English 246L

Graduate Pro-seminar: Literature in English, 1945 to the Present

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2006 Saul, Scott
Saul, Scott
MW 9-10:30 300 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media



"This seminar is designed to introduce students to US intellectual and cultural history between WWII and the present, with particular attention to the relationship between social movements in the realm of politics and cultural movements in the realm of the arts.

Class assignments and discussions will focus on the interpretation of the period's documentary sources -- its literature, film, music, art and cultural commentary. We'll pay particular attention to the emergence of new subgenres in the novel (the postwar bildungromans of Salinger and Ellison, the different 'postmodern' novels of Pynchon, Banks and Yamashita); in music (rock 'n' roll, rap); in theater (off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway performance); and in film (film noir, the Biblical epic, New Hollywood's reinvention of the gangster film). And we'll think about how these new cultural forms grapple with larger structural shifts in US society -- from such political developments as McCarthyism, the Civil Rights Movement, the New Left, Women�s Liberation, the New Right and the neo-liberal �consensus�, to such social phenomena as the sacralization of the nuclear family, the transformation of urban and suburban spaces, the rise of the prison-industrial complex, and the simultaneous globalization and concentration of the mass media. "

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