English 149-1 - Fall, 2016

Topics in Literature

    Topic: American Literature and Globalization

Class Information

Instructor: Lanzendoerfer, Tim
CRN: 32517
Time: TR 12:10-1:30
Location: 129 Wellman


    In this class, we will trace American literature’s global dimension, from the beginnings of the twentieth century through Modernism’s decided internationalism and up to the contemporary moment, where, as some critics have it, the predominance of American writing shapes something like the “global novel”. As we read a broad variety of poetry and prose, we will also think about versions of what “globalization” is, and how American literature has, perhaps, always been written in a globalizing world. If globalization is, as Anthony Giddens describes it, “the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa,” then globalization may not be contemporary phenomenon, except in intensity. But how do we theorize it? And what traces has this process left in American literature? And where are we going from here—what are its literary end points? As we explore these questions, we will look at different ways of theorizing globality—from religious ideas of the world’s connectedness to economic and political conceptions of globalization to world-systems theory—as well as on the global dimensions of American literary writing.


    The Pit, Frank Norris / 9780140187588
    The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid / 9780156034029
    A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism, Peter Mountford / 9780547473352
    Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Shteyngart / 9780812977868
    World War Z, Max Brooks / 9780770437411
    Purity, Jonathan Franzen / 9780374239213
    Globalization: A Very Short Introduction, Manfred Stegner / 9780199662661
    World Systems Analysis, Immanuel Wallerstein / 9780822334422