Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Fall Syllabus #2: Grad Seminar, “American Literature after the American Century”!

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I’m really excited about this one, too! This should be a great semester. I owe some thanks to Jodi Melamed and Priscilla Wald for this one.

GENERAL COURSE PLAN

WEEK 1: AMERICAN LITERATURE AFTER THE AMERICAN CENTURY

WEEK 2-4: CANONS AND TRIGGER WARNINGS: LOLITA

WEEK 4-6: POPULAR CULTURE(S): THE BODY SNATCHERS

WEEK 6-8: THEORIES AND IDENTITIES: DAWN

WEEK 8-9: POSTMODERNISM AND CONSUMER CULTURE: DAVID FOSTER WALLACE

WEEK 10-11: NATIONALISMS AND TRANSNATIONALISMS: TROPIC OF ORANGE

WEEK 11-12: ECOCRITICISM IN THE ANTHROPOCENE: WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES

WEEK 13: AMERICAN LITERATURE AFTER EVERTHING

WEEK 14-15: CLASS SYMPOSIUM

DAY-BY-DAY SCHEDULE

M Aug. 31 FIRST DAY OF CLASS

Henry Luce, “The American Century” [D2L]

W Sep. 2 American Literature after the American Century

Henry A. Giroux, “Public Intellectuals against the Neoliberal University” [Web]

Michael Bérubé, “American Studies without Exceptions” [D2L]

     
M Sep. 7 LABOR DAY HOLIDAY—NO CLASS
W Sep. 9 Canons and Trigger Warnings

Lolita, Foreword and Part One

M Sep. 14 Lolita, Part Two (first half)
W Sep. 16 Lolita (whole book including afterword)
M Sep. 21 Jay Caspian King, “Trigger Warnings and the Novelist’s Mind” [newyorker.com]

Malcolm Harris, “Western Canon, Meet Trigger Warning” [aljazeera.com]

Ira Wells, “Forgetting Lolita: How Nabokov’s Victim Became an American Fantasy” [newrepublic.com]

“A Portrait of the Young Girl: On the 60th Anniversary of Lolita” [Los Angeles Review of Books]

W Sep. 23 Popular Culture(s)

Fredric Jameson, “Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture”

 
M Sep. 28 Invasion of the Body Snatchers (whole book)
W Sep. 30 Invasion of the Body Snatchers (whole book)

Susan Sontag, “The Imagination of Disaster” [D2L]

Fredric Jameson, “Metacommentary” [D2L]

M Oct. 5 Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 film)

Erika Nelson, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Gender and Sexuality in Four Film Adaptations” [D2L]

Marty Roth, “Twice Two: The Fly and Invasion of the Body Snatchers” [D2L]

W Oct. 7 Theories and Identities

Octavia E. Butler, Dawn (first half)

M Oct. 12 Octavia E. Butler, Dawn (second half)
W Oct. 14 Octavia Butler, Adulthood Rites (excerpts) [D2L]

Donna Haraway, “The Cyborg Manifesto” [D2L]

Donna Haraway, Primate Visions [excerpt] [D2L]

M Oct. 19 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” [D2L]
W Oct. 21 Postmodernism and Consumer Culture

David Foster Wallace, “Octet”

David Foster Wallace, “The Depressed Person”

M Oct. 26 CONFERENCES—NO CLASS
W Oct. 28 David Foster Wallace, “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction”

Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernism and Consumer Society”

M Nov. 2 Nationalism and Transnationalism

Tropic of Orange (first half)

FINAL PAPER PROSPECTUS DUE

W Nov. 4 Tropic of Orange (second half)
M Nov. 9 Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands [excerpts] [D2L]

Junot Díaz, “Monstro” [D2L]

W Nov. 11 Ecocriticism in the Anthropocene

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (first half)

M Nov. 16 We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (second half)
W Nov. 18 Dipesh Chakrabarty, “The Climate of History” [D2L]

McKenzie Wark, “Critical Theory after the Anthropocene” [D2L]

M Nov. 23 American Literature after Everything

Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History” [D2L]

Giorgio Agamben, “What Is The Contemporary?” [D2L]

Natalia Cecire, “Humanities Scholarship Is Incredibly Relevant, and That Makes People Sad” [Web]

 
W Nov. 25 THANKSGIVING—NO CLASS
M Nov. 30 Syllabus Workshop

GROUP SYLLABUSES DUE

W Dec. 2 Class Symposium (day one)
M Dec. 7 Class Symposium (day two)
W Dec. 9 Class Symposium (day three)
F Dec. 18 FINAL PAPERS DUE BY 10 AM

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