ENGL425 - Modern British Literature
0101 - TBA

This course will examine the impact of modern celebrity culture on British literature after 1900. We will consider how fiction, poetry, and drama of the period depict conditions of fame and reflect changing hero and quest tropes. We also will ask what it means to be a celebrated writer in the context of modern media: How are post-1900 British authors affected by altered expectations toward the "text" and the audience? Of what significance are controversies in British literary prize culture? Possible primary text authors include Shaw, Woolf, Auden, Beckett, Joyce, Lessing, Tom Stoppard, Peter Shaffer, Kazuo Ishiguro, Peter Carey, Kwame Kwei-Armah, and Zadie Smith. Students will be responsible for mastering a functional understanding of major historical events of the period, as well as selections from theoretical writings on celebrity and prize culture and on textual/media theory (Leo Braudy, P. David Marshall, and others). I expect you to attend class. Grades will be based on a combination of quizzes, papers, and exams-all of which will draw heavily on in-class lectures and discussions.


Two English courses in literature or permission of the department.