English 189-2 - Spring, 2017

Seminar in Literary Studies

    Topic: What is the Contemporary?

Class Information

Instructor: Ronda, Margaret
CRN: 91881
Time: TR 3:10-4:30
Location: 308 Voorhies


    This course will examine the question of the "contemporary" in current American literature and culture. We'll do so in two main ways. First, we will read widely in writing of our immediate present, considering dominant and emergent forms, themes, and genres that might define literary work now. We'll approach this work in relation to other contemporary cultural forms (film, new media forms, art). Second, we'll explore the field of the contemporary by thinking about the larger questions it raises: how do we think about the relation between literature and politics now? Can contemporary literature give us a vantage on the history of the present? We'll think through these questions by engaging several theories of the contemporary from art historians, philosophers and literary critics.


    In-class presentation, response papers, and a final seminar paper


    Look, Solmaz Sharif
    Long Division, Kiese Laymon
    Remainder, Tom McCarthy
    Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Shteyngart
    The Argonauts, Maggie Nelson