English 100

Junior Seminar: American Literature and the News


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
7 Fall 2008 Nguyen, Marguerite
Nguyen, Marguerite
TTh 9:30-11 206 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Bishop, Elizabeth: selected poetry; Bradley, David: The Chaneysville Incident; Bradshaw, Steve and Ben Loeterman: Rwanda: The Triumph of Evil; Clooney, George: Good Night and Good Luck; Dreiser, Theodore: �Maggie: A Girl of the Streets�; Hall, Stuart et al: �The Social Production of News�; Hurston, Zora Neale: Their Eyes Were Watching God; Lappe, Anthony and Dan Goldman: Shooting War; Morrison, Toni: Playing in the Dark; Yamada, Mitsuye: Camp Notes

Description

This course will explore the interconnections between American literature and the news throughout the 20 th-21 st centuries. We will read theoretical and primary texts to scrutinize how American writers, graphic novelists, and photojournalists affirm, dispute, or qualify the dominant modes of news reporting concurrent with their times. Understanding that news can be conceptualized in concrete ways yet contains no irreducible content, we will look at how notions of newsworthy materials and the forms used to represent them shift in relation to socio-political conditions as well as the strictures of genre, and how inequalities of race, gender, and class organize what gets to be reported and how. The class will end with a consideration of the pressures and possibilities that globalization and border-crossing technologies bear to a nuanced and ethical treatment of news, whether moments of war and transnational migration or the conditions of local, everyday life. Assignments include a research paper and presentation.

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