ENGLISH 332 - Visual Culture
Fall 2021, Section 001 - Reading with the Television On
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (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 be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


In the 21st century, the television is on almost as much as it is off; film and TV streaming happens on any of a half-dozen devices originally meant for pleasure, for communication, and for work; and even the most serious novelists, writers, and poets have binge-watched one show or another. So why, when we think of “great literature,” do we sometimes skip over the fact of the screen? How do we read and write an American life with, and without, the television on?

To get some answers to this question, we’ll read poetry, autofiction, creative nonfiction, and hybrid texts that incorporate screens, streaming, and network TV. As our midterm assignment, students will write a critical essay on an element of how our readings do and do not engage with media consumption as a way of telling their own life stories, and by the end of the term will have written roughly 15 total pages of analytical and/or personal essays (with the television on) of their own.

We will read excerpts from, or the entirety of, the following: Insomnia and the Aunt, Tan Lin; Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, Claudia Rankine; There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce, Morgan Parker; The TV Sutras, Dodie Bellamy; They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, Hanif Abdurraqib; Decreation, Anne Carson; I’m So Fine: A List of Famous People And What I Had On, Khadijah Queen; and others.

Course Requirements:

No prior experience with reading or writing about contemporary literature is required; some existing relationship with television is welcome.


ENGLISH 332 - Visual Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM

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