Fall 2013
- Breaking News: Contemporary Literature, Media and the State
This course analyzes how specific moments of social upheaval are: 1) portrayed in the media, and 2) transformed into art. Our primary aim is to enhance your skills of reading, writing, and interpretation by learning how to “decode” fiction, t.v., the news, and film. This is not a Journalism course, though we draw on topics in the news; instead, it presents viewpoints NOT represented in the mainstream media. We shall ask such questions as, “How does one represent History?” “What does citizenship mean, domestically & globally?” What does it mean to be "subject" to the State, especially if one is "Minority," or "Other?" Writers selected from the following: Natasha Tretheway, Julie Otsuka, Margaret Atwood, Joan Didion, Don DeLillo, Edwidge Danticat, Susan Choi, Gloria Anzaldua, Sherman Alexie, Kazuo Ishiguro, J.M. Coetzee, Anna Deavere Smith, Philip Roth. Multimedia component: films dealing w/ war, the environment, human rights, biomedical research, geopolitics, 9/11. Requirements: 1-2 short (2-3pp.) and 1 longer (5-7pp) papers; quizzes, midterm & final exam. No electronics whatsoever allowed in class.