English R1A

Modern Selves and Others

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
13 Fall 2009 Hausman, Blake M.
Hausman, Blake
TTh 11-12:30 222 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis; Sherman Alexie, Ten Little Indians; George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”; and a course reader containing short stories by Jamaica Kincaid, Carolyn Forche, James Baldwin, Flannery O’Connor, Alice Walker, Louise Erdrich, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and others


Many storytellers have suggested that “our stories tell us who we are.” How, then, do our stories tell us who we are not? How do we create define, and identify ourselves and others? During the twentieth century in particular, creative writers grappled with how we create images of ourselves and others within the maelstrom of modern technology and consciousness. This course will examine a range of prose fiction that represents modern subjectivity, from the captivating surrealism of Kafka to the edgy realism of Baldwin and beyond. Our readings will push us to question what makes us human, how humans tend to imagine themselves through divisions and oppositions, and how language attempts to come to terms with our modern conditions.

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