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EN2E9/EN3E9 States of Damage: C21 US Writing & Culture

Stephen Shapiro (convenor)

Module Description

The module aims to provide a survey of recent American writing and culture, a period now roughly demarcated by the economic crash of 2008/11. It surveys different modes of American writing (fiction, poetry, social analysis, graphic narrative, video and digital/online media) and focuses on a variety of themes: the individual in a mediatized and information-saturated global market; the uncanny non-death of neoliberalism; state terror and mass incarceration; the return to overt forms of military imperialism; the family as focal point for registering global change, and as site for social reproduction of class struggle; and the (sociopolitical, aesthetic) problem of envisioning future alternatives to the status quo.

Syllabus for 2023-24 can be read hereLink opens in a new window:


A packet of materials on writing essays (this is the reading for term 2, week 1 but you can start it now) is hereLink opens in a new window.

Intermediate years:


2023-24 deadlines:
Please see the Undergraduate English essay pages for deadlines.