This course will investigate the institutional life of US fiction after 1945. How was modernism interpreted in the Cold War university? How have new media technologies transformed the scope—and the ambitions—of the novel? How have culture industry consolidations, and the rise of celebrity authors, reconfigured the US literary field? How have the institutional grounds of pluralism and multiculturalism changed from the sixties to today? How have transformations in family structure and countercultural challenges to normative ideas of gender and sexuality impacted post-WWII art? How have cultural developments tracked—or sought to resist—dramatic changes in the broader American economy? We may read work by Ralph Ellison, Mary McCarthy, Philip Roth, Leslie Marmon Silko, Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo, Chang-Rae Lee, Marilynne Robinson, David Foster Wallace, Junot Diáz, and Jennifer Egan.