English 20

Modern British and American Literature: Contemporary British Literature and Culture

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2021 Lavery, Grace
TTh 8-9:30 102 Moffitt

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This lower-division class offers an overview of British literature and culture since 1979, introducing students to the major literary and cultural questions facing Britain in the period after decolonization. These include: how well do national and supra-national categories like “England,” “Scotland,” “Wales,” “Britain,” “the United Kingdom,” and “Europe” reflect the cultural commitments of a multicultural state? How have British cultural projects intersected with, or else supervened in, contemporary European and American imperial projects? We will consider British cultural movements like UK punk, the “British Invasion” graphic novels of the 1980s, the so-called “Cool Britannia” of the Blair years, the Stop the War Coalition, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” the London 2012 Olympics, Brexit, UK garage and grime, and terfism; we will also engage some of the period’s major literary figures, such as Susannah Clarke, Rachel Cusk, Carol Ann Duffy, Mab Jones, Sarah Kane, Grant Morrison, J. H. Prynne, Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith, and Irvine Welsh.


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