L142 Intro to Writing and the Study of Literature

TOPIC: Bombs & Bombshells: Cold War Sexualities and Politics




This course re-visits American and British culture after World War Two, tracing the ways in which our own culture has been influenced by these turbulent years. After all, Alfred Kinsey issued his famous studies of sexuality during these years and Hugh Hefner published Playboy magazine; the Soviet Union threatened the world with nuclear annihilation; and such figures as the Beat writers (Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William H. Burroughs), the "Angry Young Men," and even James Bond (007) emerged on the scene.

We will read samples of this writing including Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour, Arthur Miller's The Crucible, John Osborne's Look Back in Anger, Jack Kerouac's On the Road, Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso's poetry, and several of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels: Casino Royale, From Russia with Love, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service. In addition, we will examine the relationship between Depression-era writing and the great "Red Hunt" during the era and see several films, including Casino Royale, From Russia with Love, Kinsey and The Good Shepherd.

Students will produce approximately 25 pages of writing in four major essays assigned for the class (the last of which will be a "mini-research" paper). In addition, a mid-term and comprehensive final examination will be given.