawn; Bruce Sterling, A Good Old-Fashioned Future; and Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash.