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Syllabus 2016-17


Convenor: Mark Storey

Below is the new syllabus for 2016-17. Some of the shorter pieces/essays here will be supplied.

Term 1

Week 1: How did we get here?

Please read these pieces: Betty Friedan, extract from The Feminine Mystique (1963); Martin Luther King, Jr., 'Letter from Birmingham Jail' (1963); and David Foster Wallace, 'E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction' (1993).

We are also going to watch (and possibly endure) the first Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump that took place on Monday night. This is now available to watch online: try this link on YouTube (with ads) or this one (skip first 5 mins), or this on CSPAN. You will be able to find other sources.

Week 2: Willa Cather, My Antonia (1918)

Week 3: John Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer (1925)

Week 4: Nella Larsen, Passing (1929), Fire!! (Issue 1, 1926; excerpts TBC but can be read online here)

Week 5: William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying (1930), Walker Evans photography (to be supplied)

Week 6: Reading week

Week 7: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night (1934). Note: two different versions of this novel exist -- the original from 1934, which tells the story using flashbacks, and a posthumous version prepared by Malcolm Cowley that rearranges the narrative chronologically. The earlier, original version is to be preferred and most modern editions will be this, but if you find you've purchased an edition that follows the later version then don't worry; it'll all be part of our discussion in class. **Look out for the Penguin Classics edition, with a black and white photograph on the cover and an (excellent) introduction by Richard Godden; this is the best edition if you can get it.**

Week 8: Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely (1940)

Week 9: James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953)

Week 10: Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House (1959)

Term 2

Week 1: Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1966)

Week 2: New Journalism. Selected pieces and extracts: Joan Didion, 'The White Album', Gay Talese, 'Frank Sinatra Has a Cold', extract from Michael Herr, Dispatches: 'Breathing In'.

Week 3: Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (1970)

Week 4: Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (1977)

Week 5: Art Spiegelman, Maus (Vols. 1 and 2) (1980-91)

Week 6: Reading week

Week 7: Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho (1991)

Week 8: Tony Kushner, Angels in America (1993)

Week 9: Junot Díaz, Drown (1996)

Week 10: TBC