Topics in American Literature


What does it mean to be a woman writer in a today's global literary community? What issues are women thinking, talking, and writing about now? How do women writers explore contemporary events? Do they share meaningful connections and contribute to a gender-specific literary tradition, or is "women's writing" simply a marketing category in the vein of "chick lit"? While we will consider recent novels, memoirs, essays, short stories, and poetry in light of specific socio-historical developments, we will also ask how these authors shape new political futures through their imaginative and critical works. By reading a diverse spectrum of writers from around the world, we'll assess the limitations and possibilities of the writing so often relegated to what novelist Meg Wolitzer has called "the second shelf." Authors studied may include Charlie Jane Anders, Alison Bechdel, Anne Boyer, Stephanie Burt, Leila Chatti, Danielle Dutton, Bernardine Evaristo, Elena Ferrante, Aracelis Girmay, Lauren Groff, Saidiya Hartman, N.K. Jemison, Ada Limón, Patricia Lockwood, Layli Long Soldier, Valeria Luiselli, Ling Ma, Helen Macdonald, Carmen Maria Machado, Helen Oyeyemi, Warsaw Shire, Zadie Smith, Kai Cheng Thom, and Shola von Rheinhold. Satisfies the Twentieth Century and later requirement for the English major; non-majors welcome.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM; EL TC

Section 01

Topics in American Literature
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