ENGLISH 364 - The Contemporary Novel
Fall 2020, Section 001 - Reading as a Writer: The (Very) Contemporary Novel
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


What is the place - the status, relevance and role — of the contemporary novel in our culture? We'll consider the (sometimes testy) debate among authors and critics on those very points and look at the promotion, reception and substance of some of the most prominent books of the last 5-10 years by fiction writers like Jennifer Egan, Colson Whitehead, Jesmyn Ward, George Saunders, Sigrid Nunez and Susan Choi. Why do these works succeed (if they do?), what does their success mean, and do they deserve it? We'll endeavor to read both closely (considering the structure, language, characters and plots of the books under consideration) and more expansively (considering the publishing process, and the place of the novel relative to other media, such as film and TV), always trying to bear in mind that novels start and end with individuals — the author and the reader. The myriad choices of the former and the responses of the latter will be our touchstones.

Intended Audience:

Online-only students are welcome!

Class Format:

Exams: Asynchronous and Online

Lectures: Synchronous/Asynchronous and Online

Class Discussions: Synchronous/Asynchronous and Online


ENGLISH 364 - The Contemporary Novel
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM

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