Spring 2011
- Breaking News: Contemporary Literature, Media and 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 teaching you how to “decode” fiction, t.v., the news, and film. The course presents viewpoints not represented in the mainstream media. We shall ask such questions as, “How does one represent History?” “Who speaks, and by what authority?” “What are the contrasts between America’s self-image and its image in the eyes of the world?” Writers selected from the following:  Margaret Atwood; Joan Didion, Don DeLillo; Edwidge Danticat; Susan Choi;  Gloria Anzaldua; Sherman Alexie, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ward Just, J.M. Coetzee. We shall study African-American playwright Anna Deavere Smith’s 2 plays & see her new play @ U.Md. March 8-9, 2011. Multimedia component: films dealing w/ state terror, anti-colonialism, war, the environment, racial & ethnic unrest, protest, human rights, 9/11. Requirements: several short (2-3pp.) and 1 longer (4-5pp) research papers; 2 exams; intensive collaboration w/ classmates. Quizzes, midterm & final exam. Rigorous emphasis on participation, improving oral & written skills.