English 100

Junior Seminar: The 1960s

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
9 Spring 2006 Blanton, Dan
TTh 12:30-2 106 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Antonioni, M.: Blow-Up; Alvarez, A.: The New Poetry; Beckett, S.: Texts for Nothing; Breath; Bond, E.: Saved; Brook, P.: Marat/Sade; Heaney, S.: Death of a Naturalist; Hughes, T.: Crow; Johnson, B.: The Unfortunates; Kubrick, S.: Dr. Strangelove; Larkin, P.: The Whitsun Weddings; Lessing, D.: The Golden Notebook; Monty Python's Flying Circus, First Series; Orton, J.: Loot; Pinter, H.: The Birthday Party; Spark, M.: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie; Stoppard, T.: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead


This course will explore the literature and the culture of the 1960s, focusing primarily on fiction, poetry, drama (and some film) in Britain. What can we make of a moment suspended somewhere between the modern and the postmodern, one that has now receded into a mixture of memory (for some), myth (for others), and history (for all)? Our readings will follow the transformation of post-war British society, investigating the forms produced by apparent economic decline, the emergence of an increasingly pluralistic culture, and the consolidation of a welfare state. We will also trace the expansion of the idea of culture itself, investigating Britain's place in a world reshaped by Cold War antagonisms, decolonization, the reinvention of Europe, and the global rise of libratory movements. What connections can be drawn between the 1960s as they occur in Britain and the decade as it happens elsewhere, in Paris or Prague, the United States or the new 'Third World'? Finally, we will pose questions of periodization: Is the idea of a decade anything more than a convenient historical shorthand? Is there something that links these works--often so wildly disparate--together formally?

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