English R1A

Reading and Composition: Cold War Literature and Culture

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
8 Fall 2018 Gaydos, Rebecca
MW 5-6:30 54 Barrows

Book List

Dick, Philip K.: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; Nguyen, Viet Thanh: The Sympathizer; Santos Perez, Craig: from Unincorporated Territory [guma']


This course explores literature and culture from the Cold War era. Topics we will focus on include: how literature represents the threat of nuclear confrontation between global superpowers; the rise (and weaponization) of pop and mass culture; poetic and artistic responses to propaganda, nationalism, and conformism; and the pressure that an automated, technologized society places on traditional forms of human communication and identity. In addition to grappling with the ideological tensions that animate this era, we will consider how writers respond to the environmental devastation and violence associated with the atmospheric "testing" (i.e. the actual detonation) of nuclear weapons, the hot wars of the so-called Cold War, and the ongoing legacy of colonialism.

This course is designed to improve your argumentative writing skills. In addition to short writing assignments, peer revision, and in-class presentations, students will write three essays over the course of the semester.

Back to Semester List