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Spring 2013 Course Descriptions

English 3809 - Contemporary British Literatures

Section 001   CRN 35026
Hoberman
Contemporary British Literatures   0930-1045 TR

Perhaps you’ve studied the Great Britain that produced Shakespeare. But what about the Great Britain of the Beatles, James Bond, and Adele? What about The Crying Game and Seamus Heaney? This class focuses on British and Irish literature from 1950 to the present. We’ll explore how British and Irish writers have responded to a series of major upheavals: post-World War II austerity and social change; the crumbling of empire; the Cold War; the influx of immigrants from former colonies; the anger of marginalized young men and rebellious women. We’ll read and discuss fiction, plays, and poetry by such writers as Samuel Beckett, Anthony Burgess, Angela Carter, Carol Churchill, Kazuo Ishiguru, Ian MacEwan, Seamus Heaney, and Carol Ann Duffy; movies such as Look Back in Anger and My Beautiful Laundrette; as well as the music that underlay the “British Invasion” and “Cool Britannia.” Throughout we’ll look at how popular, experimental, and postcolonial texts, movies, and music produced by British and Irish writers work to challenge traditional notions of Englishness. Requirements include careful reading, lots of discussion, two papers, midterm, and final. (Group 3C)