English 166

Special Topics: Pomo: Exploring the Landscape of Postmodernism

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2020 Danner, Mark
TTh 3:30-5 240 Mulford

Book List

Barthelme, Donald: Sixty Stories; Borges, Jorge Luis: Ficciones ; Burroghs, William : Naked Lunch; Calvino, Italo: If on a winter's night a traveler; Carter, Angela: The Bloody Chamber; DeLillo, Don: White Noise; Heller, Joseph: Catch-22; Markson , David: Wittgenstein's Mistress; Morrisson, Toni: Beloved; Pynchon, Thomas : The Crying of Lot 49; Robinson, Marilynne : Housekeeping ; Vonnegut, Kurt : Slaughterhouse-Five; Whitehead, Colson: John Henry Days


Postmodernism is one of those peculiar words, like "nonfiction," that struggles to define something by what it is not. Or rather, in this case, by what it comes after: Postmodernism was what came after modernism. In this seminar we'll attempt to go beyond that rather empty surmise to the self-regarding, fragmented, multiform, satyric, parodic, pastichey works themselves. That means readings from Borges to Burroughs to Barth and Barthelme, from Calvino to DeLillo to Heller to Pynchon and Toni Morrison. A number of others besides, all in the service of answering the nagging questions: What did come after Modernism? How exactly should we think about it? And where oh where did it go?

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