ENGL289X - Breaking News: Contemporary Literature, Media and the State
Section(s):
0101-0104 - Linda Kauffman

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 films. Although we draw on topical stories in the news, this is not a Journalism course; instead, it presents viewpoints NOT represented in the mainstream media. We question the dominant discourses and examine how narratives are fabricated (in both senses of the word). What does it mean to be "subject" to the State, and how does art subvert it? 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 deals with war, terrorism, the environment, human rights, biomedical research, geopolitics. Requirements:  1-2 short (2-3pp.) and 1 longer (5-7pp) papers; quizzes, midterm & final exam. No Kindle or other electronics allowed in class, so you must purchase required coursepak and books (ignore Kindle option if it appears on Testudo or bookstore website.)