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English 262 - Spring, 2013
American Literature After 1914
Topic: What's Left of American Literature?
Whatâ€™s Left of American Literature?
The wildly heterogeneous set of loose and strong political affiliations known as â€œThe Leftâ€ in the twentieth-century United States is often understood as having at least a tripartite structure: the aesthetic-activist, anarchist-socialist â€œLyrical Leftâ€ centered in the Greenwich Village of World War I; the industrial, agricultural, and frequently communist â€œOld Leftâ€ struggling from the 1920s through the 1950s; and a counter-cultural â€œNew Left,â€ the decline of which began after the global student activisms of 1968. This course will trace an aesthetic-philosophical-political history of these three interwoven movements, motivated by the guiding questions of whether and whither such distinctions and demarcations are useful in terms of a specifically literary history. We will also consider more recent depictions of these movements in order to consider how their histories are themselves aestheticized and commodified in ways that are both consonant and dissonant with the aesthetic and political precepts of the movements themselves.
In addition to the texts listed below, we will read selections from the following: Randolph Bourne, The Radical Will: Selected Writings 1911-1918; Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays (1910); Van Wyck Brooks, America's Coming-of-Age (1915); John Dewey, Early Writings (selections to 1940) and The Public and Its Problems (1927); V.F. Calverton, The Liberation of American Literature (1932); Granville Hicks, Proletarian Literature in the United States (1935); Kenneth Burke, Attitudes Toward History (1937); C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite (1956); Hannah Arendt, â€œThe Crisis In Culture: Its Social and Its Political Significanceâ€ (1961); "The Port Huron Statement of the Students for a Democratic Society" (1962); Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man (1964); Ben Morea, Black Mask and Up Against the Wall Motherfucker (1966-1969); Abbie Hoffman, Fuck the System (1967). And more!
There will be three required film viewings: Emile de Antonio, *Point of Order* (1964), Warren Beatty, *Reds* (1981), and Brett Morgen, *Chicago 10: Speak Your Piece* (2007).
Weekly presentations and seminar paper.
The Theory of the Leisure Class
, Thorstein Veblen
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
, Joan Didion
The Crying of Lot 49
, Thomas Pynchon
Pity is Not Enough
, Josephine Herbst
The Armies of the Night
, Norman Mailer
, Theodore Dreiser
The New Negro
, Alain Locke
, Richard Wright
The Big Money
, John Dos Passos
, Herbert Marcuse
We Are English Majors: Emily Stack
Katie Peterson named Chancellor’s Fellow
PhD student Rebecca Hogue wins Mellon/ACLS fellowship
English Graduate Program remains Top 20
Alum Matt Mason named Nebraska State Poet
We Are English Majors: Alan Roberson
Elizabeth Miller wins NEH fellowship
We Are English Majors: Rosa Lee Schwarz
We Are English Majors: Jared Kohn
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New Selected Poems
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